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Berlin, Germany

Currywurst and Glühwein

 

While Germany is known for its traditional dishes, many of the most popular foods in Berlin are either imports or inspired by foreign cuisine.

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A Short History

Germany guidebook

Humans have resided in what is now Germany for at least 600,000 years and arrowheads dating back 10,000 years have been found near Berlin. Around the first century BC, Germanic tribes began expanding southward where they encountered Roman armies attempting to move northward. Germanic tribes defeated the Romans at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest preventing Roman encroachment into German territory. In the third century several Germanic tribes broke through the Roman lines, eventually leading to the fall of the Roman Empire.

In the 12th century the city of Berlin itself was founded by merchants on what is now known as Museum Island. By the 16th century Berlin was the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia during which it became a center of military power, the arts, and merchant wealth, In 1871 the Empire of Germany was established with Berlin at its capital.

Outstanding crime novel
set in Berlin
between WWI & WWII

After WWI, the German monarchy was overthrown and Weimar Republic took over. But, the Great Depression crippled the German economy and militias began to take over Berlin. In 1933 the Nazis took control of German and immediately began persecuting Jews, some 160,000 of whom lived in Berlin. By the end of the war only 8,000 remained. Allied airstrikes decimated the city and almost half the population fled. The Red Army shelled the city, further destroying it, finally taking control of Berlin on May 2nd, 1945.

Berlin’s notorious Checkpoint Charlie is now a tacky tourist trap with KFC and Mickey D’s nearby.

Berlin’s notorious Checkpoint Charlie is now a tacky tourist trap with KFC and Mickey D’s nearby.

Although the Soviet Army had captured Berlin, it handed over what was then called West Berlin to the Allies, creating an island of western influence in the middle of the new East Germany. In 1961 the Berlin Wall was erected, further dividing the city. The wall finally fell in November, 1989 and Germany was reunified in October, 1990.

Today, few actual parts of the wall remain as the city has been successfully stitched back together. However, markings on the ground show where the wall once stood, separating East from West.

Foodie Berlin

I’m a huge proponent of taking walking tours to get to know a city. I like to take them the very first day I arrive to walk off jet lag and to get pointers from locals on places to go and things to do. Food tours have the added bonus of, well, food.

Berlin Mitte Food Tour

Berlin Mitte Food Tour

Berlin has several companies that operate excellent foodie tours in the city. Berlin Food Tour has several options, all of which are good, but I recommend the Berlin Mitte Food Tour because the Mitte neighborhood has so many excellent restaurants and interesting sites. And with ten tastings, expect a full stomach by the end. If you prefer to get off the beaten path, try their Berlin Moabit Food Tour.

Speaking of undiscovered locations, Secret Food Tours operates in over 30 international cities using local guides to spots that are less well-known. Not only do you learn about the food and Berlin, but history as well.

With Locals is another company that has local guides in many cities. While they have set tours, the Evening Like a Berliner tour features drinks and a fun night out, custom tours are available as well. It’s like having your own local friend show you around their city.

Currywurst

While holding on to German culinary traditions, Berliners also happily fold other cultures’ foods into their own with a unique spin on both. There is no better example of this than the ubiquitous currywurst.

Taking a traditional German sausage, spicy curried ketchup is added on top. French fries are served on the side. Currywurst was invented in 1949 by Herta Heuwer. British soldiers were stationed in post-war West Berlin and they brought many of their favorite foods with them. Among them were curry spices (imported from the British occupation of India), ketchup (an American invention), Worcestershire sauce (commercialized by chemists in the UK), and french fries (probably originated in France or Belgium).

Ms. Heuwer mixed ketchup (and probably Worcestershire sauce) with curry powder and used the sauce to top sausages. She sold the currywurst (then called Chillup) from her food kiosk to hungry construction workers during the reconstruction of Berlin in the aftermath of WWII. Today, a plaque at Kant and Kaiser Friedrich Streets commemorates where her food stall was located.

Currywurst is the single most popular Berlin fast food. Little currywurst joints, popup tents, and food kiosks are everywhere in the city. They even used to have a currywurst museum in Berlin.

