Five reasons to make Berlin your next weekend city break

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From beer and bratwurst to cocktails and culture, this is a city with something for everybody. Here’s why you should add Berlin to your bucket list.

A whole lotta history

If there is one thing that can be said of Germany, it is that it’s a country which makes no secret of its past. From fragments of the Berlin Wall to its many monuments, it’s almost impossible to walk down any street in Berlin without seeing evidence of the harrowing events of the 20th Century. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a vast sculptural masterwork, and a stark reminder of the sheer scale of the Holocaust. Similarly, the Jewish Museum can be tough going at points, but absolutely worth visiting; it’s an expertly curated experience that offers a precious glimpse into the lives of those who were lost and will leave you moved.

Elsewhere in the city, the Checkpoint Charlie museum on Friedrichstrasse is a small but fascinating building which transports you to the Berlin of the Eighties, while Museum Island in the Mitte district is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to stunning exhibits from all around the world.

Eat your feelings! (The feeling will be mostly happiness.)

German food is comfort food, simple as. Schnitzel and fries, bratwurst and sauerkraut, pancakes and honey; everything is served hot and in deeply satisfying portions. If that’s not your cup of tea, you’ll find just about every other kind of cuisine in the city, from Italian to Japanese — but you can’t visit Berlin without sampling currywurst from one of the stands in Alexanderplatz.

Anything goes and everybody is welcome

You’d be hard-pressed to find a city more open-minded than Berlin. If you’re looking for an LGBT-friendly weekend, look no further than Schöneberg, Berlin’s very own gaybourhood. Just head down to Nollendorfplatz (you can’t miss it, the U-Bahn station lights up in the colours of the rainbow flag every night) for dinner and drinks at a range of warm, welcoming establishments. And if nightlife is your thing, then get a taxi to SchwuZ near the Rathaus. Berghain might be the best-known club in Europe, but it’s notoriously difficult to get into. SchwuZ, meanwhile, is a gloriously diverse clubbing experience, comprising vast rooms where DJs perform pop, rock and dance sets, and every letter in the L, G, B and T is welcome. The place doesn’t really get going until around 1 am, but that’s fine, as it stays open until 8. (And if you show up in drag, it’s free entry!)

The whole city is walkable and highly Instagrammable

After a heavy night, there is no better place to go for a soothing Sunday stroll than Tiergarten, the sprawling and scenic park in the centre of the city. Alternatively, you can take the elevator up the needle-like Fernsehturm tower for panoramic views of the city or simply mosey along Bülowstrasse in Schöneberg and take in the street art.

And finally, it’s affordable and accessible from Birmingham

Direct flights from Birmingham International to Tegel Airport start at just £74 when booking in advance, and there are hotels across the city to suit every budget. Taxis from the airport into the city centre cost around €30, while public transport on the U-Bahn is cheap and efficient. Meals in most restaurants come in at well under €20 before drinks, and perhaps most importantly, the beer and wine flows very cheaply indeed!

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