One of the most important, creative capitals in the world. Overloaded with cultural events, festivals and fairs in a historical and nostalgic setting. That’s Berlin. But Berlin is also wandering in one of the many parks, drinking a glass of champagne on the fifteenth floor of ‘Solar’ with the best view in town, relax on the beach at the ‘Wannsee City Beach’ just outside Berlin, trendy shops in characteristic streets, courtyards with lovely terraces, a Vietnamese soup at Monsieur Vuong in ‘Mitte’ and of course all the famous highlights full of historical value. Berlin’s has it all. Berlin developed districts with a strong, typical character because of the long term division of East- and West-Berlin. Here you will find an overview of the most interesting areas in Berlin.
> Berlin - Charlottenburg
> Berlin - Friedrichshain
> Berlin - Kreuzberg
> Berlin - Mitte
> Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg
> Berlin - Schöneberg
> Berlin - Tiergarten
> Museumsinsel (Museum-island)
Berlin - Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg was the centre of West-Berlin during the division. The ‘Zoo Station’, ICC Fairgrounds and a part of the ‘Kurfürstendamm’ (the luxurious shopping street with all the well-known brands) belongs to Charlottenburg, as well as the church called ‘Gedächtniskirche’ and the Olympic Stadium. One of the places where you can enjoy the true life of this metropolis is between ‘Breitscheid- and ‘Joachimstaler Platz (Square)’ on the ‘Kurfürstendamm’. You’ll find here the ‘Kranzler-Eck’, designed by the world-famous architect Helmut Jahn. You will come across the ‘Kaiser-Wilhelm- Gedächtniskirche’ when you arrive at ‘Breitscheidplatz’. This church is founded as a memorial to Emperor Wilhelm, which is preserved as a ruin, since the destruction in 1943. You will find the stock exchange- and congress centre (ICC) south of the ‘Theodor-Heuss-Platz’. The oldest part of the district is one of Charlottenburg’s most beautiful regions, once an independent village until 1920. Castle Charlottenburg has got a gorgeous park which invites you to take a lovely and relaxing walk. You’ll also find here the ‘Bröhanmuseum’ and the elegant ‘Stüler’ building, which houses the ‘Berggruen’ collection with collections of Picasso, Klee and Van Gogh.
Berlin - Friedrichshain
When you travel east from the ‘Alexanderplatz’, you will cross the impressive ‘Karl-Marx-Allee’, the main street of Friedrichshain, which is designed in the characteristic ‘Soviet-style’ shortly after the DDR was founded in the 50s. The street was originally called ‘Stalin-Allee’ and has an impressive history of uprisings and military interference. Friedrichshain has got little highlights, just like ‘Prenzlauer Berg’ and ‘Kreuzberg’, but it is bursting of urban lifestyle. The emergence of a dynamic nightlife district around the ‘Simon-Dach-Strasse’ is exciting, where numerous bars, cafes and restaurants are popping up on every corner.
The alternative parts are settled on both sides of the Karl-Marx-Allee. The most important street is the ‘Rigaer Strasse’ where pubs towards ‘Ostkreuz’ become a bit tidier and quieter. The ‘Friedrichshain’ park, which gave the district its name, offers recreation in many ways. Elderly people can relax while children can go on a razzle in a world full of elves near the ‘Märchenbrunnen’ fountain.
Berlin - Kreuzberg
The different coexisting cultures in ‘Kreuzberg’ characterize this particular district. ‘Kreuzberg’ had the highest population density and became a mixture of foreigners, the actual population and the alternative circuit, due to the horrible circumstances of the division in Berlin.
Chic restaurants and fancy cocktail-bars also have found their place in ‘Kreuzberg’ because it’s located close to ‘Mitte’. Kreuzberg is not only worth a visit because of her very special charm, but also because of her different types of museums and the trails left by the Berlin wall.
The remains of the reinforcements of and around the wall also belongs to the highlights. The restored ‘Oberbaumbrücke (Oberbaumbridge) towards ‘Friedrichshain’, the legendary ‘Checkpoint Charlie’, and the wall near the ‘Niederkirchnerstrasse’ adjacent to ‘Mitte’.
The Jewish Museum, by Daniel Libeskind, is one of the most spectacular new buildings founded next to the former Berlin Museum. The history of the Jews in Germany is outlined by symbolical architecture as well as an exhibition of the history of German Jews. Both have made this museum to one of the most popular museums in Berlin. A visit to the Museum of Technology is worth the while for both children and grown-ups. You’ll find a lovely combination of information and pleasure here.
