Berlin Areas

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Already back in the 20s and 30s of the 20th century Berlin's social, artistic, and cultural circles made the Charlottenburg district quiver. Among many the famous Kit Kat Club, portrayed in the film Cabaret, as well as numerous theaters and literary cafes, spotted the newly-built Kurfürstendamm avenue.

Maxim Gorky, Bertolt Brecht, Marlene Dietrich and many intellectuals of the time walked these streets. You can start your walking tour of at the church memorial located in Breitscheidplatz square, the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche, destroyed in 1943 by allied bombing, which has been maintained in the that same state, without it being rebuilt, as a reminder of the war.

The interesting Kurfürstendamm boulevard with its elegant buildings and old-style French cafes will happily surprise you with its beautiful adjacent streets such as Uhlandstrasse or Fasanenstrasse and the also emblematic Savignyplatz and its surroundings.

Charlottenburg, particularly the Kurfürstendamm area, is undoubtedly one of the best shopping areas in town, with numerous international designer boutiques.

The prestigious KaDeWe Gallery (Tauentzienstrasse, 21-24), opened to the public in 1907 when the Charlottenburg district was considered one of the most exclusive in Europe. For over 100 years, their window displays are a total creative challenge. Once there, you can't miss the sixth floor called "Gourmet Floor" where you shall find a large and diverse section of gastronomic specialties and the finest delicatessen.

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The atmosphere has the "youngest" feel to it in all Berlin. Is one of the districts associated with young and left alternative culture, artists, students, and immigrants. This is partly because many young people have come to settle in this economically feasible area.

The Karl-Marx-Allee, recognized as a cultural monument, is a unique Berlin avenue. Masterful and imposing in its Zuckerbäcker style, typical of the '50s Russian empire architecture, with its flamboyant decoration which was once upon a time prestigious, is undoubtedly the most impressive architectural heritage of socialism in Germany.

The stately and well remodeled square Boxhagenerplatz, with its lovely coffee houses is one of the most beautiful places in the area to be at specially in the summer time.

The Simon-Dach-Strasse is one of the most visited streets of Friedrichshain. This old time popular East Berlin district is now a meeting place for artists and bohemians, where cafes and restaurants have sprung and multiplied throughout. Here you shall also find small fashion designers shops and art galleries that open on weekends.

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Known for years for being a cosmopolitan district, stronghold of trade unions and political action, it is nowadays one of the city areas with the highest number of foreigners, mostly of Turkish origin, who have contributed to what has come to be known as Little Istanbul.

Is one of the most popular and most charismatic of the city's districts. In it people with dozens of different nationalities, live together and have learned to share their differences and common strengths. To take a walk around this area is quite an experience, and you will find an unique street ambiance worth knowing.

With typical shops and street markets it's another one of the peculiar area in Berlin, both for the ambiance as for the beautiful nineteenth century architecture buildings in the Bergmannstrasse, Chamissoplatz area and its vicinity.

Further along Bergmannstrasse, in Kreuzberg Strasse, is the Viktoriapark. The most important monument of the park is dedicated to Frederick William III of Prussia, in honor of the liberation wars he led at the end of the Napoleonic wars. From the monument, you have magnificent views of the southern part of the city, while you can also hear the water flowing in the beautiful monument's waterfall.

Oranienstrasse and Wiener Strasse, the surroundings of Schlesische Tor and Falkensteinstrasse (with their many cafes, restaurants, cocktail bars and nightclubs to go out on weekends) in the Wrangelkiez, are other of the famous spots in Kreuzberg.

In Kreuzberg, you should also visit the Jewish Museum, on Lindenstrasse 9, built by Daniel Liebeskind, and devoted to the history of Berlin Jews.

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Mitte is Berlin's main district, where many of the city's tourist attractions are located and some of the most elegant and busy shopping streets.

It's the city's historic center. The area includes some of the most important tourist sites such as the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden avenue and Potsdamer Platz square.

Mitte is Berlin's most important cultural center. To show for that you have Unter den Linden avenue, Humboldt University which both Einstein and Marx attended, Staatsoper and Komische Oper. Not far from the square, you shall find a surprising classical architecture ensemble declared World Heritage by UNESCO, including Museum Island (Musiumsinsel) which houses five of the most important museums in Berlin: Altes Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bodemuseum, Pergamonmuseum, and the Neues Museum, inaugurated just recently.

