Our Tuesday tour leads us along the river that divides Berlin: the Spree, from the architecturally modern government district by the classics of the museum island past the quirky village at the Holzmarkt to the nightlife hub at the junction with the canal. No other path shows the diversity of Berlin better than its main water way. Enjoy our Tuesday tour of our 7 Days in Berlin Guide.
Breakfast: Refinery High End Coffee
We’re kicking off a day of Berlin fun at the Refinery High End Coffee bar in Mitte. Close to thee Spree, it fits perfectly to our today’s route but it’s also a fantastic discovery in itself. One of the very best coffee places in town, and believe me – Berliners care deeply about the exact methods they relay on to stay awake, Refinery is supplied by Norway’s famous roaster Tim Wendelboe. When you’re done with the breakfast, take an s-bahn to Hauptbahnhof from the nearby Friedrichstrasse station.
Refinery High End Coffee, Albrechtstraße 11B, 10117 Berlin Mitte
photos: Thomas Kakareko
Our first stop is just around the corner – and it used to be a train station as well! Hamburger Bahnhof is perhaps Berlin’s best space to see contemporary art. The permanent collection is world class, and the architecture is uniquely awesome – it is indeed a former train station, and the museum designers did well to convert the halls and long corridor into a sort of shrine for big ideas and creative feelings.
Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557 Berlin Mitte
photo: Keith Telfeyan
You can either walk or take a short ride on our newest U-Bahn line, the u55 – and there you are at Regierungsviertel! The government district in Mitte is one of the rare sleek spots where Berlin unambiguously looks like a major European capital. It’s clean, pleasant, and you can spice up your bike trip with some high profile sights.
Reichstag building, Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
photo: Alicia Kassebohm
As Hildegaard Knef sang in the awesome song ”Heimweh nach dem Kurfürstendamm”, ”our Brandenburg Gate has seen a lot”. We don’t really peek at it on an everyday basis though – unless we count the outline adorning the windows of the ubahn. So whenever you get the chance to look at it and be reminded of how pretty can Berlin be, take it.
Brandenburger Tor, Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin Mitte
Unter den Linden
Literally the street ”under the lime trees”, this beautiful boulevard is home to some important landmarks, like the Staatsoper or the Humboldt University. It’s worth checking out at any rate – even only for the major contrast you’ll experience when you go see some less classy neighborhoods.
The Museum Island, as the name suggests, is the location of some of the city’s most stunning art collections. It might be one of the main tourist attractions, but it received this status for a reason. The magnificent buildings,the paths lined with columns, the bridges, the statues. All of this combined make a remarkable atmosphere in the right time of the day and with the right light.
So far, so good? Just think that it was only the more official part. Now let’s dive into some authentic Berlin. Holzmarkt is only a 20 minutes train ride away. Developed from a tiny shack of scrap wood abandoned at the Spree bank, today Holzmarkt is a quirky urban oasis. It’s a true embodiment of the multifaceted Berlin spirit, offering restaurants and food stalls, a daycare for kids, a wine shop, a gallery, a yoga studio, a coworking space, two stages for theater and all kinds of events, several bars and of course the club Kater Blau right in the middle of it all.
Holzmarkt, Holzmarktstraße 25, 10243 Berlin Friedrichshain
East Side Gallery
Apart from the great (and free of charge) museum at the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Str, the Eastside Gallery provides the most insight into the story of Berlin Wall. You can literally walk around its remnants that are now adorned with various murals and graffiti, many of them holding cult status because of their powerful message.
East Side Gallery, Mühlenstraße, 10243 Berlin Friedrichshain
The Urban Spree gallery and shop is an atmospheric place for events, concerts, parties, exhibitions, workshops, live paintings and simply to hang out and have a drink. You will see the latest in urban art here and can get your hands on great art books, prints and other street art-themed products.
Urban Spree, Revaler Str. 99, 10245 Berlin Friedrichshain
photo: Urban Spree
Walking from Urban Spree to the Oberbaumbrücke, you’ll have to pass through yet another iconic bridge – Warschauerbücke. You might enjoy its raw industrial charm – it’s in the midst of a never-ending construction site. Oberbaumbrücke, on the other hand, is a curious yet charming piece of architecture. To me, passing through it on the U1 has something from an amusement park ride.
photo: Keith Telfeyan
Dinner – Freischwimmer
Our last stop will allow you to restore some energy after all the sightseeing. Freischwimmer, right by Landwehrkanal, is one of the oldest restaurants of the area. Providing space indoors and outdoors, you’ll definitely enjoy it under any weather circumstances, although the outside is clearly lovelier with its wooden decking over the water making you feel like you’re in a boathouse.
Freischwimmer, Vor dem Schlesischen Tor 2, 10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg