The Reichstag - The Federal German Parliament Building
Berlin Mitte contains the historical heart of Berlin and is in many ways the real centre of the city. Most of the main sights are located within the Mitte district, as are most of the political institutions and also many media companies.
The area around Unter den Linden is Berlin's primary boulevard and represents the very core of the central Berlin Mitte district. In 2001, the eastern district Mitte was joined with the western districts Tiergarten and Wedding (which has nothing to do with the English word). This can lead to confusion because normally (but not officially) one says Mitte when thinking about the old district. Tiergarten consists largely of the big central park (in the south), on which borders some political and cultural institutions and the Potsdamer Platz, located in a (rather poor) residential area with a high immigrant population in the north. Wedding is similar to northern Tiergarten - basically a poorer residential district with a high immigrant population and only a few minor interesting things for tourists.
Here, we speak about the districts in their old sense (Mitte, Tiergarten, Wedding).
The old district Mitte can be divided into several neighbourhoods and sub-districts in order to help travellers crossing it:
- Unter den Linden, the main boulevard, from Museum Island to Brandenburg Gate, crossing the main shopping street, Friedrichstraße, half way along.
- Museumsinsel (Museum Island) and Lustgarten (the square in front of the Altes Museum and adjacent to the Berlin Cathedral.
- Nikolaiviertel, a quarter near Alexanderplatz which comes close to old town style, but built by the DDR regime.
- Spandauer Vorstadt with Scheunenviertel.
- The Spandauer Vorstadt is located north of the River Spree and the Hackescher Markt. It is bordered on the north by the east-west course of the Torstraße, on the east by Karl-Liebknecht-Straße and by the northern part of Friedrichstraße to the west. The eastern part of the area takes its name Scheunenviertel (the "Barn Quarter") from the move in 1672 by the Great Elector of all the hay barns out of the fire-prone city center. In the late 19th century, the area became a refuge for Jews fleeing persecution and pogrom in Russia and Poland. By then it was the centre of Jewish life in Berlin.
- Tiergarten is located west of Mitte, the Brandenburg Gate marks the north-south-border.
- Wedding is located north of Mitte, with Bernauer Straße as its border. There you can also visit some remains of the Berlin Wall.
Inside the Sony center, near Potsdamer Platz
Mitte regained its position as the main transfer point as in June 2006 with the opening of the new main station (Hauptbahnhof), a giant palace of glass and steel, which is at the border of Mitte and Tiergarten. Almost all short- and long-haul trains will arrive and depart from this station. Other main public transport stations are Friedrichstrasse and Alexanderplatz.
Mitte is served by many S- and U-Bahn lines. The S1, S2 and S25 go from north (Oranienburg and Gesundbrunnen) to south (Potsdamer Platz and Schöneberg), the Stadtbahn (city S-Bahn, line 5, 7, and 75) goes from west (Charlottenburg) to east (Friedrichshain). They cross at Friedrichstraße. U-Bahn line 2 connects Mitte with Charlottenburg (west) and Prenzlauer Berg (northeast), the U-Bahn lines 6 and 8 go north to Wedding and south to Kreuzberg and Neukölln. The litle U-Bahn line 55 from Hauptbahnhof to Brandenburger Tor.
The most important stations are:
- S+U Alexanderplatz— The main connecting station; old centre of East Berlin, now about to experience a major revival.
- S+U Friedrichstraße— For Friedrichstr., Unter den Linden and as a connecting station.
- S+U Brandenburger Tor— For Unter den Linden, Brandenburger Tor and Reichstag.
- S Hackescher Markt— For the lively area at the end of Oranienburgerstraße. Do no miss the Hackesche Höfe which is ca 20 connected backyards.
- U2 Stadtmitte / U6 Französische Straße— For Gendarmenmarkt and Friedrichstraße.
- U2 Klosterstraße— For Nikolaiviertel and Klosterviertel.
- S+U Potsdamer Platz— For Potsdamer Platz and Kulturforum (the philharmonic, some museums).
- S Tiergarten— For the Tiergarten park, the flea market on the Straße des 17th Juni and the Siegessäule (Victory column).
- S+U Gesundbrunnen— The main station of Wedding, where also some regional trains stop.
- Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor), . The only surviving Berlin city gate and a potent symbol of the city. This is the point where Straße des 17. Juni becomes Unter den Linden. The gate was designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans in 1791 and was intended to resemble the Acropolis in Athens. The Brandenburg Gate now symbolizes reunification, after dividing East and West Berlin for decades)
- Pariser Platz. The large square in front of the Brandenburg Gate contains the French and American embassies, as well as the rebuilt Hotel Adlon and the new building of the Academy of Arts.
- Berlin from below (Berliner Unterwelten), Brunnenstraße 105 (at Gesundbrunnen station), . Several daily tours 10AM-4PM in different languages. Go on guided tours below Berlin to the WWII bunkers, flak towers, cold war defence shelters, etc.
- Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), Am Lustgarten (Bus: 100, 200, U-Bahn: U2, U5, or U8 to Alexanderplatz. S-Bahn: S5, S7, or S75 to Hackescher Markt), ☎ +49 (0/20) 2026 91 36 ([email protected]), . M-Sa 9AM-8PM, Sunday and holidays noon-8PM (). The city's Protestant cathedral and the burial place of the Prussian kings. You can climb to the top and get a view of the city. €7.
- Marienkirche/Karl-Liebknecht-Straße, (next to the Fernsehturm). Gothic church, the second oldest (built in late 13th century) of the historical centre of Berlin. It's the highest church tower of Berlin (about 90 m), but seems rather small beneath the gigantic TV tower. The church tower was built in the late 18th century by Carl Gotthard Langhans, the architect of the Brandenburg Gate.
- Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas), Ebertstraße 20, ☎ +49 (0/20) 26 39 43 36 ([email protected], fax: +49 (0/20) 26 39 43 21), . A vast Holocaust memorial designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman and built close to the Brandenburg Gate and Pariser Platz, only a few hundred metres from the site of Hitler's bunker. The memorial is a very controversial one with several painful scandals coming to light over the project's life. Some criticize the memorial for only being dedicated to murdered Jews and not to other victims of Nazi genocide. It was later discovered that a company producing an anti-graffiti chemical which was used to protect the memorial owned a company that produced Zyklon-B, which was used in concentration and death camps to kill prisoners. After much criticism, it was decided to continue working with the company, much to the dismay of the Jewish community. Furthermore, Joesph Goebbels', the Nazi propaganda minister, wartime bunker is located under a part of the memorial.
- Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer), Wedding/Mitte, Visitor Center: Bernauer Straße 119, Documentation Center: Bernauer Str. 111 – The central memorial site of German division, located in the middle of the capital. – Open-Air Exhibition and Memorial Grounds: All year round Mo. - Su. 8am - 10pm, Visitor Center and Documentation Center: April - Oct.: Tu. - Su. 9:30am - 7:00pm, Nov. - March: Tu. - Su. 9:30am - 6:00pm. The outdoor grounds are open 24 hours a day all year round. Admission free. – Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station S1, S2, S25, Tram M10 – Flyer
- Neue Wache (New Guardhouse), Unter den Linden 4, . Originally erected in 1818 to a classically-inspired design by Karl Friedrich Schinkel as a guardhouse for the imperial palace, since 1993 this compact building has housed a small, but extremely powerful war cenotaph, the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany, continuing its use under East German rule as the primary "Memorial to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism". The interior of the Doric column-fronted building is intentionally empty, but for a small but moving sculpture by Käthe Kollwitz depicting a mother cradling a dead child. The statue is positioned beneath a round hole in the ceiling, exposing the figures to the rain and snow.
- The Bebelplatz (formerly Opernplatz), Opernplatz. Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels made Bebelplatz (then called Opernplatz) infamous on 10th May 1933, when he used the square across from Humboldt University to burn 20,000 books by "immoral" authors of whom the Nazis did not approve. Their list included Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Arnold Zweig, Kurt Tucholsky and Sigmund Freud. Today a monument is the reminder, though it blames Nazi students for the episode. When entering the square it's easy to miss the monument. Look dead centre: the monument is underground. A piece of plexiglass allows the viewer to look underground into a large, white room, filled with entirely empty, blank white bookcases. The absence of books reminds the viewer just what was lost here: ideas. But the event did reveal things to come, as author and philosopher Heinrich Heine, whose books were burned, said in 1821: "This was only the foreplay. Where they burn books, they will also burn people". He was correct.
Outside of the Reichstag Dome
Glass dome and spiral walkway inside the Reichstag
- The Reichstag — This imposing building houses the Federal German Parliament or "Bundestag" and was originally completed in 1894 to meet the need of the newly-unified German Empire of the Kaisers' for a larger parliamentary building. The Reichstag was intended to resemble a Renaissance palace, and its architect, Paul Wallot, dedicated the building to the German people. The massive inscription in front still reads: "Dem Deutschen Volke" - 'For the German people'. The Nazi leader Adolf Hitler exploited the fire which gutted the Reichstag building in 1933 by blaming the Communists for the arson and for attempted revolution. There is good evidence to suggest, however, that his followers were actually responsible and that this was a manufactured crisis. When German reunification became a reality, the new republic was proclaimed here at midnight on the 2nd October 1990. The Reichstag has undergone considerable restoration and alteration, not least the addition of a spectacular glass dome designed by the British architect Norman Foster. The Reichstag building is well-known in the art world thanks to Paris-based Bulgarian artist Christo's mammoth 'Wrapped Reichstag' project in 1995. The entire building was swathed in silver cloth for two weeks that summer. You can visit the dome for free but you will need to register online in advance in order to do so.
- Russische Botschaft (Russian Embassy), Unter den Linden 55/65, . A vast wedding cake of a building, built between 1949-1951 in the best Stalinist style and meant to symbolize the dominance of the Soviet Union in East German affairs before 1989.
