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One of Europe’s most fascinating capital cities, Berlin is dominated by its history including an extremely eventful twentieth century. Nowadays, visitors flock from across the globe to enjoy Berlin’s cultural diversity and array of iconic tourist destinations. History lovers are in their element but Berlin also offers many modern and developing subcultures across varying neighbourhoods. There are countless bars, restaurants and boutique shops across the capital, as well as endless art in every form, ensuring there is always something new to discover in Berlin.
The city is scattered with reminders of the Berlin Wall which stood for nearly thirty years, separating the city politically and economically. Located in the south of the central Mitte district is Checkpoint Charlie which serves as a focal point of the city’s former separation. It is the most well-known Berlin Wall crossing point and is now an extremely popular area for tourists to visit and as a consequence there are dozens of hotels in the vicinity. Another quintessential sight is the East Side Gallery which features an array of artwork along a former section of the wall in the east of Berlin. Millions of visitors each year enjoy the large murals depicting a variety of themes and content. To the north of central Berlin lies a very significant stretch of the wall, home to the Berlin Wall Memorial. This district close to the Berlin Nordbahnhof train station also houses to a variety of accommodation options including a hotel named after the station. Further historical sites linked to the former separation of Germany include the Stasi Museum in the Lichtenberg area of the city, plus the Tränenpalast, known as the Palace of Tears. The latter is a museum and exhibition opposite Friedrichstrasse station in central Berlin, showing life in the former German Democratic Republic.
In addition to all of the well-known sections of the Berlin Wall, the city also has many other iconic sights scattered across the city. For those booking last minute holidays to Berlin, these sights form the unmissable core of any trip to Berlin. Brandenburg Gate is seen as a focal and central point, home to the finishing line of the annual Berlin Marathon each September. Just a few minutes’ walk north is the iconic German parliament building, here visitors can climb to the top of the observatory for panoramic views of the city. There are several hotels in this area which can provide an excellent location to base a short holiday in Berlin from. Along the river to the east of Mitte lies the impressive Berlin Cathedral Church and the historic St Mary’s church, popular spots on any sightseeing tour. The latter of these churches is located next to the large public square of Alexanderplatz, a central transport hub that is also home to dozens of well-known international shops and restaurants.
Located in the Tiergarten district of Berlin, four kilometres east of Potsdamer Platz, lies the world-renowned Berlin Zoo. Visitors can enjoy the thousands of animals, birds and sea creatures that the zoo has to offer, a collection that has been growing since its opening in the mid-nineteenth century. Berlin Zoo is the most visited in Europe and consequently the surrounding area is a desirable place for tourists to seek hotels. Near to the zoo is the Aquarium Berlin and the Europa-Center shopping mall, along a street that also contains dozens of hotels. Further to the east of the Tiergarten area is the iconic Berlin Olympic Stadium, the venue for the 1936 Olympic Games. The stadium is primarily used for sporting events including the home of Hertha BSC football club, however there are also large music concerts here in the summer months.
Berlin is renowned for its diversity and variety of individual neighbourhoods, thus a visit is not complete without sampling a range of different Berlin localities. Young travellers enjoy the trendy neighbourhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukölln, which are home to countless bars and cafes plus a multitude of local street art and community projects. Visitors can find many unique and independent hotels in these two neighbourhoods, offering an alternative to the city centre. The Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf neighbourhood in the west of the city is centred by the Kurfürstendamm, an avenue home to countless luxury shops and often compared to Fifth Avenue in New York City. Consequently many of Berlin’s extravagant hotels are also in this locality.
The city is home to two international airports, the first Berlin airport, known as Tegel, is near to the centre of Berlin, less than ten kilometres from Brandenburg Gate. A host of hotels surround the airport which is also close to Berlin’s second largest lake, Lake Tegel. Near to the lake is the Tegeler Forest nature reserve, an opportunity to escape the bustle of the city favoured by nature-loving locals and tourists alike. To the far south of Berlin lies the newer Schönefeld Berlin airport serving many of the budget operators flying into the capital of Germany. Since the early twenty-first century redevelopment of the facility, there has been an array of hotels open near the second Berlin airport, offering visitors easy access to this important transport link.