Useful hints and tips for travelers in Germany
Berlin’s popularity as a tourist destination has exploded over the past decade – its young and thriving arts scene and low prices for a European metropol have made it a must-see city – but how does it stack up against the time-tested, former center of civilization? How does a weekend in Berlin compare to a tour in Rome?
When it comes to Berlin, it’s the past 100 years that have been the most tumultuous – from the Weimar Republic, through the dark chapter of Nazism, followed by 40 years as a symbolic border during the Cold War, to reunification in the early 90s. Visitors to Berlin are faced at every turn with momentous events from recent History.
Rome, on the other hand, is a much older city, and it’s history must be viewed through a much broader lens. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum – the sights of Rome date back millennia, not just centuries. One can trace the city’s changes through epochs and the past century is just a small part.
One clear advantage Berlin has over Rome is prices – the slow post-reunification recovery has kept a damper on the rising prices that cities like Paris and London have seen. While this is slowly changing with the influx of young internationals, Berlin still can lay claim to be the cheapest major Western European capital.
On the other hand, consumer prices in Rome are around 15% higher than in Berlin, and when you include rent this almost doubles. But one thing Berlin can’t lay claim to is beauty – there is plenty of beauty around the city, but on the whole, with its industrial buildings and non-existent skyline, the city doesn’t cut a great postcard. Rome, on the other hand, can compare with Paris and Prague in terms of prettiness.
On the whole, one could see it as a matter of young versus old. Berlin is a young, vibrant but incompletely developed city, while Rome has history, tradition and is less kind on your wallet.
Rome is definitely much more beautiful and interesting. Berlin is NEVER going to be even close to the Eternal City.
Rome has 3,000 years of history. A city being mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. A living Museum. The capitol city of a 1,000 year empire. The center of the world. The center of Christianity. The center of Art.
Berlin has a few cool bars but it was disappointing in every sense. It’s cold, grey and flat.