- Nikolaikirche. Berlin's oldest church (1230) is a 3-nave hall church. It is in the center of an area destroyed by bombs in the war which was then turned into a faux "old town" by the East German authorities called Nikolaiviertel. The area is more a hodge-podge of relocated buildings than an authentic reproduction, and the newly-built 1988 apartments that attempt to "harmonize" with the older buildings are embarrassing. The church itself is one of the only structures that was renovated rather than rebuilt. It is best known for a sandstone sculpture called the Spandauer Madonna (1290), but there are other interesting pieces here. When the church was destroyed in 1938 and rebuilt in the 1970s, the communist officials intended to use it as a museum, which did not open until 1987. The museum includes sacred textiles and religious sculpture from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. The Nikolaikirche is the showplace of the Nikolaiviertel, which isn't saying much.
- The Neptunbrunnen bronze fountain by Reinhold Begas. It was erected in 1891 as a present from the city of Berlin to the Kaiser. It stands between the Marienkirche and the Rotes Rathaus, Berlin's 5th town hall, built in 1869. This is one of the nicer Neptune statues in Europe, and there are many. Neptune, trident in hand, presides over the square supported by sea-nymphs with webbed feet carrying him on a seashell. Denizens of the deep (a seal, an alligator, snakes and turtles, among others) spray water at him in homage while languishing mer-ladies pour water into the fountain, clutching sea-nets overflowing with marine bounty.
Konzerthaus at Gendarmenmarkt
- Gendarmenmarkt – The Gendarmenmarkt is a square in the Friedrichstadt in Berlin-Mitte with the Konzerthaus (concert hall) and in front of the statue of Germany's poet Friedrich Schiller, the Deutscher Dom (German cathedrals) and the Französischer Dom (French cathedrals). U6 Französische Str., U2+U6 Stadtmitte, U2 Hausvogteiplatz
Around Hackescher Markt and Oranienburger Straße:
S-Bahn S5, S7, S75, Tram M1, M4, M5, M6, 12 Hackescher Markt, S-Bahn S1, S2, S25, Tram M1, M6, 12 Oranienburger Straße
Oranienburger Straße is a popular street with tourists and Berliners for its nightlife with numerous restaurants and bars. It runs from Friedrichstraße to Hackescher Markt.
- Hackescher Markt (Hacke's Market)
- Hackesche Höfe (Hof means courtyard) – The complex consists of eight interconnected courtyards was designed in the Jugendstil or Art Nouveau style.
- Old Jewish Cemetery (Alter Jüdischer Friedhof), Große Hamburger Straße. €9-12 for tours.
- Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue), Oranienburger Straße 28/30, ☎ +49 (0/30) 8802 83 00 ([email protected], fax: +49 (0/30) 8802 84 83), .
Postfuhramt, Oranienburger Str.
- Postfuhramt (Postal Carriage Office)
- Kunsthaus Tacheles ((Art House Tacheles)
Regionalbahn, S- and U-Bahn station, Tram M2, M4, M5, M6, Bus 100, 200: „Alexanderplatz“
- In 1882 Alexanderplatz gained a train station, cementing its importance as a transportation center. Four years later, north of the station, Berlin's first large department store, the Zentral-Markthalle opened. The "Berolina," a 7.5 meter high statue by Emil Hundreiser which symbolized Berlin until it was melted down for its copper during World War II, was installed nearby in 1895, close to the then-central police station. All the hustle and bustle would soon come to an end - luckily, doctor and sometime novelist Alfred Döblin immortalized the square in a novel titled Berlin Alexanderplatz in 1929 before everything came crashing down. Literally. During World War II almost everything in Alexanderplatz was bombed out, crashed into or otherwise destroyed.
- Weltzeituhr (World Clock), Alexanderplatz (U-Bahn & S-Bahn: Alexanderplatz). Built in 1969, this 16-ton, communist-era clock is one of Berlin's main meeting points. Each of its 24 sides corresponds to one of Earth's 24 time zones and it has the names of some of the world's most important cities written on it.
- Park Inn Alexanderplatz. The tallest multistory building in Berlin at 132 meters. There is a panoramic restaurant in the uppermost floor. Sneak into the main entrance of the Radison SAS business hotel on Karl-Liebknecht Straße. Here you can have a quick glance at the famous Aquadom, the world's biggest cylindrical Aquarium. It was build in 2003 by the US company Reynolds and Hydro Sight . The best news at the end; There is no entrance fee for watching (but for taking a trip with the elevator you have to pay the entrance fee for the whole Sea Aquarium adjacent to the hotel).
- Fernsehturm/Alexanderplatz. The Fernsehturm's nickname, "Telespargel" (television-asparagus) does not come close to expressing how this huge monument to tacky 20th-century culture dominates the sweeping, open square. This 368-meter high metal vegetable (it's a TV tower) sprouted from the concrete in the years 1965-69, during a particularly hideous Soviet-inspired architectural era in the East. During certain times of day, sunlight reflecting from the top caused a large cross-shaped light to shine down on the city. Called the Rache des Papstes (Pope's revenge) by nominally atheist East Berliners, the light-cross was an ironic result of socialist architecture. Rumour has it the architect was deprived of more than his next commission after that fiasco. At night, the Fernsehturm sometimes appears to be shooting light beams from the tower section, giving the impression it's a Death Star a la Star Wars.