Friedrichstrasse will take you to well-known Checkpoint Charlie, former border crossing point and setting to many stories and secret agent legendary tales.

There you shall also find the Berlin Wall Museum and extensive information on the Berlin wall on Zimmerstrasse and Friedrichstrasse street.

Close to Friedrichstrasse is the Gendarmenmarkt, without a doubt one of the most beautiful squares in the city.

One of the things that will marvel you about this lively and dynamic district and the Hackescher Markt, are the inner courtyards of the Hackesche Höfe. The buildings, built in the early nineteenth century, housed a variety of business offices, small enterprises and factory HQs.

The Brandenburg Gate was left in no man's land for 30 years. The Wall was built just in front of it making it inaccessible to any citizen. In 1987, then U.S. President Ronald Reagan spoke at the Gate the famous lines, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!", which happened two years later.

In 1925, Potsdamer Platz, surrounded by hotels, restaurants, cafes and theaters was considered the busiest square in Europe. The first European traffic light was set up there. It was totally destroyed during the last months of World War II, and its reconstruction took 10 years.

Nowadays, this area is full of modern office buildings, restaurants, shops, hotels and apartments buildings, all state of the art modern design, in unison with other buildings standing there before.

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Potsdam is a German town in the vicinity of Berlin.

The most beautiful places to visit are its palaces and gardens, themselves testimony of the importance it had in German history.

The main attraction is the Sansouci Park. In 1744, Frederick the Great ordered the construction of a royal residence where he could live sans souci, French for "without worries", the language spoken at the German court. The park counts on some magnificent buildings: Sansouci Palace, the Palace of the Orangerie, the New Palace, Roman baths, and the China Tea House.

The hottest days of the year are the perfect time to spend a whole day about these beautiful palaces and its tended to gardens.

Another monument is the Dutch Neighborhood, a group of buildings unique in Europe with 150 red-brick houses.

Another interesting area to visit is the Russian colony Alexandrowka, a small Russian architecture enclave which includes an Orthodox chapel, built in 1825 for a group of Russian immigrants. The colony has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Babelsberg is a district where you can find the UFA film studios (Babelsberg Studios) where numerous films have been shot, starting in the 20's.

It has an important astronomical observatory devoted to solar activity and astrophysics studies.

Three quarters of the town is green areas and there are about 20 lakes. The large majority of Potsdam's parks are included by UNESCO in the World Heritage Sites list.

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Prenzlauer Berg

Traditionally a bohemian neighborhood, it has undergone many changes after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The rising cost of housing resulted in mostly young families staying in this area. It has become one of the top notch spots of Berlin culture, and it's popular with young Berliners during week-end nights because of the many bars, nightclubs, and cafes that are found there. Prenzlauer Berg is one of the trendy districts.

Helmholtzplatz and Kollwitzplatz square are two of the most beautiful and interesting squares to be found in Prenzlauer Berg. This zone is laid out following a coherent urban development plan within a late nineteenth century residential area surrounding downtown Berlin. During W.W.II the area was not badly damaged, and has come through as an area of great historical value and one style high quality urban architecture.

Kastanienallee and Oderbergerstrasse are some of the most visited streets, where you shall find a wide variety of bars, cafes and lounges, rare and original clothes stores and Berlin designer stores, quite unique with a distinct style, and even the most extravagant hairdressing saloons.

The former Schultheiss brewery buildings now house the Kulturbrauerei, a lively cultural center with cinemas, restaurants, and theaters, including among others the Russian Chamber Theater, created in 1922.

Two nice places to visit are the Biergarten Prater, in Kastanienallee since 1827, the oldest open air alehouse in Berlin and Pfefferberg, another beautiful Biergarten in Schöhnhauserallee.

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Is one of the largest Berlin districts so it offers visitors very diverse views of the city. In fact, it is characterized by vast green spaces, woods, lakes, countryside, and urban areas with a very dynamic central spot, and a series of industrial buildings.

To the west of Reinickendorf is Lake "Tegeler See" perfect for walks or even to dive into on hot sunny days. But Reinickendorf has other attractions such as the "Borsigturm”, a building that belonged to a company running a machinery factory in 1920, and that is considered Berlin's first skyscraper.

Another somewhat peculiar place is the most curious Russian Orthodox cemetery, built between 1894 and 1895 with earth brought to Berlin from 50 different Russian regions.

