Berlin the trendsetter: Whether sightseeing or trendy nightlife, galleries or gastronomy, music, or fashion – the German capital always has something fresh to offer. So, what exactly is it that makes Berlin so appealing? The diversity, the wide variety of contrasts, and the sheer inexhaustible range of options keep visitors flocking to Berlin from all over the world. 


  • Berlin is one of the few cities that is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition to the famous Museumsinsel (Museum Island) and the Prussian palaces and gardens, it also includes the modernist housing estates in Berlin. The German capital was also awarded the accolade of “UNESCO City of Design”. Berlin is thus a member of the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities. 


  • Berlin is the only city in the world to host three opera houses. The Deutsche Oper, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, and the Komische Oper can accommodate more than 4,400 spectators. The latter will be undergoing extensive renovation for several years starting in August 2023 and will hence move to the Schillertheater for that period.


  • Berlin has more than 150 theatres and stages of all genres. In the year 2022, a massive 2.5 million tickets were sold for theatre, orchestra, and dance performances. The Friedrichstadt Palast is an absolute hit with audiences, followed by the Berlin Philharmonic and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
  • Berlin is the only European city that can boast of more museums than the number of rainy days. The average number of rainy days per year is 106, whereas the number of museums is around 170. With around 290 galleries dedicated to classical modern and contemporary art, Berlin is the top location for galleries in Europe. The central entrance building of Berlins Museumsinsel, the James-Simon-Galerie, was named after the art patron James Simon. It is thanks to him that the famous bust of Nefertiti can be seen at the Neues Museum. The James-Simon-Galerie, a simple concrete building with slender white columns, designed by David Chipperfield, connects four of the five buildings on the Museumsinsel. 7.5 million people from Germany and abroad flooded into Berlin’s museums in 2022. That is nearly the same number as before the pandemic. The visitors are particularly fond of the memorials and documentation centers, such as the Berlin Wall Memorial or the memorial site “Topography of Terror”. Some museums and foundations even managed to outdo the number of visitors in 2019, including the Domäne Dahlem, the Schwules Museum, and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art.


  • In addition to the world-renowned collections, Berlin also has offbeat museums. These include the Lipstick Museum, the Schwules Museum, the Hemp Museum, or the Urban Nation, the museum for “urban contemporary art”. The Buchstabenmuseum (Museum of Letters) is also one of a kind in the world. Its collection includes more than 1,000 letters, lettering, logos, and signs, most of which come from the Berlin cityscape. 


  • The East Side Gallery is the longest open-air gallery in the world and at 1,316 meters, also the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. This section was painted in 1990 by 118 artists from 21 countries with 106 pieces of art. Many of the artists in the collection returned to Berlin in 2009 to brush up on their artworks. The exhibition is a new feature: In 76 video interviews, artists, and people from Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg talk about their lives in the divided city – at the time when they crossed the border as well as after that.


  • Berlin hosts more than 50 film festivals every year. No wonder, there are almost 91 cinema halls with 266 screens here, which is the maximum number in a single city across Germany. From the big film festivals to specials: A wide variety of film festivals on a wide range of topics are held here throughout the year, including of course the Berlinale, the Berlin Independent Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, or the Sehsüchte Festival.The Berlinale will already be 74 years old in 2024? It is one of the most popular film festivals in Europe and as the film industry’s top media event, it draws around 20,000 trade visitors and journalists from 132 countries every year. What sets the Berlinale apart from other film festivals is the huge amount of public participation. Cinema fans from Germany and abroad bought around 320,000 tickets in 2023 (not counting those of the trade audience). Berlin is a sought-after setting for international films and series. “Babylon Berlin” was filmed here, as was the fifth season of the hit US series “Homeland” as well as blockbusters such as “Inglourious Basterds” and “The First Avenger: Civil War”. One of the most popular filming locations was Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island). It served as the backdrop for no less than six Edgar Wallace films, including “Neues vom Hexer” (News of the Magician) and “Der Mönch mit der Peitsche” (The Monk with the Whip).