- The Rotes Rathaus, which is the town hall, is so called because it is made of red brick, not due to its former political persuasion. There are nice Prussian rooms inside, which are worth a look.
- Looking back in time, it becomes easier to appreciate Alexanderplatz's importance to Berlin. Historically the square was called Ochsenplatz or Ochsenmarkt (Ox-Place or Market), and the southern segment known as Paradeplatz. The section nearer the old town wall housed a wool and meat market until the nineteenth century and the southern section was used to exercise horses. The square was renamed in 1805 when Tsar Alexander I came to town to make a mutual-defense pact with Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III against Napoleon. Five streets which radiate out from the square like spokes are named after their intended destinations (Schönhauser, Prenzlauer, Greifswalder, Landsberger, and Frankfurter Allees - "allée" is another word contributed to the German language by its seventeenth-century French settlers, meaning boulevard.)
Museums and Galleries
Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
Based on plans of the famous architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1822 and starting with construction from 1830 onwards, the island in the river Spree was developed as a Museum island by the Prussian emperors. There are five museums today on that island that mainly focus on archaeology and art of the 19th century. After the reunification, all museums were restored (or are being restored still) and brought back to life. The Museumsinsel (Museum Island) has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. – Area ticket Museum Island: 18 €, young people up to the age of 18 free.
- Pergamon Museum, (Museumsinsel), . There are three huge collections housed within this grand building: the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of Near Eastern Antiquities and the Museum of Islamic Art. The Pergamon Museum was the last museum built on Museumsinsel (Museum Island) and was intended to house the great acquisitions brought to Germany by archaeologists of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The museum's best-known attraction is the Pergamonsaal. The Pergamon Altar (165 BC), from the eponymous Asia Minor city-state, is three stories high and served as the entrance gate to an entire complex. It is astounding both because of its size and extremely precise detail, especially in a frieze which shows the gods battling giants. The entire room is the same color as the building's stone, making the details on the frieze section stand out even more. Facing the stairs, on the left hand side of the room there is a small-scale model of the altar which allows the viewer to see where the frieze segments would have originally been mounted. A 1:300 scale model of Pergamon city is on the right side of the room. The monumental market door of Milet has just been restored.
The Pergamonsaal - Pergamon Museum
- Part of the Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities) — The most spectacular part of which is the reconstructed facade of the great altar of Pergamon. There is also the perhaps even greater Ish-Tar gate of Babylon, from centuries BC, which is reconstructed together with a stretch of the procession way.
- Neues Museum, Museumsinsel, . Exhibits include the Egyptian and Prehistory and Early History collections. It houses the famous bust of Nefertiti (the legality of its acquisition is still contested by the Egyptian state which is trying to get it back, so you might want to hurry to see it there).
- Altes Museum, Museumsinsel, . The main floor houses the antiquities collection in an ongoing exhibit called "Neue Antike im Alten Museum" (New Antiquities in the Old Museum). Directly through the front door, entering from the Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden, now under reconstruction), there is a domed rotunda with red and white cameos, Greek-style, with statues of the gods. To reach the Hildesheim silver collection, go to the back of the rotunda, turn left, walk through the long gallery and turn left into a small room at the end.
- Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), Museumsinsel, Bodestraße 1-3, ☎ +49 (0)30 2090 5801 ([email protected], fax: +49 30 2090 5802), . Specializes in 19th century painting and sculpture; Monet, Manet, Cézanne, C. David Friedrich and other important 18th and 19th century artists are well-represented.
- Bode-Museum, Museumsinsel, Monbijoustr. 3 – The museum’s treasures include the sculpture collection with works of art from the middle ages to the 18th century. The Bode museum is best known for its Byzantine art collection and the coin cabinet. Opening Hours: Tue - Sun 10 - 18 h, Thu 10 - 22 h, Admission Fee: 10 €, S-Bahn: Oranienburger Str.: S1, S2, S25.
- Deutsches Historisches Museum, Unter den Linden 2 (U-Bahn U6: Französische Straße, U2: Hausvogteiplatz or U6 + S: Friedrichstraße. Bus: 100, 200 und TXL (Staatsoper stop)), ☎ +49 (0)30 20304-0 (fax: +49 30 20304-543), . Daily from 10 am to 6 pm,. German historical museum covering everything from pre-history right up to the present day. One can spend many, many hours here! €8 for a day, €50 for annual pass. Children and under-18s free. english site
- Deutsche Guggenheim, Unter den Linden 13-15 (U-Bahn: U6 to Französische Strasse), ☎ +49 (0)30 2020 930 ([email protected], fax: +49 30 2020 9320), . Compared to New York, Bilbao and Venice, it is a relatively small exhibition place. It usually hosts a temporary exhibition and is free on Monday, with a free guided tour starting at 4PM. Since the place is small and the name "Guggenheim" a very famous one, the place is often very crowded.
- Museum für Post und Kommunikation, Leipziger Straße 16, ☎ +49 (0)30 202 94 0 ([email protected], fax: +49 30 202 94 111), . Hours: Tu. - Fr.: 9AM - 5PM. Sa., Su., and holidays: 10AM - 6PM (). Museum for telecommunication and post with many interesting historical objects. Normal ticket: 3 Euro.
