The omicron variant has led to higher numbers of infections, which are often less severe. This is how Germany is responding to the current situation.
Access to restaurants and bars is no longer restricted to fully vaccinated people who have received a booster shot or can present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours. As a general rule, anyone arriving in Germany — whether by airplane, car, train or ship — must present either a negative test result, proof of vaccination, or documentation proving their recovery from COVID-19. Main article: What are the COVID entry rules for travelers to European countries?
COVID rules for daily life
Although case numbers remain high, most hygiene and social distancing rules have been lifted. Masks must, however, still be worn on public transport, in hospitals and nursing homes. Individual German states have the power to impose their own restrictions. It is therefore advisable to check which restrictions apply before traveling, as they can change at short notice.
You can't miss: The Berlin Wall
Be sure to check out the Berlin Wall Memorial, a 1.4 kilometer-long (0.86 mile) strip between what was once East and West Berlin. And be sure to visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a 19,000-square-meter site covered with over 2,000 concrete block arranged in a grid pattern. An underground museum lists the names of millions of Jewish Holocaust victims.
Must-see museum: The Humboldt Forum
Berlin's Humboldt Forum is certainly worth a visit. The edifice is a reconstruction of the former baroque Berlin Palace, albeit with a distinctly modern interior. Thousands of ethnological artifacts are on display here. The Jewish Museum Berlin is another must-see, presenting the history of Jews in Germany from the Middle Ages to the present day. Don't miss a visit to the rebuilt New Synagogue.
Don't miss the Museum Island and Unter den Linden
Be sure to visit the Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated on the Spree River. Here, you'll find several world-class art, history and ethnographic museums, among them the brand-new James Simon Gallery. Also consider strolling down nearby Unter den Linden boulevard, taking you past the German History Museum and Humboldt University until you reach the famous Brandenburg Gate.
Visit Berlin's oldest neighborhood
Interested in learning about the history of Berlin? Then explore the charming Nikolai Quarter in Berlin's Mitte district. Tradespeople and merchants began settling in this small neighborhood next to the river in the Middle Ages. Two towns — Berlin and Cölln — emerged and eventually linked up to become what is now Berlin.
Berlin offers plenty of culinary variety
Foodies should definitively pay a visit to Berlin's bustling Kreuzberg district, where one can find an abundance of restaurants and both indoor and outdoor markets, including Marheineke Market (pictured). For a taste of typical Berlin fast food inspired by Turkish cuisine, treat yourself to a döner kebab. Also be sure to sample Berlin's famous currywurst sausage.
Best place to enjoy music: Mauerpark
It's common to find musicians playing at Mauerpark, a narrow park in Berlin's northern Prenzlauer Berg district, which also has a flea market on Sundays — donate some money if you're enjoying the tunes. For a truly unique experience, visit Berlin's Funkhaus concert venue, a former 1950s East German broadcast center. Silent Green, a crematorium-turned-concert hall, is also worth checking out.
Best views of Berlin
The seat of German parliament, the Bundestag, boasts a publicly accessible glass dome on its roof, affording stunning views of the city center; admission is free. The surrounding area also features plenty of stylish government buildings, like the German Chancellery. More great views can be enjoyed from Berlin's 19th century Victory Column, and the famous 368-meter-tall Television Tower.
Berlin has a variety of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own character. Charlottenburg is sophisticated and chic, Kreuzberg and Neukölln are vibrant and multicultural. In Mitte (pictured) you'll find the big sights and museums. If you really want to experience the different neighborhoods, it's best to drift through the streets, observe people and work your way through the many bars and cafes.
Author Susan Bonney-Cox
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