Berlin is all things exuberant and vibrant. It is extravagant, yet affordable; cosmopolitan and forward-looking, yet steeped in a rich history. The morbid days of the Cold War and a city divided by the Wall are long forgotten, and the reunified capital beats fast as the heart of Germany. Berlin was the stage for some events that not only shaped world history but were revolutionary in themselves—headquartered by the Nazis, bombed by the Allied forces, partitioned, and reunited only recently. Far from being anguished by its turbulent 20th-century history, the capital has resurrected itself as one of Europe's most stirring cities.
A covetable creative hub, characterized by the city's multicultural population and with a hedonistic nightlife that is clearly the most liberal, Berlin is a trendsetter. Although the city has moved on, the scars of the past remain in the remnants of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Prussian Palace, and the very room where Hitler planned the Holocaust. Berlin's music scene has also been nurtured over the years, with the likes of Lou Reed and David Bowie hailing from this city. And if you thought this was it, Einstein and Marx also call Berlin home. What is wonderful about the city is that, even with its throbbing nightlife, chic boutiques, and rapid economic growth, the German capital is unpretentious, unassuming, and, for the most part, laid-back.