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Berlin for Christmas

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Knaackstraße 98, 10435 Berlin, Germany
A vast majority of Berliners will gladly stop for a good old currywurst on their way back home from a festive evening at the pub. The history of this mouthwatering dish goes back to the 1950s when a German woman was given ketchup, curry powder,...
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Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
Built by Kaiser Wilhelm I in the late 19th century as a gesture to parliamentarians, Berlin's famed Reichstag came into its own during the Weimar era—Germany’s first attempt at democracy. The parliament building burned under...
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Friedrichshain, Berlin, Germany
While living in Berlin, I stayed on Warschauer Strasse, on the end closest to the U-Bahn station of the same name. On an evening walk before dinner, I took a walk down the street to explore my new surroundings. This particular set of doors is the...
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10965 Berlin, Germany
Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg is a great gem of a park hidden in Berlin. The park is located on a small hill and is easy to get to with public transporation. There's a beer garden at the top of the hill with great views of the city. The western side...
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Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin, Germany
This immense—some might say immodest—neo-baroque cathedral opposite the former Royal Palace nods architecturally to St. Peter’s in Rome and served as the family church of the Hohenzollern dynasty up until 1918. The current...
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Herzbergstraße 55, 10365 Berlin, Germany
If you do only one tour during your visit, I suggest the free three-hour "Alternative Berlin" tour run by this company. It is mostly walking, with a subway and train here and there. (Make sure to follow your young, fast, walking tour guide...
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Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1, 10785 Berlin, Germany
It's hard to miss the distinctive tent-shaped, yellow Berlin Philharmonic Hall, considered by many to be one of the world’s best concert halls. Designed by Hans Scharoun, it was built in the 1960s as a replacement for one destroyed in World...
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Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Napoleon and his armies marched through it; revolutionaries and Nazis gathered beneath it; the Berlin Wall ran right behind: It's safe to say that Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, completed in 1791, has pretty much seen it all. Designed by...
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Kastanienallee 49, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Blink and you’ll miss this tiny Indian-run eatery serving eclectic international fare between Mitte and Prenzlauer Allee along the trendy Kastanienallee. Notable for its upside-down McDonald’s sign (hence the "W" in the name; Der...
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Bachstraße, 10555 Berlin, Germany
Tiergartenquelle couldn't be more German if it tried. In a city full of hipsters (at least in the east), this German restaurant couldn't care less about the next trend. Instead, its classic German menu features all the foods too fattening and...
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Graefestraße 77, 10967 Berlin, Germany
Located in the popular Graefekiez area between Kreuzberg and Neukolln, this burger bar & restaurant serves my favorite burgers in Berlin. Besides having a friendly staff, the restaurant lives up to the neighborhood's alternative reputation. The...
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Linienstraße 160, 10115 Berlin, Germany
It might be small and simple—just a smattering of handmade wooden tables topped with flower arrangements; conspicuously bare white walls; and a few barstools—but the updated German cuisine at Lokal is far from basic. With a commitment...
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Maybachufer 14, 12047 Berlin, Germany
Café Jacques is a tad expensive, but it serves very nice French food. Most of the time I go for wine and some snacks. The owner is lovely; he’s a hilarious guy. He’s been here for several years—surprising, since not long ago there were very few...
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Breite Str. 24-28, 14467 Potsdam, Germany
Back in the 1840s, the "romantic" Frederick Wilhelm IV built a steam pump engine and disguised it in a building designed as a mosque. The steam pump engine was an engineering masterpiece of its time. It was used to pump water from the river into...
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Potsdam, Germany
Potsdam—a thousand-year-old city on the outskirts of Berlin—is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sanssouci Park, with its many palaces and royal buildings, was the summer home for the Prussian king Frederick the Great. One small building inside the...
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Maulbeerallee, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
I was staying in Berlin for a few days, and the weather had turned unseasonably cold. Even though it was raining, I decided to take a break from the city and went to Sanssouci. I had been sick for a few days, but despite my worries, Sanssouci was...
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Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany
Prenzlauerberg (P'berg), to the east of the Mitte, is one of the loveliest areas in Berlin. The neighborhood is comprised of breathtaking turn-of-the-century architecture, great choices of restaurants, charming little cafes, and one-of-a-kind...
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Gesundbrunnen, Berlin, Germany
"Pleased to Meet," though it is a paper store, works similiar to fashion boutiques; you'll find seasonal stuff here. Printed paper goods such as wrapping paper, letter sets, greeting cards, notebooks, and travel journals are all designed by...
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Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178 Berlin, Germany
If you're looking for a place reminiscent of the smoke-filled cafés of bohemian Paris, look no further than Cafe Cinema. Sitting alongside a popular tourist route in Hackescher Markt, the small, hole-in-the-wall cafe attracts both tourists and...
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13088 Berlin, Germany
As you enter the cemetery from the Berlin neighborhood of the same name (Weissensee), you feel as if you are pulling an old, tattered book out of your grandmother’s bookcase, blowing the dust off of it and opening up the yellowed pages with a...
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Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Germany
The architecturally striking Jewish Museum is the best place in Berlin to get an overview of German-Jewish relations and to understand the nature of the integration of the two cultures before the Holocaust's horrors. Designed by Daniel...
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Unter den Linden 2, 10117 Berlin, Germany
I believe you need to put yourself in a certain mindset before making a trip to Berlin. It's not a beautiful city—in the traditional sense—and walking around the city can be very grim. However, the history and artwork displayed in many Berlin...
