Berlin Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Berlin stands upon the vast European Plain
in Northeastern Germany, on the banks of the River Spree. Berlin's history has been one of triumph
and tragedy, tyranny and transformation. Brought to her knees by two World Wars, and
then divided throughout much of The Cold War, Berlin has reemerged, blossoming into one
of the world's economic and creative powerhouses. With a population of only three-and-a-half
million, Berlin enjoys an air of spaciousness not found in many other European capitals. Berlin is an incredibly green city, both physically
and politically. At times it feels like the city was built just to fill in the gaps between
its many parks, forests, and lakes. With hundreds of miles of bike paths, stringent
traffic regulations, and an absence of hills, Berlin is the perfect city to explore on foot
or by bicycle. A legacy of Berlin's checkered history is
a cityscape of every imaginable architectural style; from the gothic to the baroque, from
the socialist to the futuristic. Yet somehow it all works ~ magnificently! The Brandenburg Gate rose in the 18th century
as a symbol of peace.

It was battered in the Second World War, then
isolated by the division of Berlin, before becoming the rallying point during the joyous
days of the reunification. A block to the north, The Reichstag is also
a symbol of a Berlin reborn. Gutted by fire in 1933 and reduced to rubble
during the fall of Berlin, today visitors can climb the Reichstag's transparent dome
for a bird's-eye view of the city. Occupying an entire city block is the Holocaust
Memorial – an unsettling reminder of the consequences of letting the roots of intolerance take hold. Rolling out before the Brandenburg Gate, is
The Tiergarten, a 500 acre tapestry of forests, woodlands, and canals. The Tiergarten is also home to the Victory
Column, the Soviet War Memorial and Bellevue Palace ~ the official residence of the German

But her most famous resident of all, is the
Berlin Zoo. Featuring over 1500 species, and enclosures
that look more like natural habitats, The Berlin Zoo is one of the most visited zoological
gardens in Europe. Berlin is a city of churches. Retaining its war-damaged spire, The Kaiser
Wilhelm Memorial Church is a shining example of Berlin's ability to honor its past, while
forging a bold architectural future. But perhaps Berlin's most striking place
of worship, is The Chapel of Reconciliation, the spiritual heart of the Berlin Wall Memorial. Near the center of Berlin, another section
of the infamous wall has become a memorial ~ of a more colorful kind.

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