Photo: Bebelplatz

A bicyclist pedals past Berlin’s Alte Bibliothek—Old Library—on Bebelplatz. Built in the late 1700s to house the Royal Book Collection, the library was almost destroyed in 1945, and rebuilt in the 1960s.

Photograph by Stefano Amantini/Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis

Berlin has had a more wrenching history than most cities on Earth. It’s been ravaged by war, enslaved by fascism, bisected during the Cold War, and rejoined at the fall of the Wall. Out of such chaos has grown a city that’s adaptable in the extreme. Its waves of immigrants, expats, and creatives ensure that tolerance is its greatest value. Nightlife and partying here are akin to religious rites, and new trends emerge 24/7. But Berlin is also a place of incredible beauty in its forests, rivers, and historical sites. Culture blossoms everywhere, and dining is an international smorgasbord. You’ll find any version of Berlin you envision and, in the process, perhaps find a new version of yourself.

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