"Berlin ist arm, aber sexy" – “Berlin is poor, but sexy”.
Ten years ago, this was how the city’s mayor described the German capital. In the decade since, Berlin has boomed as a centre for art, culture and most notably tourism.The city still represents great value for a city break despite being Europe’s third most visited short holiday destination behind London and Paris.
Unsurprisingly, the boom in tourism has helped drive a great increase in the quality and variety of hotels on offer in the city. Tourists are now be able to choose from luxury apartment-style flats and boutique hotels in addition to the budget hostels that Berlin is famous for.
Boasting some of the world’s best clubs alongside many of the most important sites in European history, Berlin has something to offer tourists of all ages. The city has embraced the scars of its past and now has a unique ‘shabby chic’ that has made it one of the world’s fashion capitals.
Now is the perfect time to visit Berlin – it may no longer be poor, but it is most definitely still sexy!
If you are thinking of travelling to Berlin it is best to try and prioritise trips to the city’s most important cultural and historical sites. The reason being that if throw yourself headfirst into Berlin’s nightlife, you may find yourself stumbling on to the flight home wondering where all of the hours went.
It’s essential that you take a trip to one of the remaining sections of the Berlin wall. The iconic landmark has defined the shape of Europe both politically and socially for over half a century. There are several sections of the wall still preserved and even a museum dedicated to the wall and the various people that lost their lives trying to cross it. Our favourite spot to view the wall is at the East Side Gallery. The gallery is made up of over 1km of the preserved wall, decorated with giant murals by internationally renowned artists.
The club scene in Berlin is famous around the globe. Top of the tree is the notoriously picky Berghain. The club is almost as famous for the whims of the door staff as it is for the superstar DJ’s who fill its cavernous interior. We’re not sure quite how they decide who gets let in and who doesn’t but we’ve been assured by Berghain veterans that it is definitely worth a try!
Berlin’s fashionable reputation has made it a hotspot for high quality street food and trendy gourmet cafes. However the rise in so called ‘fashion food’ has significantly raised the cost of living in the city.
Those after some traditional Berlin value can’t go wrong with a bit of currywusrt. Essentially a big frankfurter cut into chunks and served with ketchup and curry powder, currywurst is Germany’s favourite fast food. Berlin is littered with hole-in-the-wall style outlets making sure tourists and locals alike can get their frankfurter fix for just a couple of euros.
Like the rest of Germany, beer is the drink of choice in Berlin. Lager is still relatively cheap so long as you avoid tourist traps and the financial districts. The best deals are found in the supermarkets, though make sure you don’t forget to collect your empty bottles and redeem your ‘Pfand’ (refund) by placing them into one of the giant scanner machines at the supermarket.