Mitte, literally meaning "the middle" and being a contraction of Stadtmitte (city centre), contains the historical heart of Berlin and represents in many ways the real center of the city. It is here where you will find the vast majority of the most popular sights.
It is important to note that "Mitte" can refer both to a larger district (Bezirk) and its smaller component (Ortsteil), which incidentally used to be a district itself until 2001, when the administrative division of Berlin changed. In this guide, we focus on the smaller Ortsteil Mitte, while covering some of the points of interest located right beyond its borders that are convenient to include in your tour of Mitte.
For other Ortsteile contained within the present-day Bezirk Mitte, such as Tiergarten, Moabit or Wedding, see Berlin/City West.
Before the reunification of Germany, Mitte was a district of East Berlin and the place where the Berlin Wall was most prominent, running right through the historic fabric of the city. Following reunification, the old administrative division was kept for a decade, with the Mitte retaining its borders unchanged, but slowly merging with neighbouring districts of former West Berlin, Tiergarten and Wedding.
In 2001, the hitherto Mitte, Tiergarten and Wedding were all merged into a new district, called Bezirk Mitte. The former districts became localities (Ortsteile) of the Bezirk Mitte. This may lead to confusion, as both the Ortsteil and Bezirk are referred to as "Mitte" in the common parlance and many written texts. It is generally safer to assume that most Berliners would refer to "Mitte" as the Ortsteil and former district, which is smaller and more cohesive.
As the administrative divisions serve other functions that just helping travellers, this guide oversteps the boundaries of the Ortsteil Mitte and includes some neighbouring parts located in other Ortsteile of the Bezirk Mitte, including the Spreebogen or Potsdamer Platz areas.
Areas of Mitte
The old district Mitte as covered in this guide can be divided into several neighborhoods:
- 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 center of Jewish life in Berlin.
- Potsdamer Platz - the area around the completely razed Potsdamer Platz became no man's land between East and West Berlin and remained an empty strip of land until the 1990s, when it was rebuilt as a large project including striking highrises of concrete and steel, mixing offices and commercial space.
- Spreebogen/Regierungsviertel - "Spreebogen" means "the bow of the river Spree" and in Berlin generally refers to a particular one, where Spree meets the Berlin-Spandau Canal. The area around it houses the German federal government's institutions on the south (or left) bank, called Regierungsviertel ("government district"), while directly opposite it you will find Berlin's all-new central train station Hauptbahnhof.
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.
S- and U-Bahn
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 little 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.
One of the best, and most cost-effective, ways of exploring Berlin is riding one of Berlin's over 400 double-decker buses. You can enjoy great views, especially if you get to sit in the front, at just the cost of a bus ticket. There are two lines especially developed with tourists in mind - the 100 and 200 - as well as some MetroBus lines (replacing the tram system dismantled in West Berlin), both of which are generally operated using double-decker buses.
- line 100 (see route map) goes from Alexanderplatz through Unter den Linden, through the Regierungsviertel and then further through the Tiergartenpark to the Zoologischer Garten train station in the former West Berlin
- line 200 (see route map) starts in Prenzlauer Berg in East Berlin, then goes via Alexanderplatz and Unter den Linden following line 100, but then turns south and drives through Leipziger Platz, Potsdamer Platz and the Kulturforum ultimately taking you to Zoologischer Garten train station over a slightly different route
- line M48 also starts at Alexanderplatz, but goes along Leipziger Straße (convenient for Checkpoint Charlie), Potsdamer Platz, Kulturforum and the into Schöneberg in West Berlin
- line M85 takes you from the Hauptbahnhof through the Regierungsviertel, along the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial into Potsdamer Platz, Kulturforum and ends up in Schöneberg as well.
The buses generally operate every 10 minutes and you may rely on their punctuality except for extreme rush hours, but do mind diversions due to the frequent construction works in Berlin and check the current Fahrplan at bvg.de, the bus stops and on the bus. There is a good chance all important notices will be posted in English just as well. Do also note that the buses do not operate in the night (a separate, different night buses network does) and that there is no guarantee, just a very high chance, that you will get to ride a double-decker bus.
The cost of a day pass on all forms of Berlin transit within zones A and B (including the Tegel airport) is €6.70 (full tariff as of November 2013), which is less than most "hop-on" bus tours on offer and gives you much more flexibility and better access due to the multitude of lines and stops. The downside is that some lines get pretty crowded in rush hours, and obviously no buses are open-top.
Dorotheenstadt / Unter den Linden
- Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor), Pariser Platz. 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.
- 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.
- KunstHalle (Former Deutsche Guggenheim), Unter den Linden 13-15 (U-Bahn: U6 to Französische Straße), ☎ +49 30 20 20 930, fax: +49 30 20 20 9320, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00–20:00. This former German Guggenheim branch is run entirely by Deutsche Bank since 2013. Compared to the Guggenheims in 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 16:00. Since the place is small and the name "Guggenheim" a very famous one, the place is often very crowded. €4, free on Mondays.
- 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). 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.
- Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum), Unter den Linden 2 (U-Bahn: Französische Straße, Hausvogteiplatz or Friedrichstraße. Bus: 100, 200 und TXL (Staatsoper stop)), ☎ +49 30 203040, fax: +49 30 20304-543. 10:00–18:00. German historical museum covering everything from pre-history right up to the present day. One can spend many, many hours here! The building from 1695/1730 was the Zeughaus (Arsenal) until 1876. €8, concession €4, under-18s free.
- Friedrichswerdersche Kirche, Werderscher Markt 1. Closed until further notice. Nice church located near Unter den Linden/Museum Island, finished in 1830 by Schinkel in English Neogothic style. Nice exhibition inside (neoclassical statues and an exhibition about Schinkel's life and work upstairs). Free.
- St.-Hedwigs-Kathedrale. Domed Church located at Bebelplatz/Unter den Linden, the oldest (mid-18th century) and one of the biggest Catholic churches in Berlin. Interior was redesigned in a modern style in the 1950s – but still many treasure chambers in the basement.
- Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears), Reichstagsufer 17 (just north of Friedrichstraße station) (S Friedrichstraße, U6 Friedrichstraße, U2 Stadtmitte), ☎ +49 30 4677 779 11. Tu–F 09:00–19:00, Sa Su 10:00–18:00. Millions of visitors leaving East Berlin by train said tearful goodbyes to their friends and relatives from the East at this former border checkpoint. Hardly a year after the wall came down, the building was turned into a nightclub until it was forced to close in 2006. It re-opened as a museum in September 2011 and now houses a permanent exhibition that brings the absurd normality of everyday life in the divided city back to life. Free.
- Gendarmenmarkt – the Gendarmenmarkt is a square in the Friedrichstadt 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
- Deutscher Dom (German Bundestag's historical exhibition), ☎ +49 30 229 1760. Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. Berlin’s Deutscher Dom on the magnificent Gendarmenmarkt square is not to be confused with the Berliner Dom. It was built in 1708. Since 1992 a German Parliament exhibition can be seen here entitled “Paths, Loosing Track and Detours” or the development of parliamentary democracy in Germany – ways and roundabouts. No religious services are held here. Free.
- Französischer Dom (Hugenottenmuseum), Gendarmenmarkt 5. Tu–Su 12:00–17:00. 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. €2.
- Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas), Ebertstraße 20, ☎ +49 20 26 39 43 36, fax: +49 20 26 39 43 21, e-mail: email@example.com. Memorial open 24 hours, information centre Tu–Su 10:00–19:00. A vast Holocaust memorial designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman. Opened in the spring of 2005, this gigantic abstract artwork covering an entire block near the Brandenburg Gate, including an underground museum with extensive details on the Holocaust and the people who died during it. The blocks start out at ground level on the outer edges of the memorial, and then grow taller towards the middle, where the ground also slopes downwards. Free.
- Museum für Post und Kommunikation (Museum for Communication), Leipziger Straße 16, corner of Mauerstraße, ☎ +49 30 202 94 0, fax: +49 30 202 94 111, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu 09:00–20:00, W–F 09:00–17:00, Sa Su 10:00–18:00. The former Imperial General Post Office, now Museum for telecommunication and post with many interesting historical objects. €4, concession €2, under-18s free.
At the border to Kreuzberg
- Checkpoint Charlie. It was the only border crossing between East and West Berlin that permitted foreigners passage. Residents of East and West Berlin were not allowed to use it. This contributed to Checkpoint Charlie's mythological status as a meeting place for spies and other shady individuals. Checkpoint Charlie gained its name from the phonetic alphabet; checkpoints "Alpha" and "Bravo" were at the autobahn checkpoints Helmstedt and Dreilinden respectively. Checkpoint Charlie's atmosphere was not improved at all on 27 Oct 1961 when the two Cold War superpowers chose to face each other down for a day. Soviet and American tanks stood approximately 200 m apart, making an already tense situation worse. Now the remains of the Berlin Wall have been moved to permit building, including construction of the American Business Center and other institutions.
At the intersection of Zimmerstraße and Friedrichstraße (U-Bahn Kochstraße U6) is the famous "You Are Leaving the American Sector" sign. The actual guardhouse from Checkpoint Charlie is now housed at the Allied Museum on Clayallee. For a more interesting exhibit go to the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie. This is a private museum with kitschy memorabilia from the Wall as well as the devices GDR residents used to escape the East (including a tiny submarine!)
- Topography of Terror, Kreuzberg, Niederkirchnerstraße 8 (Bus M41 „Abgeordnetenhaus“, Bus M29 „Wilhelmstr./Kochstr.“, S+U2 „Potsdamer Platz“ or U6 „Kochstraße“). 10:00–20:00. This museum documents the terror applied by the Nazi regime. Free.
- Martin-Gropius-Bau, Kreuzberg, Niederkirchnerstraße 7 (Bus M41 "Abgeordnetenhaus" or S1, S2, S25, U2 "Potsdamer Platz"), ☎ +49 30 254 86 0. W–M: 10:00–19:00. Exhibition hall. Around €10, varies between exhibits. Free for ages 16 and under.
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, red. €9, young people up to the age of 18 free. – 3-day-museums-pass (55 museums): €24, red. €12
- Pergamon Museum (Museumsinsel, new visitor entrance: Bodestraße 1-3). F–W 10:00–18:00, Th 10:00–20:00. 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 colour 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. Admission: €12, discounted: €6, children under age of 18 free.
- Part of the Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities) — The most spectacular part of which is the reconstructed façade 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.
- Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East)
- Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum of Islamic Art) with the façade from Mshatta and the Aleppo Room.
- Neues Museum. F–W 10:00–18:00, Th 10:00–20:00. Museumsinsel Admission: €12, discounted: €6, children under age of 18 free.
- 'Egyptian Museum' and Papyrus Collection (Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung). – 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).
- Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (Museum of Pre- and Early History). – Museum for Pre- And Early History with objects from the Collection of Classical Antiquities in the Neues Museum
- Altes Museum, Museumsinsel, Am Lustgarten. 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 30 2090 5801, fax: +49 30 2090 5802, e-mail: email@example.com. Specializes in 19th century painting and sculpture; Monet, Manet, Cézanne, C. David Friedrich and other important 18th and 19th century artists are well-represented. Admission: €10, discounted: €5, children under age of 18 free.
- Bode-Museum, Museumsinsel, Monbijoustr. 3 (S-Bahn: Oranienburger Str.: S1, S2, S25 or Hackescher Markt S5, S7, S75). F–W 10:00–18:00, Th 10:00–20:00. 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. Admission Fee: €8, red.: €4, children under age of 18 free.
- 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 20 2026-9136, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 09:00–20:00, Su and holidays 12:00–20:00. 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.
- Stadtschloss – Humboldt-Forum (Berlin City Palace). Started in the 15th century and finished in the mid-18th century, the baroque palace was the residence of electors, kings and emperors until 1918, when it became a museum. The original palace was badly damaged during World War II and later razed in 1950, replaced by the GDR with a modernist Palast der Republik. The Palast was in turn gradually dismantled at the turn of the century, as it was discovered to contain asbestos and its former function of housing the GDR parliament became obsolete. Berlin has started in June 2013 construction on a new version of its historic Stadtschloss. Now the building is scheduled to open in 2019.