- Zille Museum, Propststraße 11, ☎ +49 (0)30 246 32 500, . A museum dedicated to the Berliner artist.
- Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité, Charitéplatz 1, . Interesting exhibition charting the development of European hospitals from the 14th Century to the present day.
- Berlin Wall Documentation Center, Bernauer Straße 111, ☎ +49 (0/30) 464 10 30 (fax: +49 (0/30) 460 69 740), . April to October; Tu. - Su.: 10AM - 6PM. November - March; Tu. - Su.: 10AM - 5PM. ().
- DDR Museum, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 1 (across from Berliner Dom on the banks of River Spree), ☎ +49 (0)30 847 123 73-1 (, [email protected], fax: +49 30 847 123 73-9), . Su-M 10AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-10PM. A museum dedicated to every day life at the DDR time. The museum has very relaxed rules and you are allowed to touch and examine almost every object, which adds greatly to the experience. €6 ().
- Hugenottenmuseum, Gendarmenmarkt (in Französischer Dom), . Tu-Sa: noon-5pm, Su 11am-5pm. The Hugenottenmuseum represents the ongoing influence on Berlin by the Huguenots who emigrated from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Crown Prince Friedrich William encouraged them to settle here because most of them were skilled workers or otherwise useful to the Kingdom. One memorable artwork, in room nine of the museum, pictures Crown Princess Dorothea exclaiming "But he's a refugee!" upon being presented a very valuable set of jewels by Pierre Fromery. The generally agreed-upon view of refugees as poor, without resources let alone diamonds, was blown apart by the talented French Protestants forced to leave their country due to religion. One of the most notable effects of having such a large French population was their influence on the infamous Berlin dialect. Berlinerisch words such as Kinkerlitzchen (from French "quincaillerie" - kitchen equipment) and Muckefuck (from French "mocca faux" - artificial coffee) are unique to the area. The Französischen Dom (cathedral) itself was built to resemble the main church of the Huguenots in Charenton, France, destroyed in 1688. It has housed the museum since 1929. Euro 2.
- Hanf Museum Berlin , Mühlendamm 5 (Bus M48, Station 'Nikolaiviertel', everything else near Alexanderplatz), 030 / 242 48 27 ([email protected]), open Tue-Fr: 10AM-9PM, Sa/So: 12PM-8PM, Mo closed; It is the only hemp museum in Germany; you can see the history of hemp, the culture and use of it. You can see hemp grow. There is a cafe downstairs, with an open WiFi access. 4.50 Euros, Kids under 10 go free and tours are possible.
- Ramones Museum Berlin, Krausnickstraße 23 (off Oranienburgerstraße), ☎ ''0049'' 30 75528890 ([email protected]), . The Ramones Museum Berlin pays tribute to the Punk band The Ramones. It displays more than 300 unique and original Ramones memorabilia. You can get a drink at cafe Mania inside the museum. EUR 3.50.
Private art galleries
As Berlin is a city of art, it is quite easy to find an art gallery on your way. They provide a nice opportunity to have a look at modern artists' work in a not so crowded environment for free. Some gallery streets in Mitte with more than about a dozen galleries are Auguststraße, Linienstraße, Torstraße, Brunnenstraße (all north of S-Bahn station Oranienburger Straße) and Zimmerstraße (U-Bahn station Kochstraße). A directory listing of all Mitte's art galleries can be found on The Art of Berlin: Complete Berlin Art Gallery Directory 
- Art Center Berlin Friedrichstraße, Friedrichstraße 134, Tel. +49 30 27879020 . Four floors of exhibitions with a relatively good variety of genres and artists. A very nice oasis of calm from the busy Friedrichstraße.
- Galerie Eigen & Art, Auguststraße 26, Tel. +49 30 280 6605, . One of the most famous German art galleries, home to the Neue Leipziger Schule (Neo Rauch et al.)
During summertime you can enjoy an open-air cinema in front of the Altes Museum, showing alternative movies (most of them in original language). It's very wise to buy tickets for the "Sommerkino" in the afternoon if you don't want to join a long queue at night with the chance of not getting a ticket.
- Grips Theater, ([email protected]), . Famous children's theater with a light political touch, European recognition for the musical Linie 1.
- Kabarett Theater Distel, Friedrichstraße 101, ☎ +49 (0/30) 20 44 704 ([email protected], fax: +49 (0/30) 20 81 555), . Cabaret and comedy, political satire in German.
- Maxim Gorki Theater, Am Festungsgraben 2, ☎ +49 (0/30) 20221-0, . Sometimes plays the 3 Pennys Opera by Brecht.
- Chamäleon Theater Berlin, Rosenthaler Straße 40, ☎ +49 30/40005930, . Located in the trendy quarter Berlin-Mitte in the stunning Hackesche Hoefe, Chamaeleon Theatre offers exciting cross genre variety and music shows.
Opera and Musicals
- Komische Oper – Modern operas.
