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Berlin: Capital of Modern Germany

Jun 14, 2008
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and was built around the River Spree. Berlin was founded in 1237, but much of the city was destroyed during the Second World War. Recently the city has undergone a massive rebuilding and rejuvenation project and it is now a thriving modern city. Today, Berlin is one of the most visited cities in Europe with approximately 6 million annual visitors.

There are many interesting attractions for visitors to Berlin. It has an interesting mix of old and new. Berlin has some of the most advanced modern architecture in the world today, but also has remnants from times past. Tourists should be sure to visit Checkpoint Charlie which was the checkpoint where foreigners passed from East to West Germany. Remnants of the Berlin Wall that was destroyed in 1989 can be seen at this point. Otherwise visit the Berlin Wall Memorial which will give you a truer feeling of life with the Berlin Wall. The tallest structure in the city is the Fernsehturm Television Tower and it boasts a revolving restaurant at its top. If you want to see some of the bustling life in Berlin, be sure to go through Potsdamer Plaza which is one of the busiest squares in Europe. Here you will find any number of bars, restaurants, shops, cafes and places of entertainment. This plaza is also home to the State Library, National Gallery and Philharmonic Concert Hall. Also go past the Reichstag which is home to the German Parliament.

Museum Island is worth a visit. It is home to five famous museums Altes Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, Neues Museum (which will include the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Pre and Early History) and the Pergamon Museum (which includes the Museum of Islamic Art and the museum of Ancient Near Eastern Art). There are also many other galleries in Berlin where you can view old and modern sculptures and paintings by artists such as van Gogh, Cezanne and Picasso. To get a true feeling of the history of Berlin, it is important to visit the Jewish Museum and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

If you feel that you need a break in this busy city, be sure to stop in at the Tiergarten. This beautiful central park is full of stunning gardens, including the cafe and beer garden. For a bit of a change, you can tour around the city in a tour boat that will take you on many of the lakes and canals of the city.

After the Cold War ended, Berlin saw a boom in the construction of hotels. Today, there are a large number of tourist accommodation options at relatively cheap prices. Hotels are spread around the city, but are concentrated in the western part of the city. Youth hostels are available for members and regular hostels which are similar to youth hostels, but are for everyone are most commonly stayed in by backpackers. Bed and breakfasts are often private and they are a good option for visitors. Another accommodation option is pensions which are similar to small hotels.
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