When I went through my city guide archive on iHeartBerlin I noticed that I neglected one of my favorite districts of the city a little bit in recent months. I lived in the North of Mitte for about 4,5 years and I quickly grew very fond of my neighborhood there around Rosenthaler Platz. Even though I live in Prenzlauer Berg now I still go there all the time and I really miss some of the places that I used to frequent on a daily basis. Mitte might have the reputation of being overly commercial, but I think still it is the best place for food, fashion and art as it has the best fashion shops, most important art galleries and the most popular restaurants in town.
For our new guide I decided to create a little art tour through Mitte with some of the most important galleries for contemporary art as well as some of my favorite places that you will come across on the way. This walking tour is my ultimate suggestions on how to spend a day in Berlin-Mitte dedicated to art. Keep your eyes open on the way, as you will come across some nice shops, cafes and restaurants as well. Enjoy and be inspired!
Re:Surgo is a small book shop specialized in art editions, fanzines and art prints that have a more illustrative and graphical aesthetic. They do their own silk screen prints in a workshop in the back which they use for some of their puplications and artworks they sell. It’s a cute space with lots of inspiring and funny products and books.
Torstr. 110, Mon-Sat 13-19h, www.resurgo-berlin.com
Do You Read Me?!
From books we are moving on to magazines. Do You Read Me?! is the number one address for magazines, both national and international, that cover the genres of fashion, art, design, lifestyle, architecture and literature. They have a lot of rare special editions and zines that you can only get there as well as popular orginal versions of international magazines. If you like magazines you will not leave this store empty handed.
Auguststr. 28, Mon-Sat 10-19:30h, www.doyoureadme.de
This place has absolutely nothing to do with art, but it’s somehow a piece of art itself. It’s embedded in one of my favorite streets in Mitte: Auguststraße, which features quite a lot of places on this tour and is just a beautiful street that has a lot of small galleries and cute cafes and restaurants. Clärchens Ballhaus is one of the last unrenovated old houses in the street and therefore has a very special and unique charme. It has a nice beergarden and restaurant in the frontyard, a new ballroom in the ground floor for dance evenings and an amazing antique ballroom in the first floor for concerts, elegant dinner nights and special events. It’s a unique, one-of-a-kind place in the heart of Berlin that you will just fall in love with.
Auguststr. 24, daily 11-open end, www.ballhaus.de
me Collectors is the gallery of a private collector group that show changing group and solo exhibition curated from private collections of contemporary art. It also has a permanent exhibition called the Wunderkammer which features some old colonial artifacts as well as modern sculptures, it’s a bit creepy actually and a lot of the exhibits are about death. The cafe in the front and the museum shop is quite nice too and invites you to hang our there a little bit.
Auguststr. 68, Tue-Sun 12-18h, www.me-berlin.com
The KW – short for Kunstwerke (which means artworks) – is one of the most important museums for contemporary art in Berlin. It’s not only the main host of the Berlin Biennale but also features many different exhibitions per year with a quite diverse program covering photography, painting, sculture and video art. They have a lovely cafe in the yard as well.
Auguststr. 69, Wed-Mon 12-19h, Thu 12-21h, www.kw-berlin.de
Jewish Girls School
The former Jewish Girls School is one of the new artsy additions on August street that opened its doors after years of renovations in 2012. It hosts 3 galleries, the Kennedy museum, a fancy restaurant and bar called Pauly Saal and a very good Jewish deli called Mogg which is quite popular as a lunch place for all the agency people in Mitte, but they also serve breakfast and as they are open quite late are also an option for dinner. Their specialty are delicious pastrami sandwiches and bagels, but the true star of this place is the cheesecake, undoubtedly one of the best in Berlin.
Auguststr. 11-13, www.maedchenschule.org
The Tacheles is an old impressive building that was once constructed as a shopping mall over 100 years ago. In the past century it was used as a showroom for the General Electric Company, an office for the Nazis, a school for economics, a cinema and a lot more. Due to the damages from the second World War and the deterioration over the decades after it was supposed to be taken down, but the artist initiative Tacheles saved it and used it as an artist commune for years to come. It was a colorful space full of murals and scultures in the backyard that also hosted a bar, a club and a cinema. Unfortunately the commune as well as the gastronomy was evicted and now the building remains an empty ruin with an uncertain future.
Oranienburger Str. 54, www.kunsthaus-tacheles.de
Sammlung Boros – Bunker
The private collection of art collector Christian Boros is a must see for every lover of contemporary art on their visit in Berlin. The current exhibition features the work of top-notch artists such as Ai Weiwei, Olafur Eliasson and Wolfgang Tillmans. It’s part of the galleries concept that you can only access with a guided tour, but these are really good so it’s worth making a reservation for it. The exhibition is hosted inside an old bunker that was previously used as a techno club and more interestingly a storage for bananas in the GDR which gave it the nickname “banana bunker”.
Reinhardstr. 20, Thu 15-20h, Fri 10-20h, Sat-Sun 10-18h, by appointment only, www.sammlung-boros.de