Since I’m in Berlin for the weekend, I thought why not do a post on some of my favourite places and things to do when I’m back home. Although I’m a Berliner born and bred, I haven’t lived in the city for over 13 years. After so much time away, I’m more of a tourist myself and often find myself exploring my hometown all over again. The city has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. It’s hard to keep up! That said, some places in Berlin have never lost their appeal to me and I go back to them time and time again.
One of my favourite spots in the city is the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park, near the train station (S-Bahn Treptower Park). It’s an impressive example of Soviet architecture, commemorating the Soviet soldiers that fell during the liberation of Berlin in April-May 1945. It also serves as a military cemetery with approximately 5000 Red Army soldiers being buried here. Treptower Park is just beside the river Spree, you can do a boat tour from here or rent a paddle boat.
The area around the large boulevard Karl-Marx-Allee is well worth exploring. Friedrichshain, along with Prenzlauer Berg, is Hipster central and packed with bars, restaurants and quirky shops. I’d recommend a walking tour to explore the area and its history in more detail. The Stadt im Ohr audio guide tour takes you along the Karl-Marx-Allee and gives you a background to the origins of East Berlin after the Second World War. I discovered a lot of hidden treasures on it that I had never noticed before, despite having spent a lot of time in Friedrichshain.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the Berliner and on weekends we like to brunch for hours, preferably in one of the city’s many cafés. One of my favourite weekend brunch places has always been Café Intimes on Boxhagener Strasse in Friedrichshain. They offer a large buffet with plenty of choice and in the summer you can sit outside, soaking up the sun and atmosphere. The Intimes also houses a small cinema.
I think Berlin is at its best during the summer months when you can take real advantage of the city’s many parks and beergardens. Clärchens Ballhaus, at August Strasse in district Mitte, is an over 100 year old dance hall with a fantastic beergarden. They also serve food, and once you’ve had enough to eat and drink, you can have a boogie. I don’t think the place has changed since my grandparents celebrated their wedding reception there.
Hop on over to the German capital and enjoy your stay! Let me know what are your favourite places in the city.