Easily my favourite street in this, the most bohemian part of Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district.
Many interesting bookshops, clothes shops, cafes and bars to waste an afternoon or more exploring. The 19th century tenements, some lovingly restored, some retaining a scruffy charm, are a welcome break after the grey concrete that's more familiar in much of Berlin.
The Mauerpark at the end of the street, where the wall once ran, is the ideal photo op.
Take the U Bahn to Eberswalder Strasse, exit to left, cross Schonhauser Allee, make for Kastanienallee, then first street on right. Or tram 11 from Hackeschermarkt to Kastanienallee or Eberswalderstrasse.
Informative and entertaining walking tour of Third Reich spots of interest; kept us captivated for three and a half hours in cold and rain!
Start at Brandenberg Gate at 1 pm or pick up from Zoolischer Garten (12.30). €10 no need to book. Tues/Fri/Sat/Sun.
One of many well-priced tours including Red Berlin tour and to Sachsenhausen Concentration camp.
Overview tour is free. Information books in Starbucks.
Sandemans New Berlin
A fantastic park that is home to more palaces than you can shake a stick at, plus a Chinese teahouse thrown in for good measure.
If you're lucky enough and it snows, the park looks like a scene out of the Chronicles of Narnia.
Take the S-Bahn to Potsdam Hauptbahnhof and walk the short distance to the park entrance.
Wannsee is a lake very close to Berlin and you can go by train (not really expensive). It's a lovely place where you can have a bath, walk, or take a ship which is going to take you around Postdam, the Devil Mountain or the world war two spy bridge.
Just have a look at a train map.
The Wall still elicits fascination among visitors, and there are a handful of sites where it lives on. Some stretches have monument status, and the area around Bernauer Strasse, where the wall ran along one side of this street, has become well-known as a symbol of the Wall’s inhumanity. A stretch of it have been preserved here, and the nearby Documentation Centre helps shed some light on the Wall’s tragic history.
If you want an idea of what Berlin looked like before the war then head to Prenzlauer Berg, which is a sort of mirror image of Kreuzberg. Like its West Berlin counterpart, Prenzlauer Berg kept its traditional tenements and has a working class district tradition. The wall defined the western edge of ‘Prenzl’ Berg, which was also a centre of alternative culture during communism. Now the district has become increasingly trendy and is seen by some as the ‘New Kreuzberg’. It’s a favoured spot among West Berliners, given the new trendy bars and restaurants that are opening up, particularly around Sredzkistrasse/Husemanstrasse/Knaackstrasse. But despite this, Prenzlauer Berg keeps its distinctive character.
U-bahn line U2 to Senefelderplatz, Eberswalder Str or Schonhauser Allee. Trams also run to Prenzlauer Berg from Hackesche Markt
The highly atmospheric district of Kreuzberg was famed for its squat scene, punks and alternative culture (which was partly due to its status on the very edge of West Berlin). Now that the wall has come down its status as an 'alternative' district has diminished considerably. But despite encroaching gentrification, particularly in the west, it still has its own special character.
For an overview of Kreuzberg take U-bahn line U1 from Schlesisches Tor to Gleisdreick. Trains run along an elevated section. West Kreuzberg is traditionally more upmarket, whereas the east is still more down-at-heel.
The main sights include the Jewish Museum and the Transport and Technical Museum. Typical Berlin tenements survive in Kreuzberg, and there are particularly interesting blocks at Chamissoplatz and Riehmer's Hofgarten, between Yorckstrasse and Hagelbergerstrasse.
Kreuzberg is also a good area for budget accommodation and has decent bars and restaurants.
Kreuzberg begins immediately south of Checkpoint Charlie so it's within walking distance of the centre. U-bahn lines U1, U6 and U7 run through the district, as do S-bahn lines S1 and S2.
A small bar and restaurant (Steam locomotive restaurant) at the S-Bahn station at Erkner (end of a line) which looks unpromising from the outside, but inside is cosily furnished with solid and comfortable wooden tables and seats with cushions as comfortable as in an old first class carriage.
They also make the best Soljanka (meat and vegetable soup of Russian origin, only available in the East) I've ever tasted, especially after a walk by the nearby lakes.
Take the number & S-Bahn to Erkner, or save time by going on one of the frequent DB regional train bound for Frankfurt an der Oder, which also stop there. Berli city tickets (valid for zone C) may be used on both
Not a name that really sticks out, but this is the hive of the Kreuzburg area. On a cold day in February its numerous cafes and geek shoppers are a welcome from the intense cold. In the summer walk down and see numerous musical acts. Not a place to be seen but a place to just be.
U-Bahn Moritz Platz right slap bang in the middle
Berlin's central boulevard, famous for its lime trees (Linden). Start at the Brandenburg Gate, and then keep going to Museumsinsel. After that go to charming Gendarmenmarkt, just to the south. Christmas markets and Glüwein stalls around new year make it rewarding in winter too.
Nearest S-Bahn: Unter den Linden
I took a private guide that took me through "Jewish" Berlin, but also gave me a lot more. I've read a (good) guide book before, but he took us to places that weren't in the book and demonstrated knowledge about other things (we've asked him about restaurants, politics in Germany today, etc). The guide's name is Nadav. He is a grad student and also active in the Jewish community there.
I certainly recommend the private tour (it is also not that expensive, and you get a guide all for yourself, in your tempo and customized).
Gi-normous, fenced in park with plenty of room to roam, masses of stuff for kids and adults to do (wee train trips, water areas, lakes, all sorts of animals (free on the range), open air music and theatre) and masses of space to do nothing in, if that's what takes your fancy. Beautifully maintained and not at all corporate feeling. Couple of euros to get in. Bargain.
Neukoln, in the south east of the city. It's big, so no 'one' place to get in. Get a map!
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