Berlin, the German capital, is renowned for its exceptional variety of attractions, its flourishing cultural scene and a way of life that’s both fast-paced and relaxed.
Berlin stands for movement and change, for growth and new opportunities! Since the Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago, the German capital has developed into an internationally attractive, popular location for business and leisure. More and more people are coming to Berlin and making the city a central location for future technologies. Renowned companies such as Amazon, Fujitsu, Google, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Sanofi and Pfizer have already discovered the city as a premium location. Berlin already boasts 2,500 tech startups, and has attracted hundreds of millions of euros in investment from some of the world’s biggest venture capital funds. Berlin’s internationalism and the widespread use of English make Berlin an attractive location to stay or visit.
In addition Berlin is the metropolis for creativity. Nowadays, people look to Berlin for the latest trends in lifestyle, music and art. Inspired by this outpouring of creativity, growing numbers of artists are arriving in the city from around the world, making it one of Europe’s most exciting destinations. If you have appetite for music and street art, Berlin is amazing for both those things. Berlin is the global centre of electronic music. There are clubs by the dozen which make Berlin to a centre of nightlife.
A feature of Berlin, aside from its exuberance, is the way it continuously reinvents itself. Described as ‘poor but sexy’ by its former mayor Klaus Wowereit, it isn’t the biggest or the prettiest European capital, but it is definitely the quirkiest and the most eclectic.
THE ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE
Contrasts between historical buildings and modern architecture, between the traditional and the modern are what set the city apart from the rest of Europe. The sights of Berlin – from the Brandenburg Gate to the Federal Chancellery – tell the story of an entire nation. Germany’s capital is home to all the major government buildings, most notably the historic Reichstag, seat of the German parliament.
Berlin is a city of art, artists and museums. More than 170 museums, including those on the famous museum island, put the treasures of the world on public display. Culturally minded visitors from all corners of the globe come to Berlin to see performances by leading orchestras – such as the internationally celebrated Berlin Philharmonic – and to attend ballets and operas at the three major opera houses. A multitude of theatres specialising in plays, variety, revue and cabaret offer stage entertainment in all its forms.
The famous Kurfürstendamm, grand old Friedrichstrasse and the independent boutiques in and around the Hackesche Höfe offer endless scope for shopping.
But Berlin also has a relaxed vibe and lots of open spaces for a breath of fresh air. No city in Germany is greener than Berlin with its forests, lakes and sprawling parks. This laid-back way of life can be found throughout the city. When the weather gets warmer, life in Berlin moves outdoors to the beach bars, pavement cafés and open-air cinemas and theatres. Outside Berlin there are as many interesting things to see as there are in the city itself. For a breath of fresh air, go to Potsdam, a much smaller historical city with the landmark Sanssouci Palace and the beautiful vast park surrounding the architectural masterpiece.
FEMALE FRIENDLY HOTELS IN BERLIN
Sofitel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt *****
Sofitel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt welcomes you in the heart of the capital, situated close to the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, the Museum Island and the vibrant shopping street ‘Friedrichstraße’. The architect Harald Klein created a design cocoon, the boutique hotel is a passionate dialogue of glass and black marble. Dive into the fascinating interior of our luxury hotel accommodation, combining contemporary design and French elegance with personal care and service provided by discrete and attentive staff.
Member offer: ***Offer! Quote ‘Maiden-Voyage Special’ ‘Pay for 2, enjoy 3’ and save 33.33%. NB: fully prepaid, non-refundable, a modification or cancellation is not possible. Booking date: till October, 19th 2014. Staying date: till December, 30th 2014. Room Amenity: Bose Wave® Radio and Hermès or Lanvin toiletries. F&B Amenity: bottle of Evian upon arrival. Book here
Travel and Transport
Berlin’s public transit system will take you almost anywhere you want to go, taxis are generally easy to catch and bike rentals make it possible for you to tour the city as you please: Whether you just want to quickly get from A to B or prefer to take your time and explore the city’s sights, Berlin offers you all sorts of possibilities for getting around. Be it by taking a train, taxi or bike, mobility is a breeze in Berlin.
dining and bars
Berlin’s dining scene has evolved in leaps and bounds and there’s a multitude of excellent places, both old and new. Known for a somewhat brisk mentality, Berliners are true to form when it comes to food on-the-go.
Berlin is a contender for best kebab in the world, and with good reason, being the birthplace of the glorious Döner, but beyond that there’s a host of fast, hearty and cheap street food options. Attracting many worshipers is the unholy trinity of sausages, Currywurst, Bockwurst and Bratwurst, but add to this the flavours of Berlin’s diverse ethnic communities – Turkish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, Slavic – and eating here is an exciting experience.
But waves are also being made at the more flash end of the scale with high-profile openings such as Glass and Les Solistes and with the accrual of a fair share of the coveted Michelin stars: Tim Raue has picked up a second star and Hörvath a first. Contemporary mores for sustainable and locally sourced produce are flourishing too at places like Lokal and while home-grown contenders are beating the best of them, the New York Times’ food critic recently describing his pastrami on rye experience at Mogg & Melzer which ‘only a handful of delis in New York can match. Berlin is truly a gastro-destination. Whether it’s cooking of the molecular variety or a Schnitzel the size of an entire plate, the city is dishing it out with the best of them.
WOMEN’S NETWORKS AND EVENTS
CUSTOMS AND SAFETY
Ambassador: KERSTIN RATH
Let me start with a song from Marlene Dietrich “I still keep a suitcase in Berlin”. I was born in Leipzig whereas my mother comes from Berlin and all my life I had a special relationship with the city. Before the wall came down I used to be a conference interpreter for English and French and lived in East Berlin. Right after the wall came down I joined NHK, the Japanese television, and worked for them during the German unification period. After that I joined a Berlin tourist company where I became Incoming Manager for international conferences. In 1992 I joined the commercial department of the British Embassy in Berlin and work as a Senior Trade Advisor for energy, environment and agriculture. In this job I assist British companies in doing business in Germany.
I would love to be your Berlin ambassador and keep you up to date with all the new hot and trendy restaurants, shops, theatres, musicals, exhibitions and all the other attractions in Berlin
Feel free to email me directly with any questions.
Networking: See who is networking in Berlin now
Read the doing business in Germany guide.