Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. It is the European Union's most populous city within city limits. One of Germany's sixteen constituent states, Berlin is surrounded by the State of Brandenburg and contiguous with Potsdam, Brandenburg's capital. Berlin straddles the banks of the Spree, which flows into the Havel in the western borough of Spandau. Among the city's main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and south-eastern boroughs formed by the Spree, Havel and Dahme, the largest of which is Lake Müggelsee. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes.
Berlin's economy is dominated by the service sector, with around 84% of all companies doing business in services. Important economic sectors in Berlin include life sciences, transportation, information and communication technologies, media and music, advertising and design, biotechnology, environmental services, construction, e-commerce, retail, hotel business, and medical engineering.
Research and development have economic significance for the city. Several major corporations like Volkswagen, Pfizer, and SAP operate innovation laboratories in the city. The Science and Business Park in Adlershof is the largest technology park in Germany measured by revenue. Within the Eurozone, Berlin has become a centre for business relocation and international investments.
Many German and international companies have business or service centres in the city. For several years Berlin has been recognised as a major centre of business founders. In 2015, Berlin generated the most venture capital for young startup companies in Europe.
Among the 10 largest employers in Berlin are the City-State of Berlin, Deutsche Bahn, the hospital providers Charité and Vivantes, the Federal Government of Germany, the local public transport provider BVG, Siemens and Deutsche Telekom.
Siemens, a Global 500 and DAX-listed company is partly headquartered in Berlin. Other DAX-listed companies headquartered in Berlin are the property company Deutsche Wohnen and the online food delivery service Delivery Hero. The national railway operator Deutsche Bahn, Europe's largest digital publisher Axel Springer as well as the MDAX-listed firms Zalando and HelloFresh and also have their main headquarters in the city. Among the largest international corporations who have their German or European headquarters in Berlin are Bombardier Transportation, Gazprom Germania, Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Sony and Total.
As of 2018, the three largest banks headquartered in the capital were Deutsche Kreditbank, Landesbank Berlin and Berlin Hyp.
Daimler manufactures cars, and BMW builds motorcycles in Berlin. American electric car manufacturer Tesla is building its first European Gigafactory just outside of the city in Grünheide (Mark). The Pharmaceuticals division of Bayer and Berlin Chemie are major pharmaceutical companies in the city.
Berlin is rated Beta + by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions to the world economy.
Berlin is the #8 city in the world according to the Global Power City Index (GPCI) which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their magnetism, or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. It does so through measuring six key functions: Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Liveability, Environment, and Accessibility.
Berlin is ranked #48 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Berlin was ranked #3 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Berlin has a population of over 3,748,148 people. Berlin also forms part of the wider Berlin metropolitan area which has a population of over 5,303,846 people. Berlin is the #151 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.8976 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.