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City Explorer: Berlin. Part I

berlin

I couldn’t wait any longer to write this City Explorer guide! I was trying to move from city to city in a numerical order from the latest trip around Europe, but Berlin got in skipping the line. I can’t deny that it was the most active and interesting city in terms of culture, events and arts. Berlin is like a centre of gravity, attracting creative people from all parts of the world. As more people come the others follow. Until it becomes filled with all sorts of interesting and creative things. And that was the reason I was so eager to share my finds with you. Hope you will be visiting this vibrant city in the near future!

There are so many things to mention when talking about Berlin, so I decided to split this guide in two parts. So Let’s get started!

Wedding/Gesundbrunnen/Sprengelkiez/Moabit

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As the city centre becomes more and more expensive, people are moving outwards, developing new areas of Berlin. Wedding is one of those districts that is getting more movement after other central locations started reaching high prices. Some say that it is quite dangerous over here, but we never felt unsafe being in this area. We actually stayed in Wedding throughout our first stay in Berlin.

My favourite place in Wedding is a cultural hub Panke, an alternative meeting place that promotes experimental creativity through art and music events, workshops and exhibitions. You can also come here to enjoy coffee, beer or some vegan/vegetarian food in their garden just off the river Panke.

Another interesting place in the neighbourhood is a gallery/project space with artists studios based in an old crematorium, called Silent Green. You can have a tour around the building or just visit the cafe located inside.

Up for a night out in Wedding? Interested to explore Berlin’s electronic music scene? Check out Humboldthain, they might have something interesting going on.

If you come to Berlin in the Summer I recommend going for a swim in Wedding. I agree that it is a bit unusual to go swimming in the middle of the city, but Berlin has it all. Head to Rehberge park! On one side you’ll find a paid beach, but you will also find lots of people on the other side where you don’t have to pay.

If you are heading from Wedding towards Sprengelkiez and Moabit neighbourhoods there are a few interesting places on the way. One of those is a store and gallery Nomad, showcasing international artists, designers and craftspeople. For cinema, events, arts and culture visit Moabit Kulturfabric. Have a coffee in a creative environment at Kapitel 21.

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If you are into performing arts and contemporary dance, there is a place for that in Gesundbrunnen neighbourhood, called Uferstudios, located in a beautiful building complex that once belonged to the public transport company. Check out their events page to find the best time to go there.

Berlin Uferstudios

Mitte/Brunnenviertel/Kollwitzkiez/Winsviertel/Prenzlaurberg

As you get closer to the city centre, Mitte, you will find more and more galleries, shops, cafes and all sorts of interesting places. This area is perfect for your morning coffee, lunch, buying art or handmade products.

There are many different options to satisfy your coffee needs, but I would like to highlight the ones that caught my attention. The Barn coffee roasters have their roastery and cafe in Mitte (two different locations) and it’s great! Their coffee tastes good and looks good, nicely packaged it will also make a perfect little gift for someone. But I have to say that this is not the only roastery in the neighbourhood. Another one I like is Bonanza. Check out both of their locations in the map at the bottom of the post.

While looking for a place to eat we always tend to choose a spot with more vegetarian/vegan options. One of the places that offer vegan and vegetarian dishes is Daluma, a cozy small restaurant with healthy light food and vegy smoothies. For those that are interested in world foods I recommend to try new Israeli cuisine at Shiloh, a vegetarian cafe-bistro. Fancy some spicy food instead? I heard there is a good Mexican place, called Neta, although it might not be the best option for vegetarians.

While exploring Mitte we came across a very interesting gallery, located in a spacious run down space. It is one of my favourite galleries so far, mostly because of the amazing space itself. I guess I was so excited admiring the gallery, that I didn’t even check the name of it, but later in the map I found Galeristin Alexandrina Schmidt, which matches the location and in Google Maps you can jump inside the place. If you know the name of this gallery, please let me know!

There are many more galleries in the neighbourhood, you can pick up a gallery map in one of them and wander around the city with that list. There are quite a few galleries in Auguststrasse, such as Gallery Eigen + Art, Institute for Contemporary Art or Galery Deschler.

Other than galleries Mitte is full of shops, little boutiques selling designer products and crafts. A really nice place for handmade produce is Amodo store. Really worth stopping by! Not so far from it there are a few shops selling beautiful stationery items: R.S.V.P. Papier, Luiban Papeterie and Type Hype (stationery and other handmade products). Another place for stationery and not only that is Paper & Tea, as the name suggests, they sell some of the best tea around. Check out our post featuring this shop.

Just a little bit farther from the busy streets of Mitte, you can find more designer, handmade shops. My favourite small store selling some of the most beautiful handmade produce is called Ting. And another great shop for handcrafted pieces No Wodka, offers products by selected Polish designers.

Still not enough shopping? Then I would recommend visiting a very famous flea and designer market in Mauerpark. Here you’ll find a wide selection of vintage items and also various makers selling their products. Also there are various food and drink options to choose from. And just outside of the shopping area you’ll find some great street musicians and performers. So it is a perfect place to spend your Sunday morning!

Here I will end the first part of our City Explorer guide for Berlin. Interested to learn more about places to see in this city? Subscribe to our newsletter to not miss the second part of the story!

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