Alexanderplatz / Alt-Berlin
The square formerly hosting a cattle market (Ochsenplatz) was named after the Russian Tsar Alexander I when he visited in 1805. It rose to prominence in the 19th century following the construction of railway and gradually became the eastern focal point of Berlin. The bustling area around the square was immortalized by Alfred Döblin in a monumental novel Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929).
The Alexanderplatz area was largely destroyed during the Second World War and redeveloped by socialist city planners as the new centre of East Berlin. The vast expanses of open spaces and large, imposing examples of modern architecture provide for a very different feel than the part of Mitte located across the Spree. Incidentally, the areas directly southwest of modern-day Alexanderplatz were the places where the city of Berlin originates from (Alt-Berlin), and many remains of that can be found interspersed between the modern architecture of the quarter.
Two of the highest buildings in Berlin, the Fernsehturm and the Park Inn hotel, dominate today's Alexanderplatz, while historic buildings such as the Rotes Rathaus, Marienkirche and the Nikolaiviertel flank its sides.
- Fernsehturm (Television tower), Panoramastraße 1A (S-Bahn and U-Bahn Alexanderplatz), ☎ +49 30 24 75 75 37. Mar–Oct 09:00–00:00, Nov–Feb 10:00–00:00. At 368 metres, the Fernsehturm is Berlin's tallest and indeed EU's second-tallest building, complected between 1965 and 1969. The main function of the building is television broadcasting, but the shiny sphere atop the tower houses a viewing platform, a restaurant and a Berlin Tourist Information point. The viewing platform sits 203 metres above ground, affording views of as much as 42 km away and featuring a bar. The Sphere restaurant at 207 metres rotates at a speed of one full spin per 30 minutes. There are two lifts from the base to the platform and cafe, taking 40 seconds to reach the top, as well as a 986-step staircase. The Fernsehturm is not accessible to wheelchair users.
Not all of the Berliners liked the tower and the overall composition of the Alexanderplatz afforded by the socialist city planners, and they nicknamed the building "Telespargel" ("television asparagus"). 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. €13, children €8.50.
- 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.
- Neptunbrunnen. A bronze fountain by Reinhold Begas. It was erected in 1891 as a present from the city of Berlin to the Kaiser. 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 mermaids pour water into the fountain, clutching sea-nets overflowing with marine bounty.
- Rotes Rathaus (red city hall). The town hall of Berlin is called so 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.
- Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church), 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.
- Domaquaree, Karl-Liebknecht Straße (In the Radisson BLU hotel). The twin buildings of the complex house the Radisson hotel and the Sea Life Centre. In the Radisson lobby you can have a quick glance at the famous Aquadom, the world's biggest cylindrical aquarium with a built-in elevator. 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 Life Centre.
- Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church), Nikolaikirchplatz, ☎ +49 30 24 002-162. daily 10:00–18:00. 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. €5.
- Zille Museum, Propststraße 11, ☎ +49 30 246 32 502. A museum in Nikolaiviertel dedicated to the Berliner artist Heinrich Zille.
- Hanf Museum Berlin (Museum of hemp), Mühlendamm 5 (Bus M48, Station 'Nikolaiviertel', everything else near Alexanderplatz), ☎ +49 30 242 48 27, e-mail: email@example.com. Tu–F 10:00–20:00, Sa Su 12:00–20:00, M 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, concession €3.
- DDR Museum, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 1 (across from Berliner Dom on the banks of River Spree), ☎ +49 30 847 123 73-1, fax: +49 30 847 123 73-9, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Su–F 10:00–20:00, Sa 10:00–22:00. A museum dedicated to everyday 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. €7, concession €4.
Spreebogen / Regierungsviertel
Reichstag or Bundestag?
You may be confused to find the large building with the glass dome referred to by two different names. Reichstag (short for Reichstagsgebäude, Reichstag building) refers to the building itself, while Bundestag is the name of the legislative body that meets there – the German parliament. In everyday speech, Germans don't always make that distinction and sometimes refer to the building as Bundestag (even the U-Bahn stop is called that), but never the other way around: the last people to refer to the parliament as Reichstag were the nazis. As a visitor, feel free to use both terms for the building, you will be understood.
- 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 glass dome or a parliamentary debate on your own or follow along on a guided tour through the building. Free, but pre-booking is required, sometimes weeks in advance. Bring valid ID.
- Bundeskanzleramt (Chancellor's Office).
- Kongresshalle – Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of the Cultures of the World). W–M 11:00–19:00. Germany's national centre for contemporary non-European art. The house is a leading centre for the contemporary arts and a venue for projects breaking through artistic boundaries. This architectural landmark was an American contribution to the international building exhibition INTERBAU 1957 as an embodiment of the free exchange of ideas. Colloquially called Schwangere Auster (Pregnant Oyster). Around €8 depending on exhibit.
- Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart (Museum for the Present), Invalidenstraße 50-51. T–Su 10:00–18:00, Th 10:00–20:00, M closed.. Museum for Contemporary Art located in former Hamburger Bahnhof train station. Big halls filled with artworks made since 1960s. In 2004 Rieckhallen, former Lehrter Bahnhof, was opened and now provides exhibition space for the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection. Free public guided tours (in English): Sa and Su at 12:00. €10, concession €5.
- Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité. Charitéplatz 1. Interesting exhibition charting the development of European hospitals from the 14th Century to the present day.
- Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue), Oranienburger Straße 28/30, ☎ +49 30 8802-8300, fax: +49 30 8802-8483, e-mail: email@example.com. Museum: €3.50, Dome: €2.
- Old Jewish Cemetery (Alter Jüdischer Friedhof), Große Hamburger Straße. €9-12 for tours.
- Ramones Museum Berlin, Krausnickstraße 23 (off Oranienburger Straße), ☎ +49 30 75528890, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Su–Th 12:00–20:00, F Sa 12:00–22:00. 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. €3.50.
Potsdamer Platz / Kulturforum
The Potsdamer Platz and the neighbouring Leipziger Platz were important squares in pre-war Berlin, but were almost entirely razed during the Second World War, and in the aftermath they became a strip of no man's land separating East and West Berlin. To bring together the disjointed city, a large-scale project was initiated after the German reunification to fill in the empty space with large, impressive and modern buildings, housing corporate headquarters, commercial and entertainment venues and upscale apartments. Today, the Potsdamer Platz is a major draw for tourists and a lively hub of Berlin.
