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ITB Berlin News Preview Edition


56 SPOTLIGHT ON GERMAN REGION: BAVARIA Hall 6.2, stand 301 Record Tourism Figures For Bad Kissingen Bring On The Dancing Horses As a theatrical experience, Apassionata’s ‘The Dream’ has already gathered momentum and ticket sales on its European tour. But from the autumn of 2017, the immersive fantasy experience will have a permanent home in Bavaria, at the world’s first horse-based theme park. Ambitious and innovative, the new entertainment space called Apassionata World Munich includes a unique building, designed to offer a 360° experience, enveloping the audience physically, visually and acoustically. Using cutting edge technology – including shaking seats, Dolby surround sound, and new projection techniques – the audience are placed at the heart of a spectacular show which includes real horses, acrobatics, music and dance, telling the touching fairy story of a lost swan feather stolen by dark forces. The theatre is the centrepiece of the new equine attraction, and aims to attract new visitors of all ages and backgrounds from both within Germany and internationally The German spa town of Bad Kissingen set new records in 2016. With 255,149 arrivals it achieved an increase of 2.48 per cent compared to 2015. This is the highest visitation figure since records began. This increase is also reflected in the occupancy numbers: with more than 1.64 million room nights in 2016, Bad Kissingen continues the recent upward trend - representing the highest number of room nights in 20 years and an increase of 1.29 per cent year-on-year. Among efforts to promote continued growth, an initiative has been launched to bring some of the town’s popular attractions to life. The unique spa architecture by Max Littmann and Friedrich von Gärtner, the German star architects of the 19th century, is now included in a dedicated themed guided tour, exploring the buildings and examining the role of King Ludwig I in the development of Bad Kissingen. The town’s architectural history is detailed, with highlights including the arcade, Europe’s largest roofed spa promenade, and the landmark Regentbau wherein the large main hall, with its cherry wood panelling, is acknowledged as one of the best concert halls in the world due to its perfect acoustics © Bayer. Staatsbad Bad Kissingen GmbH-Foto: Heji Shin © KissSalis Therme Bad Kissingen DANUBE CYCLISTS AIM FOR INGOLSTADT Royal Bavarian Culture Sings Again Cycling tours are increasingly popular for both traditional cyclists and those drawn to electric bikes. The Danube Cycle Path – already a high quality tourist attraction providing rolling access to this great European waterway – has now been awarded a four star rating by the ADFC (German Cyclist’s Association). The certificate will be presented at ITB Berlin 2017, as part of the unveiling of ADFC’s latest cycling tour study. One of the key milestones on the Danube Cycle Path is Ingolstadt, with its impressive attractions, restaurants and shopping facilities. The city serves as an ideal destination for extended bike tours, its mixture of pulsating modernity, cordial Bavarian tradition and relaxing nature experiences making it an ideal stop on any Danube tour. Cyclists and tourists alike can enjoy Ingolstadt’s rich natural and cultural landscape with the added comfort of many high-class hotels and spas The highest town in Bavaria is about to reach new levels of cultural elevation, as Füssen’s Festival Hall finally reopens for the 2017 season. On the shore of the Forggensee Lake, Festspielhaus Füssen has been closed for major renovations, and the grand opening will see a cultural makeover as well as a practical one. While its strong historical links with King Ludwig continue to be honoured, the creative output has been modernised with a fresh team and innovative ideas, in the hope to attract a new wave of visitors. The opening weekend of April 1st will see the start of the new era, culminating in production of Ludwig² the musical, to mark King Ludwig II’s birthday in August ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 2 nd March 2017

© Thomas Keller HOSPITALITY / RESTAURANTS / BARS WHERE TO GO IN Berlin CLUBS / EVENTS / SHOPPING / CULTURE Berlin After Dark Exploring the night in the city that never sleeps Berlin is a 24-hour city renowned for its diverse, and sometimes wild, nightlife, an endless panorama of bars, clubs and late night cafes and restaurants. According to Stuart Braun, a Berlin-based Australian writer and journalist whose book City of Exiles describes Berlin’s special allure for foreign artists like the late David Bowie, the city really switches on after dark. He begins by describing how Berlin’s nightlife has migrated east since west-end neighbourhoods thrived with clubs and cabarets. Stuart Braun Writer and journalist In the 1920s, Weimar-era Berlin was called the Babylon on the Spree due to its notorious nightlife, a scene immortalised in the film Cabaret starring Liza Minnelli. The city’s decadent clubs and bars were then centred in the upmarket boulevards of Schöneberg and Charlottenburg in the west, but today the upcoming districts of Mitte, Kreuzberg and Neukölln are where you’ll find streets buzzing long into the wee hours. In Neukölln, for instance, relatively cheap rents have attracted young and restless creatives from around the world, sparking a thriving bar, restaurant and gallery scene focused around Weserstrasse. What are some of your favourite bars in this area? Ankerklause is a unique Kreuzberg kneipe (bar) located on the bridge that spans the Landwehr Canal. Marinethemed, with faux fish tanks and a terrace that edges across the water, this late-night Berlin staple caters to a diverse crowd who also like to dance around the 60s juke box. On the other side of the bridge, Das Hotel is compact with lush atmospherics—from the lavish bouquets that fill out every candle lit recess, to the piano, which is often being played, and high, muslin-draped ceiling. The young artists who typically staff the bar typically speak German, English, French and Spanish, and dispense a fine, heady Hefeweizen (wheat beer) while DJs get people hopping on the creaking wood floors. Any other tips? If you can first make it for dinner at Max und Moritz on Oranienstrasse in Kreuzberg, a gemütlich, or cosy, wood-lined tavern established in 1902 that serves local specialties including salty pickled pork foot and seasoned meatballs (vegetarian options also available), head after for a digestif among a row of lively, sophisticated bars on nearby Dresdener Strasse. At Würgeengel, the Bauhaus-esque décor is matched by sharply dressed waiters who serve top-shelf cocktails that fuel animated conversation late into the morning. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 2 nd March 2017

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