Berlin, the epicentre of European hip, has been attracting a rapidly increasing number of Israeli tourists of late. “In the first six months of 2010, we had an increase of Israeli overnight stays in Berlin by almost 25 per cent,” says Kirsten Schmidt, director of public relations of Berlin Tourism Marketing. “The numbers have been going up steadily, except for a slight dip in 2007.” From January to June of this year, 22,531 Israelis took in the sights and sounds of the German capital.
The average stay was 3.3 days. While many young Israelis are drawn to the city’s vibrant club scene, others come to learn more about their history and participate in the city’s fast-growing Jewish community. Among non-European visitors to Berlin, only American tourists outnumber those visiting from Israel. It’s all part of a larger Jewish immigration trend. In fact, Berlin boasts the largest Jewish community in Germany, with 11,000 registered members in the city’s synagogues and private congregations.