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Berlin is fascinatingly dark, moody, atmospheric, slightly gritty at times, but fabulously anarchic, alternative and countercultural. It’s the place where anything goes – and whilst many other cities use the same slogan, it’s in Berlin where it really means – anything. Berlin’s nightlife still echoes the years when the city was the first and most shining beacon of tolerance, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, sadly obscured by the madness of Fascism. Once regained its freedom the city once again rose from its ashes to become once again a proud magnet for everything that is creative, eccentric, different and artistic. There is an empowering and liberating sense of freedom in this amazing city that no visitor will fail to notice.

Photo Credit: Paul Lee-Maynard

When to visit

Berlin has a typical Central European continental climate. Winters (November to March) are very harsh and often snowy. Temperatures can often persist below zero Celsius for weeks, even during the daytime. Spring is a gorgeous season to explore the city’s park and open spaces. Summers can be warm and Berliners flock to the many lakes punctuating the suburbs, plus the various ‘city beaches’ along the river Spree, even if the hot days are often punctuated by the odd thunderstorm. Autumn sees the Tiergarten turning all shades of red and gold, as the first night frosts arrive. Whatever the season, Berlin has such a rich calendar of events that visitors will never feel devoid of opportunities to enjoy the vibrancy and cosmopolitan nature of this city.

Discover and enjoy...

If you have never been here before, make sure you don´t miss the main sightsAnd whether it´s your first time or you´re coming back again, we think you´ll enjoy these hot tipsor take that special vacation selfie

Unmissable Berlin

If you're never been to this amazing destination, make sure you include these must-see sights.

1. The Brandenburg Gate is one of the best known symbols of Berlin. Built in 1788, it sustained severe damages during WWII and then at the time of the Wall (1961-89) it stood metres from it, just within East Berlin, so it was inaccessible to the public and a true symbol of the city's division. When the Wall came down in 1989, it was here that the celebrations reached their peak. Today it's a symbol of Germany's reunification and has been lovingly restored to its splendour.

2. The Pergamon Museum is a must for any visitor to Berlin and houses much of the findings made by German archaelogical expeditions in Greece, Cyprus and the Middle East. You will remain breathless at the main exhibits - the Pergamon Altar from the 2nd century BC, with a 113 meters (371 ft) long sculptural frieze  and the Gate of Miletus from Roman times. Also stunning is the Ishtar Gate with the Processional Way of Babylon.

3. The Reichstag (Parliament) is another symbol of Berlin and its history. Set on fire by the Nazi in 1933, it was damaged during WWII. Although it sat within West Berlin, it did not house the Parliament until the reunification because the capital was then Bonn. After a huge remodel of the building, including the stunning glass cupola by Norman Foster (from which you can enjoy stunning views of the city), the German Parliament finally resumed here in 1999.

4. The Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower) is so tall, at 368 mt, that is visibile from every corner of the city and so it's an umissable feature of the Berlin landscape. Built in 1965 by the then GDR government, today it offers an amazing platform to view the city from above courtesy of the viewing platform, at a height of 207 metres, which includes a bar and a revolving restaurant.

5. The Siegessäule (Victory Column), with its golden glistening statue on top, sits in the middle of the beautiful Tiergarten park and both are iconic symbols of Berlin. Originally the column wasn't here, but rather near the Reichstag, but Hitler had it moved in this site as part of his larger city plans. Wandering the Tiergarten is a must, to find tiny secluded lakes, wooded areas, beer gardens and even areas where you can sunbathe naked. 

6. The Gendarmenmarkt is one of Berlin's most beautiful squares, dating back to between 1668 and 1773. Here you will find the Berlin concert hall, along with the French and German Churches. One of the most pictoresque Christmas Markets in Europe is held here.

Be dazzled at the Festival of Lights

Each year in October, Berlin turns into a city full of light art. National as well as international artists present light installations and transform the city into a huge stage. They tell stories, draw attention to the special and present their cultures, arts, crafts and messages. Berlin landmarks, historical places, streets, squares, trendy neighborhoods and hotspots of recent history are staged with suggestive lights.

Feel festive at the Christmas Markets

Germany is famous for its Christmas Markets and Berlin is no exception. The main ones are held in Alexanderplatz, Gendarmenmarkt, at the city end of Ku’damm and also at Potsdamer Platz, where a giant toboggan is placed. There are also smaller markets around the city. Most markets open around the 20th of November and close just after the New Year’s Celebrations.

Find your favourite movie at the Berlinale

When it comes to Film Festivals, the Berlinale ranks up there with Cannes and Venice, and rightly so. Held in mid-February it boasts over 330,000 tickets sold for a total of 400 films. The best of LGBT cinema is celebrated and recognised at the Berlinale with the annual Teddy Awards.

