The fast metropolis
Berlin – a major city with metropolitan flair and a relaxed atmosphere. Berlin is synonymous with music and theatre, Young Art and a glittering fashion scene. Nowhere else in Germany will you find more off-culture, more creative young talent, more award-winning restaurants, or more start-up lofts. Berlin is the city whose transport companies score viral megahits with self-deprecating advertising clips portraying the gruff announcements of their drivers: “Is mir egal” (slang for “I don’t care”). A city whose inhabitants will habitually run for the subway train (U-Bahn) as soon as they feel the draught in the tunnel, instead of quietly waiting three minutes for the next one. Berlin is fast-paced, dynamic and constantly changing. Berliners have long ceased to wonder at this. They watch what happens: “Dit is Berlin” (“That’s Berlin”).
Green city of the Wall
With a population of 3.6 million people, Berlin is the largest city in Germany. Every year, a good 40,000 immigrants arrive from across the world. Under the Prussian kings, Berlin developed into an important power centre and become the capital city of Germany. After the Second World War, the city was divided into an eastern part and a western part. East Berlin became the capital of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), while West Berlin continued as an island in the middle of the GDR, under the protection of the Allies. The wall, which carved Berlin into two parts along a 43 kilometre inner-city border, became a monument to the Cold War and the division of Europe. It can still be seen today at memorials such as the one on Bernauer Straße. After reunification, Berlin once again became the capital city for the whole of Germany.
Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe. Its streets are lined with 440,000 urban trees and it has 2,500 inner-city public parks, including Tempelhofer Feld (Tempelhof Field) on the site of the former Tempelhof Airport – at 300 hectares, this is one of the world’s biggest inner-city green spaces. Where, in the aftermath of World War II, the US Candy Bombers (Rosinenbomber) once ensured the survival of the city with their food supplies, Berliners now meet to enjoy the gardens, have barbecues and picnics, skate and kitesurf.
Creative industry and science
The economy of the German capital city has grown strongly over the past decade. Between 2008 and 2018, gross domestic product increased by an average of 2.3% per year – almost double the national average. Eighty-six percent of the added value comes from the services sector, particularly the IT, creative and cultural industries, as well as tourism. With nearly 145,000 events each year, Berlin is one of the most lucrative trade fair and congress venues in the world. The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are also important sectors of the economy. Corporate groups such as Deutsche Bahn, Rocket Internet and the publisher, Axel Springer Verlag, have their headquarters in Berlin.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city has developed into an Eldorado for start-ups, with 40,000 new start-up businesses formed each year. Berlin’s scientific landscape, with four universities, 25 higher education institutions and 70 non-university research institutions, is exceptional throughout Europe, which makes this city of science an attractive location.
Clubs and classic
Berghain, Watergate, Sisyphos – without its club scene Berlin wouldn’t be Berlin. The temples of electronic music in old factory buildings, power stations and disused parking decks are a magnet for the best international DJs. Berlin’s rakish nightlife has been part of the city’s DNA since at least the 1920s, the decade known as the “Roaring Twenties”. Today, the Friedrichstadt-Palast, the largest review theatre in Europe, still bears witness to this.
The city has a spectacular range of museums, with more than 170 establishments, the famous Museum Island (Museumsinsel) and world-leading collections, from archaeology to modern, and from Street Art to Pop Art. With three opera houses, more than 150 theatres and one of the best philharmonic orchestras in the world, the Berlin Philharmonic (Berliner Philharmoniker), Berlin is one of the most impressive cultural metropolises in Europe.
To the state's official website: