Berlin City Guide Travel Directory Index

Berlin City Information

travel & city information guide for business & tourist visitors to Berlin

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RELATED POSTS: Airport  Accommodation Clubbing   LGBT Clubs  Crime Checkpoint Charlie Berlin Wall & The Death Strip / Other Sights  History  Public Transport  Restaurants Weather Country Profile

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Berlin Overview

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Empirically Berlin dates back to the 13th century and by the 15th century it was an established city and the base for the regions aristocracy. By the end of the following century it was a significant European trading centre and the power base of the pro- Prussian Hohezollern dynasty.

At the beginning of the 17th century it became embroiled in the European-wide ‘Thirty Years War’ and was invaded several times by a variety of invaders, During this time its population fell from around 12.000 people to 6,000 and the city’s buildings were repeatedly reduced to ruins. .After the end of the war in 1648 Jewish and Huguenot refugees were encouraged to settle in the city had become renowned for its religious tolerance. It prospered and remained part of the Prussian Empire. In the 1871 it was designated as the capital of the new German Empire.At the end of WW1 it expanded rapidly and became known for liberal social attitudes and particularly sexual expression.

When Hitler’s Nazis party took control of Germany Berlin’s status as a ‘progressive’ city began to diminish. Most of the city’s 170,00 Jews were forced to flee from their homes and those that did not leave voluntarily by the outbreak of WW2 were sent to their deaths in the concentration camps. see Auschwitz & Birkenau.

During the latter part of WW2 Berlin was severely damaged by repeated bombing by the Allies. In 1945 the city was attacked from the west by the Allies and from the east by the Soviets. The two armies met at the Brandenburg Gate and the city was divided into two zones – East and West Berlin. The Soviet forces however surrounded the Allied forces who were in control of the western sector and West Berlin became an Allied ‘island’ in Soviet controlled East Germany. The division of Berlin and the ensuing ‘cold war’ is documented on other Berlinmost pages.

Since the fall of communism in Berlin and East Germany the city’s post-war notoriety because of the Berlin Wall has made it a place that democratic minded pilgrims from all over the world visit but only a few metres of original wall remain. In some respects Berlin is famous for the wrong reasons and there is much more to the city than it’s Nazis associations or it’s misfortune to be the symbolic frontier between two ideologically opposed super-powers.neither of which could have had the interests of Berliners in their heart.

Finding The Tourist Office Berlinmost found this quite challenging ! its actually underneath the TV Tower  (which dwarfs Central & East Berlin. Very helpful staff.

Cash Machines  East. Berlin – Alexander Platz Area  These are not as common as in West Berlin. One that is easily found is situated on the road between the TV Tower and alongside the west side of the station. It is in the corner building on the right when you leave the station and face the TV Tower. Go through the door which is open 24 hours

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Berlin City Guide Directory / Index

Accommodation in Berlin.  Most of the rental accommodation in Berlin is on the west side of the city.  In these areas particularly Charlottenburg and Schoneberg there are also  numerous hostels and short term rental apartments.  That said the city’s tallest hotel with 39 floors the Park Hotel’ is on the eastern side in Alexanderplatz which is few minutes walk from the TV Tower. There are some other hotels in this area which are more competitively priced than many in western Berlin.  more

Berlin Airport Guide Currently the city has two Airports Berlin Tegel and Berlin Schoenefield.  The latter has redeveloped and expanded  and from 3rd June 2012 it will be known as Berlin Brandenburg. By this date all services from Berlin Tegel will be transferred to Berlin Brandenburg and Berlin Tegel Airport will close Page includes links to the Berlin flight arrivals and flight departures boards.  more

Berlin WallCheckpoint CharlieDeath Strip Sadly between 945 and  1989, the lives of Berliners were governed by the ‘Cold’ War between the governments of the West and the Soviet Union. The building of Berlin Wall in is emblematic of the Cold War and it was detested by civilians on both sides of it. This page looks in text and pictures at the history behind the Berlin Wall. It also includes one of the most powerful and informative history videos  available on the web more

