Berlin is the largest city in Germany, with a population of about 4.5 million in its metropolitan area alone and about 3.5 million from over 190 countries. As the capital city of Germany, Berlin boasts an impressive history and is known for its tolerant people, exuberant night life, its culture, and many sites that you can visit that are historically significant.
Berlin traces its roots to the beginning of the 13th Century, when it developed across today’s Nikolaiviertel river from the town Cölln. As more people populated the area, these two towns merged, making Berlin a hub for agriculture and commerce. In the beginning of the 17th century, Berlin was hit with the 30 Years’ War and witnesses the death of around half of its population, but persisted as an important region for Germany.
In 1701, its population grew as Berlin became the capital of Prussia; in 1710 all of its surrounding former cities merged with it, forming a bigger Berlin. In 1871, Berlin became the capital of the new German Reich, and within a few years, over one million people called it their home, as the industry grew rapidly.
After the first World War, Berlin started to become the city we know now, as the last of the surrounding cities merged with the capital. During World War Two, much of central Berlin was destroyed; therefore many buildings you will see there are actually reconstructed or built after the war. It was split into four sections, East Berlin, and West Berlin divided among the French, English and American sectors. In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell after East Germans began to rebel, and in 1990 West Germany and East Germany were united, making Berlin once again the capital of Germany.
Berlin touts a rich multicultural population due to the large number of immigrants from Turkey after World War Two, Vietnamese immigrants in East Berlin, and the immigrants from communist countries including the former Yugoslavia and Soviet soldiers who did not want to return home.
Berlin is also a great place for young people to visit. Because West Berliners were exempt from military service requirements, social reformers, anarchists and pacifists flooded the area. Artists and musicians were given state grants. Tolerant bar licensing laws allowed the population to stay out all night, and a robust amount of Berliners attended university.
After the fall of the wall, Berlin has become the cultural epicenter of Germany. Because East Germany was inexpensive to live in, artists, musicians and other creative types began to congregate there. Berlin is now the heart of a culture known for its multimedia, design, art, music and fashion. Therefore, Berlin now offers multiple things to do to all kind of visitors – and the list keeps growing.