Immediately west off Potsdamer Platz begins the Kulturforum, an ensemble of buildings housing cultural institutions built on the outskirts of the former West Berlin, as most of the seats of former cultural institutions of Berlin remained in the East. The buildings of the Kulturforum represent the various bold styles of architecture of the 1950s and 1960s.
The border between Mitte and Tiergarten runs right across the Potsdamer Platz, and most of the buildings and institutions described here are actually in Tiergarten, but for the sake of making this guide more useful are described along with the others which fall in Mitte proper. For points of interest lying further West, see Berlin/City West.
- Kollhoff Tower (Potsdamer Platz). 10:00–20:00. Includes the Panoramapunkt, the viewing terrace located 101 metres above ground, accessible by Europe's fastest elevator. €6.50, concession €5.
- Sony Center. With an impressive, circus-tent-like roof over its courtyard and remains of the pre-war Hotel Esplanade incorporated into the modern structure.
- Leipziger Platz. The octagonal square right east of Potsdamer Platz was recreated to resemble its pre-war layout, but the buildings are modern rather than historic replicas and much taller than their counterparts from before the war. There is a diverse mix of uses among the buildings, which include the embassy of Canada.
- Philharmonie. Concert hall, home to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, designed by Hans Scharoun. Free lunchtime concerts every Tuesday at 13:00, except during summer.
- Kammermusiksaal (Chamber Music Hall).
- Neue Staatsbibliothek (Berlin State Library House Potsdamer Straße). designed by Hans Scharoun
- Gemäldegalerie (Old Master Paintings), Matthäikirchplatz (Stauffenbergstraße 40), ☎ +49 30-2662101, fax: +49 30-2662103. Tu W F 10:00–18:00, Th 10:00–20:00, Sa Su 11:00–18:00, M closed. The Gemäldegalerie contains an astounding array of paintings, including works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Goya, Velasquez and Watteau. The collection contains works from the old Bodemuseum on Museumsinsel in the East, now closed, and the former Gemäldegalerie in Dahlem. Its strong points are German paintings of the 13-16th centuries, Netherlandish painting of the 15th and 16th centuries, Flemish paintings of the 17th century, and miniature paintings of the 16th-19th centuries. In the newer section of the museum, designed by architects Heinz Hilmer and Christoph Sattler, there is enough space to display 1,150 masterpieces in the main gallery and 350 in the studio gallery - of the almost 2,900 pieces in the European painting collections. Established in 1830, the newly built gallery from 1998 has about 7,000 sq m of exhibition space (a complete tour of the 72 rooms covers almost 2 km) €10, concession €5.
- Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts), Tiergartenstraße 6, ☎ +49 20 266 2902, fax: +49 20 266 2947, e-mail: email@example.com. Currently closed for renovation. The oldest museum of its kind in Germany which, despite great losses during the World War II, still possesses one of the world's primary collections of European applied art. There are two sections to the collection: one located at the Kulturforum in Tiergarten, the other at Köpenick Palace.
- Kupferstichkabinettt (Museum of Prints and Drawings), Matthäikirchplatz. Tu–F 10:00–18:00, Sa Su 11:00–18:00, M closed. The largest collection of graphic art in Germany €6, concession €3.
- Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery), Potsdamer Straße 50. closed til 2018. Spectacular building by Mies van der Rohe contains its own collection and temporary exhibitions
- Museum für Naturkunde (natural history museum), Invalidenstraße 43 (U-Bahn: U6 Naturkundemuseum, Tram: M6, M8, M10), ☎ +49 30 2093-8591. Tu–Fr 09:30–18:00, Sa Su 10:00–18:00. More than 30 million objects in the scientific collection and a fascinating exhibition in one of the most significant institutions of its kind in the world. Some parts still under construction. €5, concession €3.
- Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer), Bernauer Straße 119 (Tram M10, U-Bahn U8 Bernauer Straße or S-Bahn S1, S2, S25 Nordbahnhof, follow the signs in the stations – wall is Mauer in German), ☎ +49 30 464-1030, fax: +49 30 460 69 740. Memorial grounds daily 08:00–22:00. Visitor Center and Documentation Center: Tu–Su 10:00–18:00, M closed.. Often missed by tourists but an absolute must for anyone interested in this part of the city's history. It's a memorial to those who died crossing, so you won't, fortunately, get the tackiness of the Checkpoint Charlie area; instead you will be left with a haunting feeling of what life with the wall may have been really like. The documentation centre across the street on Bernauer Straße is excellent although most of the documentation is in German. The viewing platform gives you a tiny hint of the true scale of the Wall and how terrifying the "no man's land" between the two sections of walls must have been. When the documentation centre is closed, both walls can be visited. There is some space between the concrete plates which allow you to look at the area between the walls. There are also several small holes.
The Memorial is on Bernauer Straße which itself is a street with a great deal of Wall history: the first recorded Wall-related death - the notorious Peter Fechter case (he bled to death in the "no-man's-land" with both sides unwilling or unable to help him) - was here, as was one of the famous tunnels and the famous photograph of the GDR border guard leaping over the barbed wire. Various monuments can be found along the entire length of the street, documenting nearby escape attempts and tunnels; captions are in German, English, French, and Russian. The Memorial itself is a complete section of 4th generation wall - both inside and outside sections, and you can peer through from the east side to see the remains of the electric fence and anti-tank devices in the death strip. It really helps you understand what an incredible feat it was to get from one side to the other -- and why so many died doing it. Free.
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, ☎ +49 30 27879020. Friedrichstraße 134. 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, ☎ +49 30 280 6605. Auguststraße 26. One of the most famous German art galleries, home to the Neue Leipziger Schule (Neo Rauch et al.)
- loop—raum fur aktuelle kunst. Jägerstrasse 5. Known for being the "incubator" of future famous Berlin artists. Primarily featuring sculpture video, and painting.
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.
- Deutsches Theater (German theatre), Schumannstraße 13a (U-Bahn Oranienburger Tor, Bus 147), ☎ +49 30 28441-221, +49 30 28441-225. Classical theater with impressive line up of actors and directors.
- Berliner Ensemble (Theater am Schiffbauer Damm), Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1 (Train station Freidrichstraße), ☎ +49 30 284-08-155, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contemporary theatre.
