“I am a Berliner” President Kennedy said in a symbolic show of solidarity with the walled-in city, and the line has become a popular historic quote associated with this fascinating German metropolis. Strictly speaking, half of the city’s residents have no more right to consider themselves native Berliners than Kennedy did. Because they have moved here lately from inside and outside Germany, and the inflow of new residents keeps growing. And who would be immune to the charms of this one-off metropolis?
Once here, people tend to stay for good, and those who leave often move back. You will discover the special character of the city wherever you go. And everybody does, including locals, now that the city is reunited: You will note the amazing diversity as you traverse Berlin from East to West, from North to South, from suburbs to trendy downtown districts, passing through historic quarters, parklands, along bodies of water too numerous to count.
Whether you are interested in history or the arts, whether you fancy nightlife action or outdoor fun – Berlin will accommodate any craving you might have. Each borough in this city of sometimes rough edges has its very own character. It is also one of the greenest cities in Germany, dotted with parks large and small that enhance the anyway high livability. On top of that, the city’s art scene and its science community play a key role in the life of the city, and make Berlin more and more attractive for young people, families, and start-up entrepreneurs. The incoming migration is growing steadily. In 2016 alone, the population of Berlin increased by 60,500 new residents, and there is no indication that the trend is about to shift.
Browsing the city’s magazines will quickly make you feel as if you were missing out on things. To be sure, it is not easy taking your pick among three opera houses, around 150 theatres, roughly 180 museums and about 440 galleries. It does not get any easier when you plan to spend time outside, because your options include lakefront, boat rides, outdoor cinemas and beer gardens, among many others. There are two zoos even, as East and West Berlin each had their own.
In addition to a richly varied culture and leisure scene, Berlin is also a cutting-edge science and research hub. A network of internationally operating institutions draws young talent and high-skilled professionals to the city whose long-term outlook is often to settle down and make Berlin their home town. Finally, there is the art and creative media scene whose members find the city their primary source of inspiration, while they themselves enrich the cityscape in unique ways.
A dense local transportation network serves the entire city area and even lends itself to day-trips into the surrounding countryside. Not least, living in Berlin remains comparatively affordable for the time being, although the rent and price levels are beginning to catch up with the other metropolises of Europe. The demographic growth fuels the keen demand for housing, specifically in the coveted inner-city locations.
In a word, Berlin is and will remain a vibrant, liveable and inspiring place to be.