Berlin was the second city we visited on our first Europe trip in 2009. It looked very familiar to us, with its Russian-style concrete apartments; however as soon as we crossed over to the western side, we noticed a big change in the city’s design – it was definitely more modern (see picture below of a white building, as an example). Another thing we noticed about Germany is that there were a lot of Russian-speaking people in Berlin; I am sure the history behind the Germany-Russia relations contributed to that fact, but there were plenty of people who spoke English, or at least made a genuine effort to understand us, which made it easy to navigate through the city.
We were supposed to spend 3 days in Berlin, but because we missed our flight out of Paris, we didn’t get to Germany until late evening, so we missed out on a whole day of exploring. The next 2 days we spent visiting the Berlin Wall, enjoying plenty of Bratwurst, and going up and down the Spree.