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Exclusive | Doing Business German-style

Exclusive | Doing Business German-style

Whether you're a corporate traveler or casual visitor, Berlin's infectious unkonventionalität tempts you to skip a commitment or two and have an adventure or three.

Berlin's famous unconventionality pervades its multi-ethnic cuisines and vibrant all-night, every-night nightlife, its high-design hotels and art scenes, and even its city government, headed by out mayor Klaus Wowereit. With both the number of business gatherings and the number of participants averaging 10% annual increases over each of the last four years, you may find yourself conferencing in Berlin soon. Unlike many other big convention cities, Germany's capital is relatively inexpensive, with rates at four-star hotels a fraction of what other Euro capitals charge. So extending your stay past those meetings won't break the bank. With 2009 marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, there's no better year to celebrate the ethos that makes Berlin's eccentricity possible.

Extended stay
If business calls you to Berlin, your accommodations likely will be near Mitte or the Tiergarten, two central areas adjacent to Sch?neberg, the city's original gayborhood. If you want to check into something more casual, the historic, bisexual owned Art Nouveau Hotel (Leibnitzstr. 59; 30-32-77-44-0), near Sch?neberg's nightlife, is one of Berlin's hottest kunsthotels, or art hotels. (If you're calling from the United States, all German phone numbers are preceded by the international code and country code -- 011-49. Calls within Germany are preceded only by 0.)

High-design Axel Hotels will launch a Berlin outpost just northwest of central Sch?neberg this spring. Tongue always in cheek, Axel Hotel Berlin (Lietzenburgerstr. 13/15) will enforce its ?hetero-friendly? policy nightly at not one but two in-house gay bars. Nearby Hotel Otto (Knesebeckstr. 10; 30-54-71-00-80) is similarly chic and gay popular, with great amenities, including an oasis-like seventh-floor restaurant serving organic breakfast along with its stunning rooftop views.

Wherever you stay, don't miss a night out at Heile Welt (Motzstr. 5; 30-21-91-75-07), Sch?neberg's perpetually packed tworoom lounge. You'll find Christopher Isherwood's old haunt just around the corner at Nollendorfstr. 17, where Sally Bowles and Cabaret came to life during the last days of the Weimar Republic.

Part One | Part Two

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