From Andrew Harper

Berlin is a dynamic place, still in the process of self-reinvention a quarter-century after the collapse of its infamous Wall. Most traces of World War II have been obscured, and although vestiges of Eastern Bloc prefabricated construction (plattenbau) remain, modern economic forces are rapidly remodeling the city. The transition is most evident at Potsdamer Platz, the historic public square laid waste by Allied bombing and neglected during the Cold War, which now boasts buildings designed by some of the world’s leading architects. The Museumsinsel (Museum Island) is the cultural heart of the city, centerpieced by the Pergamon Museum, which contains an astonishing collection of classical antiquities, including the immense Pergamon Altar and Babylon’s blue-tiled Ishtar Gate.



All recommended hotels in Berlin

Berlin, Germany
Hotel Adlon Kempinski
Hotel Adlon Kempinski

Grand landmark hotel facing the Brandenburg Gate on the famous Unter den Linden promenade near many cultural and historic sights.

Hotel de Rome
Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome

Architecturally stunning luxury hotel in a converted 19th-century former bank headquarters on the historic Bebelplatz off Unter den Linden.


All recommended restaurants in Berlin


This attractive restaurant serves both French and German dishes in a dining room adorned with art nouveau mosaics. Start with oysters from the North Sea island of Sylt, then try the excellent Wiener Schnitzel with hot German potato salad, a steak or salmon. Open late, this is a particularly useful address for supper after a concert or ballet.

Französische Strasse 47, Mitte
Berlin 10117
Grill Royal

This stylish steakhouse is where Berliners go for first-rate beef. Start with some oysters, lobster bisque, fennel salad with pear and Parmesan, or salmon tartare with dill and cucumbers, then opt for the beef, which is offered in different weights and with a choice of sauces, vegetables and potatoes.

Friedrichstrasse 105B Mitte
Berlin 10117

Chef Thomas Kammeier has created a stir with his contemporary German cooking at this glamorous restaurant on the top floor of the Hotel InterContinental. His tasting menus change regularly, but run to dishes such as pan-fried sea bass with celery and caramelized whey, grilled veal fillet with oxtail tortellini and truffles, and almond soup with mandarin orange and carrot. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Budapester Strasse 2 Tiergarten
Berlin 10787

The opulent food hall on the sixth floor of this venerable department store is a terrific place for a quick lunch. Counters serve different foods, so you can opt for oysters, sushi or smoked salmon — or experiment with some 1,200 varieties of sausage and cold cuts. Closed Sunday.

Tauentzienstrasse 21-24, Schonenberg
Berlin 10789
Prices vary
Restaurant reinstoff

Chef Daniel Achilles won two Michelin stars for his Continental cooking served in a chic dining room within the renovated former workshops of the AEG electrical company. Expect unusual and dramatic dishes such as venison ham with meadow grasses, berries and shallots; ox marrow with scallop tartare, macadamia nuts and water dock leaves; and sunflower seed bread with nougat and ice cream. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Edison Höfe Schlegelstrasse 26c, Mitte
Berlin 10115
US$130 - US$200

Chef Kolja Kleeberg presents a creative Continental menu in a gleaming setting of steel, glass and slate. Representative dishes include sea bass in miso with bok choy, lotus and licorice; and crispy suckling pig with Riesling sauerkraut, potato confit and watercress. The wine list is exceptional. Closed Sunday.

Jägerstrasse 54-55 Mitte
Berlin 10117