- Staatsoper Unter den Linden – The impressive building and royal history make the building alone worth a visit. - Closed til 2014, → Schiller Theater in Berlin-Charlottenburg.
- Imax 3D, Potsdamer Straße 4, ☎ +49 (0/30) 260 66 400 ([email protected]), . The worldwide recognised theatre at Potsdamer Straße
- Legoland Discovery Centre, Potsdamer Straße 4, ☎ +49 (0/30) 30 10 400 ([email protected]), . An educational attraction for children, featuring a LEGO replica of Berlin
- Potsdamer Platz Arkaden is a medium sized shopping mall with the usual variety of department stores and boutiques.
Shop and Café Rausch Chocolatiers at Gendarmenmarkt
- Friedrichstraße with Friedrichstadtpassagen in the underground and Galeries Lafayette – exclusive shopping
- Around Hackescher Markt and Hackesche Höfe – great place to head for a lively mix of shops, bars and cafés,
- Arkonaplatz, Prenzlauer Berg/Mitte, Sundays 10AM-5PM.
- Am Kupfergraben/Museumsinsel, Saturdays and Sundays 10AM-4PM.
Gifts and souvenirs
- boxoffberlin (a/k/a bob), Zimmerstraße 11 (U Kochstr.)  Only 100 meters from Checkpoint Charlie you will find a small but very interesting place for extraordinary souvenirs and gifts made by local designers. The gallery shows changing exhibitions of contemporary art, films and more from Berlin artists  and the little Café offers the best Espresso – fairly traded and organically grown, refreshing lemonades without artificial additives, »Berliner Weisse with a shot« ... in summer also outside in the deck chair. Open daily 11am - 6pm
- Kulturkaufhaus Dussmann, Friedrichstraße 90 (Mitte) – Books, CD's, DVD's
- Rotation, Weinbergsweg 3 (Mitte) . Offers a vast range of techno, house and electronica. Weekly news. Open Mon-Sat noon-8PM.
- Leila M, Rosa Luxemburg Str. 30 (Mitte), inside Kino Babylon . A large selection of music on CD & vinyl: romantic songwriters, inspiring pop-music, minimal techno, contemporary electronica and so on. Open Mon-Fri noon-10PM, Sat 1PM-8PM.
City centre Berlin "Mitte"
- Midtown Grill, Ebertstraße 3, ☎ 030-22000 6415 ([email protected]), . Following the tradition of the old American steakhouses, at Midtown Grill you will find the best steaks in town.
- Block House -  a number of restaurants in Berlin, where you can taste wonderful steaks.
- Restaurant Angkor Wat  Paulstraße 22, Tel. 030-393 39 22, Mo-Fr. 6PM - midnight & Sa-Su noon-midnight - Very good cambodian restaurant with authentic style. Lunch & Dinner sets are excellent value for money
- Restaurant Daimlers | Unter den Linden  Unter den Linden 14 - Friendly service, really tasty food, some special offers and extraordinary atmosphere of the Mercedes-Benz Gallery
- Brasserie Desbrosses, Potsdamer Platz 3, ☎ +49 30 33777-6340 ([email protected]), . The liaison of old and new in the ambiance of an authentic French Brasserie works perfectly with the Brasserie Desbrosses. Here guests may enjoy French cuisine in a carefully restored and leger ambiance.
- Brasserie Ganymed, Schiffbauerdamm 5, ☎ +49 30 2859-9046. Good French cuisine direct at the terrace of the river and close to the theatres.
- Brecht Keller, Chausseestr. 125, ☎ +49 30 282-3843, . Famous basement restaurant in former house of Brecht with Austrian inspired kitchen (receipts from Helene Weigel), reservations essential!
- Chén Che - Teahouse, Rosenthaler Str. 13, ☎ +49 30 2888-4282. daily 10:00-24:00.
- Chi Sing Restaurant, Rosenthaler Str. 62, ☎ +49 30 4200 89284, . daily 12:00-24:00. Reservation are welcome!
- Grill Royal, Friedrichstr. 105b, ☎ +49 30 2887-9288. Best grill restaurant in town with divine steaks and fresh oysters. Reservation for every night is essential.
- Ma, Behrenstr. 72 (next to the Hotel Adlon), ☎ +49 30 3011 17333. One Michelin star and 18 points from Gault Millau make this Asian inspired restaurant one of the best in Berlin.
- Si An Restaurant, Rykestraße 36, ☎ +49 30 40 50 57 75, . daily 12:00-24:00.
Around Oranienburger Straße
Hackescher Markt at the S-Bahnhof
- Kasbah, Gipsstraße 2, tel 030-2759 4361. Moroccan restaurant, cafe and bar.
- De Nhat, Auguststraße (near Oranienburger Straße). The best Vietnamese in town, every meal is 5 euro.
- Susuru, Rosa-Luxemburg Str. 17, tel 030-211 1182 . Stylish new Japanese restaurant specialises in Udon dishes - Japanese noodles in a tasty soup. Be prepared to get a bit slurpy with your soup - it adds to the flavour!
- Kuchi, Gipsstr. 3, ☎ 030 28 38 66. Excellent sushi restaurant with a nice garden right in the centre of Mitte.