- Maxim Gorki Theater, Am Festungsgraben 2, ☎ +49 30 20221-130, +49 30 20221-115 (ticket), e-mail: email@example.com. Sometimes plays the 3 Pennys Opera by Brecht.
- Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. Sometimes controversial, modern theater.
- Kabarett Theater Distel, Friedrichstraße 101, ☎ +49 30 20 44 704, fax: +49 30-20 81 555, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cabaret and comedy, political satire in German.
- Admiralspalast (Admiral Palace), Friedrichstraße 101 (Train station Friedrichstraße), ☎ +49 30-2250 7000, +49 30 4799 7499.
- Chamäleon Theater Berlin, Rosenthaler Straße 40, ☎ +49 30 4000 5930. Located in the trendy quarter Berlin-Mitte in the stunning Hackesche Höfe, Chamaeleon Theatre offers exciting cross genre variety and music shows.
- Bluemax Theater, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 4 (Quartier Potsdamer Platz). Ticket: €68.44-80.94.
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 2017, → Schiller Theater in Berlin-Charlottenburg.
- Theater am Potsdamer Platz, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 1 (Train station Potsdamer Platz). – Musicaltheater and Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival)
- Friedrichstadt-Palast (Europe's Show Palace), Friedrichstraße 107 (U-Bahn Oranienburger Tor), ☎ +49 30 2326 2326, e-mail: email@example.com. – Berlin's biggest show with over 100 artists on the biggest theater stage in the world. Tickets: €16.90-104.90.
- Konzerthaus Berlin (Concert houses), Gendarmenmarkt (U2 Hausvogteiplatz or U6 Französische Straße), ☎ +49 30 2030 92 101 (bookings), fax: +49 30 2030 92 249, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CineStar Imax im Son Center, Potsdamer Straße 4, ☎ +49 30 260 66 400, e-mail: email@example.com. The worldwide recognised theatre at Potsdamer Straße
- Legoland Discovery Centre, Potsdamer Straße 4, ☎ +49 30 30 10 400, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An educational attraction for children, featuring a LEGO replica of Berlin Adult and children: €18.
Department stores and shopping centres
- Galeries Lafayette. The German dependance of the Paris-based French department store chain is a testament to Berlin's newfound role as a fashion hub, and with its unique modern architecture, a landmark of its own. It is all about fashion - the best labels and the latest trends.
- Quartier 206. Right next door to Galeries Lafayette is this upscale department store focusing on high-end fashion, with some cosmetics and personal care products to boot.
- Alexa Alexanderplatz. A large shopping centre complex right off Alexanderplatz
- Potsdamer Platz Arkaden. A medium sized shopping mall with the usual variety of department stores and boutiques
- LP12 - Mall Of Berlin (U2 Potsdamer Platz or Mohrenstraße). The newest and the largest mall in Berlin with the well known fashion brands and a decent food court.
- Arkonaplatz, Prenzlauer Berg/Mitte. Sundays 10:00-17:00.
- Am Kupfergraben/Museumsinsel. Saturdays and Sundays 10:00-16:00.
Gifts and souvenirs
- boxoffberlin, Zimmerstraße 11 (U6 Kochstr.). Open daily 11:00-18:00. 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
- Fassbender & Rausch – Chocolatiers am Gendarmenmarkt, Charlottenstraße 60 (U-Bahn Stadtmitte), ☎ +49 30-20 45 84 43, e-mail: email@example.com. Mo. - Sa.: 10:00-20:00 h, So.: 11:00-20:00 h. The word largest chocolaterie
- Kulturkaufhaus Dussmann, Friedrichstraße 90 (Train station Friedrichstraße), ☎ +49 30-2025 1111. Open: Mo - Fr 9-24 h, Samedy 9-23:30 h. The greatest books and musicshop in Berlin with English Bookshop
- Rotation. Weinbergsweg 3 (Mitte). Offers a vast range of techno, house and electronica. Weekly news. Open M-Sa 12:00-20:00.
- 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 M-F 12:00-22:00, Sat 13:00-20:00.
Postdamer Platz / Friedrichstraße
- Weilands, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 1, 10785 Berlin (S and U Potsdamer Platz, go down Alte Potsdamer Straße until you pass the Casino), ☎ +49 30-258 99 717. M-Su 10:00-21:30. Salads, soups and other healthy food next to the Casino at Potsdamer Platz. Big outdoor terrace in summer. from € 5.
- Witty's Currywurst, Friedrichstraße 141, ☎ +49 30 20649767. Organic currywurt and fries.
- Die Berliner Republik, ☎ +49 30 30872293. German restaurant
- Ishin Japanese Deli, Mittelstraße 24 , 10117 Berlin (S/U Friedrichstraße), ☎ +49 30 20674829. M-Sa 11:00-21:30,closed on Sundays and public holidays. The restaurant has the atmosphere of a busy waiting hall, but the facts that it is often crowded, that there are many Japanese customers and that they are the caterer of the Japanese Embassy speak for themselves. Not only sushi, but also salads, Don, and Cey-Ro. Free green tea. Happy hour until 16 and Wed and Sat all day long. They also have a branch near Checkpoint Charlie at Charlottenstraße.
- Midtown Grill, Ebertstrasse 3, 10785 Berlin, ☎ +49 30-22000 6415, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Following the tradition of the old American steakhouses, at Midtown Grill you will find the best steaks in town.
- Ständige Vertretung (Permanent Mission), Schiffbauerdamm 8, ☎ +49 03-2823965, e-mail: email@example.com. daily 10:30-01:00. Ständige Vertretung stands for Permanent Mission ; in times of the cold war The West-German Federal Republic and the East German Democratic Republic didn´t have regular embassies, but Permanent Missions in Bonn and East-Berlin. Nowadays Ständige Vertretung represents Rhenish food specialities and beer. Excellent tatre flambee (Flammekuchen).
- Brasserie Desbrosses, Potsdamer Platz 3, ☎ +49 30-33777 6340, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 30-28599046. Good French cuisine direct at the terrace of the river and close to the theaters.
- Brecht Keller, Chausseestr. 125, ☎ +49 30-2823843. Famous basement restaurant in former house of Brecht with Austrian inspired kitchen (receipts from Helene Weigel), reservations essential!
