Holidays in Berlin : dance, techno and museums

Berlin, the historic capital of Germany, is rich with popular tourist attractions; its metropolis is home to prestigious universities, sporting events, orchestras, museums, and film festivals. If you want a spooky glimpse of the past, go to the Brandenburg Gate, a historical landmark which used to be a symbol of Nazism and a grim reminder of the Cold War, as it was the gate in and out of East Germany.

If you love art, Berlin is a paradise of 153 museums; most of them have medieval and Renaissance collections of renowned painters, as well as some ancient artefacts. The most popular place for a cultural visit is the Museum Island, located in the northern part of the Spree island; the former is a specially designated area for several museums, which was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Here you will find paintings by the old masters, like those at the Gemaldegalerie (focused on the 13th to 18th century); on the other hand, exhibits of modern masterpieces are to be seen at Neue Nationalgalerie, another museum at the island.

For shopping, go to KaDeWe, the largest department store in continental Europe; here, upscale Berliners shop for their oysters and champagne. For some rowdy head-banging and foot-stomping fun, a cult favourite is the Love Parade, a combo street demonstration and dance party, held during the middle weekend of July. Music played at the event is predominantly electronic dance, mainly trance, house, and techno. During the parade, huge trucks carrying enormous water-cooled sound systems slowly weave their way through the city, blasting music as they go; these trucks usually represent the hottest clubs and DJs, and also feature costumed dancers. DJs are booked for the numerous parties at clubs around the city, which mark both the start and end of the parade.

Other notable cultural festivals are Jazz fest Berlin, and a multi-arts cultural gig, Berliner Festpiele. See the Old World, and experience the sights and sounds of the Post-modern age on your Berlin holiday.

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