Berlin is an ugly city. People are often surprised by this statement, especially if you know that years ago I lived there for ten months and I loved the experience. But it's true, to be the capital of Germany, cannot be compared in beauty with other capitals of first-order European countries, such as London or Paris. Even so, Berlin is an amazing city that is a most interesting and satisfying visit, but that reveals its secrets little by little and only befriends one if it goes beyond the quick and superficial visit. Next, I will try to explain why.
Alexander Platz clock
First of all, why do I say it is ugly? First, the original layout of the city was disrupted during the communist era with the construction of the wall that split it in two. Thereafter, the two parties continued to develop independently for 28 years until Reunification. So, once the wall was gone, the city was somewhat extravagant, like Siamese twins with a huge scar from top to bottom. This becomes evident when one realizes that the city does not have a very defined "center." It does have crowded squares and monuments around which the life of the city revolves, but they seem to be duplicated and generates a strange effect. For example, the distinguished Kurfürstendamm Avenue struggles to be the center of the city in the west, while the Unter den Linden Avenue It is another "center" that brings together many historic buildings. As if that were not enough, the modern Potsdamer Platz which was built halfway between the two can not get rid of a sense of artificiality and modernity misunderstood, despite its spectacular.
Fernsehturm (the lollipop of Berlin)
Secondly, Berlin had to rebuild itself from the rubble after the incessant bombings it suffered during World War II. For this reason, the vast majority of buildings in the city are barely a hundred years old and most homes are not very attractive because they had to be built in a hurry to shelter all those who were left homeless in the war. It's the same thing that happens in other big cities heavily bombed, like Tokyo. These two motives together make this city may seem unattractive to the naked eye.
Brandenburg Gate with a mural in front that recalls how it was after the bombings.
However, let's now look at its many attractions. I like this city very much, so I will have to synthesize. To get started, the city distills history everywhere, so, if the visitor is interested in World War II, the time of Nazism or the history of the Russian occupation, he will enjoy discovering traces of that convulsive and interesting history, some of them very evident, such as the sections of the wall that still or the Checkpoint Charlie museum, and others not so much, such as the brief exhibition on Nazism next to the site of the former headquarters of the Gestapo, the German resistance museum or the site where Hitler's bunker was hidden.
Marx and Engels in Berlin
On the other hand, another trick in his favor is the bohemian air and at the same time distinguished that you breathe in its streets, especially in the bars fashion, like in Prenzlauer Berg, in the endless exhibitions of modern art or in cabaret theaters. Berlin is a city of students and artists, with a large concert schedule and a scene underground vast that lends itself to discover it little by little.