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Summer in Berlin

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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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Mitte, Berlin, Germany
Berlin is one of those cities that truly has it all—street art, cultural attractions, historic museums, and a fascinating urban bike scene. As I found out during my trip to Berlin last summer, the city also has its very own beach. Badeschiff an...
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Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, 10243 Berlin, Germany
"Diversity" is a good word to describe Berlin. And there's no better place to get a dose of diversity than along the River Spree in Berlin. If you simply walk around the river banks near the Oberbaum Bridge connecting Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg,...
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Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany
Berlin isn’t exactly short of impressive parks, but the 520-acre Tiergarten, stretching westward from Brandenburg Gate, is one of its largest, most central, and most historic. The area, originally a royal hunting ground, became a park in 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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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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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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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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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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Teufelsberg, 14055 Berlin, Germany
Teufelsberg was occupied by the Americans and the British during the Cold War and served as a listening station. Consider this hill and these abandoned structures one giant hearing aid. It was used for listening to Soviet, East German, and other...
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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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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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Sony Center, Potsdamer Straße 4, 10785 Berlin, Germany
The Sony Center at the Potsdamer Platz has a "ceiling" that's a work of art. Walk inside this building on a sunny day, and you'll be greeted by a center flooded with warm sunshine—and reflections of the steel-and-textile ceiling on nearly every...
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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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Genslerstraße 66, 13055 Berlin, Germany
“What is the first article of your country’s constitution?” our tour guide Grit asked. We all answered with some form of free speech and the right to choose. Grit then announced to us the first article of East Germany run by the GDR (German...
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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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Friedelstraße 27, 12047 Berlin, Germany
This bar is named after Klaus Kinski, the German actor from Werner Herzog films. They show quite a lot of video, movies, exhibitions, and such. This story appeared in the July/August 2010 issue. See all ofberlin-germany"Philippe Werhahn’s favorite...
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Alte Schönhauser Str. 46, 10119 Berlin, Germany
One evening while I was strolling the streets of Mitte, I noticed a hectic scene and a young crowd outside a buzzing restaurant. It was Monsieur Vuong, a hip Vietnamese restaurant with pink and red walls, great cocktails, and fresh Vietnamese...
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Oranienstraße 170, 10999 Berlin, Germany
Coming from California, we often miss the plethora of amazing Mexican food that can be had just about anywhere at home. After a friend's recommendation, we found this authentic gem while visiting Berlin: Santa Maria on Oranienstrasse. Standouts...
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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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4. OG, Herzbergstraße 128-139, 10365 Berlin, Germany
The Dong Xuan Center is a collection of several warehouses which have been converted into a market where you can buy everything from iPhones to knock-off Nike sneakers. In addition to the strange assortment of shopping, though, you'll find several...
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Berlin, Germany
The Restaurant Cafe Bar Fabisch, in the central Mitte district of Berlin (Rosenthaler Straße 1), is a high-end cafe-bar and restaurant offering a fresh, quality German menu. This schnitzel was the best I've ever had, and a crispy oat batter made...
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Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 7, 10178 Berlin, Germany
The simple space may not look like much from the outside or even from the inside, thanks to the cafeteria-style decor and Subway-style ordering process. Still, a visit here will not only get you the best burritos in the city but also pay homage to...
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Charlottenstraße 60, 10117 Berlin, Germany
The world’s largest chocolate shop also includes two restaurants and is a dream come true for travelers with a sweet tooth. At the Chocolate Café, you can fill up on hot chocolate, tortes and chocolate treats. The Chocolate Restaurant specializes...
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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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Weinbergsweg 26, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Zur Rose, a small cafe in Berlin Mitte, serves a variety of brunch dishes. The cozy cafe is quaint and comfortable and hardly ever crowded, though its central location and good breakfast deals make it a great destination for a leisurely weekend...
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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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Kottbusser Damm 77, 10967 Berlin, Germany
Berlin has plenty of cool places to brunch, and among the many is La Femme. I had the egg and ham scramble with fresh tangerine juice and cheese served with a side of fresh honey for dipping. The best part was how inexpensive it was. Fresh food...
