Berlin celebrates the fall of the wall
Berlin is nearing a landmark anniversary in the both city’s history and East-West relations and is inviting tourists to be on hand with throngs of locals to mark it.
Nov. 9 will mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and events will be staged throughout the city from Nov. 4-10, says Burkhard Kieker, CEO of Visit Berlin.
Over a million people are expected to gather on Nov. 9 for different Berlin Wall-related events.
The collapse of the fortified barrier paved the way for the reunification of Berlin, with visitors today able to still see the likes of Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing point between East and West Berlin that recalls the separation of the city, with those in the East often risking their lives to escape into West Berlin.
Kieker told a Toronto gathering that Berlin has gone from a “walled city to a world city…Thirty years later, Berlin is back as a really vibrant city, a city for young people.”
Berlin’s popularity with travellers has eclipsed Rome’s, which sees some 28 million yearly visitors, compared to Berlin’s 34 million.
Kieker said Berlin has seen tumultuous times politically but has now become a “city of freedom” where you “can live like you want” provided you don’t break any laws.
Over 10,000 artists have ateliers in Berlin, he continued.
Kirsten Schmidt, Visit Berlin’s North American representative, in turn said Berlin’s flourishing cultural scene includes over 180 museums and the city has become a “culinary hotspot” that’s home to over 15,000 bars and is the “vegan and vegetarian capital of Europe.”
The city has nearly 150,000 hotels beds and is “quite affordable when compared to London and Paris,” she added.