Berlin might not be the first place that comes to mind when you are mulling over European travel destinations, but this German city is one of the continent's most cosmopolitan and interesting capitals.
Let us explain why.
First, there is the architecture. Berlin was extensively bombed during the World Wars, so it has a truly unique blend of historical buildings that survived the bombings and contemporary, cutting-edge buildings. For older architecture, check out the Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin's largest existing palace, and the Reichstag, the German parliament. From the Reichstag's glass dome, you can see a bird's-eye view of Berlin. If newer buildings are of interest to you, don't miss Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz. These two areas have some of Berlin's more interesting, modern examples of architecture.
Berlin is also home to some famous historical landmarks, including the imposing Brandenburg Gate. You can also see sections of the Berlin Wall, one of the 20th century's most symbolic landmarks. It is difficult to imagine how any history buff could come away from Berlin feeling disappointed.
As far as arts and culture, Museum Island (or "Museumsinsel") features many famous artworks, which are housed in the Alte Nationgalerie and the Neue Nationalgalerie. You might consider looking for work by Caspar David Friedrich, a Romantic painter whose work is not found widely outside of Germany. The Berliner Philharmoniker is a well-regarded orchestra, and its performance hall is well worth a visit.
Many people do not know this, but Berlin has been infused with life and vitality by waves of immigrants, especially from Turkey. Some day when you are out walking, try a Currywurst from a street vendor (steamed or fried pork sausage with a curry-infused sauce) and check out some of the younger, more Bohemian neighborhoods, like Schoneburg, for colorful street scenes and active nightlife.