Berlin is the capital of Germany and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Located in western-central Germany, it was established in 13th century by German citizens to act as a bridge between eastern and western powers. In 1871, Berlin became the seat of two major empires – The German Empire and Kingdom of Prussia. This eventually led to rapid industrialization that transformed Berlin into an advanced city with numerous technological advances including electrification, telephones and trams.
Where is Berlin Located?
So where exactly is Berlin? Somewhere in Europe right?
For the outside world, Berlin has come a must-see destination for tourists and high-tech firms alike. It is a city which represents rebirth, hope and prosperity in the modern era.
- Berlin city is in Germany
- Berlin is the largest city and capital of Germany (since 1990)
- It has the largest population of any city in Germany; 3,748,148 (2018)
- Berlin is located in central Europe in the northern part of Germany
- The currency used in Berlin, Germany is the Euro
- Berlin Fun fact – The city boasts the tallest structure in Germany, The Fersehturm, at 368 meters high
- There were two Berlin Walls. A ‘death strip’ of 140 lay between the two parallel walls
Berlin City – Some Quick Facts
Berlin is a capital city which is steeped in history and has fast become the go-to place for weekend break tourists.
At 9 times the size of Paris it is the most populous city of the European Union.
However, it has only one fifth of Paris’ population density which has 21,000 inhabitants per square Km versus 4,000 for Berlin.
Approximately one-third of the city’s are is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes. A sense of spaciousness is everywhere you got in Berlin.
Berlin is situated in the North German Plain or part of the Northern European Lowland Plain which stretches all the way from northern France to western Russia.
Berlin, from a historical perspective was an important city as a crossing point of two trade routes. Is has served as the centre of power for the Kingdom of Prussia, the Weimar republic and even Hitler’s Third Reich.
After World War II the city was divided by the Berlin Wall. Following reunification of West and East Germany in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of Germany.
It has become a world city of culture, boasting three Unesco World Heritage sites (The Museum Island, Sansoussi Palace and Parks in Potsdam and Modernism Housing Estates) but it is also known for politics, media and science.
Berlin is Germany’s “greenest” city with over 44% of its area made of waterways, woods, rivers and green areas. As well as exploring this curious city in Germany also make sure you relax in it’s sprawling parks and enjoy the oasis of calm these Berlin Parks offer in the midst of this amazing city.
Getting around – Berlin Public Transport (BVG)
Berlin has a transport system (BVG) which is envied the world over. It’s subway systems, the SBahn and UBahn have a combined length totalling 473Km plus and extra 120Km of tramway lines. To add context to this amazing transport system, Paris has a system 214Km in length and London has 400Km.
Apparently Berlin’s full transport system travels the equivalent distance of 8.7 times around the Earth each day. That’s a whopping 348,652Km per day.
For those curious, the Earths circumference at the equator is 40,075Km
Berlin’s UBahn trains a photographic must! With bold yellow colouring, they remind us of the School buses used through the United States.
The transport Bahnring of Berlin is in the shape of a Basset Hound. Yup, you’ll never see anything again only the dog shaped plan!
Where in Berlin – Graffiti
Every year the city of Berlin spends €35 million on cleaning graffiti from it’s walls but it’s a battle the city cannot win but in a way it’s synonymous with Berlin. Artists can face up to three years in jail if caught in the act of shaking their can! So it’s highly illegal. You can read a lot more about Berlin’s Street Art here.
When you think of Berlin and graffiti pictures of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall spring to mind. Large expanses of stone wall were graffitied then and remnants of the wall still in place are heavily covered.
However, some famous names have also lent their spray paint the Berlin’s street art scene. Non more so than Banksy. There are apparently 34 pieces of street art which are believed to be Banksy’s.
Banksy’s iconic Flower Thrower can be found in Berlin in the courtyard of The Kunsthaus Tacheles or Art House Tacheles. You can buy a Flower thrower Canvas here or you can choose to explore the Banksy Artworks through the city on your own using this Google map.
Berlin is home to the longest open-air gallery in the world. It measures at 1.3Km This gallery known as The East Side Gallery has more than 100 murals from all over the world. The most famous is the piece know as The Fraternal Kiss.
Berlin’s Mauerpark graffiti wall is a legal area where up-and-coming artists can ply their skills. Part of the Berlin Wall runs through the area of Mauerpark and the side facing the park is free and legal for new Banksy, Sobr or El Bocho’s to give it a go.
You’ll regularly see people carrying spray cans and buckets of paint and painting over other artist’s work. Mauerpark is generally very crowded on Sunday with many artist types flitting about. A perfect spot to chill out and listen to buskers and watch the graffiti artists in action.
Berlin – Nightlife?
Berlin is truly Europe’s clubbing capital.
If you’re in the mind for clubbing and in Berlin for just for a few days, make sure to have at least one MAD night out in Berlin.
Is Berlin good for Nightlife? HELL ya. There are a ton of good clubs and bars in Berlin. In fact, I would say the nightlife is one of the best things about this city! You will not find a better city and such choice anywhere else. As Berlinclubs.com have said, it’s “disorientating, mind-blowing, brutal, fun, surprising, longlasting and freaky.”
Gay, straight, non-binary or transgender, whatever your inclination there’s something for you in Berlin. Timeout.com have a really good short synopsis of nightclubs with links to their respective club websites. The article was written in June 2019 so it’s pretty up-to-date. Otherwise this Google Map will show you some other popular nightclubs
Tips for Going out in Berlin? Most clubs don’t have a dress code so don’t worry too much but you can never go too far wrong if you wear black and TRAINERS.
Black as it seems to be the norm in Berlin.
Dark clothes give a certain chic, street-wise look to the wearer. It’s a uniform of sorts for the young people of the city.
In Berlin many shops only sell black fashion items and so proving that they really draw inspiration from the city’s nightlife culture.
Getting into a nightclub and through the strict door policy can still be difficult. Bouncers guard their club doors like a mother does her young!! Check out this how-to-guide for getting past the gatekeepers!
Be aware that most clubs have a no photo policy which to be honest makes perfect sense. Live in the moment, stop taking selfies and have a blast of a time when you’re out in Berlin! Viel Glück!
Is Berlin safe at night?
The answer is yes: Berlin is one of the safest big cities in Europe, and you should have no problem exploring it at night. However, like any metropolitan city, you have to be responsible, take a little care at nighttime and don’t be walking around without a care in the world, or your head stuck in your phone looking at google maps and unaware of your surroundings. Common sense really!
Though Berlin is relatively safe, nighttime is when the city streets can be dangerous, especially in quiet areas. Be safe, limit the amount you carry at any one time. I always leave my passport in my hotel or hostel safe with a spare bank card. Carry another form of ID, if anything happens at least you can fly home!
Where in Berlin should I eat?
Where do you start. Berlin has so many culinary delights. It really has everything your stomach could wish for and others it never could have dreamed of.
In 2016 I saw a documentary but English chef, Rick Stein and it’s what planted the seed and made me want to visit Berlin for the first time.
Also on Rick Stein’s list as well as that of Timeout.com is Nobelhart & Schmutzig. Here’s a video to get you into the mind of Billy Wagner. It’s pricey but looks like an awesome restaurant.