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Best of Berlin

Berlin may be a city with a troubled past, but it now stands proud amongst other European capital cities as a landmark of modern art and architecture, as host of the finest classical and contemporary music events and the city of modern culture. Follow our recommendations for making the most of this fantastic city and make it your destination for a week-long holiday or fly-over visit during a weekend this Summer.

For a sense of adventure, travel to the capital on the Eurostar service to Paris, before taking the overnight sleeper onwards to Berlin. On arrival, be sure to pause for a few minutes to enjoy the incredible architecture of the Hauptbahnhof, the cities main train station, with it's 1,200ft long arch made of glass and steel. Within walking distance is the Reichstag, the rebuilt Parliament building, topped with a striking glass dome created by British architect Norman Foster.

For a great panoramic view across the city, try the top of the Kollhoff-Tower in Potsdamer Platz, called the 'Panoramapunkt'. Standing at 25-storey's tall, be sure to get the lift to the top, which claims to be the fastest in Europe. For art-lovers, check out the Martin-Gropius-Bau exhibition hall, which is currently featuring works by Frida Kahlo until the 9th August. For less high-brow - or should that be uni-brow - art, head to 'Sandsation', the international sand sculptupre festival at the O2 World Arena.

If you have time, and patience enough to find cheap tickets, head to the Philharmonie concert hall, where performances by the Berlin Philharmonic is conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Finally, for a more sober end to your stay, take in the various sites and memorials dedicated to the Second World War, including the 'Topography of Terror' open-air memorial depicting Gestapo atrocities, or Peter Eiseman's Holocaust Memorial of grey tomb-stones representing pages from the Jewish book of law, the Talmud.

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