Berlin Sees Increased Visitor Numbers

In Berlin, city statisticians have reported that the number of visitors is on the rise. The city's top attractions reflect both history (the Holocaust and Berlin Wall memorials, for example) as well as art collections and its shabby-chic counterculture.

The 5.3 million individual visitors in the first half - up 5 percent compared to the same time last year - outnumbered the city's population of 4.4 million.

Berlin is still not as crowded as Paris and London, but new hotels are constantly being built by investors. Full-year hotel nights are on track to hit 27 million. Just 20 years ago, the city counted a mere 7.5 million night stays per year.

Starting prices for rooms and restaurants remain moderate compared to other global destinations, making the city especially attractive to budget-minded southern Europeans, but high-end tourists can also sleep in comfort.

A luxury skyscraper hotel, Germany's first Waldorf Astoria, opened earlier this year. The US corporate owner said its penthouse suite, which costs 12,000 euros (16,000 dollars) a night, is the highest hotel room in the mainly low-rise German capital.