- Chi Sing Restaurant, Rosenthaler Str. 62, ☎ +49 30 4200 892 84. daily 12.00-24.00H. Reservation are welcome!
- Grill Royal, Friedrichstr. 105b, ☎ +49 30 288 79 288. 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 17 333. One Michelin star and 18 points from Gault Millau make this asian inspired restaurant one of the best in Berlin.
Around Oranienburger Straße and Rosenthaler Platz
- Kasbah, Gipsstraße 2, 10119 Berlin, ☎ +49 30-2759 4361. Tu-Su 18:00-00:00. Gipsstraße 2. Moroccan restaurant, cafe and bar.
- Dada Falafel, Linienstraße 132, 10115 Berlin (U Oranienburger Tor.), ☎ +49 30 27596927. 10:00-02:00. Tasty falafel and other mideastern food. Prepare for long queues. from €3 for a falafel sandwich.
- Cô Cô bánh mì deli, Rosenthalerstr. 2, 10119 Berlin (U Rosenthaler Platz), ☎ +49 30 24630595. M-Th 11:00-22:00, F-Sa 11:00-23:00, Su 12:00-22:00. Baguette, the Vietnamese style. Fresh and very tasty. from € 4.
- Chay Viet, Brunnenstraße 164, 10119 Berlin (U Bernauer Straße), ☎ +49 30 48494554. M-F 11:30-22:00, closed Sa, Su 13:00-22:00. Vegetarian Vietnamese family restaurant, many dishes are Vegan. mains from € 6,90, lunch offer € 5,90 incl. dessert.
- Lucky Star. As authentic as you can get in Berlin Chinese food wise. They also have "all you can eat hot pot" deal for €12,80/person (minimum 2 people), which even though it lacks some ingredients you would normally get in a hot pot in Beijing (more variety of mushrooms - here you just get champignons - tofu skin, etc), still tastes as it should taste. For the hot pot you can choose between clear pot, spicy pot, or split pot (clear/spicy) and they even provide majiang (peanut sauce) for dipping!
- Susuru, Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 17, Berlin 10178, ☎ +49 30-211 1182, e-mail: email@example.com. Mon-Fri 11:30-23:30. Rosa-Luxemburg Str. 17. 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!
- Kopps, Linienstraße 94, 10115 Berlin (U Rosenthaler Platz), ☎ +49 30 432 097 75. M-F 12:00-open end, Sa-Su 9:30-open end. Vegan restaurant with upmarket touch that specialises in rather typical German dishes like Roulade or Cordon Bleu that Vegans would normally not eat. Weekend brunch from 9.30 - 16. mains from € 17.50.
- Papa Pane di Sorrento, Ackerstraße 23, 10115 Berlin (U Rosenthaler Platz), ☎ +49 30 28092701. M-F 12:00-open end, Sa-Su 9:30-open end. Italian family restaurant where supposably stars like Brad Pitt and Katie Holmes have been sighted. It has the decor of a waiting hall and is often crowded and slightly hectic, but the pizzas and the tiramisu are still worth it. pizzas from € 8.
- Amrit, Oranienburger Str. 45, ☎ +49 30 28884840. Reasonable Indian restaurant
- Kuchi, Gipsstr. 3, ☎ +49 30 28 38 66, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 12:00-00:00, Su 18:00-00:00. Excellent sushi restaurant with a nice garden right in the centre of Mitte.
- Little Green Rabbit, Jägerstraße 27, 10117 Berlin (U Hausvogteiplatz or Französische Straße), ☎ +49 30 91464481. M-F 11:00-20:00. Tasty Soups and salads in a quiet side street of Gendarmenmarkt, mostly frequented by the office workers around. from € 4.
- Pasta Deli, Kronenstraße 55-58, 10117 Berlin (U Stadtmitte), ☎ +49 30 49201504. M-Sa 11:00-21:00. Fresh pasta and salads. from € 3.90.
- Good Time, Hausvogteiplatz 11 (U Hausvogteiplatz), ☎ +49 30 20074870. M-Su 12:00-00:00. Asian fusion food in a tasteful decor, also suitable for a business lunch. from € 15, lunch offers from € 12 including a starter.
- Borchardt, Französische Str. 47, 10117 Berlin (U Französische Straße), ☎ +49 30 81886262, e-mail: email@example.com. 11:30-24:00. Where the rich and famous go since 1895 - reservations and decent clothing recommended. Fin de siècle decor, attentive service. Famous for their Schnitzel. Their lunch offers start at 13 €.
- 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, Charlottenstraße 56, ☎ +49 30-20 29 540. M–Su. 11:00-03:00 h. Berlin cuisine in top style, since 1811. They offer their own sparkling, red and white wine selections.
- Fischers Fritz, ☎ +49 30-2 33 63 63. Charlottenstraße 49. Offers a Japanese breakfast in the Regent hotel.
- Barcomi's Deli, Sophie-Gips-Höfe, 2. Hof, Sophienstr. 21, 10178 Berlin (S Hackescher Markt or U Weinmeisterstraße). M-Sa 09:00-21:00, Su 10:00-21:00. A deli with superb American cakes and cookies run by the American Cynthia Barcomi. Apple walnut caramel cake, Devil's Food cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, Triple Chocolate Cookies, they all got it. There are also bagels, salads and lasagna on the menu for the non sweet-tooths. You can try to repeat the wonder at home with her four recipe books. The also roast their own coffee which is excellent as well. Not so easy to find though - it is in a courtyard of a building situated roughly in the middle of the quiet Sophienstraße and there is only a small sign outside. Maybe look it up on Google Maps before visiting. The smaller original branch is situated at Bergmannstraße in Kreuzberg.
- Strandbad Mitte, Kleine Hamburger Straße 16 (access through Augusstraße) (S Oranienburger Straße.), ☎ +49 30 24 62 89 63. Good breakfast and playground next to the restaurant. from € 5.
- The Barn, Augusstraße 58 (S Oranienburger Straße). 08:00–18:00. A small cafe that takes coffee very seriously. Or, to say it in their words:"Please be aware that we have certain preferences when serving a coffee the way we believe it tastes best." Children are not really welcome, there is only a restricted area for laptops. Good sandwiches.
