Berlin at a Glance
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and a city that is full of knowledge and culture, priding itself on its number of cultural and educational institutions. Berlin itself is one of Germany’s 16 federal provinces, and it is the country’s largest city in terms of area and population, with 3.4 million inhabitants. With its 31 public and private universities/ Hochschulen, wide range of social events and activities, and low cost of living, it’s no surprise that the city is home to a large number of young people: 41 percent of Berlin’s population is aged 18 to 44. And thanks to its central-European location, Berlin is quite multicultural, with 25,7% of its population having a migrant backround, many coming from Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Russia, as well as Africa and Asia. In addition, international students make up almost 15 percent of the students of Berlin’s higher education institutions.
In terms of land mass, Berlin is very large, with an area of 889 square kilometers or 343 square miles. The city is relatively flat and quite green, with many parks, woods, and nature areas. The climate tends to be warm and humid in the summer, with an average of about 25 degrees Celsius, and cold in the winter, temperatures often falling below zero Celsius and with strong winds from the East. Rain is likely anytime of the year.
Berlin, as well as the rest of Germany, is in the Central European time zone (GMT +1). The country dialing code is 49, city code is 030, and the Euro is the official currency.
Berlin.de is the city’s official website, which contains a wide range of information for both tourists and inhabitants of Berlin. Additional information can also be found from Berlin Online and Meine Stadt.
Travel to and from BerlinBerlin has two airports. Flights from within Germany and Western Europe usually arrive at the Berlin International Airport in Tegel (TXL), and most flights to and from Europe, Africa, and Asia are serviced by the Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Schönefeld (SXF). Each of the airports is accessible either by bus, S-Bahn, or U-Bahn. Information about all two airports can be found here.
Rail travel to and from Berlin within Germany, as well as from other European cities, is quite convenient. German trains are run by the Deutsche Bahn.
Travel within BerlinWithin Berlin, transportation is provided by the BVG, which runs all subway trains (U-Bahn), busses, and trams. S-Bahn, or interurban trains, also run throughout the city and to the outer suburbs. Semestertickets are available for students and valid on transportation services provided by both the BVG and the S-Bahn.
Berlin is also a very bicycle-friendly city, with paths and lanes specifically for cyclists. A route planner for bike riders is available from BBBike.