10 interesting facts about Berlin – a city with a complicated history
Berlin is a city with a rich history. In the past there were two trading settlements on its territory, which by the 14th century merged into one city.
But the area was divided again after World War II when the four victorious powers divided the city into four occupation sectors. Three of these were later transformed into West Berlin, while the Soviet-controlled last section became East Berlin. They were separated by a specially built wall, which fell only in 1989.
All these peripeteia could not but affect the population of the capital of Germany. This city of artists and performers, millionaires and DJs is a center of unique phenomena, which make it an original place, a must-see. This is evidenced by the following 10 interesting facts about Berlin.
10. Lots of convenience stores
Inhabitants of Russia are hard to surprise by convenience stores, but for the Europeans buying groceries after 8 pm is a headache. Most shops are closed from 19 hours until early morning, and in small towns they do not work on Saturdays and Sundays.
Berlin is in contrast to other capitals: you can shop there all night long, as there are many stores open 24 hours a day.
Interestingly, for the convenience of residents around the city also runs more than 10 night buses, so the way to the right store will not cause problems.
9. Berliners love dogs.
Residents of Berlin have a great respect for dogs: people are much more willing to get a puppy than a kitten. According to official statistics, there are about 100,000 dogs registered in the city, but they say that in reality this figure should be multiplied by two. Leashed walks with pets are a favorite pastime of the typical Berliner.
Moreover, the people are loyal to pets in cafes and stores, where you can go with your pet. Even the existing tax – the owners have to pay to the state 120 euros a year – does not scare the Germans.
8. There are 180 museums in the city.
Tourists have something to do in Berlin – in the city there are almost 200 different exhibitions and galleries. Only the state museums there are 180! There is a place for all kinds of people, from classic aficionados to aficionados of postmodern and avant-garde.
A useful tip that experienced travelers share: you can visit museums for free on Thursday evenings.
For those who are willing to pay a large sum of money, there is also a nice bonus: for 2-8 thousand euros anyone can rent one of these 180 museums to hold a wedding, party or corporate party there.
7. Graffiti is popular.
In addition to museums and exhibition halls, you can even touch art in Berlin on the street. Street art is incredibly important in Berlin: practically all accessible surfaces are painted. And among the ordinary pictures and runes from the games there are works of art.
Street artists even offer guided tours of iconic locations, such as the Brezhnev-Honecker kiss on the remnants of the Berlin Wall.
There is plenty of room for creativity in the city – the ruined buildings form a side facade that beckons you to paint something provocative and scandalous on them.
The authorities in Berlin are not tired of fighting graffiti artists – on average, the city spends up to 30 million euros a year to paint over walls.
6. The city of nightclubs
For those tired of creativity, Berlin has a vibrant nightlife scene: the city is also called the nightclub capital. Every night there are more than 200 establishments, the entrance to which is modest by European standards – from 4 to 10 euros. The most popular music genres among the guests of the city are electro and techno.
Due to the abundance of listeners and performers in Berlin in the past few years have been developed trend trends in music.
5. Fare dodging can land you in jail
Germans are well known for their law-abidingness, so the state acts there are also quite strict. For example, the average “hare” who rides public transport without a ticket can go to jail.
According to the law, those caught on such offense, receive a large fine for the first time – up to 60 euros. If the offense is repeated three times in the past two years, the citizen will be imprisoned for 12 months. On average, there are up to 70 such offenders a year.
Certainly, not all get behind the bars: the defendants are usually offered to pay the fine of 1000 Euros, and in case of refusal they take appropriate measures.
4. about 600 millionaires in the city
The number of people, whose income exceeds one million dollars, in Berlin is growing at an unprecedented rate: over the last three years, this figure increased by 1.5 times. Now their number ranges from 600 to 750 people.
Interestingly enough, wealthy people live not only in elite neighborhoods, but also in “ultra-left” places, where the inhabitants are known for their alternative views. And, incidentally, it is in these areas that the growth of millionaires is most noticeable.
The authorities cannot explain this phenomenon, but economists think that the influx of wealthy people is caused by the developing business and well-organized banking system.
3. Mainly rented apartments
Germans are reputed to be a nation of tenants: only a small percentage of Berliners own their apartments. The lion’s share of Berliners prefer renting apartments for life.
Historians say that this state of affairs predetermined the destruction after the war – the city was built social housing, which is actively surrendered to rent, for individual construction, no one had neither the resources nor the means.
Moreover, liberal rental laws also contributed to the situation: the authorities did not impose limits on landlords, as in some other European countries, and the market became competitive, making it more profitable to rent an apartment than to buy it and pay taxes.
2. Two versions of the city’s name
The official date of Berlin’s foundation is 1237. Its historical name “Cologne” was quickly replaced by the existing name. Historians have put forward two versions of the origin of the word “Berlin”. According to one of them, it came from the German word “Ber” (bear). The Germans are inclined to this position – on the emblem of the city there is a black bear.
