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Have a Smashing Silvester | Your Guide to New Year’s in Berlin

Berlin, a bright and pulsating landmark on the international party circuit, strikes an uncharacteristically quiet note come Christmas Day. Germany’s capital, grown strangely silent, is seasonally transformed into a vacuum of shuttered shop windows and unpeopled streets. Such a gentle fade of the year’s final, waning days is but a blessed precursor to the raucous, revelrous explosion that sweeps through Berlin on New Year’s Eve. For it is in the Hauptstadt that Silvester, the German term for the holiday, shines: in a wild, take-to-the-streets, firework-studded celebration.

Hôtel Concorde Berlin’s savvy concierges have put together a knock-out lineup of suggestions to ensure you ring in the New Year right! In their experience, it’s quite common for guests to wait until the last-minute to make plans, with some even waiting only a few hours before midnight to formulate their evening’s agenda. But, even if you’re clueless until the moment-of, don’t fret. Things always work out in the end. Sam will be on concierge duty and, with over a decade of New Year’s Eve experience under his belt, he is more than happy to show you the ropes for an unforgettable night in Berlin.

FOOD: For a fabulous pre-party meal, the Concorde itself offers visitors two in-house dining options. A Silvester Buffet will be served in the hotel’s Saint Germain restaurant, including live-cooking and free-flowing beverages. This is a perfect selection for those interested in a leisurely, come-and-go as you please meal. The hotel’s Brasserie Le Faubourg will be offering a six-course Silvester Dinner (with one corresponding wine pairing per-course), which is an ideal menu for guests seeking a little extra luxury as they prepare to toast 2013. Another suggestion is the short trip to nearby Brenner, an international restaurant in the classical European tradition, in which simplicity and quality of ingredients are preeminent.

FUN: Michael from the concierge team estimates that at least seventy-percent of Hôtel Concorde’s guests will count-down to midnight at the Brandenburger Tor (the last remaining of the city’s historic eight gates, located just one block north of the Reichstag, Germany’s capital building). Easily the largest open-air party of the year, one-million people will converge on the Strasse des 17. Juni, with over 2-kilometers of events space devoted to an international line-up of music and performance, a dazzling festival of fireworks and–it goes without saying–monumental partying. It’s wild, loud and, when you’re in the mood, beyond perfect. For those looking for something a bit more exclusive, however, know that there are abundant options. Families will love the sweet celebration at the Gendarmenmarkt, while revelers looking for Berlin’s notorious wild-side can find it at the open-air Kulturbrauerei, chic 40 Seconds, or all night Wasserwerk.

FACT: Hey! Perhaps the single-smartest move you can make on New Year’s is to reserve a taxi or private car in advance of the big day. The subways and trams will be packed to the gills until the wee hours of morning, and hailing down a cab is often unlikely happen. Hôtel Concorde recommends reserving your own transportation for the night, with which the fine folks at the front desk can help you out!

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