City Profile: Berlin

View of Berlin at sunset

Berlin

Berlin has been the capital city of the united Federal Republic of Germany since 1990. In that time, it has become one of the hippest and most vibrant urban centres in Europe - with a flourishing cultural scene, brilliant nightlife, and a plethora of bars, restaurants, shops and cafés, as well as green open places.

Things to see and do

Mauer Memories

Berlin Wall Trail

The loop route along the boundaries of former West-Berlin is also known as the Berlin Wall Trail (Mauerweg). The approximately 160 km (100 miles) loop road is accessible by bike, skates or on foot. The trail follows the former border that ran through and around West Berlin. It turned those parts of the city into an island surrounded by the former East Germany from 1961 until 1989.

Part of the Berlin Wall along the Berliner Mauerweg Enlarge image Part of the Berlin Wall along the Berliner Mauerweg (© picture-alliance/ dpa) Everyone is invited to enjoy all the sights along the road from forests, rivers and parks at the "outer parts" of the trail. As well as architecture and lively city atmosphere at the inner parts of the loop. Along the route there are information stands about historic events in the time of the Cold War and successful escapes. Fears as well as hopes of those fleeing former East Germany are described. But it also depicts personal stories and notes about the dead of the wall (known as Mauertote).

The Berlin Wall Trail combines history and being active in a very distinctive way. At the same time you can see how nature took back areas used to be known as "death strips", where people in East Berlin were prohibited to go.

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Wall Park

view of Berlin from Mauerpark Enlarge image view of Berlin from Mauerpark (© picture-alliance/ dpa) Berlin's Wall Park (Mauerpark) that used to be a border strip, is the perfect place to go on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Check out the huge weekly flea market, which sells almost anything you can imagine, from vintage handbags to Soviet helmets. If you're feeling particularly brave, you can also try out a Berlin tradition - outdoor karaoke! Organised by locals, Bear Pit Karaoke lets anyone  turn up and have a go at serenading those relaxing in the park with their favourite song. Don't be put off by the intimidating name, however - almost every singer, no matter how horrendous, is guaranteed a round of applause.

Click here for more information on the Wall Park

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery in Berlin-Friedrichshain Enlarge image East Side Gallery in Berlin-Friedrichshain (© picture-alliance/ R. Goldmann) Formed of sections from the former Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery is a permanent installation showcasing some spectacular examples of street art.

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Green Spaces

Tiergarten

Tiergarten view with rows of trees Enlarge image Tiergarten view with rows of trees (© Colourbox) Tiergarten is the second biggest public park in Berlin and is located right in the city centre. Within walking distance to other famous Berlin sights like the Brandenburg Gate, the Victory Column or the Reichstag, home of the German Bundestag, the park is a refuge from the loud and busy city life. Tiergarten used to be a hunting ground in the 16th century for the king. But nowadays you can walk among mature trees, classic sculptures, ponds and breathe fresh air in an area much more similar to a forest due to its massive size and bunch of trees.

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Tempelhofer Feld

Relaxing on Tempelhofer Feld Enlarge image Relaxing on Tempelhofer Feld (© picture-alliance/ DUMONT Bildar) Only a few years ago Tempelhofer Feld was an airfield. Used by the American Allies as an airport and army base until the 1990’s, Tempelhofer Feld is today the biggest park of the German capital. Since 2008 it has been used as a public park, where everyone is invited to spend their free time. Whether it is by bike, on roller skates or even flex-wing, you can get active in the designated areas. But you can also take your barbecue and have a nice BBQ with your loved ones around or meet people from all over the world. Note: there are almost no trees, because the aim to preserve the impression of an airfield does not allow the plantation of trees.

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Teufelsberg

Teufelsberg, former Cold War listening station in Berlin Enlarge image Teufelsberg, former Cold War listening station in Berlin (© picture alliance / dpa) A former Cold War listening post, the spectacular Teufelsberg complex looks like something out of a science fiction movie, perched on an artificial mountain to the west of the city. Abandoned for almost twenty years, the site has since been reinvented as a creative space by Berlin artists and musicians. Whilst off-limits to the public due to the somewhat dilapidated state of some of its buildings, the Teufelsberg is open for official tours.

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Hackesche Höfe

Hackesche Höfe in Berlin Enlarge image Hackesche Höfe in Berlin (© picture-alliance/ R. Goldmann) A beautiful courtyard complex made up of restaurants, shops, bars, cinemas, theatres and galleries, Hackesche Höfe is one of Berlin's hidden gems. Enjoy a cocktail outside on a balmy evening, or, if the weather's a little inclement, take in a film or a cabaret show.

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Maybachufer Turkish Market

Maybachufer Turkish Market, Berlin Enlarge image Maybachufer Turkish Market, Berlin (© picture-alliance/ dpa) Berlin's Kreuzberg district is home to many people of Turkish heritage, so it's no surprise that the riverside Turkish Market, which runs twice a week all year round, has so much on offer. Here you can find a wide range of delicious Turkish food and drink. It's a particularly good place for fresh fruit and vegetables - go along to the very end to get the best deals.

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The Embassy on Social Media

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British-German Town Twinnings

British-German Town Twinning

Town twinnings between British and German cities play an important role in promoting cultural exchange. Berlin has been twinned with London since 2000.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

A Berlin Bear statue, a colourful trademark of the city

A Berlin Bear statue, a colourful trademark of the city

World Clock, Berlin

World Clock, Berlin

City Profile: Potsdam

Sanssouci Palace

Ambling along the historic palaces and parks of Potsdam, can feel like travelling to a bygone era. Designated as a World Heritage Site, Potsdam’s charming flair arises largely from its cultural uniqueness and its outstanding landscapes. Occasionally, Potsdam is mistaken as part of Berlin due to its close proximity to the German capital.

City Profile: Bonn

View of Bonn from the Seven Hills

Bonn is a modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan city with over 2000 years of history. It is among the 20 largest cities in Germany and probably best known for being Beethoven's birthplace. It is located directly on the River Rhine and surrounded by the area known as Seven Hills (Siebengebirge). The picturesque old town, around 30 museums and numerous sporting and musical events provide entertainment and authentic "rheinische" joie de vivre.

City Profile: Frankfurt am Main

picture alliance / blickwinkel/M

Set on banks of the river Main in the heart of Germany, banking city Frankfurt is one of Germany's most dynamic and international cities. Known as the “Main Metropolis” due to its impressive modern architecture and high number of banks, the city also boasts a rich cultural history, impressive green spaces and thirteen international schools in the surrounding areas.

City Profile: Magdeburg

Magdeburg with the River Elbe at night

Magdeburg is the capital of Saxony-Anhalt and with more than 230,000 inhabitants, one of the largest cities in eastern Germany. Today it is considered one of the most dynamic cities in Germany. In addition to its strategic educational position with two universities, the city on the Elbe is also developing rapidly both economically and culturally.

City Profile: Kassel

Kassel Skyline

Kassel, also occasionally called “Casselfornia” by its inhabitants, is located in the northern part of Hesse. Kassel has an important place in German history and bears many attractions and sights which have recently been awarded the certificate of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Culture, art and history are omnipresent: behind the doors of museums and galleries, in plain sight in the middle of Kassel’s central piazza or even next to streets – such as Joseph Beuys' project “Tree and Basalt” which has shaped Kassel’s alleys and pathways since the 1980s.