In The Magazine

Cool Germania

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Berlin is waking up. After a troubled twentieth century, the German capital has a new lease on life. Go there today, and you’ll find a place unlike any other—an exciting mix of old and new, where former power plants have turned into techno clubs and onetime Nazi air raid shelters are art galleries. What was once a center of oppression has become one of the most open, tolerant and friendly cities on the planet.



Fly Like a Prussian Eagle

This past November, Lufthansa introduced direct flights from JFK to Berlin Tegel. Spring for business if you can—fully reclining seats mean that even the worst insomniacs can sleep soundly the whole way there and disembark ready to take in all the city has to offer.


 



Happening ‘hood

I stayed at the Hotel Orania in Kreuzberg, one of the hippest neighborhoods in Berlin. Formerly a Turkish and counterculture-heavy neighborhood, today it is a mix of charming boutiques and trendy eateries. I recommend the Café Ora, a former pharmacy that makes a delicious winter salad.


 



Art Inside

Berlin has some of the finest museums in Europe. Check out the bust of Nefertiti at the Neues Museum—or see something a little more avant-garde at the Hamburger Bahnhof, a former train station converted into a hip showcase of contemporary art.


 



…and Art Outside

Art isn’t just in museums here—it’s on the buildings, too! Kreuzberg has some of the world’s finest street art on its walls. There are all the typical tags and graffiti that you’d find at home, but also colossal pieces like this psychedelic mural.


 



A River Runs Through It

Even with all the recent developments in Berlin, it’s hard to forget that the city is as beautiful as any of the great capitals of Europe. Take a walk along the Spree—it’s every bit as beautiful as the Seine.



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