I spent my first weekend in Germany with five friends in Berlin, and we had a wunderbar time. In addition to its history, Berlin is known for its fun nightlife, and we did our best to experience both aspects of the city (although we didn't make it to the fetish club-maybe next time). We saw the Reichstag building, which houses Germany's parliament, and the huge and impressive Brandenburg gate- the chariot on top was stolen by Napoleon in 1806, brought to Paris, and was restored to Berlin after Napoleon's defeat in 1814. We proceeded through the gate into the former East Berlin and stopped at the Pergamon museum that contains archeological treasures including the altar of Pergamon (we're sitting on its steps in the photo) and my favorite, the Ishtar Gate- an enormous structure made of blue tile that once stood at the entrance to Babylon.
Once we finished our Berlin field trip, we bopped around the bars and restaurants for several hours to sample Berlin's fine beers and cuisine, including currywurst- a delicious sausage smothered in ketchup and curry powder. Mmmmm. When it came to the bier, I may have been a little overenthusiastic but thankfully recovered enough to venture to the Berlin Wall on Sunday. Much of the wall has been torn down, but there remains a 1km stretch that doubles as a modern art gallery.
Overall, Berlin lived up to the hype- it's a huge, vibrant city with a lot to offer, and I easily could have spent a couple more days touring around. Maybe not in January, though- despite the German people's reputation for efficiency, they have not yet mastered the art of snow removal; even in the main districts, the sidewalks weren't cleared and everyone ends up tromping through dirty snow.
Update: My first bier review is up on Beer Crusade.