Vegan Currywurst from Curry at the Wall, Berlin, Germany

Vegan Currywurst from Curry at the Wall, Berlin, Germany

It often seems like there is a place selling currywurst on every corner. My favorite is Curry at the Wall, a little tent not far from Checkpoint Charlie. For less than ten bucks you get a tasty currywurst, fries, and a drink. And their vegetarian currywurst, made from seitan is outstanding. Curry 61 is also very good, and has kitschy mural featuring Cold War era politicians. Ten kilometers south of the Berlin’s center is Krasselt’s Imbiss, where you’ll get an excellent currywurst topped with homemade sauce (a secret recipe!). Since the location is away from the tourist areas of Berlin, you’ll be dining with locals. Still, expect lines, especially at lunchtime.

Schnitzel

While Austria claims to have invented schnitzel, Germany has become famous for schnitzel as well. In fact, Wiener Schnitzel is a protected geographical indication meaning that anything called Wiener Schnitzel in Germany must abide by certain standards, including being made of veal. Today, chicken, beef, and pork schnitzel is common, although they cannot be called Weiner Schnitzel. There’s even vegetarian schnitzel which is usually made with seitan or wheat gluten but Brauhaus Georgbrau makes a vegetarian schnitzel made with zucchini.

Berlin is full of restaurants with schnitzel on the menu and Schneeweiß might be the best. Their menu is limited, but it always has schnitzel

Bratkartoffeln

Potatoes are the required accompaniment to schnitzel. Bratkartoffeln is fried potatoes, often made with bacon or pork fat. Lots of places will offer bratkartoffeln as a side dish but Metzer Eck is a dive bar with a 100 year tradition of serving good food and drinks including bratkartoffeln. Bonus points for being an almost exclusively local hangout.

Spätzle

Spätzle, a kind of egg noodle, is more closely associated with southern Germany than Berlin. But, Berliners eat more than their share of spätzle, usually topped with huge mounds of cheese, making it a kind of German mac and cheese. Spätzle & Knödeln in Berlin has Spätzle and other Bavarian comfort food dishes. Das Lokal is more upscale, featuring locally sourced ingredients. They offer spätzle as well, but make a reservation to avoid being disappointed. This is one of the best and most popular restaurants in Berlin.

Döner kebap

If there is a fast food to rival the popularity of currywurst in Berlin, it has to be döner kebap. Brought to Berlin by Turkish immigrants who helped rebuilt the city after WWII, the original döner kebap was just meat sliced from the vertical rotisserie served with onions and a little salad. Today, there are many options for döner kebap including a choice of sauces and breads to accompany dish. Like currywurst, it seems that döner kebap shops are on every corner in Berlin. Far and away the most popular is Mustafa's Gemuese Kebab, where the lines stretch down the block and it can take over an hour to get your food.

Vegetarians should beware when ordering at these takeaway shops. While they may offer a veggie kebap, many times workers use the same utensils for both meat and veggies, causing cross contamination of animal products with the vegetables.

So, either make sure you ask or head to Vöner, an excellent vegetarian restaurant that serves a meat-free version of döner kebap.

Walking Tours

Like I said earlier, walking tours are one of my favorite ways to get to know a city. It used to be you’d meet up at the tourist office and an employee would take you around the city and show a few landmarks and point out a few museums.

Walking tours are much more sophisticated nowadays. Tour companies range from individuals who start a tour business to large companies that operate tours worldwide. Reputable companies employ knowledgeable locals to show off their city. And most companies offer multiple tours to fit every interest and personality.

I’ve already talked about some of my favorite food tours in Berlin, Insider Tour offers general tours of Berlin sights, but also a Cold War tour and a Jewish Berlin tour.

Berlin Walks also has several tours to choose from including food and drink tours, a tour of East Berlin, and, my favorite, the Christmas Market Tour.

One of the things that struck me while taking a walking tour was how Berlin puts its scars and mistakes front and center for everyone to see. It made me think that we could do a much better job in the United States of openly discussing our mistakes as a country, teaching about them in our schools, and not brushing them under the carpet. I know that for me personally, I have learned little from my successes, but much from my missteps.