Other Attraction Sights Sightseeing In Berlin Aside of the sights associated with the Berlin Wall (see Berlin Wall details below) there is a great deal worth seeing in Berlin On the east side of Berlin this includes the imposing Brandenburg Gate and its Chariot of Quadrigs, The Franzosischer Dom, The Berlin Holocaust Memorial Centre. On the west side there is the Berlin Zoo which is thought to be the oldest zoo in Europe, Berlins oldest park the Tiergasrten, the Kaiser Wilhelm Church and several excellent shopping areas more

Clubbing in Berlin Berlin was on of the first European cities to gain a reputation for a  vibrant nightlife In the 1920s and early 1930s it was famous for it’s cabaret and Jazz. Some of the clubs were subscribed as being ‘sexually forward.  Though history put paid to these aspects of Berlin Life for much of the 20th century Berlin these days is once again a lively place at night.  There are numerous clubs and Bars in the city and the Berlin Clubbing Guide reviews some of these clubs including gay and lesbian clubs more.

Crime Personal Safety Terrorism & Tourist Traps The terrorist threat for Berlin is viewed by German Security services as being ‘high’. Petty crime such as bag snatching and pick pocketing can be a problem in tourist areas at times. Berlin  Tourist Traps include The TV Tower and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum more

 

Germany Country Profile Useful information for Berlin and Germany generally more

History Of Berlin Berlin’s origins and early history can be traced back to 1244 and to the towns of Coln and Nikolaivierib subsequently merged in 1307 and became known as Berlin.  By  the 17th century it had become a major trading post in Europe with a population of about 12,00 people.Its population was halved by 1648 following the Thirty Years War. To regenerate the city the 5,000 Jewish and Hugunot refugees were encouraged to migrate to the city. By 1685 the city’s pro Prussian authorities actively promoted religious tolerance and encouraged further migrants to move to Berlin which in 1701 became the Prussian Capital. During the 18th century it developed industries making it an economically important area. This development accelerated in the 1mid 19th century when it built rail connections with other European cities. In 1871 it was chosen as the capital of the new German Empire.

At the end of WW1 in 1918 it was designated as part of the new Weimar Republic. It absorbed into its domain many surrounding towns and its population increased to four million people.  During the next decade it became a centre for liberal politics and sexual expression. The city’s Jewish population at this time was around  170,000. This  section of the city’s community either fled or were imprisoned between 1938 and 1943 during the Hitler Regime. After being severely bombed  at the end of WW2 the city was divided into three sectors.  The American and French sector became West Berlin and the Russian controlled sector became East Berlin. In 1961 The pro Soviet East German Authorities began to isolate the Western Sector by building the Berlin Wall. The Wall remained intact until 1989 when communism and the East German Government collapsed. In 1999 Berlin was once again named as the capital of Germany  more

Public Transport in Berlin Information on Berlin public transport services including the S bahn trains which operate at surface level, the U bahn trains which are metro train operating underground, the city wide bus services and the tram services that operate in Eastern Berlin only.  more

Restaurant Guide Berlin When it comes to eating out in Berlin you really are spoilt for choice. The city seems to ‘stand alone in’  Europe for specialising in international cuisine. If you are ‘out and about and going to randomly eat out  to head ‘Charlottenburg’ in the western side which has some particularly good restaurants and a lively nightlife.  Obviously some establishments are expensive but there many good restaurants that are not. more

Weather Forecast & Average Berlin Weather On average Berlin Summers are settled settled warm and sometimes hot. The months of June July and August  statistically are the wettest months because downpours from thunderstorms. In the summer the humidity can exceed 80%. Berlin winters are cold or very cold with temperatures often not rising above freezing.. December January and February are the coldest months of the year – this cold can be severe when easterly or north easterly air steams occur from Russia and Finland prevail. Current weather forecast and more

Additional Information For Visitors To Berlin

Berlin Tourist Board Information website http://visitberlin.de/

 

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