Berlin is a German capital, but at the same time, it is a global cosmopolitan city and differs from the most German cities. Berlin is famous for its diverse mixture of attractions, rich cultural scene and unique lifestyle that is both rapid and relaxed.
A stark contrast between the traditional and the modern, historical architecture and futuristic buildings are what distinguishes Berlin from the rest. For the last couple of decades, Berlin was in the stagnating with the highest unemployment rates and many traditional industries leaving the city. Yet, the city is often regarded as “poor but sexy,” is notorious for its underground culture with avant-garde artists, musicians, and designers. Berlin is a heart of European creative industries with developed strat up infrastructure. Consequently, it becomes more and more gentrified; old warehouses are turning into artsy lofts, hopeless inner-city streets spring up with Michelin-starred restaurants, brutal socialist-era buildings are converted into social clubs and centers. In many respects, Berlin today is actively reinventing and redefining itself, and it is very exciting to observe.
As a business venue, Berlin provides ideal conditions for businesses and investors, such as superb infrastructure, a cutting-edge telecommunications industry, multitude of qualified professional, as well as world-class research, technology, and scientific community. Berlin's economy is very diverse and formed by industrial companies with a long history and traditions, vibrant service sector, robust SMEs as well as innovative high-tech firms. Berlin is considered to be one of the most innovative cities in the European Union, and it occupies leading position in many key industries. The capital city is also a startup hub that set trends in new technologies. Berlin has fundamental expertise in IT, media and communications, electronics, and optics technology, as well as strong competence in natural sciences. The city is the standard-bearer in clean technologies, it is a leader among the city with the highest concentration of green businesses and environmental research institutes.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Berlin is a temple of art. It has more than 170 museums, the majority of them are conveniently packed into the museum island, that display the artistic treasures and world heritage. Art connoisseurs come to Berlin from around the globe to enjoy performances by premier orchestras – such as the world-renown Berlin Philharmonic – and to see ballets and operas at the three grandiose Berlin opera houses. Many theatres perform plays of all conceivable genres. There are also plenty of cabarets and music halls that offer the various kinds of stage performances.
The landmarks of Berlin, from the Charlottenburg palace to the Federal Chancellery, reflects its glorious history as well as deep and dark secrets. This pompous capital is home to all the major government institutions, particularly the historic Reichstag, a stronghold of German democracy and the seat of the German parliament. The modern-day Berlin was formed by the merger of the amalgam of villages and little towns. Consequently, most of its development were decentralized which resulted in an abundance of sights throughout Berlin – not the city center but also the peripheral districts. Each neighborhood has its unique style and atmosphere, all of them are worth visiting. If you are looking for instagrammable places, the most recognized symbols of Berlin are the TV tower in Mitte and the Brandenburg Gate. The renowned boutiques around the Hackesche Höfe, Kurfürstendamm, and the grand old Friedrichstrasse offer endless options for shopping for all styles and budgets.
Berlin foster the relaxed way of life with lots of parks and open spaces to enjoy the outdoors. Neither city Germany is greener than Berlin; it is intertwined with lakes, sprawling lawns and even forest on the outskirts of the city. During the warm seasons' life in Berlin moves outside to the terrace-cafés and open-air theatres and movie nights – ideal for appreciating the sunshine and mild summer nights. Visit the Tiergarten; it is the “Central Park,” it is not only a great place for biking, running, and picnics but also a place to appreciate and art and go sculpture spotting. Treptower Park is a plage of gigantic Russian War Memorial, as well as Spree River which provides great opportunities for boating. Victoria Park is a wonderful spot to enjoy Berlin’s skyline.
Berlin created an intricate transportation infrastructure offering very diverse modes of urban transportation. There are 979 bridges that cross 197 kilometers of the city rivers and canals, 5,334 kilometers of roads operate through Berlin and around 100 kilometers of highways. The city's public transportation networks consist of separate networks, with five different light and heavy rail systems. That includes the S-Bahn and U-Bahn urban rail systems, regional rail system, a streetcar system, a bus network and a couple of ferry services. There is no lack in interchange stations and transportation nodes between the different systems.
