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Berlin is one of the largest cities within Europe and certainly one of the most famous. A population of over 3.7 million residents also enables Berlin to be culturally diverse; an aspect often appreciated by those who plan on arriving here. In fact, the outlying metropolitan region is home to a further 6 million inhabitants from an estimated 180 nations from around the world. While there is no doubt that this city is cosmopolitan, its history is just as rich and interesting. This is the reason why countless travellers soak up the sight and sounds that Berlin has to offer each and every year. Let's take a quick look at the background of this magnificent city as well as a handful of the must-see attractions during your stay.
One of the most interesting aspects of Berlin is that its roots can be traced as far back as the 13th century. Originally an important trading post due to its location near the confluence of two rivers, it quickly became a permanent settlement. It also holds the respectable title of being the most populous city in the world during the 1920s. This international nature now enables Berlin to be a leading centre of the arts, entertainment, music, technology and a host of other creative industries. It also is attracting an increasing number of skilled workers due to the lucrative employment opportunities that await. However, part of its sheer charm can be seen in the multitude of historical buildings to be found within the city as well as throughout the surrounding countryside.
Unlike some other international destinations such as Barcelona, the majority of Berliners speak an intermediate level of English. Still, it is a good idea to brush up on a handful of basic terms; they will appreciate the effort. One of the myths in regards to Berliners is that they are rather cold and stuffy. On the contrary, they are quite open and they will normally be happy to accommodate your requests upon arrival. Expect rich foods and of course, a healthy pint or two during your stay.
One of the most daunting aspects associated with any city as large as Berlin is that you could find it difficult to know which are the top attractions to experience. To aid you in this matter, we have gone ahead and compiled a handful of must-see spots. Of course, the most famous tends to be Brandenburg Gate. It is a good idea to spend a least a day here is possible, as this gate literally represents the heart of the city. If you are a fan of Cold War history, be sure to check out some of the remaining portions of the notorious Berlin Wall. Some other notable suggestions include:
The Reichstag building
A large pinnacle-shaped viewing tower known as the Fernsehturm
An open-air plaza referred to as Alexanderplatz
There are also a host of museums to enjoy; many of these offer displays suited for children.
Berlin tends to be the busiest during the summer months when the height of the tourist season arrives. If you are looking to avoid the crowds and to enjoy more amenable accommodation rates, it is likely a good idea to arrive in the late spring or the early autumn (winters here can be quite cold). Regardless of when you make plans, there is no doubt that Berlin will leave an impression that can last for a lifetime.