Berlin is a vibrant city with a dark and tumultuous past.
Throughout the 20th century, the city was prominent in the maelstrom of major political world events transpiring in and around Germany. Home to the former hq of Hitler in WW2, the parts of the city not decimated by air raids were used as a pawn in the Cold War in the years that followed.
Ravaged and rebuilt so many times, Berlin’s battle scars are prominent, seen and felt as you walk through the numerous war memorials. This is not a polished, glamorous place, which is precisely what makes it so appealing.
The creators and creatives that now call it home have born a great food and nightlife scene. German classics are easily found alongside independent restaurants of all cuisines.
A non-exhaustive list of must-eats:
Schnitzelei | Curry 61 | Monsieur Vong | Mädchenitaliener | Markethalle Nuen | ROUND & EDGY | 19 Grams | What Do You Fancy Love?
In the years that followed the tearing down of the Berlin wall that divided the East and West, the city became a playground for counterculture. It is gritty and colourful, an endless gallery of progressive and political art and anti-establishment messages, juxtaposed boldly against abundant grand and imposting historical buildings.
Berlin is home to some excellent art. For thought-provoking contemporary, check out:
The East Side Gallery
Of course, there are endless monuments and buildings of significance. Can’t miss:
Reichstag | Brandenburg Gate | Tiergarten park | Museum Island | Holocaust Memorial | Berliner Dom | Checkpoint Charlie
Berlin’s innate cool factor hits differently than comparative cities – it’s uncurated, innate – the byproduct of its dark, turbulent past.