Berlin is modern Germany and old Germany side by side. Given the city's divided history—split by the Russians and Allies after the war, it was reunited after the fall of the wall in 1989—it's surprising that this combination works, but it does. From hypermodern skyscrapers in the west to thumping nightclubs in crumbling buildings in the east, the city has something for everyone.
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- Symbol of Berlin's mash-up of old and new, the Reichstag anchors central Berlin with a Norman Foster-designed glass dome atop a 116-year-old structure. The view from the top can't be beat.
- The Brandenburg Gate, built in the late 1700s, was where east met west during the Cold War. Now the refurbished site unites the two sides of the city.
- Sample the city's nightlife, which stretches into the wee hours, at one of hundreds of bars and clubs. Neighborhoods in the former east, like Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg, are choice spots to barhop.
- Berlin's "Festival Weeks" start in late August and go until October, with concerts, opera, ballet, and more.
- Potsdam's parks and palaces are an easy day trip from Berlin.
- For a more rugged experience, explore the Spreewald forest, 60 mi/97 km southeast of the city.