So you’ve decided to visit Berlin. Congratulations.

Your pretentious friends went to Paris. Your haughty friends went to London. And your lost friends went to Belarus. But you decided on Berlin. You’ve probably heard that Berlin is the coolest city in the world, or that it has one of the best clubs in Europe, or that it sleeps when the sun comes up. Well, don’t believe the hype. It’s not the coolest city in the world; it’s several  of  the  coolest  cities  in  the  world.  It  doesn’t  have  one  of  the  best  clubs  in  Europe; it has 10. And to top it off, Berlin never sleeps.

Berlin’s rise began with some normal history, taken to epic heights. King Friedrich II and his identically named progeny ruled from canal-lined boulevards, built palaces like  middle-fingers  to  all  the  haters,  and  developed  Prussia  into  an  Enlightened European  powerhouse,  with  Berlin  at  the  helm.  But  after  centuries  of  captaining  Europe, Berlin went crazy in the 20th. As the seat of Hitler’s terror and with World War  II  drama  in  its  streets,  Berlin  rebooted  in  the  ’50s,  only  to  become  a  physical  manifestation of Cold War divisions. The Berlin Wall rose in 1961, slicing the city and fueling the enmity of a radical student and punk population. Ten years after the Wall crumbled in 1989, the German government decided to relocate from Bonn to Berlin. And from there, Berlin became today’s European champion of cool.

Sorry about your friends.