Spotlight on Berlin

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(Photo courtesy of visitBerlin.)
(Photo courtesy of visitBerlin.)

Berlin has joined the ranks with cities such as Paris and London becoming one of the fast growing destinations in Europe.

Ranking No. 3 (London ranks No.1 and Paris is No. 2) among top destinations in Europe for overnight stays, which increased 11.4 percent in 2012 according to a study by European Cities Marketing, Berlin has become a hotspot for tourism in Europe.

While Berlin features top museums, galleries and shopping, the city also hosts a number of festivals focusing on art and music. Berlin Music Week, for example, is an event catering to music professionals and music lovers, and will take place Sept. 4-8 featuring conferences, clubbing events and live concerts with more than 80 bands on 10 stages. In addition, Berlin Art Week will return for a second year, taking place Sept. 17-22, with two trade fairs—art berlin contemporary and Preview Berlin Art Fair—aiming to put Berlin on the “international cultural calendar” by bringing together art collectors, artists and art institutions, such as a joint exhibit by the Neue Nationalgalerie, the Kunstwerke and the Berlinische Galerie.

Along with festivals and events, the city also blossoms in the summer with its numerous parks and public spaces offering activities such as free open-air cinema in the Kulturfabrik, Volkspark Friedrichshain, Kurpark Friedrichshagen and other locations around town.

If your clients are looking to explore the city by bike—a common way to see Berlin in the warmer months—they can embark on one of the many trails throughout the city, such as the Berlin Wall Trail, which traces the entire former wall, or the Cycling Tour through the City Centre, which runs through the Lietzenseepark, and past Charlottenburg Palace and the Deutsche Oper Berlin opera house.

Another way travelers can tour the city is with Context on its new family walking tour, City of Two Tales. The “walking seminar” takes families to  the East Side Galley, the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall, and the Palace of Tears in Friedrichstrasse, showcasing Berlin during the Cold War. The tour, which is led by an expert and capped at six people, is $359 per family party. For more information, visit

For travelers visiting the city, recommend a stay at the new Design Hotels property Das Stue, which opened in December in Tiergarten Park near the Berlin Zoo.

The 80-room property features five room categories, including three types of suites, with contemporary designs, balconies, terraces, and high ceilings. Your client can even get a room overlooking the zoo. The hotel also features the restaurant 5-cinco by Paco Perez, the four-time Michelin-starred chef, as well as Stue Bar overlooking the zoo, and the Susanne Kaufmann Spa at Das Stue, which offers holistic beauty care such as anti-aging facials.

When travelers book two rooms at Das Stue, they can get the second room half-off for children up to age 16. The hotel also offers free breakfast for children up to 6 years old, and half-off breakfast for children 7 to 12 years old. The offer is available now through Aug. 31, and agents earn 12 percent commission. For more information, visit

Travelers heading to Berlin from New York can take advantage of additional flights from airberlin, which has added one more flight per week from New York to Berlin for the winter schedule, which runs Nov. 1 through April 30, 2014.

For more on Berlin, visit