Berlin is the city for the traveler; it is young, multicultural and still finding its feet as the coolest destination in Europe. The twenty five years following the fall of the Berlin wall have been kind to the city; with its growth surging. Berlin’s atmosphere is now an effortless blend of business and pleasure. Its cool wide streets, uncomplicated public transport and a seemingly small amount of motor vehicle traffic give the impression of a city in control and ahead of schedule, with time and money to spare on investing in growing and sowing the seeds of culture. The contemporary feel and atmosphere, combined with relatively low living costs has seen writers, artists, musicians and entrepreneurs flocking to the city and the result is astounding. Berlin is now a truly global adventure full of wild ideas, culture, and sophistication.
Hoopurbia is the world’s first urban hula hooping festival. Hoopurbia transforms a different city into an artistic, innovative and creative hub for six days of each year, inviting the world’s most dedicated hoop dancers, artists and musicians to co-create and collaborate in advancing hoop dance as a modern form using the city’s culture, history and architecture as inspiration. This year was Berlin’s turn, and the festival took to the streets with bright colours and energy, taking the last quarter of a decade as inspiration to showcase its mesmerising art pieces. Being only in its third year Hoopurbia is creating its own history, however the hoop dance has a long cultural past beginning with the Native Americans and the ancient process of storytelling through the weaving of shapes and colour in hoop dance. Hoopurbia is inspired by this tradition, though the festival incorporates many aspects of contemporary dance and ballet. The focus on the city is a driving aspect of the festival, reflecting and working with the city’s artists, and using the urban and often industrial spaces to build highly creative sequences, forms and themes.
Berlin was chosen by Hoopurbia for its diversity, with this trend of creativity and innovation continuing on the streets with graffiti and street art giving colour and identity to residential and commercial areas. The buildings in Berlin seem to imply and signify more here too, with the city’s history of propaganda, democracy in capitalism, and art; the urban form is a reflection of society and thus representing both a timeline and a culture. Walking on foot is then very rewarding, taking in the sights such as the Berlin TV tower, the Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburg Gate; also walking the 1.3kms that make up the East Side Gallery, the largest open air gallery in the world. The gallery is an international memorial for freedom with over 100 striking murals decorating what was once the city’s divide; some are quotes, some are paintings, and each tells a story of history, politics, and hope.
The melting pot of art, fashion, design and music is what makes Berlin the coolest city in Europe and a top destination for travelers. For Berlin though, this label of ‘cool’ is open to change and innovation. Berlin is currently riding a wave of self discovery, the wave that New York rode in the 1980s, and the wave that some of London excitedly refuses to stop riding. The city’s creativeness, exploration and venture provide it with the capability of further cultural revolution and further opportunity to change its own perceptions.
Riding the wave of self discovery, the city is shepherding in a stream of exciting contemporary art forms. Now is the time to visit Berlin, what are you waiting for?
What sort of vibrance does Berlin bring to Europe?