A multi-cultural city in the heart of Europe, Berlin offers an exciting experience for any traveler. Europe’s recent history remains in evidence throughout the streets of Berlin in the form of older architecture, memorials, and ruins. The history is matched only by the vibrancy of the culture, food, and people. Plan your trip today! 5 Must-See Attractions: Lichtgrenze. 8,000 illuminated balloons to recreate the Berlin Wall. Berlin Wall Memorial- The Berlin Wall Memorial holds much of the countries recent history within its borders. Guided tours help explain the significance of certain points, remains, and graffiti of the Wall’s history. Berlin Cathedral- A massive, ornate, dome-topped cathedral that was restored briefly after WWII, the Berlin Cathedral is a must-see for both the religious and non-religious crowd. The Holocaust Memorial- A massive memorial commemorating one of the worst events in human history, the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin shares stories of those involved and honors the memories of all those who were lost. Pergamon Museum- A museum housing a range of artifacts from the Classical World, serving to bring to life the ancient world. Reichstag Building- The current house of German parliament, the Reichstag Building has seen much of Germany’s recent history, and the new renovations make for a fantastic visit. 5 Great Sites for Kids: Berlin Zoo- The zoo remains a time tested winner for both parents and kids, and the Berlin Zoo offers a number of exhibits to check out the animals! Game Science Center- A museum devoted to gaming and its future advancement, the Game Science Center is an excellent spot to learn about technology and have fun. German Museum of Technology- A massive museum detailing the technologic advancements over the past few hundred years. The collection of train, boat, and automobile pieces is particularly impressive. Legoland Discovery Centre- Plenty of huge Lego-made models of famous people, buildings, animals, and scenes litter the rooms of Legoland Discover Centre. Olympic Stadium- While the stadium is a lot of fun for a soccer game or sporting event, the guided tours, providing information about the building are also interesting and educational. 5 Free Attractions: Brandenburg Gate- An impressive monument constructed with elements of the Classical World and beyond, the Brandenburg Gate is not only a must see in a trip to Berlin, it’s also free! Tiergarten- A tranquil stretch of garden and park space in the middle of Berlin, serving as a retreat from the city hustle and bustle. Topography of Terror- The Topography of Terror is both educational and moving as visitors learn about the horrific events surrounding the Holocaust. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church-Existing prior to the ravages of WWI and WWII, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church still stands as a reminder of the bombings and war Berlin endured in the early to mid-20th century. Hackerschen Hoefe- A neighborhood with chic courtyards, plenty of unique shops, and a range of eclectic cafes to eat. 5 Great Restaurants: Flamingo Fresh Food Bar- If you’re looking for a healthful café with excellent sandwiches and great soup options. You’ll certainly leave satiated and feeling light! Burgermeister- Hiding under a highway and surrounded by roads, Burgermeister exists as an oasis of flavor. The burgers are well cooked with little frills. It’s all about the great burgers. Heising- A quaint, elegant restaurant specializing in traditional French cuisine, tables adorned with roses, excellent snails, and amazing desserts. Ristorante Luardi- One of the best places in Berlin to grab lunch. The Italian food on the street in the open air offers a picturesque spot for excellent pizza, bruschetta, and scrumptious desserts. Gasthaus Krombach- If you’re looking for an authentic German stop in Berlin, try Gasthaus Krombach for real schnitzel, pork, and German beer, with an excellent ambience. 5 Great Nightlife Spots: Berghain- A heavy techno bar that accommodates a huge crowd. The music is loud, and the party goes non-stop throughout the day. Murphy Bar- An Irish bar with German flair, Murphy Pub offers an excellent menu with a wide variety of options all in a relaxed pub atmosphere. The Pub- A modern bar in every sense of the word, The Pub equips each table with beer taps and electronic ordering, so you control what you want, when you want, and how much you want. It doesn’t hurt that the burgers are piled high with toppings, taste fantastic, and perfectly compliment the beer. Kookaburra Comedy Club- Kookaburra features a constant flow of unique comedy acts and even offers a few shows in English. Hopfenreich- Hopfenreich offers what is perhaps the biggest tap menu in all of Berlin. They provide just about every beer you can imagine in a dark and cozy atmosphere. 5 Romantic Getaways: Liquidrom- Spas are always a romantic way to spend the day, and Liquidrom’s thermal pools are the perfect spot to escape and enjoy a little quality time together. Panoramapunkt- One of the best spots to view the city in all of Berlin, the viewing platform of Panoramapunkt is the perfect spot to take in the views with someone special. Der Kuchenladen- A little cake certainly doesn’t hurt a romantic mood, and Der Kuchenladen has a reputation of serving some of the best cake slices in the city. FACIL- Not only is the food presentation unmatched at FACIL, but the flavor is also fantastic. The elegant atmosphere and the restaurant mood pervades through your date. Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden & Botanical Museum- An enormous garden all beautifully preserved with a variety of flowers and trees. 5 Must-Try Foods: Schnitzel- A thin meat dish, any meat can be used depending on the preparer, which is breaded with egg and fried. Berliner- A German doughnut pastry made with yeast, topped, and stuffed with some sort of filling; most often fruit or jelly. Pretzels- Soft pretzels are a specialty available all over Berlin, but perhaps the best pretzels come from Brezel Bar Berlin. Currywurst- A combination of Worcester sauce, curry, and ketchup on a wurst which has become one of the most popular dishes in Berlin. Hamburgers- There isn’t a specific place to recommend grabbing a burger in Berlin because there are so many places all around the city with fantastic burgers and a variety of toppings. Climate: The temperature in Berlin is relatively similar year round. The winters are a little cold by U.S. standards, with temperatures hovering in the mid 30’s (Fahrenheit) from December through February, while the summer temps often hover in the mid 60’s. While the temperature does not experience a great range, it remains chilly throughout the year. Berlin does not experience a high volume of rainfall on a yearly basis, with an annual approximation of about 22 inches. The greatest rainfall occurs in the summer months from May through August, but the increase is only marginal as compared to the rest of the year. Transportation: Berlin sports an extensive roadway system and the autobahn that acts as the primary transportation system. If the roads are a little too challenging or crowded for your taste, you can opt to take the train lines around Berlin; particularly, the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. Tram and bus lines are available to move people throughout the city as they please. Safety Precautions: In terms of tourist destinations, Berlin is a very safe city. The streets are clean and the atmosphere is historical, stark, and impressive. However, like all major cities, there are pickpockets, scam artists, and other characters ready to take advantage of tourists. Just be smart, do a little research, and avoid venturing far from your path without a plan. Souvenirs: Plenty of souvenir options are available throughout Berlin’s major sites, but a fantastic memento might be an empty original Berlin beer bottle. Trip Highlights: Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral, and the Holocaust Memorial are three sites that will imprint meaningful, fond memories from your trip to Berlin. The Reichstag building and remaining vestiges of the Berlin Wall will also leave lasting memories of your trip. Documentation: U.S. residents traveling to Berlin will need to bring a passport along with them. If you do not possess a passport, then you need to apply for one well in advance. Personal identification and trip itineraries are also a must for any visitor to Berlin. Air Travel Information: There are two major airports that service Berlin, Schonefeld Airport (SXF) and Tegel Airport (TXL). Most major airlines fly into both airports, although many major U.S. based flights fly into Tegel Airport. Buses, trains, rental cars, and taxis are all available to transport people to and from the airport.