If you have seen my latest posts on my blog and Instagram, you’d know already that I fell in love with Berlin. I didn’t like my time in Berlin when it was my first visit, but the second time was shockingly good.

While I was in Berlin, I noticed some interesting things about this city and started penning them down. Later I found some more interesting facts about this city on the internet and Reddit forums (because I’m a total travel nerd) and wanted to share them with you.

So, if you already didn’t know, Berlin is a city rich in history, culture, and quirks. It was divided in two after World War II into East Berlin and West Berlin and that’s when the infamous Berlin Wall was erected.

This was formerly East Berlin
This was formerly East Berlin

During the Cold War, the Berlin Wall was over 140 kilometers long. The fall of the Berlin Wall occurred in 1989 and the German unification happened in 1990. Today, only a few sections of the wall remain as memorials.

As a result, Berlin’s culture has evolved into a unique blend of international, trendsetter, diverse, and quirky. Today Berlin is once again the German capital. It is also Germany’s largest city not just in area, but also in population.

Planning a last-minute trip to Berlin and don’t have a lot of time to research?

Here’s what to book in Berlin:

Berlin Hotels:

Here are some interesting facts about Berlin, the capital of Germany, that you will enjoy reading about.

1) Ampelmännchen

Berlin Ampelmännchen - Pedestrian Light
Berlin Ampelmännchen – Pedestrian Light

Now this is something you probably won’t see anywhere except in Berlin. When you have to cross a road in Berlin and wait for the green pedestrian light, you will notice something different. There aren’t the typical red and green stick figures!

Berlin has its own unique traffic lights featuring a little person walking or standing. These are called Ampelmännchen, which literally translates to “little traffic light men.” They’re so beloved that you can find them on merchandise everywhere.

2) Currywurst Capital

Just as Fish’N’Chips is for London, Currywurst is for Berlin. This simple dish that’s usually served on paper plates is Berlin’s pride. It is nothing but a sausage cut up with ketchup and curry powder on top.

This is also one of the things that emerged after World War 2 when the locals were building the devastated city’s food scene.

As an Indian, I found the whole concept super funny but hey, Berlin takes its currywurst seriously. Berlin even has a museum dedicated to it!

3) East Side Gallery is the Longest Open-air gallery in the World

The Kiss - East Side Gallery in Berlin
The Fraternal Kiss – East Side Gallery in Berlin

My first post on my website about Berlin was about the East Side Gallery, which is the longest open-air art gallery in the world and is free. It is artwork on the east side of the remains of the Berlin Wall.

The most famous artwork here is “The Kiss” or “The Fraternal Kiss” so of course I had to get a photo there.

4) Berlin’s Techno culture is recognized by UNESCO

On our way to a Techno Party in Berlin
On our way to a Techno Party in Berlin

Berlin has one of the best nightlife scenes in the world with iconic clubs, bars, and music venues. What makes Berlin’s nightlife scene unique is its Techno culture, which as of 2024, is on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Techno wasn’t invented in Berlin but in Detroit. Nonetheless, Berlin played a significant role in techno music’s emergence.

So, if you enjoy all-night parties then try Berlin’s techno culture and create some memories. For a full list of suggested techno clubs and how to get in, check my Berlin nightlife post.

5) Germany’s Most Dog-Friendly City

Berlin is a dog’s paradise! It has been voted as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the world many times. Not only is it the most dog-friendly city in Germany, but it also boasts a surprising dog population.

There are more dogs in Berlin than are registered, leading some to joke that the city should be renamed “Wuffington” (woof for a dog’s bark).

6) Berlin Has More Bridges Than Venice

Moltkebrücke to Spreebogenpark, Berlin
Moltkebrücke to Spreebogenpark, Berlin

Believe it or not, Berlin has more bridges than Venice. Over 1,000 bridges crisscross the city’s waterways and Spree River, making it a dream for anyone who loves clicking photos on bridges (I do too).

Some say the number is 1000 and others say it is over 2000 because it depends on what kind of bridges they are counting.

And no, Berlin doesn’t have the most number of bridges in the world, that title goes to Hamburg, another amazing city in Germany.

7) Berlin Underworld: Network of Tunnels

Berlin has a saying: “Above ground is Berlin, below ground is another city.”  This refers to the vast network of tunnels and underground spaces beneath the city.

The city’s network of tunnels, often referred to as the Berlin Underworld, holds significant historical and cultural importance. Some of these tunnels are abandoned Cold War bunkers, while others are remnants of its WWII past.  