But there is another opinion: some scientists believe that “Berlin” came from the Slavic word “berl” (swamp). In favor of this version speaks the fact that the Polabian Slavs back in the 1st century BC had a settlement “burlin”, symbolizing the dam.
1. Friedrichstadtpalast – one of the leading theaters in Europe
In addition to nightclubs, street art, and numerous museums, cultural Berlin is also known for its legendary Friedrichstadtpalast Theater. In the 19th century it was an ordinary roofed pavilion, which was later transformed into a circus arena and afterwards into a theater stage. It was here that the can-can dance was first introduced, and from here the career of Marlene Dietrich began.
Nowadays the theater is considered to be the largest stage in Europe. And to this day there is a tradition of revue productions – a mixture of styles of variety and cabaret, which gathers millions of viewers every year.
10 interesting facts about Berlin
The capital of Germany, Berlin, is unique in the way it is a harmonious mix of medieval and modern buildings.
The Germans themselves are very proud of their city, and they are always happy to advise their guests where to go and what to see.
Whether you are looking for interesting facts about Berlin or not, this city has a lot of surprises at every turn and always has something to surprise you.
Fact 1: Significant.
In 1989, the Berlin Wall, a 160-kilometer-long wall separating the city into Western and Eastern sections, was demolished. Fragments of the wall still remain, and tours are sure to be organized to commemorate the gruesome legacy and the tragedy associated with it.
If you are lucky, you can even take away a pebble from the wall as a souvenir and memory of a trip to this historic place.
Fact 2: The Record
If you ask any traveler where the most bridges in European cities are, most will think of Venice. It turns out that this is not the case. Berlin has surpassed the “city on the water” in the number of crossings over bodies of water.
There are as many as 1700 bridges, many of which are the monuments of architecture. Bridges are known to be the best place for a date, so head to Berlin!
Fact 3. Practical.
Berlin has over 180 kilometers of waterways, allowing you to plan a boat or boat trip around the city. So be sure to rent a slow boat with a driver and a guide beforehand, and it will be a colorful experience you’ll remember for a long time.
It is recommended to take anti-sickness pills just in case, but it is rather a precaution for those who are sensitive to water adventures.
Fact 4. Europe’s highest peak
Wherever you are in Berlin, you can see one of the sights of the city – the TV Tower, which is 368 meters high.
It is the tallest and most important building in Germany and not only has an impressive view, but it also prevents you from getting lost in the metropolis and always keeps you in sight.
Fact 5: You can never have too much culture
The locals say with humor that there are more museums in Berlin than there are days in a year when it rains. Indeed, Germany’s capital boasts a record number of museums (including those for children) – no less than 175 of them!
Each of the museums tells its own amazing story, and one of them even has a cap of Napoleon, which flew off his head during the battle of Waterloo.
Fact 6: Amazing
Travelers can take advantage of a unique offer and get completely free sanitary napkins at the nearest pharmacy.
Such a simple step makes it possible from an early age to instill cleanliness and reduce the risks of diseases transmitted through numerous touches with the hands in public places.
And speaking of hygiene, it was in Berlin that the first public toilets appeared, originally designed to get rid of your favorite drink – coffee.
Fact 7: The Leading Zoo
Berlin’s zoo leads the world in the number of animals. Today there are about 1,500 species of animals, with a total of more than 17,000 inhabitants. Because of the division of the city in the past, Berlin operated two zoos, which are still operating in different locations in the city today.
Fact 8. incomprehensible
Tourists entering Berlin for the first time will be surprised by its cleanliness. In some places, the asphalt is even washed with special shampoos. The paradox is that the local population considers their capital one of the dirtiest cities in Europe.
In Berlin alone there are more than 5500 hectares of public gardens and parkland, which together with the lakes and water channels amounts to one third of the city.
Fact 9. Exciting
In Berlin it is very easy to find not only the house, but also the owner, because very often instead of numbering on the plates they write the name of the owner. Another specificity that every tourist who comes to Berlin should be aware of: there are very many streets in this city with the same name!
For example, in Berlin there are nine Lindenstrasse, eight Kastanienallee, seven Hauptstrasse, seven Rosenstrasse, four Breitestrasse, three Friedrichstrasse, three Kaiserstrasse, six Bismarkstrasse and three Blumenstrasse.
So it is advisable to double-check on the map in advance which street your hotel is located on.
Fact 10. Berlin is ahead of the rest of the world
Berlin can applaud the fact that the first traffic light was installed here, and in the public transport no one asks or checks for a ticket.
The fact is that citizens pay their fare at the stations and take great pride in their conscientiousness.
But let this interesting fact about Berlin does not relax you as a tourist, and do not encourage to go “hare,” because if you run into a rare but very strict control, it can end up a decent fine and even detention by police.
Welcome to Germany, to the hospitable Berlin, where your world will never be the same again. We’ve got lots of interesting things to tell you, but first, find out what kids and families have to offer in this beautiful city.