Enjoy the wildest fetish scene in the world.

We can safely say that Berlin is the fetish capital of the world where one can really delve into the realm of the unlimited. There are so many events that it's impossible to mention them all, but these are the main dates on the fetish calendar.

1. Folsom Europe Street Fair. Held on the second week of September (in 2016 between 7-11 September), this is the sister event of the famous San Francisco celebration of everything leather & fetish. The actual fair is held along the Fuggerstrasse, in Schöneberg at the weekend, but there are events all through the week, culminating with the official closing PIG Party on the Saturday night. For more information, visit

2. Easter Berlin. This annual fetish gathering over the Easter holidays is organised since 1973 by Berlin Leder und Fetisch (BLF) and represents the city’s fetish culture worldwide – from dance to politics. There is a huge list of events in this period, so worth checking the calendar. Info: 

3. SNAX Party. This huge fetish party is held twice a year (usually on Easter Saturday and in November) at the famous Berghain club (in fact in both the Lab.Oratory downstairs and Berghain proper). Expect thousands of hot men in fetsh gear (the door policy is strict) and the sleaziest atmosphere imaginable, dancing to hard techno music. Get in early as the queues are as famous and wild as the party itself.  Info: 

A taste of the Cold War

It is difficult to imagine Berlin during the Cold War as so many changes have happened in the city since the fall of the Wall, but one place still offers a feel of that hectic time. Head for Teufelsberg, which is a eerie man-made hill created by the piling of all the rubble gathered after much of the city was bombed at the end of WWII. Today the hill is covered in trees, but at the top sits a huge US abandoned spying station, which was in service from 1963 until the end of the Cold War. Since then, the station was taken over by graffiti artists and the huge radio surveillance domes are in ruin. A must see. 

Where the Wall once stood

The physical division of the city of Berlin between East and West lasted less than 30 years (1961-1989) and yet it was the most concrete symbol of the Cold War. In the years following the reunification, the majority of the Wall was torn down and the security area (the land in the East close to the border) was opened up and reconnected to the city. Throughout Berlin, the most you see of the conflictive border today is a double cobblestone line in the ground where the Wall once stood. There are however some segments of the Wall left to remember the folly and brutality of the division. 

One such place is the East Side Gallery, along the river Spree in Friedrichshein, the longest continuous section of the Wall still in existence (1.3 Km) and today an uninterrupted open air gallery since 1990, i.e. just after the Wall was opened up.

Another place to visit is Bernauer Strasse. Here a large open air exhibition on the former border strip covers four areas with historical audio materials and pictures, a visitors’ centre and an observation tower. There is a 70-metre stretch on the Berlin Wall with border strip and watchtower directly on Bernauer Strasse. The iconic image of a GDR soldier jumping across while the fence was built in 1961, for instance, was taken here.

An eerie former airport

The former Tempelhof Berlin Airport has been receiving flights until 2008 and since then has been lying idle and its runways are today a vast urban park. However, this airport has a long history. It was one of the first commercial airports, designated as such in 1923. But even before that, this was the site where American aviation pioneer Orville Wright demonstrated his skills in 1909, and spectators marvelled at the Zeppelin airships. During the Nazi period, the airport was remodeled in a faraonic style as it was meant to serve and represent the capital of the Nazi Reich. So grand in fact that the airport's main building was for decades among the twenty largest buildings on earth, with 9,000 rooms. The terminal building anticipated many concepts found in today's airports and so it is considered an architectural landmark and one of the most amazing buildings of the modern age. You can visit the vast terminal building booking with one of the guided tours available. 

The airport also had a major role during the Berlin blockade of 1948, when the Russians blocked all access to West Berlin in protest for the introduction of the DMark in the city. For almost a year thousands of American planes brought food and supplies into the city - landing at Tempelhof, until the Russians finally gave up and reopened the border.

Planes, trains and automobiles...

After long delays, the new Berlin-Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport (international code: BER) opened its doors in 2020 and replaced the historic but now outdated Tegel Airport.

The best way to get to and from there is to board one of the fast FEX train going straight to the Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) every half hour with a journey time of about 30 minutes. Otherwise there are local trains (lines S9 and S45) which are slower and apart from Central Station they also stop at other key interchanges like Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz and Zoo (about 45-55 minutes journey into town).

A taxi will set you back at least €40-45 depending on traffic and location.

The Scene

Claiming to be able to describe all that Berlin offers in terms of nightlife would be a big fat lie. The city offers an amazing number of LGBT+ venues (larger than possibly any other city in the world), a brilliant kaleidoscope of events and queer spaces that truly caters for every possible taste and variation. If in 1920s Berlin was a beacon of tolerance in a bigoted world, today the city represents an example of eccentricity, not-so-subtle anarchy and splendid variety in a world often very bland and stereotyped.

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