I can’t say I know Berlin like the back of my hand, but I’m no stranger to this city either. I already have some favorite spots and things I like to do here, but I also feel I still have so much to discover and do. I know some interesting facts about this wonderful city, those I read on my travel guide when we came here the first time, back in 2010, those I picked up on our first guided tour around the city, and those I’m learning by living here.
Still, Berlin is so big, so diverse and there’s so much happening that sometimes I still feel like a tourist, searching for more interesting facts about the city I love so much.
And so, with a never ending thirst for knowledge and from the confort of my couch, I searched the web and gathered 10 interesting facts about Berlin I still didn’t know.
1. BERLIN IS BIG, VERY BIG!
2. OH SO MANY BRIDGES…
3. BERLIN LIKES OPERA
It is the only city in the world with three active opera houses: the Berliner Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Komische Oper Berlin.
4. YAY FOR GREEN!
Berlin is Germany’s greenest city: About 44% of Berlin is made up of parks, recreational areas, woods and rivers. All together, there are 2,500 of these public green spaces.
5. BERLIN LOVES PEOPLE
It is the most multi-cultural city in Germany. Its 3.5 million inhabitants include over 470,000 residents with foreign passports. People from over 184 nations are long-term residents in the city.
The first set of traffic lights in Europe was put into service in Potsdamer Platz in 1924.
7. BUT ALSO INFLUENCED BY OTHERS
The Berlin dialect was largely influenced by the Huguenots in the late 17th century. A few words of French origin are: “Budike” (pub/shop), “Boulette” (meatballs), “Roulade” (rolled meat slices) and “Destille” (pub). However other linguistic influences, e.g. Hebrew (via Yiddish) have left their audible mark in expressions like “Ganove” (crook) or “Macke” (quirk).
8. THE LARGEST TRAIN STATION IN EUROPE
With the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), the city has become a proper central rail hub for the first time in its history.
9. AND ALSO THE BEST KEBAPS!
There are more Döner Kebap shops here than in Istanbul. No less than 1,600 places are selling this delicious Turkish snack. In fact, the Döner Kebap was invented in the city!
10. I’M POPULAR!
Not that I wanted to be famous, but ok 😉 Lena is one of the most popular girl’s names in the city I now call home.
I had so much fun looking for things I didn’t know about my city! I know a lot more interesting facts about it and some day I’ll share them too with you. Did you know any of these 10 facts about Berlin? Or do you know some I didn’t share here? Let me know.
Note: Both Illustrations by Selina Bauer.