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Twenty- five years since the its post-Wall rebirth of the city, Berlin is an almost unrecognisable city of contrasts, encompassing the utilitarian and the glamorous, with impressive opera houses in marked contrast to a thriving underground club scene, and top end restaurants vying with ethnic street food. Whatever your tastes, you will find everything you need in this rejuvenated and vibrant city.

When it comes to music, design, art and fashion, the German capital is a city that is undeniably basking in the global spotlight. An invasion from creatives from all over the world has ensured that this once austere city has transformed in to a cool destination that that evokes the hipster vibe of 1980’s New York. Berlin has learned from its past mistakes, and now fully embraces an open and tolerant mind-set, yet with an undercurrent of edginess that saves it from complacency.

Berlin has come such a long way over the last two decades, particularly when you consider its recent past. The 20th century saw revolution, fascism, destruction, division and reunification in quick succession and the scars that the city bears offer a fascinating insight in to its history and stand as testament to how well the city has healed. Instantly recognisable landmarks - Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and the atmospheric remains of the Berlin Wall take you on a powerful journey through the key events of the last hundred years. This is a city where history is a tangible force and memories of conflict and hardship still vivid, with the wounds inflicted on the city not yet fully healed.

Maybe it is just because of the weight of history that the city bears, that it is looking forward with such positivity. Berlin has an entirely unique atmosphere amongst European cities - it pulsates with energy at all hours of the day and night, it has a hedonistic edge and there is always something going on, wherever you happen to end up as you explore. However, while the default setting of the city is ‘hectic’, this is a safe and welcoming place where you can walk with impunity after dark, the cost of eating out is incredibly reasonable and navigation is simple via both the impressive public transport system, and well-designed road network.

For a weekend break in the springtime, Berlin is a fantastic choice. You will be overwhelmed by the friendly atmosphere, the wealth of historic sites and the fast moving pace of life in this city that very rarely sleeps.

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