Berlin

Berlin: Why go

The newly resplendent city of Berlin is the focal point of a reunited Germany, and the beating heart of its creative and political scenes. You can explore some of the richest museums in the world, listen to the finest classical music or the latest techno trance, grab a city bicycle and follow the course of the old wall, take a boat along the river Spree past some of Europe's sleekest modern architecture, pick up the latest fashions for a snip, pause for the creamiest Kaffee und Kuchen before dining on top-notch French, Italian or Jewish cuisine (or curry-wurst and pilsner if you prefer).

In summer you can plunge into the river from one of the bathing areas, meander through the landscaped grounds of Frederick the Great's summer palace in nearby Potsdam, or sink steins at the August beer festival; in winter you can share a floating sauna, ice skate under the linden trees of the famous boulevard, or enjoy fireworks, glühwein and untacky gifts at one of the many Christmas markets. Berlin is fun, confident, diverse; it's gay-friendly and family-friendly; it's the cheapest capital city in western Europe; and it's one of the greenest too, with woods, lakes and parks (including the huge zoo and aquarium at Tiergarten) within easy cycling reach.

Bear in mind that it's a big city – 3.5 million people and 900 km² – and you can't do it all in one weekend! Decide whether you want to stay in the former west (smarter and safer) or the east (edgier and artier) – both have some funky and exciting places to stay. Check out the multitude of airlines flying there, have a look at the tourist board events calendar, and hey presto: Du bist ein Berliner! (By the way, contrary to what you might have heard, that does not mean you are a jelly doughnut; Kennedy's grammar was right all along).

11:29 | GMT + 1 Hours