30 October 2013

Why Berlin is Europe's most talked about city

Berlin is currently the hottest destination in Europe by quite a stretch. So much that a good deal of the world’s conversation is currently – and has been for some time – devoted to singing the praises of the German capital. Either people just got back and can’t stop raving about it, or they’ve already moved there. Why? Well if you didn’t know already… 

It’s cheap as chips with curry sauce 

Compared with other global cities, Berlin is very affordable. Apartments, hotel rooms and meals out are affordable in Berlin whereas in London and Paris they’re extortionate. On average, the cost works out at about 30% less for standard holiday items such as food, drinks and accommodation.

What’s more, you don’t have to scout around to find these cheap venues. Beer isn’t just €3.50 in a few dive bars; it’s that price pretty much everywhere, even the places that look real swanky. The same goes with food. No matter how nice they look, the vast majority of cafes restaurants in Berlin are reasonably priced. Expect to pay no more than €10 for a really good meal in most places. Compared with London and Paris, this is a steal.

With so much quality and variety 

Another area where Berlin really excels is in the sheer quality of most everything. You can walk around the whole Prenzlauer Berg area, for example, and not see a single bar or eatery where you wouldn’t mind wining or dining. The kind of places which in any other city would be your favourite, but in Berlin are merely the standard. And the quality of cooking from all over the world is only matched by New York. From great tapas to abundant sushi and Vietnamese cuisine, Berlin has it all.

In hotels and apartments, the Berlin industry is so competitive and standards so high that you get relative luxury at bargain prices. On Airbnb, for example, you can rent out a whole studio apartment with a balcony for under €60 a night.

The Berlin atmosphere is second to none 

The reasonable cost of living has given Berlin a wonderful atmosphere in recent years. It doesn’t have the rushed, anxious feel of other metropolises, where people have to work themselves into the ground just to stay afloat.

The culture is one of comfort and security – ironic, given the city’s turbulent history. But it is far from boring, as it is also home to one of the most exciting art and music communities in the world, all of which is built on the back of the things mentioned above – a sense of economic and therefore social freedom.

The fact that everyone also speaks perfect English is, of course, the curry on the wurst.

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