22.04.2013 - Travel

Berlin – a hospitable European city

If the rest for you is not identified with a passive lying on the beach, and the main goal of the journey is to explore the spirit of the city, to feel his mentality, visit Berlin. This great city will impress you with its complete simplicity …


Berlin is the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. Due to 3.4 million people, Berlin is the largest German city by thenumber of residents and area, and the second most densely populated city of the European Union (first place occupies London).

History testifies that Berlin has repeatedly led the German state, particularly the Margraviate of Brandenburg, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire, East Germany. After the overthrow of the famous Wall in 1989, Berlin became the capital of the whole of Germany.

Today Berlin is an influential political, informational, scientific and cultural center of Europe.

Symbol of Berlin

A bear is a mascot of the German capital. At first, it was seen as a symbol of state power on the seals, emblems and flags, and today it has become part of the city life. The image of  bear used to make souvenirs, exhibitions and creating sculptures. There is an assumption that the history of the Berlin mascot associated with the name of Albrecht the Bear, the legendary founder of Berlin.

Population

Berlin is the home for about 3 million people. The average age of the capital’s residents is around 41-42 years. 14% of the population – foreigners from 185 countries. There are a bit more women than men. Over 50% of Germans are without family.

Here is considered as absolutely normal coexistence with others to pay less money for rent and utilities. It is very popular among students and young workers. The older generation is richer, its representatives are often found in cafes and restaurants.

Transport

German capital is a paradise for cyclists. Urban roads are equipped with separate lanes for cycling, where traffic is regulated by traffic lights crossroads special sections. Buses can stop automatically to bus stops, making easy getting in and out. It’s also needed to mention the central train station of Berlin – the largest modern railway station in Europe.

Ukrainians will be amused by the underground. Compared to Kiev, it has more lines and there is easy to get lost. Also here is a complicated system of buying tickets, but there is one huge advantage: in the German capital all the traffic arrives on time, second in the second, and this applies not only to the subway, and buses, trains and other vehicles. In addition, it is worth noting that it is more convenient to buy tickets for all modes of transport. They provide benefits to museums, exhibitions, amusement parks and other tourist facilities.

Culture and Monuments

The city embodies some features of medieval architecture. Modernity has retained the right contour area, wide streets and buildings in the baroque style from the 18-19 centuries.

Construction euphoria began at the dawn of the 20th century. The exhibition, entitled “General principles of urban development”, held in 1910, demonstrated the model of the European city, which sought to Berlin. After World War II in both parts of the capital were restored historical sites and residential areas, which added new areas: Lichtenberg and Marzchen – in the eastern part of the city, Markishes Viertel – in the north. Among the old buildings Berlin keeps St. Mary’s Church, Berlin Cathedral, the Opera House, the Brandenburg Gate, the Red Town Hall, the Reichstag, Schloss Bellevue. A wound in the hearts of many Berliners is the Wall that separated the city on the part of the capitalist and socialist. Its remains can be seen today.

The real attraction for lovers of culture can be informal neighborhoods and industrial areas, where it is possible to study the characteristics of street art (street drawings, graffiti), which have long been out of margines and are examples of artistic talent.

Berliner parks

In the west and south-east the city has huge forests. Almost every street in the city is decorated with trees. Berlin is really almost the greenest city in Germany. There are more than 2500 squares, parks and recreation facilities. Their total area is about 5500 hectares.

In the center of town is situated the Tiergarten park – the largest and oldest in Berlin (500 years old). Today the park stretches from metro station “Berlin Zoo” to the Brandenburg Gate. Of course, do not pass by picturesque Berlin Botanical Garden. It is located in the southwest part of the city and is very popular among the citizens.

Additionally, Berlin has two zoos. The oldest in Germany, Berlin Zoological Park was founded in 1844. Its collection is known for the highest number of species of animals. Second Zoo, Friedrichsfelde, was established in 1954. It is recognized as the largest in the area zoos in Europe (160 ha).

Curiously, the Berlin Zoo purchased the peak of its popularity in the 20th century due to the white bear cub Knut, abandoned by mother-bear and educated by people. Annually 2.6 million people come to watch Knut and his neighbours. Do not overlook the three-story aquarium and nocturnal animals  exhibition.

Music

Berlin is the top destination in the list of fans of all styles of music. It’s regularly visited by international pop stars, instrumental ensembles and rock bands. Nightlife rages for club goers!

Cuisine

Berliner cuisine is famous for its calorie content. Among the recipes of traditional German dishes you are unlikely to encounter something difficult to prepare. Most popular are fried sausages, frankfurters, sausages, known all around the world. And, of course, Berlin is known for a wide variety of beers. Every year here is held the Oktoberfest, where more than 300 breweries treat guests with beer.

Restaurants, cafes and bars in Berlin are cheaper compared to other Western European capitals.

However, if you decide to cook something in Berlin, please note that all the shops close at 20 pm, and the supermarkets are opened up to 21-22 hours – a common phenomenon in Western Europe. On Sunday, you’ll find even fewer opened shops.

Impressions

Sure, Berlin is a special city. Its beauty should be felt. Walk the streets, visit the monuments, sit in the local cafes and then, perhaps, the simple complicity of the city you will show its soul…

Julia Belyaeva