Once divided, this German city has rebuilt itself into one of Europe's most affordable, artistically vibrant cultural capitals.
Explore Mitte, a compelling mix of historically relevant sights (the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial) and cutting-edge galleries, restaurants and boutiques. Apartment takes the idea of an underground concept store to a new level. Its whitewashed main floor is completely empty, while the goods are down a spiral staircase in the all-black basement (apartmentberlin.de).
Dine at First Floor, Chef Matthias Buchholz's Michelin-starred eatery in the Hotel Palace Berlin. Seasonal menu standouts include the pot-au-feu of crayfish and sole with green curry ($42) and passion-fruit soufflé with praline ice cream ($39) (firstfloor.palace.de).
Dance until dawn in one of Berlin's famed underground clubs, such as Cookies (cook ies-club.de) or Week-end (week-end-berlin.de), which draw some of the world's best DJs.
Visit Checkpoint Charlie, the former crossing point between East and West Germany, where the remains of the Berlin wall have been replaced with skyscrapers.