In this review edition of ITB Berlin News we take a glance in the rear-vision mirror at the four “Where to Go” features – from our preview edition and three live editions at the show.
LURING WITH DIVERSITY AND CULTURAL WEALTH
It all begins with a message from Berlin’s Governing Mayor, Michael Müller, welcoming ITB Berlin guests and giving insight into the German capital’s growing renown as a major tourism hub.
ITB Berlin 2018 marks the start of another big year for one of Europe’s premier’s tourist destinations. Berlin’s tourism authority has unveiled a “2018+” concept that aims at attracting higher-end travellers to the German capital. There’s a view that visitors who come to enjoy the cultural attractions stay longer in the city – and spend more money. The idea is to attract “quality tourism” via a new marketing strategy in addition to a new city navigation system and new tourist routes. In recent years, Berlin has become one of the top travel destinations in terms of international city tourism. The number of overnight stays in the German capital has almost doubled in the last ten years. Meanwhile, more than 30 million guests spend the night in Berlin annually. Thus, tourism is one of the most important economic drivers for the German capital.
WANDERING KREUZBERG BY DAY
The Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie are the city’s most famous sites but the real Berlin is found in polyglot backstreets and neighbourhoods; this time in the district of Kreuzberg. The once workingclass and now sought-after Kreuzberg district is known for its diverse people, its international restaurants and cafes, and of course its all-night clubs and bars. To best appreciate the areas peculiar charm, its best to stroll around its very different neighbourhoods. To start your day in Kreuzberg, head to the neighbourhood cut by Graefe Strasse and flanked by the Landwehr Canal, where you wander rustic oak-lined boulevards ringing with bicycle bells and overhung with pretty flowering tenement balconies.
FRIEDRICHSHAIN: ON THE BORDER OF EAST AND WEST
Along the Spree river from Mitte, Friedrichshain is another former East Berlin district that has become a hub for visitors who want to explore both the city’s compelling past and inspiring present. Known for its classic Soviet-inspired architecture on Karl-Marx-Allee, or its famous Sunday market on Boxhagener Platz – part of a vibrant, upcoming neighbourhood jammed with bars and restaurants – Friedrichhain’s landmark is the turreted Oberbaum Bridge that crosses Berlin’s major river.
NEUKÖLLN: A MELTING POT WITH A FASCINATING PAST
Berlin’s most multicultural district is home to around 180 nationalities and an equal diversity of sights and sounds. The vibrant district of Neukölln is famed for its pan-Arabic and Turkish culture and cuisine, and its international newcomers, but partly began as a home to Bohemian protestants fleeing persecution. The remains of its 300-year-old Bohemian village of Rixdorf can be seen around Richardsplatz, a large historical square that hosts a legendary annual Christmas market. Here you can find some of the oldest architecture in Berlin, along with a number of traditional German eateries like Villa Rixdorf (Richardplatz 6), which serves up Berlin specialities like “Eisbein”, or pickled pork knuckle.