Christmas Markets

Christkindlmarkt, aka Christmas Markets, have a history going back to the Middle Ages. Today, over 70 Christmas Markets pop up in Berlin from November through New Year’s. Here, vendors sell handcrafted toys, clothes, and ornaments. Traditional music plays and neighbors greet each other with Christmas cheer.

We arrived in the city the day after the terrorist attack on the Breitscheidplatz Christmas Market in Berlin in 2016 during which 11 people were killed. After this horrible tragedy we fully expected the markets to close due to security concerns. To our surprise, the other markets in Berlin opened the next day with, of course, added security. While the mood at the markets was justifiably more somber than usual, I was surprised and pleased that Berliners refused to allow a horrific act of violence keep them from partaking in holiday festivities.

We certainly couldn’t visit all the Christmas Markets in Berlin, but I can recommend two quite highly. One of the most popular markets is Berliner Weihnachtszeit near Alexanderplatz. Besides the traditionally decorated stalls and the wonderful food, this market has a special feature; a skating rink. Children, families, and adults all enjoy gliding around the ice.

But, my favorite Christmas Market is Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt. Perhaps the setting, sandwiched between the beautiful Deutsche Dom, the Konzerthaus and the French Cathedral, which lends an air of beauty and sophistication to the market is what makes it so grand. Or maybe the plays that are performed on market’s stage. Or maybe it’s the New Year’s Eve party at the market. Or maybe it’s the glühwein. Whatever the reason, Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt is definitely worth a visit.

Glühwein

Glühwein is a mulled wine spiced with cinnamon, sugar, citrus, cloves, and star anise. For a couple of Euro a mug of glühwein warms you up at the Christmas market. But, Christmas markets aren’t the only places to get glühwein. Stores often set a table on the sidewalk outside their shop topped with large insulated canister filled with the stuff. And, of course, Germans serve glühwein at home as a warming holiday beverage.

Berlin Drinks

Germany is known for its beer. And there’s no shortage of the sudsy stuff in Berlin. However, heed this warning. All over Western Europe, public spaces (including pubs) have banned smoking indoors. The one exception seems to be Berlin. Many establishments allow smoking and if you’re not used to this, all that smoke in a confined space can be unhealthy and off-putting. Proceed with caution.

Even the best known Munich beer halls couldn’t resist the capital city so they’ve opened outposts in Berlin. Hofbräu Wirtshaus, the best known of the Munich beer halls has a massive spot that holds 4,000 people.

Georgebrau, Berlin, Germany

Georgebrau, Berlin, Germany

But, since reunification, Berlin has begun to open beer halls of all sizes to quench the thirst of local drinkers and tourists. One of the best is Brauhaus Georgbrau. Located near the Spree River, Georgebrau doesn’t have the wide open spaces of a place like Hofbräu, but instead features several smaller rooms for dining as well as a bar area and outdoor seating. Light and dark on tap and if you’re coming with a large group, call ahead and they will bring a ten or twenty liter keg to your table!

Most beer halls and beer gardens in Berlin brew their own beer and traditionally offer two or three options. That is beginning to change with some places brewing more kinds of beer and others importing some selections.

Berlin is not immune to the craft beer revolution. While many spots serve craft beer from around the world, there are lots of places that brew tiny batches of interesting beers on site. Of these newest craft brewers, Vagabund Brauerei is my favorite. They constantly rotate their brewed in house offerings so there’s always something new to try. Another favorite is Hops and Barley, a place whose unfiltered pilsner is top-notch.

Berlin Attractions

Berlin is huge. It’s the largest city in the EU after London, and it will be the largest after Brexit. Three million live in the city with another three million in the surrounding metro area. It would be impossible to see everything in a single vacation, just like it’s impossible to see Paris in one shot. However, you can maximize your time in Berlin by deciding what you want to see ahead of time or by taking a tour which allows you check off several sites in one fell swoop.