Berlin - Mitte
All of the important highlights are located in the centre of Berlin, ‘Mitte’. The Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburger Gate), the symbol of division en reunification of the entire city is without doubt the most famous building in the capital of Germany. The legendary street ‘Unter den Linden’ leads you to ‘Schlossbrücke’ from here. Every single building has its own story: the ‘Humboldt-Universität’, the ‘Bebelplatz’, the ‘Staatsoper’, the ‘Komische Oper’, the ‘Neue Wache’, the ‘Zeughaus’, the ‘Kronprinzenpalais’ – to mention just a few of the most famous attractions. You will also find here a gathering of impressive museums, nowadays called ‘Museum-Insel’, added to the UNESCO (World Heritage List). The ‘Alexanderplatz’ is and was East-Berlin’s city centre with its cold but impressive towers. Clarified by the ‘FernsehTurm’ with a height of 365 meters (weetje: for every day one meter) the tallest building in town. The elegant ‘Friedrichstrasse’ invites you to go shopping and have a nice walk across boutiques and warehouses. A bit further to the south you will come across the former border point ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and more northern you will find the ‘Oranienburger Strasse’. This former Jewish quarter has got a dynamic vibe with the golden dome of the new synagogue as symbolical centre. You will find exclusive shops, chic cocktail-bars and fine restaurants in and around the ‘Hackeschen Höfe’, near the ‘Hackeschen’ market.
Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg
Authors, Culture instances and students completely changed the image of ‘Prenzlauer Berg’ since the DDR era. This was a working-class quarter back in the second half of the nineteenth century. Confirmed by old buildings like the water-tower with its impressive silhouette. ‘Prater’, Berlin’s first beer-garden in the ‘KastanienAllee’, still indicates the popularity of ‘Prenzlauer Berg’ for a Sunday-trip to nature. Numerous pubs, bars, cafes and galleries provide the nightlife in ‘Prenzlauer berg’, especially ‘Kastanienallee’, ‘Kollwitzplatz’, ‘der Kulturbrauerei’ and ‘der Helmholtzplatz’ are first-choice nightlife spots. You will find sports-temples such as the ‘Velodrom’ and the World Cup Swimming Stadium southeast of ‘Prenzlauer berg’.
Berlin - Schöneberg
Schöneberg is rich in classy bars, cafés and restaurants and that’s why it’s one of the districts to go out in. We can recommend a weekend visit to ‘Winterfeltmarkt’ if you fully want to enjoy ‘Schöneberg’. This market is among others the most popular in Berlin. Almost everything is available here: high-quality fruit and vegetables, as well as flowers, cheese and clothing. After visiting the market, lots of cafes in the neighbourhood offer a beautiful location to drink a cup of coffee or a lovely glass of wine. The area surrounding ‘Fuggerstasse’ is also known as the ‘gay area’ and certainly contributes to the nightlife of this district with her eccentric bars en events. We can recommend ‘Viktoria-Luise-platz’ or ‘Friedenau’s villa’s’ if you’re looking for a bit more relaxing region.
Berlin - Tiergarten
Tiergarten is the political heart of Germany. The German parliament ‘Budestag’ is founded just a few steps away from the Brandenburger Gate, in the ‘Reichstag’ building. They placed a dome of glass on top of the ‘Reichstag’, which is designed by the world-famous architect Sir Norman Foster, and is a real attraction for tourists. Close to it, new parliament buildings form the ’Band des Bundes’ (federal union) between East- and West-Berlin.
The gigantic ‘Tiergarten’ park once acted as a hunting area for the wealthy. That’s the reason why it’s called ‘Tiergarten’; animal park. Berlin’s biggest, inner-city park invites you to take a walk, go picnicking, play some soccer or just to relax.
If you go somewhat more eastern of Tiergarten, you will find the location of the annual event of events: the Love Parade. The largest dance-festival in the world makes its way through this district on a route of at least 8 kilometers, including decorated cars, first-class DJ’s and a happy, dancing crowd. To the southwest of the ‘Tiergarten’ you can find the ‘Zoologischer Garten’; Germanys’ oldest zoo with more than 19.000 different kinds of animals and is, because of this, the most extended zoo in the world.
‘Potsdamer Platz’ is transformed in a entirely renewed and modern centre since the fall of the wall, including shops, restaurants, bars, a casino, a theatre and the impressive Sony Centre. Enthusiasts about art and culture can eat their hearts out here, because you will find the ‘Kulturforum’ right behind ‘Potzdamer Platz’. There’s a Philharmonic concert-hall, the city library, the ‘Neue Nationalgalerie’ and the ‘Gemäldegalerie’ with masterpieces of Rubens, Rembrandt, Tizian and others. The ‘Kupferstichkabinett’ and the ‘Musikinstrumente Museum’ are also founded here.
As a small town with various museums you will find in the centre of Berlin – on a island in the river ‘Spree’ – Arkadien, the museum island. Its origin, started in 1830 with the ‘Alte Museum’. Four gorgeous buildings joined in the next 100 years; the ‘Neue Museum’, ‘Alte Nationalgalerie’, ‘Bode Museum’ and the ‘Pergamon Museum’. Even if those museums are very close to each other, you will probably not succeed if you want to visit them all in one stay.