Insider Guide: Best of Berlin

Long known as a city that’s always becoming, never being, Berlin is ever in a state of flux.

Filled with historic relics that mark its role as imperial capital, seedy Weimar stomp, Nazi hive, Soviet stronghold and liberal bastion of the West, Berlin's latest transformation has been from post-Wall bohemian free-for-all to culture capital with global cred and a booming tech industry.

Whether you’re here for the museums or techno saturnalia, Berlin is as fascinating as it is protean.

For anyone who knows where to look -- us, for example -- it’s also full of surprises: contemporary art in a converted Nazi bunker, Michelin-starred restaurants, the massive Little Istanbul area and a vast system of navigable waterways that allows visitors to take it all in by boat.

Wondering what to do in Berlin? Start here.


Hotel de Rome

Just off Berlin’s grand royal boulevard of Unter den Linden, the imposing Hotel de Rome is popular with visiting diplomats and politicians.

Like seemingly everything in the German capital, it has an unexpected back story: as the central bank of the German Democratic Republic, it likely played host to even more backroom deals than it does today.

In the mid-2000s, the elegant neo-Classical building was converted by British hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, a one-time playboy who decked out the former bank in imperial reds and blues, installing flat screens and black marble and filling the old vault with a swimming pool and spa.

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