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Berlin is a sprawling metropolis, and it can be difficult to navigate around it. The fact is, Berlin is divided into 12 different administrative districts. Those districts, or Bezirk, are further subdivided down into Kiez. Even within the Kiez, areas are further split into street specific areas like Kollwitzkiez and Bergmannkiez—each with their charisma. Hence each little neighborhood and street has its unique character —and rental price. Central parts of Mitte are very pricey. Similarly, popular locations like Kollwitzplatz in Prenzlauer Berg and Schlesisches Tor in Kreuzberg are not among the most affordable. Nevertheless, there is plenty of budget-friendly places for long-term renting like Wedding and Friedrichshain. There is a place for everyone in Berlin.
Mitte translates as "middle" and due to its city-center location. It is packed with all major must-see sights from Reichstag to Brandenburg Gate. Mitte is a mandatory stop for anybody who visits Berlin. Nevertheless, it is not advised to stay in central Mitte if you are on the shoestring budget. It is a major tourist hub, and consequently, hotels and apartments for rent can be quite costly. Central Mitte used to be the heart of East Berlin and have a lot of places of interest beyond monuments. It has plenty of chic shops, eateries, and tacky boutiques. This district is one the most downtown looking since Berlin is mostly deprived of skyscrapers.
This another popular area for tourists and Berliners, it is really part of the Pankow Bezirk. It is among the most famous neighborhoods for a reason. It remained relatively untouched during the Second World War with many of its elegant old architecture intact. Swift gentrification has transformed it from a ghetto to one of the richest areas in Berlin full artisanal shops, and breweries. It is also a popular spot for young up-and-coming professionals with kids. You can frequently see them with strollers visiting numerous organic ice-cream shops, kids’ cafes and playgrounds, especially around Kollwitzplatz and Kastanienallee.
Friedrichshain used to be a distinct neighborhood, but now it is part of a combined district of Friedrichshain -Kreuzberg. Nevertheless, this waterfront Kiez has its own character and personality. Friedrichshain is a former industrial region, which converted into the punk-underground venue. Everything here spells “rebel”: informal art galleries, street art, and graphics tagging all visible surfaces. Squatters formerly occupied numerous abandoned buildings around Berlin. Now there are only a few bastions left, predominantly in Friedrichshain. The neighborhood boasts some of the best nightlife venues in the city; clubs hide beneath the S-Bahn or behind the unmarked doors. Additionally, there are some remarkable examples of art nouveau façades. Rental prices have typically low in this area, and you can find affordable apartments, rooms, and lofts.
Similarly to many of Berlin's hip neighborhoods, Kreuzberg used to be the area for immigrants, then artists squatters and students. Right now it is being taken over by developers who rapidly renovate it for a much richer crowd. Due to this fact, this district is an eclectic blend of Bohemian lifestyle and counter-culture vibe. This area is multicultural with a great variety of various national cuisines and experimental restaurants. Kreuzberg also has wonderful parks and vibrant night-life. The rental prices for apartments are quite high here, but still pretty manageable.
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is considered a fancy Berlin. It is much cleaner and ordered than other segments of the city. Charlottenburg is civilized, tranquil and measured. You won’t find punks and squatters here. This neighborhood is for seniors and upscale families. Additionally, it has some of the best Asian restaurants in Berlin and a popular market. In this district, you can enjoy Charlottenburg palace, a museum with the works of Picassos, a Children Zoo and diverse shopping options.
Despite its central location, just North of Central Mitte, Wedding has a completely different vibe. You can find a lot of cheap apartments and room for rent in pompous historic buildings here. The area is slowly getting out of stagnation and undergo gradual gentrification. As a result, it attracts many Western expats and young Germans. This neighborhood is one of the most diverse, with around 30% of the population are immigrants. Here you can find an amalgam of national traditions and crafts: African Groceries, Turkish hookah bars, Arab cafes, and Korean beauty salons.