Berlin Weekend City Breaks Attractions Tours day trips

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The German historian Karl Scheffler once remarked that Berlin is always in the process of becoming, and judging by the number of cranes that dominate the city's skyline he hit the nail squarely on the head. Berlin's chequered past is well documented, but since unification in October 1990 the city has had plenty to celebrate. Today Berlin is the country's cultural and economic powerhouse and has got more than enough to going on to justify its billing as one of Europe's favourite city breaks.

While there isn't much of the Berlin wall left standing (although you can still buy chunks as souvenirs) the Checkpoint Charlie Museum paints an insightful picture of the city's divided past. Meanwhile the contemporary face of Berlin's united present is showcased by Norman Foster's inspired makeover of The Reichstag. The views from the glass dome that now covers Germany's parliament building are undeniably impressive, but to really get on top of the city catch the lift up nearly 400m to the top of the Fernsehturm Tower in Alexanderplatz.

Arguably the only positive effect of the wall is that Berlin now has twice the amount of art galleries and museums as any other European city. In fact, cultural types will be left scratching their heads trying to work out how they are going cram all 170 museums into a short city break. Closed to the west for years the Pergamon Museum corrals together a stunning collection of archaeological gems from Asia Minor, while the Ägyptisches Museum (in Charlottenburg Castle) gives the Egyptian Museum in Cairo a good run for its money. More contemporary appetites are catered for in the extensive Kulturforum.

Once you've had your cultural fill, Berlin has plenty of green spaces to relax in and take stock of everything that you've seen. However, the city's best loved park is the 412 acre Tiergarten, which once served as private hunting grounds to the Prussia royal family. No city break in Berlin is complete until you've sampled the city's legendary nightlife. Having spawned everything from cabaret to techno; Berlin proudly boasts some of the best clubs in Europe. Whether you want to spend your nights at the cutting edge of dance music or would prefer to see what the Berlin Philharmonic is up to; you'll soon understand why Berlin's crammed social diary is the envy of Europe. tourist tourist Official tourist site for Berlin.