Berlin has come a long way in recent decades. Once harshly divided by the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the dark days of the Cold War, Berlin has emerged in recent years as the ultimate hip city in Europe. Its gained a reputation for having a somewhat rebellious and freewheeling attitude, and draws artists, writers and other creative types from all over the world. Berlin has also begun to see itself become a hotspot for entrepreneurs and people who make their livings online. In addition to the fact that prices here remain cheaper than in other parts of Europe, the abundance of co-working spaces makes it a great place to network and build something.
There is a great deal to do in Berlin, so whether you are working there or just visiting to see what all the hype is about, this is one city not to miss when you’re in Europe.
Despite its current status as a flourishing and cosmopolitan city, Berlin still very much bears the scars of the Cold War era, and there are many places to visit where you can learn more about Germany’s place in modern history.
The Memorial of the Berlin Wall stands as a testament to that infamous landmark, and to the nation – the families and friends – that were divided by it. It’s free to visit the memorial, and provides an opportunity to reflect on its historic significance. Past visitors have reported that it is a rather intensely emotional experience, so it is best to go alone or with one or two other people rather than in a large group, to allow yourself the chance to really take it in.
Take a step a bit further back in German history by visiting the Topography of Terror, which is described by TripAdvisor as “a permanent exhibition at the site where the headquarters of the Secret State Police, the SS and the Reich Security Main Office were located during the “Third Reich”. Previous visitors have praised the thoroughness of the exhibit, in that it displays history honestly and humanizes the atrocities that took place during World War II.
One of the highest ranked activities on TripAdvisor is taking in a performance at the Berlin Philharmonic, so if you need something to lighten your spirits after visiting either of the above attractions, this may be the place to go. But you’ll want to plan this in advance, since tickets sell out ahead of shows and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to hear some of the excellent performances here.
Another must-see on the historic and cultural learning list is the Pergamon Museum. It is a world-renowned museum, and includes gems from the ancient world. Among them are the Altar of Zeus and Babylon’s Ishtar Gate. Other reproductions of historically significant landmarks and structures will leave you speechless and give a greater appreciation and a sense of connectedness with world history.