Monday, 14 March 2011

Berlin - a fresh new European capital

Third time in Berlin and the experience gets richer and easier, while traveling on business the leisure opportunities are immense when immersing yourself with the locals. Berliners are certainly a mixed bunch more often than not comfortable speaking English and keen to interact with visitors (or tourists)!

The city is incredibly cheap for an international and capital city; it's also incredibly simple to navigate and is still small enough not to be at the mercy of a stampede of people on every walk way like that of London or Paris.

Steeped in a rich yet morbid 20th century history this ancient yet incredibly young city is still growing up and out. Rebuilding and restoring architectural artefacts affected by the war while constructing monumental pieces in memory of the dead and classy artistic structures that make Berlin a fascinating fusion of new architectural concepts. The sheer determination and commitment of Berliners whether german or otherwise demonstrates their courage to raise from the ashes a confident and proud diverse community that the rest of the world can look towards.

Berlin proudly exploits it's diversity and individuality - committed to supporting and caring for all it's people as citizens or visitors. Unlike the impersonal touch of London and Paris germany's capital feels like a close knit community little different to a small seaside town or country village.

Perhaps the most striking aspect is the cost, Berlin is cheap. Here you can leave behind preconceptions of expensive European cities - instead here there's no overt exploitation of visitors wallets. There are a few areas - like by Check Point Charlie where you'll be minimally ripped off - but most bars and restaurants will charge you a reasonable price for it's meals making it a pleasant funding experience.

Zoologischer Garten is a fantastic and lively shopping district with simple eateries, Nollendorfplatz has a vibrant and exciting gay scene, Alexandrplatz is the perfect entrance to the sightseeing experience here in Berlin. Explore further out beyond U2 and you'll gain similar experience of inclusion.

Take time in Berlin to speak to locals; treat yourself to local cuisine and breathe the past of world wars. This city is like no other - and with so much development there is much to look forward to here!