The online holiday rental company Wimdu have looked into the weirdest facts and figures about Germany’s quirky and eccentric capital. Of the 50 they found, we present 23 of the best.
1. More museums than rainy days per year
There are 180 museums in Berlin and on average 106 rainy days. So even if you tried to use the bad weather for cultural enrichment you’d have a hard time getting through them all in a year (and that’s if you had nothing else to do.)
The Bode Museum in central Berlin. Photo: DPA
2. 2.9 billion fag ends
In 1848, Berlin proved itself to be way ahead of its time by banning smoking in the street. Now it is one of the few cities in western Europe where smoking in bars is still the norm. Today 2.9 billion fag ends litter the capital’s streets every year.
3. There are 1,000 ways to buy cheap bear at all hours
What would Berliners do without the chance to replenish depleted cigarette and beer supplies at 4 am? With 1,000 Spätis (late night stores) in the city, we all live safely in the knowledge that our saviour lies just around the next corner.
4. 1906 – the year sea safety was invented
At the second International Radiotelegraphic Convention in Berlin in 1906, the SOS emergency signal was agreed upon as the standard signal for Morse code. The sequence of three dits, followed by three dahs, followed by three dits remained the maritime distress signal until 1999.
5. 110,00 dogs
For those of us whose stomachs churn as we tip-toe through the dog poo on our morning walk to work, this one is bad news. In 2013 there were 110,000 dogs in Berlin – or 12,000 more than three years earlier.
6. Half of Berliners are lonely hearts
One in every two Berliners is single. Or at least they’re not married. A study released in 2015 showed that in the city that hates Spiessigkeit (squareness) people refuse to settle down into a bourgeois, coupled-up life.
7. 18 people move every hour
It seems that Berliners aren’t very settled people either. It could be that they are constantly on the search for the next ‘in’ Kiez (neighbourhood). Whatever the reason, every hour 18 people move from one district of the city to another, making the Robben & Wientjes removal vans as integral to the city's fabric as the Fernsehturm.
— j0e m0ntana (@JoeMontana99) December 19, 2014
8. Millionaires are (not quite) ten a penny
Its ex-mayor might have described Berlin as “poor but sexy”, but that is slowly changing. A luxury apartment in the centre of the town recently sold for €5.7 million, smashing the previous record by €700,000. Every 5,840th inhabitant of Berlin is a millionaire – there are 585 in the city.
9. Graffiti costs the city €35 million
If Berlin were a modern day Hades (as some more traditional country folk no doubt believe), Sisyphus would be condemned to life as a street cleaner. Every year the city spends €35 million on cleaning graffiti off its walls. Yet, like magic, the city’s distinctive paintwork always seems to reappear.
10. People partying in the clubs could fill a small town
Between 40,000 and 50,000 people dance every weekend in Berlin’s clubs. So it’s just as well there are plenty of them. This useful map shows that almost every single station on Berlin’s inner city train network has a nightclub nearby.
11. 250 grams of gold