Featured city: BERLIN–Flashpacker Central

Berlin Skyline

BERLIN is Germany’s capital and largest city and is documented from the 13th century.  It was the capital of Prussia before becoming the capital of a united, then redivided, Germany.  The city as well as the country was divided of course, and nothing was a better symbol of the Cold War than the isolated enclave of West Berlin struggling to survive while surrounded by Communist East Germany.  With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the eventual reunification of the country (a fact which never ceases to amaze me), Berlin resumed its role as the country’s undivided capital, and party central.  That’s party party, not Communist party.

Berlin is famous for its museums, including the DahlemMuseum complex in Dahlem district, the EgyptianMuseum, the new National Gallery and Museum of Arts and Crafts, the Brucke-Museum, the BerlinMuseum and the museum of Transport and Technology, for starters.  Other landmarks include the Berlin Wall, of course, or at least what’s left of it, and the controversially restored Reichstag building—Hitler’s old stomping grounds.

Then there are the Philharmonic Hall, the New National Gallery of modern art, the Hall for Chamber Music, the Charlottenburg Palace, St. Nicholas Church, Palace of the Republic, the Church of Mary, Town Hall, St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, Brandenburg Gate, and Museum Island, with its healthy handful of monuments to knowledge.

But you know all that.  Did you know that Berlin is also (almost) the largest concentration of backpackers’ hostels in the western world?  You heard it here first.  Hostels here are pretty good, too.  Kitchens are optional, though, and breakfasts will usually cost you bucks, though the many that have restaurants means that other meals are available also, not to mention beer.  Metropol Hostel is one of our partner hostels there, with rates starting at $18 a bed, with bar and cafe, parking, and it’s wheel-chair accessible.  Sounds good to me.

It’s all written up in ‘Backpackers & Flashpackers in Western Europe’ available online now.  Berlin will also be included in the upcoming edition of ‘1000 Hostels in North Europe’ due to be published in October 2013.  Stay tuned.