  • Berlin landmarks are seen in a different light once a year. At the “Festival of Lights”, which takes place in October, the TV Tower, the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Cathedral, the Victory Column, and many other buildings serve as huge projection surfaces for original light installations. They make the festival one of the most elaborate and popular light art festivals in the world. The organizer opts for energy-saving LED technology. More than three million people came to Berlin in 2022 to enjoy this light spectacle, which is free of charge. 


  • Berlin is not only the largest but also the greenest metropolis in Germany. Around 30 percent of the total area of 892 square kilometers is green and forested land. The streets are lined with around 432,000 trees. 2,500 parks and green spaces offer recreational opportunities for Berliners as well as visitors. In addition, there are about 880 colonies of allotment gardens with over 71,000 gardens within the city. 


  • 6.6% of Berlin’s total area is covered by water. That comes to a striking 58.9 square kilometers. At 45 kilometers, the Spree is the longest river in the city; the Teltow Canal is the longest canal in the city at 29 kilometers. Visitors can also explore Berlin aboard an excursion boat: This offer includes everything from short round trips to boat tours that last for several hours. The city’s largest lake is the Großer Müggelsee with a surface area of almost 7.6 square kilometres. 
  • The tallest tree in Berlin is a Beech tree that was planted in Tegeler Forst in 1843. It has now reached a height of 43.15 meters and a diameter of 96 centimeters. It thus knocks the Burgsdorf larch out from the first place. The Tegeler Forst is a forest of superlatives. It is also home to the oldest tree, a pedunculate oak estimated to be 800 to 900 years old. It is about 15 meters high, and the circumference of the trunk is 6.65 meters. It is said that Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt gave it the name “Dicke Marie.”


  • Berlin is home to the largest Chinese garden in Europe. It is part of the Marzahn Recreational Park with its ensemble of eleven “Gardens of the World”. Here visitors can also enjoy a tea ceremony. There are also Balinese, Japanese, Korean, and Oriental gardens, an Italian Renaissance Garden, a perennial garden, a Christian Garden, an English landscape garden, a Jewish Garden, and a maze.


  • Berlin is home to two zoos due to the former division of the city – the Tierpark Berlin in Friedrichsfelde with its beautiful outdoor enclosures, and the Zoologischer Garten with its aquarium. The two zoo locations in the capital hold many records. With around 30,000 animals, they have a combined population that is unmatched anywhere in the world in terms of diversity and rarity. Founded about 175 years ago, Berlin’s Zoological Garden (Zoologischer Garten) is the oldest surviving zoo in Germany, the third oldest in Europe, and the most richly biodiverse zoo in the world. The neighboring aquarium, one of the largest in the world, has also earned this distinction. Yet another record: With an area of 160 hectares, the Friedrichsfelde Zoo is the largest adventure animal park in Europe. 

Culinary Delights of Berlin

  • Berlin is ‘the’ place to go for gourmets. 23 restaurants in Berlin have been awarded Michelin stars. This puts Berlin ahead of Munich and Hamburg. Five restaurants received two Michelin stars and 17 more have one star. The highest rating of three stars was again awarded to “Rutz”. It is the first and only three-star restaurant in Berlin since 2020. Enjoy your meal!


  •  Berlin is the European city with the most Green Michelin Stars. And this is more than Copenhagen, Paris, and Oslo. Eight restaurants in the German capital excel in sustainability because they use regional and seasonal products, avoid long transport routes, pay attention to species-appropriate animal husbandry, and save energy. The “Cordo”, the “Bandol sur Mer”, the “FREA”, the “Rutz”, “Nobelhart & Schmutzig”, the “Horváth”, “Lode & Stijn” and the “Tisk” were all given awards. The Hotel Adlon serves a noble Döner Kebab. For just under 30 euros, you get a flatbread filled with fillet strips of veal loin, lettuce and cabbage, tomatoes, red onions, and a special truffle cream.
  • Berlin has its own beer specialty. Berliner Weiße is a fizzy, slightly sour beer made with a blend of wheat and barley malt and fermented in the bottle. Served with a shot of raspberry or woodruff syrup, this makes for a refreshing summer drink called “Weiße mit Schuss.”