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Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Occupying a prominent space between Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz, this memorial (also known as the Holocaust-Mahnmal, or Holocaust Memorial) has almost 3,000 gray oblong pillars (stelae), arranged at varying heights, that form a kind of...
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Bendlerblock, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Off the typical tourist trail in Berlin, the German Resistance Memorial and Museum at Bendlerblock is an expansive building. On my recent visit I managed to spend a few hours learning about Germans who fought against the Third Reich before and...
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Kottbusser Damm 80, 10967 Berlin, Germany
Berlin is good for fast food—sushi, kebabs, pizza, currywurst. This style of köfte is from Anatolia, from Turkey. They fry minced sausages and serve it with mint, various herbs, and salad. Kottbusser Damm between Sanderstrasse...
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Wiener Straße 69, 10999 Berlin, Germany
In the heart of trendy Kreuzberg, Khartoum is a small, friendly restaurant and take-away. Offering one of the city's best Sudanese falafels, it also sell vegan and vegetarian-friendly dishes for under 5, or extra-filling meat plates for just a few...
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Skatlitzer 60, 10997 Berlin, Germany
This small taqueria in Kreuzberg serves Berlin's finest tacos. Taco plates and quesadillas are no more than 5 making this one of the cheapest Mexican food restaurants in Berlin.
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Wörther Str. 16, 10405 Berlin, Germany
While the neighborhoods south of the River Spree are more famous for their Turkish and Arabic foods, in Berlin you can find falafel fast food & shawarma stands all over town. In Prenzlauer Berg, the small restaurant Salsabil serves the best deal...
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Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Berlin, Germany
Everyone in Berlin has a favorite place to eat currywurst—tasty chopped pork sausage doused in a sauce made of curry powder and ketchup—but Curry 36 in Kreuzberg (along with Konnopke’s in Prenzlauer Berg) is one of the most...
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Mehringdamm 32, 10961 Berlin, Germany
It’s often a surprise for visitors to Berlin to discover that Turkish postwar immigrants created the popular döner kebab here. The city takes its kebabs seriously, and there are several hot spots whose reputation precedes them. One such...
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Spandauer Damm 20-24, 14059 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s showpiece schloss is one of the main sights in the Charlottenburg neighborhood. Initially a country house built for (the future) Queen Sophie Charlotte in 1695, it served as a summer residence for Prussian kings throughout the 18th...
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Gendarmenmarkt 2 WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt, 10117, Germany
The Christmas Market, or Weihnachtsmarkt, at the Gendarmenmarkt plaza is one of the city's most scenic. Located directly in front of Berlin's concert house and in between French and German Cathedrals, the backdrop at Gendarmenmarkt is majestic....
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Berlin’s Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg is home to one of Berlin's most hip Christmas markets: the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt. Located on the grounds of a former brewery, the Lucia Christmas market is the “Nordic”-themed market in Berlin. You’ll...
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Skalitzer Str. 51, 10997 Berlin, Germany
Named after wilderness activist John Muir, this trendy cocktail bar in Kreuzberg serves classic libations with a twist. The menu regularly changes, and the interior of the basement bar (lit by candles) is cozy and comfortable—great for cool...
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Hobrechtstraße 61, 12047 Berlin, Germany
This bar has a living-room atmosphere: couches, sofas, easy chairs, wallpaper. It's got beer from the Czech Republic, a bit like a Bavarian beer. Hobrechtstrasse 61  See all of Philippe Werhahn’s favorite places in...
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Gärtnerstraße 15, 10245 Berlin, Germany
One of Budapest's legendary "ruin" bars, Szimpla has a cafe & bar in the heart of Berlin's coolest neighborhood. On a corner of Boxhagener Platz (popular for its weekend markets), the Szimpla cafe offers brunches and a lively atmosphere in the...
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Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany
The most famous remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall gets its name from its location on the east side of the Spree River, as well as from the collection of political and satirical murals. Originally painted just after the wall fell, the...
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Karl-Marx-Allee, Berlin, Germany
Formerly considered East Berlin, Karl Marx Allee is one of the best places to get a glimpse of socialist history, architecture, and local life in Berlin from the past. The famous street is 89 meters wide and 2 km long and still houses some of the...
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Weinbergsweg 25, 10119 Berlin, Germany
This trendy boarding house, located in Rosenthaler Platz of Berlin-Mitte, has been meticulously designed to look and feel like a typical Berlin apartment. You might even miss the entrance to the building as it's hidden between a café and a...
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Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
The Berlin brunch scene is typically a buffet-style brunch with meats & cheeses, maybe a quiche or a soft-boiled egg. While that's an enjoyable meal, sometimes breaking out of the mold is called for. That's what makes the California Breakfast Slam...
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Gabriel-Max-Straße 1, 10245 Berlin, Germany
This Friedrichshain cafe is always crowded on weekends. Taking the typical Berlin brunch (a large plate of meats and cheeses, usually with an egg or two), Datscha puts a unique twist on it—serving brunches with Russian foods. Be sure to try the...
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2, Mariannenpl., 10997 Berlin, Germany
Tucked inside the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, a visual arts venue that is itself hidden away in a beautiful former hospital built in 1846, 3 Schwestern (Three Sisters) is a unique but enticing proposition in Berlin. The refined, airy dining room,...
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Warschauer Str. 39-40, 10243 Berlin, Germany
Berlin can make even the hippest Brooklyn hipster feel self-conscious. The city and its residents have an effortlessly edgy style. Staying at the Michelberger is one way to feel like you fit in and mix with the cool kids. Housed in an old factory...