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Berlin see + do

Berlin is a sprawling city, but you don't need to see all its boroughs to do its attractions justice. The central Berlin districts of Mitte, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg, Schöneberg, Tiergarten, Charlottenburg, and Wilmersdorf cover a lot of territory. All contain worthy walks and sightseeing highlights that can easily be strung together using the excellent public transit system, explained in our Berlin Fact Sheet.

Because of Berlin's Cold War division, there are two of everything that has to do with high culture: In eastern Berlin, grand old museums and theaters are clustered around Museum Island near Alexanderplatz in Mitte, and their western equivalents from the 1960s and '70s are just west of Potsdamer Platz in Tiergarten. After German reunification in 1990, the government poured billions of dollars into making Berlin a glass-walled architectural showcase, as best witnessed in the government quarter south of the new central train station. The buzz in Berlin, in general, centers on the revitalized eastern half of the city, which is full of art galleries, modish cafés, fashion boutiques, and more hipsters than you can count. But walking through the old western neighborhoods of Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg—the former hippie/radical and haut-bourgeois neighborhoods, respectively—shows different sides of Berlin. Kreuzberg is multicultural, with heavy Turkish and Middle Eastern influences, and Charlottenburg has old façades, massive prewar apartments, and tree-shaded streets—a perfect place to sit in a café and watch the fancy cars and old jalopies roll by.

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Architecture Walks, Berlin

Berlin boasts more new buildings designed by top international architects than perhaps any other European city. At the turn of the last century, it was, after...more

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