As I mentioned in my previous post this city has always fascinated us that how quickly Berlin has shaped into cultural and economic hub of not only Germany but also for Europe. Since reunification, the German government has spent vast amounts of money on reintegrating the two halves of the city and bringing services and infrastructure in the former East Berlin up to the standard established in West Berlin.
Mitte is the Berlin of a million postcards. Horses clip-clop, buskers serenade and crowds snap the Brandenburg Gate on Prussian boulevard Unter den Linden. Its stately backstreets hide Michelin-starred restaurants, belle-époque Berlin hotels and graceful theatres.
Unter den Linden is, in my opinion one of the most beautiful parts of Berlin, and indeed many cities I have visited. It is well worth a visit just to stroll down, however, the street is also lined with a number of restaurants and a smaller number of shops. Almost everything you want to see is on it and it is lush and gorgeous. The best thing in the city.
We walked on Unter den Linden and cross to the island in the River Spree for the Museums Quartier. This area is bulging with treasure-filled art galleries and museums. North of the river and still in Mitte, the gold-ribbed dome of the New Synagogue glints above the Jewish quarter, Scheunenviertel, the place for falafel, courtyard boutiques and upbeat bars. Then slightly east lies grandiose Communist-era Alexanderplatz square and the quaintly restored Nikolaiviertel, the medieval core of Berlin.
The French Cathedral is, arguably, one of the prettiest buildings in Berlin. Head inside for a wander around the building, whilst stopping for a bite to eat in the basement halls. Most people don’t realise that the Cathedral also houses The Huguenot Museum in the tower itself.
The New Church sits directly opposite the French Cathedral on the opposite side of the square. Head inside for a closer look at the gorgeous architecture and plan a trip to coincide with one of the many events and markets that operate within the Gendarmenmarkt beside the church.
If you’re looking to find some of the city’s world-renowned culture and art, then make sure you pop into Konzert Haus, where some of the world’s best ballet, opera and German music and theatre is held.
Mitte’s western flank is Berlin’s green lung, Tiergarten, laced with canals and bordered by the River Spree. There’s a relaxed vibe with beer gardens, flea markets and the Berlin Zoo. Stride east through serene parkland to the sculpture-strewn Government quarter, where the German parliament sits in the crystal-domed Reichstag. Just south, major hotels cluster in skyscraper-dotted Potsdamer Platz square, which buzzes with commerce. Stay here for smart dining, classical concerts at Berlin Philharmonie and the Kulturforum’s top-drawer art galleries.
Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf a genteel ambience. Kurfürstendamm, a 3.5km boulevard of high-end shops and cafés, spills into Tauentzienstrasse where the 100-year-old KaDeWe department store stands proud.
Savignyplatz and Kantstrasse are the spots for bistro dining and antiques. Kurfurstendamm (Kurfurstendam) is a long street, like the Champs Elysee of Berlin. It is full of designer and not so designer shops. There is also a good selection of bars and restaurants. The KaDeWe store at the eastern end is something else again. Besides high-quality design clothing and living items the department store also offers luxurious beauty rooms and lounges, a wedding and gift service, a hotel and home service, a tailor, hairdressers, buggy rental and a currency exchange.
The KaDeWe is well-known for its gourmet department on the sixth floor. Customers can purchase premium food products from all over the world and also enjoy the delicious offers at various bars, restaurants and cafés. We will recommend to stop by the café at the seventh floor. Due to its glass front it provides a spectacular view over the city.
Our second day was very much enjoyable and we TOTALLY loved it 🙂