Berlin, the capital of Germany, is only one of the 16 states in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is the largest and second most populous city in the European Union. Berlin is at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region and known for its many distinctive neighborhoods giving the city a varied and eclectic mix of architecture styles. It also has several museums, gorgeous palaces and many other historical sites. The city also has an active night scene with many clubs, bars and cafes within the city center.
Berlin enjoys a temperate seasonal climate where summers are warm, although at times humid, with an average temperature going as high as 22 to 25 degrees Celsius to as low as 12 to 14 degrees Celsius. Winters are usually cold with an average temperature of between -2 to 3 degrees Celsius. Spring and Autumn seasons are generally mild and chilly.
Berlin offers many sights and activities that every traveler can enjoy. Here are a few recommended tourist destinations in Berlin:
Brandenburg Gate – One of the best-known landmarks in the country, the Brandenburg Gate is an 18th century neoclassical triumphal arch that was built on the site of the old city gate. The former city gate marked the start of road from Berlin to the Brandenburg an der Havel town. Located in the western part of Berlin’s city center, it is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden. This is Berlin’s famous boulevard of linden trees which used to lead directly to the city palace of Prussian monarchs.
Reichstag Building – Just a block from the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building is a historical building that housed the Imperial Diet of the German Empire. It is now used as the meeting place of the German parliament. The building features a large glass dome which offers a 360-degree view of the Berlin cityscape. Visitors can also see the main parliament hall from the inside of the dome. This glass dome brings in natural light down the parliament hall and it is interesting to note that a large sun shield that tracks the movement of the sun electronically is used not only to block direct sunlight but cause large solar gain and dazzle the visitors below in the hall.
Museum Island – It is the northern half of an island found in the Spree River in the central Mitte district. It also used to be the site of the old city of Cölln. It is called the Museum Island because it is home to a complex of five museums which are all part of the Berlin State Museums. The five museums are: the Altes Museum (Old Museum), Neues Museum (New Museum), Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum. The Alte Nationalgalerie exhibits a collection of 19th century art donated by Joachim H. W. Wagner, a local banker. The Bode Museum houses late Antique and Byzantine art and sculpture collections. Lastly, the Pergamon Museum contains reconstructed historically significant building such as the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.
If you are planning to travel to Berlin, the most convenient way to get to the city would have to be by plane. Berlin has two airports, the Tegel International Airport (TXL) and the Schönefeld Airport (SXF). The Tegel International Airport is the main airport and serves international carriers such as Air France-KLM, British Airways, United, and more. It is also the hub for domestic flights operated by Lufthansa and Air Berlin. Some low cost airlines also operate from this airport. Meanwhile, the Schönefeld Airport is used mostly by low-cost or budget airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet. Charter flights also use this airport.
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