Berlin, Germany is a cultural city that has a population of about 3.4 million people. Just a couple decades ago it was probably unimaginable that more than 100,000 events would be held in Berlin – including 14,500 business events each year in the German capital. And future growth is expected.

Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the unified Berlin has built modern buildings and upscale hotels, and new shopping and tourism destinations have replaced stark neighborhoods. Berlin continues to reinvent itself while maintaining a respect for its troubled history. The speed of change was amazing, and perhaps this is why Berlin is now chosen to host large and small business events. Meetings account for nearly 1/3 of all business travel and conventions account for about 16%. This, according to data from the Berlin Convention Office.

While 80% of Berlin’s business travelers are from within Germany itself, international business travelers tend to come from the United Kingdom, USA, Spain and France. ITB, a leading travel trade show, is hosted at the Messe Berlin. And those who attend Meeting Place Berlin, a program hosted bi-annually by the Berlin Convention Office, gain an opportunity to see some of Berlin’s business travel highlights.

Hotels in Berlin

The Berlin region includes more than 650 hotels and 97,000 hotel rooms. The city of Berlin includes more than 160 hotels and six convention centers and halls. Most business meetings and events that are scheduled in Berlin – roughly 83% – are hosted at one of Berlin’s business hotels. The average visitor’s trip is 2.2 nights.

Three business hotels located in Berlin include:

  • Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin
  • Hilton Berlin
  • InterContinental Berlin

Other popular business travel hotels in Berlin include Hotel Palace Berlin and Ritz Carlton Berlin.

Things to do in Berlin

Berlin offers 6,000 restaurants (and places to cater events), three major shopping districts (Kurfürstendamm, Friedrichstraße and Potsdamer Platz), boutiques and galleries, 175 museums, 135 theaters and stages, and 135 unusual venues. Berlin is a green city, and Berliners enjoy incorporating outdoor activities as part of their routines.

One of the most popular activities in Berlin is river cruising. Tourist boats cruise the city’s waterways, stopping at picturesque parks and castles. Official government ceremonies and events are frequently held at Brandenburg Gate, built in the late 1700s to serve as the formal entry into Berlin. It is located west of the city center.

For those searching for a unique venue for an evening event in Berlin, consider the Goya Berlin, formerly a 1920s theater that now serves as a nightclub. This is definitely a unique venue available for private hire for evening receptions. For a more relaxed evening, open air concerts are popular among Berliners, so you may wish to consider group tickets to a Classic Open Air Concert at the Gendamenmarkt).

Berlin Business Information

With its echoes of regional architecture, Berlin Brandenburg International will clearly find its place in the region near the German capital when it opens in 2011.
Photo: © gmp Architekten, JSK International, Visualisierung: Björn Rolle/Berlin Airports

The German capital is a mix of modern and historic buildings, and many are used to host meetings and events. A fresh vibrancy is everywhere. Berlin Brandenburg International airport continues to be delayed, but is eventually intended to consolidate Berlin’s current three airports. Berlin Hauptbahnhof is Berlin’s main train station, and considered the largest and most modern crossing station in Europe – opened in 2006 and offers connections throughout Germany.

Updated. Initially published August 15, 2010.