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Berlin: Gritty and Beautiful

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One of my favorite cities in Europe, both gritty and beautiful, here are my favorite tips from others and the highlights I've created following my own trips to the city. Of which, I hope there will be many more.
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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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Auguststraße 58, 10119 Berlin, Germany
The Barn is a bucolic coffee bar in the Mitte district that boasts top-quality coffee (from Copenhagen's famed fair-trade Coffee Collective) and a local-food ethos, inspired largely by the owner's formative years in rural Germany and his mother's...
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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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Gleimstraße 55, 10437 Berlin, Germany
Every Sunday in Berlin the world of kitschy fleamarket finds and cool hipster crowds meet at Mauerpark Market in Berlin. The market is full of antiques and dusty relics but also mixed with stalls of young designers selling inventive new fashions...
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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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S-Bahnbögen 177-180, Georgenstraße 2, 10117 Berlin, Germany
The Twelve Apostle's Restaurant or (in German) "12 Apostel" is a feast for both the eyes and the stomach. Beautiful frescos line the interior walls and ceiling depicting the twelve Biblical apostles of Christ. I was more pleased, however, with the...
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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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Neukölln, Berlin, Germany
All the designers here—there are about 94 of us—are from Neukölln. People passing by on a Sunday get a chance to see the pieces up close. It’s mainly clothes and accessories. One Sunday a month, location varies. ...
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Weinmeisterstraße 4, 10178 Berlin, Germany
It was in the Mitte district in Berlin where I stumbled upon the Absinthe Depot. Yes, a store dedicated to selling only absinthe. A spirit at one time banned in the US, because of its extremely high alcohol content and for pressumably possessing...
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Bergstraße 22, 10115 Berlin, Germany
The Beaujolais is fabulous here and the french fries supposedly the best in town. The kitchen, led by Tim Raue's former sous chef, uses mostly regional organic produce to create the original delicacies. Hidden in a courtyard and located in a...