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10 Interesting Facts About Berlin

1. Berlin - The Swamp

Like many typical names from Eastern Germany, Berlin has its origin in the Slavic language, more precisely in Old Polish. Thus, the name Berlin is composed of “birl-“, or “berl-” for swamp or morass, and the suffix “in” typical of place names.

Berlin is, therefore, according to its name, the place in the swamp.

This may come as a disappointment to many Germans who thought Berlin came from the German word for bear (”Bär”). Since it is pronounced similarly to the “Ber” in Berlin. The Berlin coat of arms also features a bear. No wonder this assumption is so persistent.

2. Berlin is older than Germany

Berlin existed before the German Federal Republic. It took its course in the 13th century with two medieval merchant settlements in the marshy area of the Spree River: Cölln and Berlin. In 1432 the two parts were officially united, Frederick II proclaimed Berlin the capital of Brandenburg.

The year of Germany’s origin depends on the respective definition. Depending on the focus on state, cultural or linguistic institutions, there may be deviations. But Germany, as we know it now, did not come into being until 1990.

3. Berlin is about 8.5 times larger than Paris

Berlin has an area of 891.69 km2 (344 mi2), whereas Paris has an area of ” just ” 105.34 km2 (41 mi2). This makes Berlin even larger than New York City, which has a land area of 789.4 km2 (305 mi2).

4. Berlin is green

Berlin is green. About 30% of the base area of 886 sqm are fields, parks, and forests. The streets are lined with about 440,000 trees. More than 2500 parks invite you to relax. The Goße Tiergarten in Mitte is the oldest park in Berlin and has existed for almost 500 years. It measures 210 acres, making it larger than Hyde Park in London (141 acres), but smaller than Central Park in New York (341 acres).

5. Berlin is a cultural paradise

Berlin has a variety of cultural attractions to choose from. It offers no less than four opera houses. The Deutsche Oper, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the Neuköllner Oper and the Komische Oper offer a total of over 4,500 seats for the public. In addition, there are 150 stages for theater and concerts and over 60 cinemas. Berlin offers its visitors up to 1,500 events. There are also over 175 different museums in Berlin. This makes Berlin the city with the most museums in Germany.

6. The longest open-air gallery in the world

The East Side Gallery displays over 100 murals by artists from all over the world. With a length of 1.3 kilometers, it is considered the longest open-air gallery in the world. The most photographed mural is the “Brotherly Kiss,” which depicts Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker. The gallery is located on the banks of the Spree River in Friedrichshain, where the remains of the Berlin Wall are located

7. The most visited zoo in Europe

With Berlin over 3 million visitors annually, the Berlin Zoo is the most visited zoo in Europe.  It houses over 20,000 animals and 1,300 different species in an area of 82 acres.

8. Berlin is a street food mecca

Berlin is considered the birthplace of currywurst and doner kebab. At least the kebab variant in pita bread. 

Today, there are around 1500 currywurst stands in Berlin, where 70 million of the Berlin creation are eaten every year. 

In addition, 400,000 doner kebabs are sold in Berlin every day in about 1500 doner kebab stands.

9. Berlin is multicultural

Berlin is a truly multicultural city. In 2020, the population of Berlin was about 3.6 million people. Of these, about 21% are foreigners and 36% are people with a migration background. The most common groups of foreigners include Turks and Poles.

10. 20k for a night

The Imperial Suite at the Adlon Hotel costs €19,195 per night – including airport transfers in a Rolls Royce. Ready to book?

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