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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
In true Berlin fashion, flea markets are not hard to find. One of the newer fleas takes place every Sunday at Mauerpark. I arrived on the early side, around 10am, and the space was already buzzing with locals on the hunt for vintage items,...
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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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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
In the streets around the Hackescher Markt S-Bahn station near Alexanderplatz, you’ll find the full variety of shopping experiences that Berlin offers, from leading international brands to independent boutiques and the studios of rising young...
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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
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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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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Museum Island, Berlin, Germany
Visiting at least one of the five museums that make up Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must for any serious culture seeker in Berlin. The pioneering concept of an ensemble of public institutions brimming with exquisite artworks...
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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
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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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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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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Torstraße 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Looming over one of central Berlin's most vibrant intersections, this restored Bauhaus building, with its distinctive 1920s curved facade, was transformed in 2010 into the Berlin outpost of the glamorous Soho House hotel and private members brand....
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Rosenthaler Str. 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany
The more upscale sister establishment to the renowned Circus Hostel across the street, the Circus Hotel combines this bustling location with a style and service that gently impress rather than being in-your-face. The 60 colorful rooms—the...
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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 collection of buildings...
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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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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...