- VAU . A Michelin star restaurant, was awarded 17 points from Gault Millau. Reservations are essential.
- Aigner . Haute cuisine mixed with influences from Berlin and Vienna (reservations essential).
- Lutter & Wegner . Berlin cuisine in top style, since 1811. They offer their own sparkling, red and white wine selections.
- Fischers Fritz, Charlottenstraße 49, tel. 030-2' 33 63 63. Offers a Japanese breakfast in the Regent hotel.
- Haifischbar, Arndtstr. 25, tel 030-691 13 52 . Bar with sushi and excellent cocktail and whiskey selection.
- Victoria Bar, Potsdamer Straße 102, tel 030-25 75 99 77 . Comfortable bar with a huge variety of cocktails.
- Newton Bar, Charlottenstr. 57 (direct at Gendarmenmarkt), tel 030-20 61 29 90. Impressive bar that is the must hang-out place for the beautiful, the famous and the rich. Excellent cigar and whiskey selection.
- Reingold, Novalisstrasse 11, tel. 030 217 516 45. Lounge in a former locomotive construction hall (1930s style), mix of after work crowd and normal scene.
- Riva, Dircksenstrasse 142, ☎ +49 030 24 72 2688. Sa-Th 8PM-after 1AM, F 7PM-after 1AM. This stylish bar, named after Italian football star Luigi Riva, boasts a colorfully displayed curved ceiling painted in red, yellow, and purple squares. It's the perfect spot for grabbing one of the assortment of exotic martinis or champagne cocktails.
- Belushi's, 39-41 Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse, ☎ +49 30 8145 3960, . 12 till late. A popular English speaking bar with one of largest range of live sports events. A very relaxed atmosphere with a 5 hour happy hour each night. Relatively low prices on food and drink.
- Tresor , Köpenicker Straße 70. Legendary club dating back to 1990s and the start of house/techno scene. Since 2007 located in a former power plant.
- KitKatClub , Brücken Straße 1. A very famous address, a unique clubbing concept mixing techno/electro/trance music with sexual freedom. Be careful and open-minded, and respect the strict dresscode of fetish, latex, leather, kinky, and high style glamour. Nonstop party from Saturday night to Sunday evening.
- Delicious Doughnuts, Rosenthaler Strasse 9, 10119 Berlin Mitte, U-bahn Rosenthalerplatz. Very cozy venue (bar-style) with a relaxed atmosphere. Definitely non-pretentious with a diverse and friendly crowd. Remember to ring the door bell and wait for the door to be opened before you walk in. There is usually a small entry fee. Especially great when coming in the early morning hours.
- Adagio, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 1, direct on Potsdamer Platz. A place with chandeliers for the healthy and older (30+) crowd.
- Cafe Moskau, Karl-Marx-Allee 34 . Every Sunday night there is the GMF, a mainly gay party U-Schillingstraße(U5).
- Sophienclub, Sophienstr. 6. Tuesdays is Britpop, Disco on Thursdays and Funk & Soul on Saturdays.
- Grüner und Roter Salon  , Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz 2, right and left at the Volksbühne. On weekends hip hop, electro, 80s and indie with freestyle DJs. Grüner Salon also features Swing/Tango/Salsa Parties.
- Club der polnischen Versager, Ackerstraße 170, tel 030-280 937 79 . From Polish films to country music, everything to make our neighbours feel like home. Closed right now till the end of the year (2008).
- CCCP, Rosenthaler Str. 71, tel 0179 69 29 13. CCCP is a GDR-inspired club/bar with a nice atmosphere and alternative music.
- Levee Club, Neue Promenade 10, it is right under the bridge of the trainstation. it is small and comfortable. mainly they play indie and electronic music and sometimes 60ies. people from 18-27 and sometimes older go there. the entrance is mostly cheap.
- 40 Seconds, Potsdamer Strasse 58, ☎ 030 890 642 41 ([email protected]), . Named for the amount of time it takes the elevator to reach the dance floor, this club has three roof terraces and an amazing view of the city. Come here in the summer when it's warm
Accommodation in Mitte is mostly catered for the backpacker or business traveller so the mid-range market is small. When you intend to travel for a trade fair, prices tend to rise fast but not as bad as in Frankfurt. During off-peak times, the splurge hotels offer substantials discounts that bring down the price to mid-range level (€120 per night is offered sometimes), so check carefully upfront for special offers.
- baxpax Mitte Hostel Berlin (Mittes Backpacker Hostel), Chausseestr. 102 (U Naturkundemuseum), ☎ +49 30 2839-0965 ([email protected], fax: +49 30 2839-0935), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Berlin's first art hostel was completely renovated in early 2011. The rooms are light and stylish, they have a guest kitchen, bike rental and free Wi-Fi. From €9. (52.53206,13.38018)
- baxpax downtown Hostel Berlin, Ziegelstr. 29 (S-Bahn Friedrichstraße), ☎ +49 30 27874-880 ([email protected], fax: 28 39 09 35), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Hip, stylish cross between Youth Hostel and Hotel with a mixture of top level service and multi-cultural and cosy atmosphere. They have a nice bar, a roof top terrace with a pool and free Wi-Fi. From €15. (52.58887,13.46899)
- The Circus Hostel, Weinbergsweg 1a (U-Bahn: Rosenthaler Platz), ☎ +49 30 2839-1433 ([email protected]s-berlin.de, fax: +49 30 2839-1484), . 2-Bed rooms start at €28 per person, sleeping hall starts at €19. Not to be confused with the hotel of the same name across the street.