- Café Fleury, Weinbergsweg 20, 10119 Berlin (S Rosenthaler Platz). M-F 08:00–20:00, Sa-Su 10:00-20:00. Cute little French cafe near Weinbergspark. Excellent breakfast and tasty baguettes. Tends to be very crowded on weekends, be there when it opens if you want to have breakfast. If it is full, try the small sister Petit Fleury on the opposite side of the road. from € 3.
- Sankt Oberholz, Rosenthaler Straße 72a, 10119 Berlin (S Rosenthaler Platz). M-Su 08:00-20:00. A very Mitte place directly at Rosenthaler Platz where the new digital boheme is at home and supposably new business ideas and startups are developed. Almost everybody has a laptop, conversations are rare. Goes by the nicknames "hipster hell" or "unofficial Apple store". They also offer coworking spaces. from € 3.
- Cafe Solvey, Elisabethkirchstraße 1, 10115 Berlin (S Rosenthaler Platz), ☎ +49 30-67961222. Tu-F 12:00-18:00 Sa-Su 10:00-19:00. Lovely little vintage cafe. While drinks and cakes are decent, but not extraordinary for Mitte, the decor is really cute and it is very quiet. A good place to relax and read a magazine or book. from € 3.
- Dachgartenrestaurant Käfer, Platz der Republik 1 (U Bundestag or S Brandenburger Tor), ☎ +49 30 22 62 99 0. Breakfast from 09:00-10:30 at the top of the Germany's parliament.
- Zimt und Zucker, Schiffbauerdamm 12, 10117 Berlin (S/U Friedrichstraße (there is a direct access to Schiffsbauerdamm from the S Bahn track 5/7/75), ☎ +49 30 81010858. M-Su 09:30-21:00. A small and lively cafe in the style of the 20s. There is a terrace on the river in summer. Their German cheesecake (with Quark and therefore lighter than the American version) comes especially recommended.
- Telecafé, Panoramastraße 1a (S and U Alexanderplatz), ☎ +49 30 242 33 33. Enjoy breakfast in front of a city view right at the top of the Fernsehturm.
- Haifischbar, ☎ +49 30-691 13 52. Arndtstr. 25. Bar with sushi and excellent cocktail and whiskey selection.
- Victoria Bar, ☎ +49 30-25 75 99 77. Potsdamer Straße 102. Comfortable bar with a huge variety of cocktails.
- Newton Bar, ☎ +49 30-20 61 29 90. Charlottenstr. 57 (direct at Gendarmenmarkt). Impressive bar that is the must hang-out place for the beautiful, the famous and the rich. Excellent cigar and whiskey selection.
- Reingold, ☎ +49 30 217 516 45. Novalisstrasse 11. Lounge in a former locomotive construction hall (1930s style), mix of after work crowd and normal scene.
- Riva, Dircksenstrasse 142, ☎ +49 30 24 72 2688. Sa-Th 20:00-after 01:00, F 19:00-after 01:00. 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. Perhaps THE Berlin techno club. The old venue was closed in 2005 but Tresor reopened in May 2007 in an old power plant in the southeast of Berlin-Mitte.
- KitKatClub, Köpenicker Straße 76 (entry from Brückenstrasse). A very famous address, a unique clubbing concept mixing techno/electro/trance music with sexual freedom. Nonstop party from Saturday night to Sunday evening. The owner of the KitKatClub, Simon Thaur, is famous for his extreme-fetish porno movies. Be careful and open-minded, and respect the strict dresscode of fetish, latex, leather, kinky, and high style glamour.
- Delicious Doughnuts, Rosenthaler Straße 9, 10119 Berlin Mitte (U-Bahn Rosenthaler Platz. 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. Especially great when coming in the early morning hours.). There is usually a small entry fee..
- 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 Salon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz 2 (left at the Volksbühne). On weekends hip hop, electro, 80s and indie with freestyle DJs. Also features Swing/Tango Argentino/Salsa Parties.
- Roter Salon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz 2 (right at the Volksbühne). On weekends hip hop, electro, 80s and indie with freestyle DJs
- Club der polnischen Versager. F & Sat 20:00-?. Ackerstraße 169. From Polish films to country music, everything to make our neighbours feel like home.
- CCCP, ☎ +49 179 69 29 13. Rosenthaler Str. 71. 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, ☎ +49 30 890 642 41, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Named for the amount of time it takes the elevator to reach the dance floor, this posh club has three roof terraces, a dinner area, and an amazing view of the city. Features mainstream R'n'B and house music. Come here in the summer when it's warm.
- Kaffee Burger/Russendisko, ☎ +49 30 280 464 95. Torstraße 60. Bar and club with GDR living room atmosphere. Russendisko is performed every second Saturday by author Wladimir Kaminer. Sometimes live music (Neo-Polka).
- Week-End. Am Alexanderplatz 5 (the building with the Sharp sign on top). Located in the 12th floor of a GDR office building. Amazing views over the city in classical club style for young people. Parties till the dawn. Recently complemented by the new afterhours club 15th Floor in the same building, as well as a roof bar. Electro, techno and house.
- White Trash Fast Food, ☎ +49 30 50 34 86 68. Schönhauser Allee 6-7. Chinese decoration in the location of an ex big Irish pub makes you feel like you're in a Tarantino movie. Alternative concerts, cowboy hats, beards and '60s to '70s style - if those are your things then you have a new home. It also has a restaurant with great burgers and self-brewed beer.
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.
Dorotheenstadt / Unter den Linden area
- Hotel de Rome. Located at Bebelplatz next to Unter Den Linden and the Museumsinsel. Comfort and style on a whole new level and also a very good bar and Italian restaurant.
- Hotel Adlon, ☎ +49 30 2261-0, fax: +49 30 2261-2222, e-mail: Adlon@Kempinski.com. Unter den Linden 77 (Pariser Platz, Unter den Linden), 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 GDR.
- The Regent Berlin. Charlottenstraße 49. Former Four Seasons hotel now managed by the Taiwan-based Regent chain. Located next to Gendarmenmarkt near Unter Den Linden.
