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From related questions (see below), I have understood that the meaning of "welcome to" and "welcome in" is dependent on the context. Because of that, the question

What is the difference between "welcome to" and "welcome in"?

is not a well defined question in the first place.
That means it can not be directly answered.

So I will give a precise context, to create a strictly defined question.

This is about comparing the two phrases

Welcome to Berlin!

and

Welcome in Berlin!

as opposed to the general comparison without specific city.

The Situation is a short verbal interaction with a traveler inside the city referred to in the sentences. The interaction is finished with the discussed example sentence.

It is meant to mean: "You are welcome in this city, I hope you will enjoy being here!" without implication about visiting or staying for long time.

What's the difference between "Welcome to Berlin!" and "Welcome in Berlin!"?


There is a more general similar, closed question: Difference between "welcome to", "welcome on" and "welcome at" It has an answer, but it's not really helpful.

Also similar, but more general and without answer is "Welcome to" or "Welcome in"?

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    You just don't say "Welcome in...". – Mitch Feb 7 '20 at 14:27
  • @Mitch - Oh, that's the answer, then. Then this is relevant: I'm German, and it would be "in" in the German language: "Willkommen in Berlin!". That seems to be the reason why I came up with the "in" variant in the first place, but most importantly that the "in" variant felt perfectly normal. Do you want to make it an answer? Otherwise, I could self-answer is including the German context. Not sure whether there are more languages that have the same misleading effect. – Volker Siegel Feb 7 '20 at 14:39
  • Sure, you can make an answer out of it then. As is, this is more of an English Language Learners question ("What is the correct way to say it in English?") which is why I didn't bother giving an official answer. I wouldn't mind seeing some comparison of such prepositions between English and German and other Germanic languages, but then that'd be on-topic on Linguistics – Mitch Feb 7 '20 at 19:53
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The difference is simple: "Welcome to Berlin!" is correct and "Welcome in Berlin!" is incorrect.

This is illustrated by the Google Ngrams query that Mitch linked to in the comments.

In full sentences, "in" is usually the word to use. For example, "Dogs are welcome in this hotel," not "Dogs are welcome to this hotel."

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  • Correct. But I felt I should note that "dogs are welcome to this hotel" is valid, it just means something different, along the lines of "this hotel is only fit for dogs". – Stuart F Feb 7 '20 at 15:49
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    When you are at the airport, the team receiving you may say, "Welcome to Berlin." When you participate in a program in Berlin where, say, you are given a reception, or recognition, it may be said, "You are welcome in Berlin", but the second is rare, because welcome is done not within, but before that. – Ram Pillai Feb 8 '20 at 3:08

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