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The Perfect Weekend in Berlin

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A weekend trip to visit Berlin offers just enough time to explore some of the city's history and cultural hotspots, and, of course, tuck into some German cuisine and street food (hello currywurst). If it's a meet the locals sort of weekend you're after, pick a few neighborhoods to focus on: perhaps the restaurants, street art, and galleries of Mitte and Friedrichshain? Don't miss the East Side Gallery. And, on Sunday, Prenzlauer Berg for its open air flea market. A perfect weekend indeed.
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Bernauer Str. 63-64, 13355 Berlin, Germany
One of Berlin's busiest flea markets is in Mauer Park in the Prenzlauer Berg district. The name means Wall Park, after the Berlin Wall, whose remains can be found there. The market is open on Sundays only, when visitors and shoppers can find...
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Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
The old and new architecture of Berlin doesn't blend so much as careen together with a crash. The Reichstag is a perfect example. Don't get me wrong, I love it. But there is nothing gentle about it. Neo-classical buildings sport jagged...
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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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Brunnenstraße 197-198, 10119 Berlin, Germany
If you're looking for the epitome of "Hipster Berlin," you can't find anyplace more suitable than Mein Haus am See. In the most hip area of Mitte, Rosenthaler Platz, the cafe is more than just a coffee spot. It's also a bar and club. During the...
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Hackescher Markt, 10178 Berlin, Germany
This little banana can only mean one thing: This art gallery's good! Since 1986, Cologne-based artist Thomas Baumgärtel has tagged Berlin art galleries that regularly put on good art shows. Wander the back alleys and side streets around Hackescher...
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Bergstraße 68, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Part third-wave coffee shop, part gallery, Distrikt is a great spot to enjoy high quality coffee as well as discover local up-and-coming artists. The exposed brick walls are perfect backgrounds for the rotating displays of artwork, as well as the...
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Rosenthaler Str. 40 -41, 10178 Berlin, Germany
This is one of the most hectic and lively courtyards in Berlin. Located in Mitte, it is named after the Hackeschen Market, which is across the street. As in many of Berlin's courtyards, the building complex around it consists of offices,...
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Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
The original 1791 peaceful message of the Brandenburg Gate was distorted by the Nazis into a symbol of their own power and later by the Soviets as a symbol of the Berlin Wall East/West division. Today, sitting unobtrusively on the right side of...
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Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Germany
I was wandering the side streets of Kreuzberg after visiting the Jewish Museum and was suddenly struck how the plastered posters throughout the city created unlikely art created by pops of neon color and rhythmic patterns. I found this scene to...
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Museum Island, Berlin, Germany
An island of peace and beauty in the center of one of Europe's largest cities? Yes, I'm talking about Museum Island. Right in the middle of Berlin, surrounded by water, sits six thousand years of beautiful art. Beside this, an ultra-modern history...
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Kollwitzstraße 83, 10435 Berlin, Germany
Although this popular Prenzlauer Berg café only opened in 2005, it feels as if it has been part of the neighborhood forever. Lines from the 1919 poem by Kurt Schwitters that provided the café's name adorn the walls alongside a...
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Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Berlin, Germany
Curry 36, located on Mehringdamm in Kreuzberg, is one of Berlin's many currywurst kiosks. This stand, though, is one of the best, and it's popular day and night. Currywurst is a Berlin local speciality—essentially a sausage/wurst doused in...
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Linienstraße 160, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Freshly cut flowers, rustic wood tables, and an artsy crowd pepper this Mitte standout where ingredients are natural and sourced, as you might have guessed, locally. The menu changes almost weekly and features variations of simple dishes like...
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13, Rykestraße, 10405 Berlin, Germany
This worthy addition to Prenzlauer Berg’s prodigious array of breakfast and brunch options opened in 2015. The eponymous owner, a Frenchman who lived in Australia for several years and has worked at high-end restaurants in Berlin, evidently...
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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...
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Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany
It's history that unites a disparate city like Berlin and the Soho House in Mitte is no exception. The private members club and hotel occupies a Betahaus building which saw its incarnations go from department store to Communist archive storage...
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Rosenthaler Str. 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Have a local show you around Berlin to discover the ever so interesting Berlin art scene from street art to graffiti! The Circus Hotel offers this tour to their guests, and I am sure there are plenty others to choose from as the art scene has a...
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Alt-Stralau 70, 10245 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s most surreal bar experience is right where you’d expect it to be—in the trendy Friedrichshain neighborhood. Just a few blocks from some of Berlin’s most legendary nightclubs, the club Wilde Renate is a mismatched...
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Sredzkistraße 65, 10405 Berlin, Germany
In a black-tiled space, BRYK Bar rides the mixology wave with unusual ingredients, including horseradish and chestnut honey, and cocktail names that sound like indie movies: Crocodile Dundee Is Going Hunting and Kamasutra with a Hangover. By...
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Zossener Str. 33, 10961 Berlin, Germany
The Spacehall Record Store is THE place to go to buy new or used records in Berlin. With plenty of listening stations, you can be sure you're buying quality music. The space-like interior features some comfy (if not odd-shaped) couches and simple...
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Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany
I'll never forget that day in 1989 when the wall came down—and the iconic images that followed. It represented freedom, the success of democracy and the West, and it marked the end of the cold war! It was the Reagan era, Saturday Night Live...