Germany’s capital is had a tough summer tourist season. There were just too many of them for the locals to deal with. Tough being popular, isn’t it? They’ve just taken tourist bashing to the next level, and isn’t pretty.
Berlin has never really that popular, not in comparison to western Europe’s other capitals but this year, it seems word has gotten around the Berlin is a pretty happening place, very hip, very cool and a considerable bargain for backpackers. Tourism in Berlin is booming, money is pouring into this city, but it seems not all Berliners are pleased about the “intruders”.
Take a stol down Friedrichshain way and you might see signs sticking out of windows that read, “Noisy tourists go home!” No doubt they’re referring to the twenty-somethings that arrive on EasyJet flights to the weekend, only to party all day and night and catch a plane back home 48 hours later. Stickers plastered all around Kreuzberg read, “Berlin doesn’t love you.”
What’s a well-meaning American visitor interested in seeing some independent German art when a gallery sign in the window reads, “Sorry, no entry for hipsters from the U.S.?”
The anti-tourist feeling has gotten so bad there is a city-wide “tourist-friendly awareness drive” going on. Berlin is currently the third most-visited European city after London and Paris and a few signs certainly won’t keep the drives of people from visiting. Tourism generated an estimated 10.3 billion Euros for the city in 2011, which is about 10% of the city’s budget.
While most Berliners are genuinely proud that their city has regained its glitz, glamour and appeal to the masses there are still those who wish they’d all go home. Sorry Berliners, you live in a world city so get used to all the visitors, they’re not going to die down anytime soon. After all, the more the merrier, right?