Berlin, Germany is the capital city and a single state of the Federal Republic of Germany.
It is the country's largest city in area and population, and the second most populous city in the European Union. Berlin is located in eastern Germany, about 70 kilometers west of the border with Poland.
Berlin pulses with life; it is a city that never sleeps. The capital of Germany is paved with cobbled streets dating back 750 years. At the same time, it is gloriously modern. For nearly 30 years, Berlin was really two cities: East and West Berlin, with a wall in between that was meant to be impenetrable. In 1989 all that changed. The wall came down, and the two parts of the city were reunited. In the years since 1989, Berlin has been not only reborn, but reinvented.
The speed of change has been astounding, with the city’s entire center of gravity shifting from west to east. The action ( sights, restaurants and nightlife) is now found in eastern Berlin. It’s an exciting scene and, for anyone familiar with the eastern streets of a few years ago, a slightly unbelievable one. Much of the new city is already in place: parliament sits in the renovated Reichstag; Potsdamer Platz, once leveled to a field in the Wall’s death zone, is now a bustling quarter with 110 new shops, 30 restaurants, a theater, a film museum, and a casino; and the city’s world-class collection of European art has been reunited in the Gemäldegalerie.
One of the most popular activities in Berlin is river cruising. Tourist boats cruise the city's waterways, stopping at picturesque parks and castles. The city of Berlin lies in the middle of the state of Brandenburg, just a few miles from countless lakes, historical castles, stately homes, abbeys, heaths, pine forests, river valleys and tree-lined country roads. Few cities have such a wealth of unspoiled natural and cultural attractions in the direct vicinity. Berlin is linked to its surrounding areas both by the Spree and Havel rivers and by their common historical heritage, reflected in the many fascinating sights.
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