To me, one of the most fascinating things about Berlin is how the people endured such suffering in the 20th century only to emerge as one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in Europe. To get some help understanding this, I like to visit these WWII and Cold War sites.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

2,711 stark concrete slabs, each about 8 feet long and 3 feet wide and of varying heights. The memorial covers over 4 acres and walking through the site gives a feeling of unease and disconnectedness. One moment you see another person in memorial, the next they disappear behind a concrete block, symbolizing the uncertainty and impermanence of life under a murderous regime. Not to be missed.

Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind

Berlin Otto W.png

Otto Weidt operated a brush and broom factory in Berlin that employed blind and deaf Germans, many of whom were Jewish. As the Nazis began deporting and murdering Jews, Otto falsified papers to protect his employees and hid several in his factory. During the war, Weidt also shipped food and clothing to his friends and employees who had been taken to concentration camps.

The workshop is now a tiny museum, outfitted with machines at it was in the 1940s as well as tiny secret room where he hid Jews from the Nazis.

Berlin Wall

After WWII, the victorious Allies divided up their war booty. Eastern Europe came under Soviet influence while Western Europe joined NATO and the United States in an alliance. Berlin, liberated by the Red Army and well inside the new country of East Germany, was far too valuable to the West to be allowed to be controlled by the Communists. So, it was divided in half. East Berlin remained under Soviet domination and West Berlin became a tiny dot of democracy within East Germany. As East Germans fled to West Berlin, the Communist government decided that something had to be done to prevent the exodus so the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. It stood until East Germany along with the wall fell in 1989 and Germany was reunified in 1990.

While most of the wall is gone, where it stood is still marked on Berlin streets. Look down as you walk around the city and you’ll see markings on the street and sidewalk where the wall used to be. It’s hard to imagine today, but thirty years ago, this was one of the most well-guarded and militarized places in the world.

Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer is one place where parts of the wall are still standing. There’s a museum on site as well.

The East Side Gallery makes for an excellent stop as well. Giant murals are painted on surviving sections of the Berlin Wall. Nothing better shows the horror of separation and totalitarianism of 20th century Berlin and the joy of free expression in 21st century Berlin than the East Side Gallery.

Stasi Museum

The Stasi were the feared secret police of the East German state. At the height of their powers it is said that fully one in ten East Germans were informing on their family, friends, and co-workers to this officially sanctioned terrorist organization.

The Stasi headquarters in the former East Berlin is now a museum displaying actual tools of trade of the surveillance and informant state. Microphones, cameras, letter openers; they are all on display here. Documents from the Stasi archives have also been preserved despite attempts by Stasi members to destroy them when it became obvious that the East German state was going to fall.

Street Art

Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley, Berlin, Germany

Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley, Berlin, Germany

First off, a definition. When I talk about street art, I’m not talking about tagging, but instead, about murals painted buildings, most often, but not always, with the owner’s permission. I’ve written about the amazing murals in Kaka’ako, Honolulu and Berlin has incredible street art, too. You can take a street art tour from Free Tours By Foot or Berlin Street Art, but the folks at Awesome Berlin have put together an online guide with a map of some of the best street art and murals in Berlin.

Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley, Berlin, Germany

Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley, Berlin, Germany

If you want to get just a taste of Berlin street art, head over to the Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley. An ever-changing array of murals and paintings line the wall of the alley. Often they are painted over, so you may not see the same works that I did when I visited.

At the end of the alley and up a metal staircase is Neurotitan. This space is an art gallery, no, it’s a comic and ‘zine store, no, it’s an electronica music shop, no, it’s all of this and more. Check out this odd space that is oh-so-Berlin.

Transportation

Wine Wings can
transport bottles
back home safely

Berlin Tegel "Otto Lilienthal" Airport (TXL)

Berlin’s largest airport is outdated and has been scheduled to close since 2012 when the still under construction Berlin Brandenburg Airport was supposed to replace it. However, cost overruns and corruption have delayed the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport which won’t open before 2020 and possibly later.

Zufahrt zum Flughafen Tegel, 13405 Berlin, Germany

Berlin Schönefeld Airport

TSA approved bottles
to transport liquids

Berlin’s second largest airport with flights to many European cities serviced by low cost carriers.

Flughafen Schönefeld, 12521 Berlin, Germany

Local Transportation

Berlin has an efficient public transportation system so a car is not needed.

