Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.4 million people, Berlin is Germany’s largest city and is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union. Located in north-eastern Germany on the River Spree, it is the centre of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has about 4½ million residents from over 180 nations. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes.
Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media, and science, hosting 147 foreign embassies. It is home to renowned universities, research institutes, orchestras, museums, and celebrities and is host to many sporting events. Its urban setting and historical legacy have made it a popular location for international film productions. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, public transportation networks, and an extremely high quality of living.
Airport Schönefeld (SXF)
Most international flights will use the airport Berlin Schönefeld (IATA Code SXF) which is located south-east outside of Berlin. The airport is relatively small, for departure you should arrive about an hour before your flight leaves.
Airport Tegel (TXL)
Mainly domestic and European flights use airport Berlin Tegel (IATA Code TXL) which is located within Berlin, in the north-west of the city centre. The airport is quite small, for departure you should arrive about an hour before your flight leaves.
Berlin’s public transport system is composed of buses, trams, the U-Bahn (subway), the S-Bahn (light rail), Regionalbahn (RB) and Regionalexpress (RE) trains, and ferries.
The main operator, BVG, operates an information kiosk (Hardenbergplatz; 6am-10pm) outside Zoo station. Staff members hand out free route network maps and also sell tickets. For general and trip planning information, call the 24-hour hotline at 19 449 or use the online function at www.bvg.de.
For information on S-Bahn, RE and RB connections, you can also visit the Reisezentrum (Travel Centre) inside any train station, call 11 861 or 0800-150 7090 or check www.bahn.de.
The official currency in Germany is Euro.
Berlin has a continental climate, which is distinguished by large seasonal temperature fluctuations. In summer the temperature can reach over 30 degrees. However, temperatures largely range between a pleasant 15 degrees and 25 degrees from May to September.
Germany uses the same round, 2 pin sockets that are used throughout the rest of Europe. The current is 220/240 v.
Berlin is in the Central European Time Zone, i.e. it is always one hour later than Greenwich Mean Time.