Berlin is the capital of Germany and one of the 16 states (Länder) of the Federal Republic of Germany. With a metro area population of 4.5 million and 3.5 million within the city limits, Berlin is Germany's largest city, though the Ruhr area has a larger metro area population.
Berlin is best known for being the German capital, multiculturalism and tolerance, a lively nightlife, its many cafés, clubs, and bars, street art, and numerous museums, palaces, and other sites of historic interest. Berlin's architecture is quite varied. Although badly damaged in the final years of World War II and broken apart during the Cold War, Berlin has reconstructed itself greatly, especially since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, when Potsdamer Platz was "Europe's largest building site" for a while. You can see architecure from various periods in the centre of the city: from a few medieval buildings near Alexanderplatz to the ultra-modern glass and steel structures at Potsdamer Platz. Because of its tumultuous history, Berlin remains a city with many distinctive neighbourhoods. And due to its long history as a cosmopolitan capital (first of Prussia and later of Germany) it has attracted immigrants from all over the world for more than three hundred years. Many of them have left and continue to leave a distinctive mark on the city.
Berlin can be seen as a cluster of centres. Berlin has many boroughs (Bezirke), and each borough is composed of several localities (Kiez or Viertel) — each of these boroughs and localities have their unique style. Some boroughs of Berlin are more worthy of a visitor's attention than others. Berlin used to be divided into 23 boroughs, and these boroughs are used in Wikivoyage as they remain foremost in popular conceptions of the city and are generally of a good practical size and cultural division for visitors. In January 2001, the number of boroughs was reduced from 23 to 12 for administrative purposes - mostly by fusing old boroughs together - sometimes across the former inner-Berlin border. The boroughs can roughly be grouped into six districts: Read more