There’s even a saying that for every Berliner above ground, there’s another kilometer of tunnels below!

8) Voted the Best Public Transit in the World by CNN

Berlin's S-Bahn and U-Bahns are awesome
Berlin’s S-Bahn and U-Bahns are awesome

What’s the best way to judge how developed a city is? By looking at its public transport. In April 2023, CNN named Berlin on top of the list of the World’s best cities for public transit, above that of Tokyo, Singapore, and Amsterdam.

I noticed it even in 2018 when I didn’t enjoy my visit to Berlin, but at least the public transport was super simple and effective.

Berlin’s public transportation system, known as the BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), is not just efficient, reliable, and extensive but also affordable. It includes buses, trams, U-Bahn (subway), S-Bahn (suburban trains), and ferries, providing comprehensive coverage throughout the city and its surrounding areas.

9) Berlin’s Symbol is Bear

White Bear with Brandenburg Gate in the background
White Bear with Brandenburg Gate in the background via Unsplash

The bear has long been associated with the city of Berlin, serving as its symbol for centuries. The earliest recorded use of the bear as a symbol for Berlin dates back to the 13th century.

Legend has it that the city’s founder, Albert the Bear (Albrecht der Bär), chose the bear as a symbol for his coat of arms. This connection between the city and the bear has persisted throughout its history.

The bear is prominently featured on Berlin’s coat of arms, which has evolved over time but has consistently included a bear.

However, the last wild bear in the city was shot in 1838.  The bear has become deeply ingrained in Berlin’s culture and identity. It is celebrated in various forms, including statues, sculptures, and mascots.

The most famous bear in Berlin is perhaps the Berlin Bear, a large sculpture located in Tiergarten Park, which has become a beloved landmark and tourist attraction.

10) Spätis for Night Owls

I mentioned in my living in Germany post about how it isn’t possible to buy even the basics after hours or on Sundays but things are different in Berlin.

Berlin is famous for its late-night culture. The city is dotted with over 8,000 Spätis, little convenience stores that stay open late, ensuring you can always find a snack or drink no matter the hour.

The “Spätis” began in East Germany to cater to the needs of late-night workers. Personally, I’m a night owl too and I wish I lived in Berlin because of the late-night culture and Spätis.

11) One of the Highest Number of Museums

Museumsinsel, Berlin, Germany with UNESCO world heritage sites
Museumsinsel, Berlin, Germany with UNESCO World Heritage sites VIA Unsplash

Berlin has over 170 museums, including the famous Museum Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This city has even more museums than Amsterdam, which is already famous for its museums.

Berlin has a rich cultural heritage and a plethora of museums showcasing its history, art, and culture. The city’s museum landscape includes institutions such as the Pergamon Museum, the DDR Museum, the Jewish Museum Berlin, and the Berlinische Galerie.

If you are visiting Berlin, then visiting one of the museums that’s a UNESCO World Heritage site is a perfect idea for rainy days.

12) Berlin is a Start-Up Hub

Berlin has become a major hub for European tech start-ups in recent years. It has a vibrant and diverse tech ecosystem, with a growing number of startups, tech companies, and entrepreneurial talent.

The city is home to numerous incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, and startup support organizations that foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

Berlin attracts entrepreneurs from around the world because of its relatively low costs of living and its reputation as a cultural and creative hub. The city’s dynamic arts scene, nightlife, and diverse communities contribute to its unique entrepreneurial culture and creative energy.

13) TV Tower (Die Fernsehturm) is the Tallest Structure in Germany

Berlin Fernsehturm - TV Tower
Berlin Fernsehturm – TV Tower via Unsplash

Berlin’s TV Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city. It is the tallest structure in Germany and also the tallest building in Europe that is open to the general public. This tower’s height is 368 meters and is a must-see sight.

The Fernsehturm was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) as a symbol of communist power and technological prowess.


Berlin Fernsehturm has a viewing platform at 203 meters and a revolving restaurant at 207 meters.

14) Döner Kebab was invented here

Döner Kebab in Berlin
Döner Kebab in Berlin via Pixabay

We all have heard of the Turkish döner kebabs, but did you know that doner as we know it today was created, and first called with this name in Berlin?

They are from Istanbul but the modern version of meat cooked on rotisserie sandwiched between Pita was popularized by Turkish immigrants in the 1970s in West Berlin and it became a rage.