- ariviGo Accommodation, Dircksenstr. (S-Bahn Hackescher Markt), ☎ +49 30 2404-77170 ([email protected]), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. near Alexanderplatz and Brandenburg Gate in the centre of Berlin . from €45.
- Cityhostel Berlin, Glinka Str. 5-7, ☎ 030 23 88 66 850 ([email protected], fax: +49 30 2388-66851), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. 8 minutes away from Brandenburg Gate & Potsdamer Platz. from €12.
- Gästehaus Berlin Mitte (former Gästehaus der Charité), Habersaathstraße 40a (Metro station Naturkundemuseum, S-Bahn Hauptbahnhof or Friedrichstraße TRAM M6, M8), ☎ +49 30 9929-68820 ([email protected], fax: +49.30.992 968 849), . checkin: 10.30; checkout: 10.00. Single room starts at €39, double room at €49 per room, dormitory at €19 per person.
- Heart of Gold Hostel Berlin, Johannisstr. 11 (U-Bahn: Oranienburger Tor, S-Bahn: Friedrichstraße/Oranienburger Straße), ☎ +49 30 2900-3300 ([email protected], fax: 290 44 717), . Private rooms start at €20/person, big dorms start at €9. (52.5244,13.3917)
- Helter Skelter Hostel Berlin (former Clubhouse Hostel), Kalkscheunenstr. 4-5 (U-Bahn: Oranienburger Tor, S-Bahn: Friedrichstrasse), ☎ +49 30 2804-4997 ([email protected], fax: +49 30 2904-4717), . Double rooms start at €46/room, big dorms start at €13
- Meininger Hotel Berlin Central Station, Ella-Trebe-Straße 9 (S-Bahn: Hauptbahnhof), tel. +49 30 666 36 100 (fax: +49 30 666 36 222) ([email protected]), . Double Rooms start at €39 per person, dormitory starts at €21. It's next to the Central Station - just 50 m to walk.
- St Christopher's Berlin (Berlin Hostel), 39-41 Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse, ☎ +49 30 8145-3960 ([email protected], fax: +49 30 8145-3960), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. A new well maintained hostel with large public bar downstairs located in Mitte. Generally good security and friendly international staff. Part of a large independent hostel chain. €18 with breakfast.
- wombats CITY HOSTEL Berlin, Alte Schönhauser Str. 2 (near Hackesche Höfe in a trendy area), ☎ +49 30 8471-0280 ([email protected]), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. All rooms with shower and toilet; free Wi-Fi, bar with happy hour etc. €17-60.
- Circus Hotel  Rosenthalerstr. 1 - About ten steps from the Rosenthaler Platz U-bahn. Nicer version of the hostel. Breakfast included, free wifi; free laptops, DVDs, and iPods available to borrow. Reserve early and ask for interior room if street noise bothers you at night. Exceptionally friendly service.
- NH Berlin Mitte, Leipziger Strasse 106-111, . Renovated in 2008, this hotel offers 392 spacious bedrooms, meeting rooms and a spa.
- Hotel de Rome / Located at Bebelplatz next to Unter Den Linden and the Museumsinsel. The latest addition to Berlin's most luxurious hotels.
- Hotel Adlon, Unter den Linden 77 (Pariser Platz, Unter den Linden), tel +49 30 22610, fax +49 30 2261-2222 email: [email protected] Located directly at the Brandenburg Gate and was rated the best hotel of Europe in 2006.
- The Westin Grand Berlin, Friedrichstraße 158-164 (at the corner of Friedrichstraße and Unter Den Linden), ☎ +49 30 20270, . Five-star hotel provides newly decorated accommodations facing the famous boulevard. Pomp architecture of the former GDR. (52.5159,13.3886)
- The Regent, Charlottenstraße 49, . Former Four Seasons hotel now managed by Radisson SAS. Located next to Gendarmenmarkt near Unter Den Linden.
- Maritim pro arte, Friedrichstraße 151, . Popular with international business travellers and excellent breakfast buffet.
- Hilton Hotel Berlin , Mohrenstraße 30. The Hilton Berlin is situated near Gendarmenmarkt.
- Art'otel Mitte, Wallstr. 70-73 (next to the Markisches Museum metro stop), ☎ +49, . A stylish hotel though with smallish rooms. Great breakfast - double-check that your reservation includes it. Helpful staff.
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 3, ☎ +49 30 238 280, . The main attraction of the hotel is the AquaDom, the world's largest cylindrical aquarium containing one million litres of saltwater.
- Courtyard by Marriott Berlin City Centre, Axel Springer Straße 55,  Just a two-minute walk to the subway and situated close to highlights.
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