  • The most famous pastry in Berlin is a fist-sized boiled pastry filled with jam. In the rest of the country, it is known as the Berliner. But you would not find it under this name in Berlin. The people of Berlin simply refer to it as “pancakes” (Pfannkuchen). And what is usually understood as pancakes in the rest of Germany are called “egg pancakes” (Eierkuchen) in Berlin.


  • There is a restaurant on the roof of the German Bundestag. It is the only restaurant in the world that is in a parliament building and is open to the public. However, an advance booking is mandatory. The oldest restaurant in Berlin is more than 400 years old and is still in business today. The restaurant “Zur letzten Instanz” has been located on Waisenstraße since 1621, once hosted Napoleon, and is now frequented by numerous celebrities.


  • The Berlin public transport system is supposed to have carried 961.4 million passengers in 2022. 492.1 million people took the “underground train” (U-Bahn), 177.2 million took the tram and 404.7 million took the bus or the ferry. Admittedly, this is not as many passenger rides as in 2019, when the Berlin Transport Authority (BVG) broke the record with 1,126 million rides. However, its status of the “subscription millionaire” since October 2022 kind of makes up for that. The number of existing subscriptions has in the meanwhile risen further to around 1.06 million. At the end of 2021, the number of people who owned a season ticket was around 869,000.


  • The Berlin public transport network also includes six ferries. Among other things, they run all year round from Wannsee suburban railway station (S-Bahnhof) to Alt-Kladow and seasonally from Müggelheim to Rahnsdorf. The longest ferry route in Berlin, the F10, runs across the Großer Wannsee. The distance is 4.4 kilometers.
  • Berlin Central Station, the city has for the first time in its history been given a genuine central interchange station, which is the largest in Europe. Around 320,000 passengers board numerous regional and long-distance trains here every day. 


  • The Berlin-Munich journey takes less than four hours and is offered six times a day, whereas the Berlin-Frankfurt route is offered no less than seven times a day. The leisurely night travel is also gaining popularity and Berlin is clearly one of the hotspots of this trend: Since spring 2023, there have been new direct connections to Holland, Belgium, and Sweden.


  • Berlin’s cycling network covers 2,376 kilometers including the outer districts. By the year 2030, it is expected to be further expanded within the framework of the Mobility Act, 800 kilometers of which will be in the priority network and 1,500 kilometers will be in the supplementary network. The length of the German capital’s public road network is 5,480 kilometers.


  • Berlin’s city boundary is 234 kilometers long. The largest extension from east to west is 45 kilometers, and from north to south is 38 kilometers. 


  • Berlin, with an area of 892 square kilometers, is almost nine times as big as Paris. 


  • Berlin has approximately the same latitude as London and the same longitude as Naples in Italy.


  • At 368 meters, the Berlin TV Tower is the tallest building in Germany.


  • The new solar plant at Messe Berlin puts the capital at fourth place as far as Germany’s largest rooftop solar plants are concerned. Over the next two years, a system with 15,000 photovoltaic modules and a total output of up to six megawatts will be installed on an area of approximately 50,000 square meters on more than 20 halls of the grounds at the Radio Tower. This will allow Messe Berlin to avoid 1,900 tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • Berlin has between 960 and 2,100 bridges. Of course, this would depend on what you mean by a bridge. More than 600 of these cross over waterways, which means Berlin easily beats Venice. The oldest bridge is the Jungfernbrücke, built in 1798 and largely preserved in its original form.


  • Europe’s first traffic lights were put into operation on Potsdamer Platz in 1924. It is still possible to visit a replica of the traffic light tower there today.  
  • The Quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate was taken to France by Napoleon in 1806. He had the Berlin landmark taken away as a symbol of his victory over Prussia in the Battle of Auerstedt. It was brought back to Berlin in 1814 after the victory of the European allies over Napoleon. Since then, the quadriga has been popularly known as the “Retourkutsche”. However contrary to rumors, the Quadriga has always faced eastwards – i.e. towards the city in old Berlin.