If you are in Berlin, you have got to try a typical doner kebab. After all, Berliners devour an estimated 950 doner kebabs every day!

15) John F. Kennedy’s speech, “Ich bin ein Berliner”

John F. Kennedy’s speech with the famous line “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) is one of the most iconic moments in Cold War history.

By proclaiming “Ich bin ein Berliner,” Kennedy expressed solidarity with the people of West Berlin and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to defending the city’s freedom and standing against the threat of communism.

During his speech, his pronunciation of “Ich bin ein Berliner” was mostly correct but is often misquoted and wrongly portrayed to make it funny. Because of that, there is a misconception that Kennedy accidentally said that he was a “Berliner”, which is a kind of German doughnut with jam filling.

16) Berlin is Diverse and Tolerant

Christopher street day Berlin
Christopher Street Day Berlin via Pixabay

I have never seen a city so diverse and tolerant as Berlin. You can be of any color, any gender, be a man who dresses like a woman, or be openly different in every way, no one will even bat an eyelid and you would be treated with equal respect.

Berlin has long been a melting pot of cultures, attracting people from around the world. Somehow over the years, it has emerged as a city that’s proud of its diversity and tolerance. It is known for being open-minded and accepting of different lifestyles, beliefs, and identities.

Berlin also has a large LGBTQ+ community and hosts one of the biggest Pride celebrations in Europe, the Christopher Street Day parade.

17) Bicycle-Friendly

Berlin is Bicycle Friendly
Berlin is bicycle-friendly via Unsplash

We all know that Amsterdam is bicycle-friendly, but not many talk about Berlin being so. Berlin has been steadily improving its cycling infrastructure in recent years, with dedicated bike lanes, bike-sharing schemes, and bike-friendly policies.

The city’s flat terrain and wide streets make it conducive to cycling, and initiatives such as “Berlin Bike Week” promote cycling culture and advocacy. Cycling is a popular way to get around and explore Berlin. There are plenty of bike rental services available too.

18) Berlin is 9 Times the Size of Paris & 15 Times the Size of Frankfurt

I did say Berlin is massive but did you expect is to be this big? Yes, it is 9 times the size of Paris and 15 times the size of Frankfurt. It covers a total area of around 891 square kilometers (344 square miles) within its city limits.

The only other two cities in Europe that are bigger than Berlin are Istanbul and Moscow.

19) Berlin Has Many Green Spaces

Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin
Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin via Unsplash

Despite being a bustling metropolis, Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe, with about 44% of its area covered with green spaces – parks, forests, and gardens. Some of these green spaces are located on the banks of the Spree, like Spreebogenpark.

Berlin’s iconic green spaces include Tiergarten, Berlin Zoological Garden, Tempelhofer Feld, and Grunewald Forest.

Berlin has a thriving urban farming and community garden scene, where residents cultivate fruits, vegetables, and herbs in shared green spaces. These initiatives promote local food production, biodiversity, and community engagement.

20) Berlin’s Street Art is Iconic

That face - East Side Gallery in Berlin
That face – East Side Gallery in Berlin

Berlin’s streets, walls, and buildings serve as a canvas for street artists to create large-scale murals, graffiti, and installations. Neighborhoods such as Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, and Neukölln are particularly known for their abundance of street art, with colorful pieces adorning walls, alleys, and abandoned buildings.

Remember I mentioned the East Side Gallery with murals? The city’s street art has deep roots in the city’s tumultuous history, including the division of East and West Berlin during the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

21) KaDeWe – Largest Department Store in Germany

Kaufhaus des Westens or KaDeWe in Berlin
Kaufhaus des Westens or KaDeWe in Berlin via Unsplash

Kaufhaus des Westens, commonly known as KaDeWe is one of the largest department stores in Europe, spanning over 60,000 square meters (approximately 650,000 square feet) of retail space.

What Galeries Lafayette is to Paris, KaDeWe is to Berlin. Its vast size allows it to offer an extensive selection of products across various categories, from fashion and beauty to home goods and gourmet food.

KaDeWe has a rich history dating back to its opening in 1907. It quickly became an emblem of Berlin’s prosperity and sophistication during the early 20th century. Surviving two world wars and the division of the city during the Cold War, KaDeWe has endured as a symbol of resilience and continuity in Berlin.

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love to read interesting facts about my favorite travel destinations. I wrote a similar post about Hamburg a while back too and another one about Serbia.

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