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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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Oderberger Str. 29, 10435 Berlin, Germany
For the past 10 years, Mario, the owner of VEBorange, has been selling DDR (East Germany) collectables and other German antiques. Most items in the shop on Oderberger Strasse are objects made and sold between 1950 and 1980, making this a great...
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Winterfeldtstraße, 10781 Berlin, Germany
The fresh fruit and vegetable market near Nollendorfplatz is a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon. One of the largest weekly markets in Berlin, you can find fresh fruit and veggies from local producers as well as flowers, meats, and...
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Pannierstraße 5, 12047 Berlin, Germany
One of the best burgers in town. So big you need a strategy to eat it.
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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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Skalitzer Str. 95A, 10997 Berlin, Germany
The Hühnerhaus 36 in Kreuzberg is a Berlin institution. The chicken stand/kiosk is right outside an entrance to the always crowded and ever-popular Görlitzer Park. For under 5 you can get half a roast chicken...mit pommes (with fries). Get it with...
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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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Danziger Str. 61, 10435 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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10243 Berlin, Germany
A lucky shot of the Warschauer Straße, S-Bahn station at night.
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Rollbergstraße 26, 12053 Berlin, Germany
Berlin's nightclub for gay hipsters, SchwuZ is best known for its themed Fridays. Each Friday of the month has a different party theme, from BritPop to "Madonna Mania" and of course Eurovision and pop music nights. The party doesn't get started...
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Reichenberger Str. 177, 10999 Berlin, Germany
I'm not a big beer drinker, but when drinks are inexpensive and poured out in such large portions as they were at Möbel Olfe... Why not? And not just any beer but great Polish and German beers. How could I resist. It was a great crowd packed with...
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Vor dem Schlesischen Tor 3, 10997 Berlin, Germany
The nightclub Chalet is located on the busy nightlife-riddled street of Schlesische Strasse. Just steps from one of Berlin's longtime hipster nightclubs, Club der Visionaire, Chalet is relatively new to the scene. Open since 2012, the club is run...
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Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243 Berlin, Germany
This club, housed in an old industrial warehouse, does not look unlike a mental ward and, inside, has as many fascinating levels as an Escher drawing. To dance with a sea of the coolest kids in Berlin (and Europe for that matter—it’s a landmark...
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Weserstraße 40, 12045 Berlin, Germany
This bar, simply called "Ä," is on one of Berlin's best nightlife streets. Weserstrasse (in Neukolln) leads from Hermannplatz to the south, and along the road are a scattering of new bars, small clubs, international restaurants, and trendy cafes....
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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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Im Neuen Garten 11, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
My spartan Cecilienhof room overlooked "the red star," a reminder of the Potsdam Conference held here in 1945. The heads of the three world powers of the day—Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and...
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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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Ackerhof 1, 38100 Braunschweig, Germany
It looks like SpongeBob SquarePants puked on this building in Braunschweig. Designed by American pop artist James Rizzi, it took two years for his wild idea to come to fruition. His work here is often described as Hanna-Barbera meets Picasso.
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Ritterbrunnen 1, 38100 Braunschweig, Germany
This historic palace in Braunschweig maintains a beautiful facade while actually housing a shopping center and office space.
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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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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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Georgenstraße 193, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Located just across the street from the main library for Humboldt University, this hipster cafe is a great place for a cup of coffee or a light lunch. With free Wi-Fi (though no power outlets) it's a good place to do a bit of work or read a book....
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Karl-Marx-Allee 72, 10243 Berlin, Germany
Serving the neighborhood for more than 50 years, this nostalgic cafe remains a popular spot even after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Start your wandering in East Germany here, with its romantic interior and mini historic museum display, along with...
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Žatecká 98/1, 110 00 Praha-Staré Město, Czechia
A great hike up Petrin Hill, followed by a climb to the top of the needle - a miniature Eiffel Tower - yields huge rewards in a panoramic view of Prague.