Background picture: Umweltbundesamt
The teeming metropolis
Berlin is an exciting city with all the flair that a metropolis can boast. It has a vibrant history, museums with international standing, unsurpassed galleries, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and historic buildings to be explored. Berlin offers music and theatre, young artists and a glittering fashion scene. Nowhere else in Germany will you find more creative young talent, more award-winning restaurants or more start-up lofts. Berlin is fast-paced, dynamic and constantly changing.
Green city, famous for the Wall
With a population of 3.7 million people, Berlin is the largest city in Germany. It is home to people from 190 nations, and each year, over 40,000 people add to their number as a result of migration.
Under the Prussian kings, Berlin developed into an important political centre, first becoming the capital of Prussia and then, in 1871, the capital of the entire newly founded German Empire. After the Second World War, the city was divided into an eastern part and a western part. In 1961 it was then carved apart along a 43-kilometre inner-city border by the Wall, which became a monument to the Cold War and the division of Europe.
Parts of the Wall 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. Green spaces make up more than one third of its almost 900 square kilometres. There are 2500 inner-city public parks, including Tempelhofer Feld on the grounds of the former Tempelhof Airport, which, with 300 hectares, is one of the world’s biggest inner-city green spaces. Where, in the aftermath of the Second World War, the US Candy Bombers once delivered food supplies to the besieged Western sector of the city, Berliners now meet to enjoy the gardens, have barbecues and picnics, and skate.
Creative industry and science
The economy of the German capital city has grown strongly over the past decade. Eighty-six percent of the added value comes from the service sector, particularly from the IT, creative and cultural industries and from tourism. With nearly 145,000 events each year, Berlin is one of the most lucrative trade fair and congress venues in the world.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city has developed into an Eldorado for start-ups. 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.
Culture and classical music
Berlin is one of the few cities with three UNESCO World Heritage sites. Alongside the famous Museum Island and the Prussian palaces and gardens, they also include the Modernism Housing Estates. The German capital has been awarded the title of UNESCO City of Design, rendering it part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
With three opera houses, more than 150 theatres and one of the best philharmonic orchestras in the world, the Berlin Philharmonic, the city is also one of the most impressive cultural metropolises in Europe.
Did you know that …
- there are more than 250 open-air food markets in Berlin?
- Berlin is in demand as a location for international films and series? Babylon Berlin was filmed here, as was the fifth season of the successful US series Homeland and blockbusters such as Inglourious Basterds?
- Berlin’s public transport network includes six ferries?
- the Berlin television tower is Germany’s tallest building, at 368 metres?