  • Many names in the city go back to the Prussian kings from the House of Hohenzollern, and only a few first names among them have been in use over the last 300 years. These include for example, Friedrichstadt and Friedrichstraße, Friedrichstadt-Palast and Friedrichswerder, Friedrichshain, Friedrichsfelde, Friedrichshagen, Wilhelmstraße, and Wilhelmshagen.


  • The Berlin football club Hertha BSC, founded in 1892, is named after a pleasure boat, which one of the co-founders had taken a trip on with his father.


  • In the olden days, the city of Berlin ended at the Brandenburg Gate. This historic city boundary can still be identified from street names such as Wallstraße, Mauerstraße, Linienstraße, or Palisadenstraße. The former city gates are mainly preserved in the names of underground stations – Schlesisches Tor, Kottbusser Tor, Hallesches Tor, and Oranienburger Tor.


  • The city reached its population peak in 1942. At that time, 4,478,102 people were living in Berlin. Today, the figure is around 3.9 million.


  • Seven American presidents have visited Berlin after the war. John F. Kennedy’s Statement “Ich bin ein Berliner” [I am a Berliner] (1963) and Ronald Reagan’s emphatic appeal “Mr. Gorbachev – Reißen Sie diese Mauer ein!” [Mr. Gorbachev – Tear down this wall!] (1987) has remained etched in people’s minds. 


  • Visitors who wanted to go from the western part of the city to the eastern part during the Wall era had to exchange at least 25 Deutschmarks per day for GDR marks at an exchange rate of 1:1. Money that was not spent could not be exchanged back. However, it could be “deposited” at the border branches of the GDR’s state bank when leaving the country and collected again when entering the country. For tourists from West Germany, the visa cost five DM, whereas it was free for West Berliners.



  • Berlin is one of the most multicultural cities in Germany. At the end of 2022, around 3.85 million people were living here, which was almost 75,000 more than in 2021. Of them, 24.3% have a foreign passport. People from 190 nations live in the city, including around 101,000 Turkish and 54,000 Polish citizens. Almost 57,500 people have migrated from Ukraine.


  • In the winter semester of 2022/23, a total of around 198,400 students are expected to have enrolled at four universities, four universities of applied sciences, and 30 private universities in Berlin. This is 2.7 percent lower than the previous winter semester. The reason: One university relocated to another federal state. The number of foreign students, on the other hand, has shot up to 46,345.
  • The largest departmental store in continental Europe is the Berlin Kaufhaus des Westens, better known as KaDeWe, founded in 1907. The sales area on six floors is more than 60,000 square meters, which is the equivalent of eight football pitches. 64 escalators and 26 lifts transport more than 50,000 people every day, and during the Christmas season, even twice as many. The gourmet department here is famous. It covers 7,000 square meters, offers around 34,000 different products, and is the largest food department in Europe. A department store in flux: Since the year 2016, the interior of KaDeWe has been fundamentally restructured and divided into quadrants under the supervision of architect Rem Koolhaas and his studio OMA. The completion of the project could be celebrated in November 2022, right in time for the 115th anniversary.


  • There are over 150 weekly markets and flea markets in the Berlin area. The “Turkish Market” on Maybachufer in Neukölln is particularly popular, offering a colorful assortment of fruit and vegetables, Turkish specialties, and colorful fabrics. Many visitors are drawn to Winterfeldtplatz in Schöneberg and Kollwitzplatz in Prenzlauer Berg. The offering there ranges from organic products and specialties from many countries to felt shoes, handicrafts, and natural cosmetics.


  • The feet of the “Goldelse” on top of the Siegessäule are 92 cm long. In other words, that would be the equivalent of a shoe size 138!


  • The people of Berlin are real dog lovers. Around 126,300 dogs are registered in the city. 


  • Berlin is a city of inventors. Many useful things that have become an integral part of our daily lives originated in Berlin. Among them are the computer, the thermos flask, and the torch.


  • The international distress signal SOS was adopted at the International Radio Conference in Berlin in 1906.