- Melia Berlin, Friedrichstraße 103 (next to U-/S-Bahn station Friedrichstraße), ☎ +49 30 20607900, e-mail: email@example.com. Modern Spanish four star hotel with excellent location and stylish, well furnished rooms, includes safe in room but no coffee making facilities and poor TV and air-conditioning . Good tapas bars and nice river views from breakfast. Good cold and hot breakfast options.
- Maritim proArte hotel Berlin.
- NH Berlin Friederichstrasse.
- Eurostars Berlin.
Friedrichstadt/Leipziger Strasse area
- Cityhostel Berlin, Glinka Str. 5-7, ☎ +49 30 2388 66 850, fax: +49 30 23 88 66 851, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 10:00. 11 minutes away from Brandenburg Gate & Potsdamer Platz. from €12.
- NH Berlin Mitte, Leipziger Strasse 106-111. Renovated in 2008, this hotel offers 392 spacious bedrooms, meeting rooms and a spa.
- Courtyard by Marriott Berlin City Centre. Axel Springer Strasse 55, Just a two-minute walk to the subway and situated close to highlights.
- Motel One Berlin-Spittelmarkt.
- Mercure Hotel & Residenz Berlin Checkpoint Charlie.
- Hilton Hotel Berlin. Mohrenstrasse 30. It is situated near Gendarmenmarkt.
- Sofitel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt.
- ibis Budget Berlin Alexanderplatz.
- ibis Styles Berlin Alexanderplatz.
- one80º Hostel Berlin, Otto-Braun-Straße 65 (Alexanderplatz), ☎ +49 30 280 4462 22, fax: +49 30 280 44 62 22, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. 6 minutes away from Alexanderplatz. from €13.
- Pangea People Hostel, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 34 (Alexanderplatz), ☎ +49 30 886695814, fax: +49 30 886695813, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. 8 minutes away from Alexanderplatz. from €11.
- Holiday Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Theanolte-Bähnisch-Str. 2; 10178 Berlin, ☎ +49 30 740 747 400, toll-free: +49 800 181 3656, e-mail: email@example.com.
- H2 Hotel Berlin-Alexanderplatz.
- Mercure Berlin-Alexanderplatz.
- Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz (Park Inn Berlin), Alexanderplatz 7, 10178 Berlin, ☎ +49 30 2389-0, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3 pm, check-out: 12 noon. Germany's tallest hotel at Alexanderplatz Square features unique views to Berlin
- Ramada Hotel Berlin-Alexanderplatz.
- Hotel Indigo Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Bernhard-Weiss-Strasse 5, 10178 Berlin, ☎ +49 30 5050860, e-mail: email@example.com.
- 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.
- Three Little Pigs Hostel, Stresemannstr 66 10963 Berlin, ☎ +49 30 - 26 39 588 0, fax: +49 30 - 26 39 588 16, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Grand Hyatt Berlin, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 2 (Potsdamer Platz), ☎ +49 30 2553 1234, e-mail: email@example.com. During the Berlinale film festival, this is the primary hotel to stay because most major attractions are within walking distance.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin, Potsdamer Platz 3. An unforgettable 5-star hotel.
- The Mandala Hotel, Potsdamer Straße 3. Hotel on Potsdamer Platz, Kulturforum, Neue Nationalgalerie and the Philharmony.
- Novotel Berlin Mitte. The only hotel on Museumsinsel
- Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte.
- Best Western Hotel Am Spittelmarkt.
- NH Berlin Heinrich Heine.
- MotelOne Berlin Mitte.
- Art'otel Mitte, Wallstr. 70-73 (next to the Markisches Museum metro stop), ☎ +49 30 240620. A stylish hotel though with smallish rooms. Good breakfast, double-check that your reservation includes it. Helpful staff.
North of Spree
- EasyHotel, Rosenthaler Straße 69, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Very basic, cheap and clean: small room with tiny bath room. The nearest metro station is on Rosenthaler Platz. Double room €30/night.
- baxpax Mitte Hostel Berlin (Mittes Backpacker Hostel), Chausseestr. 102 (U Naturkundemuseum), ☎ +49 30 2839 0965, fax: 28 39 09 35, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 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 WiFi. From €9.
- baxpax downtown Hostel Berlin, Ziegelstr. 29 (S-Bahn Friedrichstr.), ☎ +49 30 2787 4880, fax: 28 39 09 35, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Hip, stylish cross between Youth Hostel and Hotel with a mixture of top level service and multi-cultural and cozy atmosphere. They have a nice bar, a roof top terrace with a pool and free wifi. From €15.
- The Circus Hostel, Weinbergsweg 1a (U-Bahn: Rosenthaler Platz), ☎ +49 30 2839 1433, fax: 2839 1484, e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- Gästehaus Berlin Mitte (former Gästehaus der Charité), Habersaathstraße 40a (Metro station Naturkundemuseum, S-Bahn Hauptbahnhof or Friedrichstraße Tram M6, M8), ☎ +49 30 992 968 820, fax: +49.30.992 968 849, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 10:30, check-out: 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, fax: 290 44 717, e-mail: email@example.com. Private rooms start at €20/person, big dorms start at €9.
- Helter Skelter Hostel Berlin (former Clubhouse Hostel), Kalkscheunenstr. 4-5 (U-Bahn: Oranienburger Tor, S-Bahn: Friedrichstraße), ☎ +49 30 280 44 997, fax: +49 30 290 44 717, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Double rooms start at €46/room, big dorms start at €13.
- Meininger Hotel Berlin Central Station, Ella-Trebe-Straße 9 (It's next to the Central Station - just 50 m to walk (S-Bahn: Hauptbahnhof)), ☎ +49 30 666 36 100, fax: +49 30 666 36 222, e-mail: email@example.com. Double Rooms start at €39 per person, dormitory starts at €21.
- St Christopher's Berlin (Berlin Hostel), 39-41 Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße, ☎ +49 30 8145 3960, fax: +49 30 8145 3960, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 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 8471028-0, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 10:00. All rooms with shower and toilet; free WLAN, 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.
- ibis Styles Berlin Mitte. One of the four ibis Styles hotels in Berlin - make sure to put down the right address to avoid confusion. WiFi and breakfast included in all room prices as in all ibis Styles hotel.
- TRYP Berlin Mitte.
- Ramada Berlin Mitte.
- Best Western Hotel Berlin Mitte.
- Mercure Hotel Berlin City.