What is there to do in Berlin?
Whatever your tastes or inclinations, Berlin offers a very broad range of things to see and do:
a pulsating night life in countless cafés, bars and clubs; alternative and internationally renowned theaters; bountiful parks and green areas, a necklace of forests and lakes around the city's perimeter; numerous museums and galleries; concerts featuring music from every genre and style; shops, boutiques and flea markets. Berlin is a growing and dynamic city with something new appearing daily, not to mention its vital and engaging history, which is on display throughout the city.
The central districts of Berlin offer numerous symbols and reminders of the 20th century's most important events.
The Brandenburger Gate is a symbol of both the German reunification and the end of the Cold War. The Reichstag is the seat of the German parliament, topped by a glass dome containing an exhibit depicting the building's central role in German history; there's also the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Memorial Church, which was destroyed during WWII and is preserved as a ruin and reminder of the pointless destruction of war.
- Places and Buildings
Places and buildings in Berlin are monuments to a city at the heart of 20th century history. Perhaps the most famous symbol in Germany's capital is the Berlin Wall, sections of which have been left standing as a symbol of the previous division of Germany and of the many dreams and lives ruined during the Cold War. Built to demonstrate Socialism's architectural prowess, the TV Tower (or Space Needle) still soars above the city's skyline and has become the city's adopted symbol, in both the east and west. Older structures, such as the Berlin Cathedral and numerous other buildings have been designated as world heritage sites by UNESCO. With a unique blend of the old and the new, Potsdamer Platz was the central congregation point during Berlin's cultural explosion in the Weimar period, then was virtually forgotten during the Cold War, only to reemerge after the reunification as a cutting edge postmodern structure and a sign of the city's future orientation.
The diversity of the museums in Berlin is overwhelming.
They range from the Pergamon Museum, the Egyptian Museum and the Jewish Museum, to the Gay Museum, and Hemp Museum, to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, the Berlin Wall Museum, and the Stasi Museum.
Art museums abound: the Alte Museum, the Alte National Gallery, the Neue National Gallery, the Brücke Museum, the Martin-Gropius Bau, the Kunst-Werke e.V., the Hamburger Bahnhof, etc.
Events, festivals and sporting events
Carnival of Cultures, the Love Parade, Hemp Parade, international film festivals such as the internationally recognized Berlinale as well as countless smaller film festivals, and the FIFA World Cup 2006.
The city also offers shopping that caters to the most diverse of tastes. Some shopping venues like the KaDeWe are known to anyone who has been to Berlin, while other alternative and specialized shops pop up every day as the city continually undergoes new construction and renovation.