Freizeitpark Lübars is a park frequented mainly by the Berlin youth. It is a large park with lawns, play areas, ideal to go to with children, where you can also enjoy bicycle routes and horseback riding, hiking, gliding, sunbathing or simply have a picnic.

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Schöneberg – welcoming district with old-time hippies and young families. It is well-known for its famous Saturday markets, above all the one held at Winterfeld Platz, its street cafes and its somewhat bohemian and peculiar lifestyle.

Schöneberg is a very central district that has become a sought-after, lively, and exclusive district thanks to its many stylish bars, cafes, and restaurants. To appreciate Schöneberg you should visit the weekly Winterfeldtmarkt, up on weekends, perhaps the most famous market in Berlin. You shall find fruit and vegetables, flowers, cheese and even clothes stalls... And to put a finishing touch on your shopping spree, you can go for a coffee break in one of the many cafes nearby.

Between Motzstrasse and Fuggerstrasse street a gay and lesbian zone has been created which enrich the area with bars, restaurants, and original events. If you wish for a little more peace and quiet, you can go to Viktoria-Luise Square or you can visit the villas and stately nineteenth century buildings to the south of Schöneberg.

In 1963, in the Schöneberg Town Hall, John F. Kennedy spoke the famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" ("I am a Berliner"). The speech was directed at west Berliners who were imprisoned by the Berlin Wall. During the period of time of the two German States, the Schöneberg Town Hall served as the main city hall in West Berlin.

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Spandau is a historic old town that belongs to the metropolitan area of Berlin since 1920. It has some very interesting places, with small alleys and streets, wood built houses and attractive buildings, such as the Gothic church Sankt-Nikolai-Kirche, which has a cellar of archaeological interest.

Spandau is an interesting district in current Berlin. In the early 1900s several Modernist buildings where built here, in which lived families of the Berlin bourgeoisie.

The oldest building in Berlin is the Citadel, (Am Juliusturm 4 - 030 354 94 40), a Renaissance-style fortress built in the 17th century as part of Spandau's defenses, then a town independent of Berlin. Nowadays it is used as Museum of the City of Spandau, and as a venue for exhibitions and concerts.

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Steglitz - Zehlendorf

Zehlendorf district is one of the greenest and richest in Berlin and is home to the largest university in the city (Freie Universität), aside from counting with some great museums and some important historic buildings.

In this district, you shall find the interesting and famous museum dedicated to the Brücke art movement.

The relationship created between nature and culture makes Zehlendorf a pleasant place to live. The Zehlendorf landscape is spotted with many beautiful lakes and woods. Its the place where the forest comes close at hand and stealthily enters the city.

The popular Klein-Glienicke with the Glienicke castle and the Glienickerbrücke bridge, an island home to peacocks, and Europe's largest lake, Lake Wannsee, are just a few examples of the natural beauty found in this district.

Wannsee is also famous for the numerous spectacular mansions, country villas and houses that are found there. Both from Potsdam and Wannsee your can catch boats that travel throughout all the lakes and palace area.

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The Tiergarten district takes its name from a thick forest originally thought-out as a private hunting preserve for Prussian aristocracy, and which stands today as the largest park in Berlin.

Past the Brandenburg Gate, we access the country's political headquarters. The most prominent building is the Reichstag, seat of the Lower House of the German Parliament. Thanks to its huge glass dome, designed by architect Sir Norman Foster, the Reichstag has become one of the city's most important attractions.

The Reichstag, along with the Bundeskanzleramt, seat of the German Head of State, and other government buildings, comprise what is known as the government district. Another note-worthy building in this area is the project for the seat of the House of Representatives, the 'Band des Bundes' (Federation Bow), two buildings linked together by a footbridge over the Spree River.

Near the government district, you shall find the Bellevue Palace, which is the official residence of President of the Federal Republic of Germany. This neoclassical building, built in the 18th century, is surrounded by a beautiful park designed by the Shropshire Horticultural Society of Great Britain.

The Jewish Memorial, inaugurated in 2005 and devoted to those Jews who died in Europe, is one of the most impressive monuments in Berlin. In the first year after its inauguration, it was visited by more than three and a half million people. It is a massive abstract artwork. The site also includes an underground museum with extensive information on the Holocaust.

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