Berlin is the largest city in Germany, and is an economic, high-tech, and cultural hub for the whole of Europe. The city is probably best known for the famous Berlin Wall, which divided the communist East from the capitalist West during the Cold War. These days, the city is not only reunited, but also a hub for high-tech enterprise, including not only computing but also pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
The city was founded in the 13th century at the crossing of two important trade routes, and it remains a place where different cultures meet and merge. The city is home to residents from more than 190 countries. Berlin is the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, and home to its parliament, called the Bundestag.
Berlin is the only city in the world with three opera houses. The city also houses more than 130 museums and more than 400 art galleries, as well as the world’s oldest large-scale movie studio complex. The Berlin International Film Festival is the largest in the world. And about 20 news agencies and more than 30,000 creative companies are located in Berlin, making it a major capital of culture stretching from the high art of the Renaissance to tomorrow’s industrial designs.
Getting to Berlin is easy, as the city is a major European air and rail hub. Once you arrive, you can use the city’s superb public transit, which includes trains, trams, buses and ferries — make sure you have a map! Walking through the city is a striking experience, because so many historical periods are represented, stretching from a few remaining medieval buildings near Alexander Platz to the steel-and-glass towers at Potsdamer Platz.
Berlin has a younger population than most European cities, and is known as a place where people constantly produce new ideas – in research, in commerce, and in art.