U-Bahn

Mostly underground rail network services Berlin with 10 lines and 173 stations.

https://www.berlin.de/en/public-transportation/1742343-2913840-underground-subway.en.html

S-Bahn

Commuter rail and subway system that services both Berlin and some suburbs with 15 lines and almost 170 stations.

https://www.berlin.de/en/public-transportation/1746751-2913840-sbahn.en.html

Packing cubes keep
your luggage
organized

Trams

22 tram lines with 377 stops service mostly the eastern part of Berlin with a concentration on areas not well-covered by the U-Bahn.

https://www.berlin.de/en/public-transportation/1748248-2913840-tram-metrotram.en.html

Buses

Berlin’s bus network has 149 routes with 2,634 stops. Double decker buses offer great, cheap views of the city.

https://www.berlin.de/en/public-transportation/1747304-2913840-buses-bus-routes.en.html

Taxis and Uber

Taxis are widely available in Berlin. Uber only operates UberX, UberTaxi, and UberTaxiVan. These are all licensed and certified drivers, not self-employed contractors like in the US. The advantage to using the Uber app instead of hailing a taxi is being able to pay through the app and monitoring your ride’s arrival.

Entertainment

Berlin food tour.jpg

Berlin Food Tour

Excellent food tours in Mitte and Moabit. Beer and currywurst tours, too

https://www.berlinfoodtour.de/tours/berlin-mitte-food-tour/

Secret Food Tours

Undiscovered spots are their specialty.

https://www.secretfoodtours.com/berlin/about-us/

With Locals

Guided tours with locals can be preset or customized.

https://www.withlocals.com/experience/evening-like-a-berliner-drinks-bites-hotspots-b3ae41df/

Bite Berlin food tour

Bite Berlin food tour

Bite Berlin

Several excellent tours, including a vegan Berlin tour

https://www.biteberlin.com/#tours-section

Insider Tour Berlin

Several top rated walking tours of Berlin, including one dedicated to Jewish Berlin.

https://www.insidertour.com/

Berlin Walks

Many tours to choose from. Christmas Market tour recommended.

https://www.berlinwalks.de/public/

Original Berlin Tours

Free walking tour of Berlin

https://originalberlintours.com/tours/free-original-berlin-walking-tour/

Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt

Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt

Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt

Beautiful Christmas market in Berlin

https://www.weihnachtsmarkt-berlin.de/?lang=en

Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Berliner Weihnachtszeit

Christmas market with an ice skating rink

http://www.berlinerweihnachtszeit.de/

Spandauer Str., 10178 Berlin, Germany

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Moving memorial with 2,711 stark concrete slabs.

Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind

Must-visit tiny museum where Otto Weidt used his brush factory to save Jews from the death camps.

https://www.museum-blindenwerkstatt.de/en/first-of-all/

Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Stolpersteine Holocaust Memorials

Stumbling stones memorialize where murder victims of the Nazis once lived. Martha Liebermann’s is near the Brandenburg Gate, but there are stones all over Berlin.

Pariser Platz 7, Berlin, Germany

Topographie des Terrors

Topographie des Terrors, Berlin, Germany

Topographie des Terrors, Berlin, Germany

Startling exhibits of Nazi state terrorism on the site of the Gestapo and SS Headquarters.

https://www.topographie.de/en/

Niederkirchnerstraße 8, 10963 Berlin, Germany

Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer

Parts of the Berlin Wall survive at this outdoor memorial and museum

https://www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de/en/

Bernauer Strasse 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany

East Side Gallery

Murals painted directly on surviving sections of the Berlin Wall

Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany

Bebelplatz

Plaque at Bebelplatz serves as a reminder of the Nazi book burning

Plaque at Bebelplatz serves as a reminder of the Nazi book burning

Thought-provoking memorial to Nazi book burning which took place in 1933.

Bebelplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Concentration camp less than an hour from Berlin where the Nazis killed 100,000 people.

http://www.stiftung-bg.de/gums/en/index.htm

Str. der Nationen 22, 16515 Oranienburg, Germany

Reichstag

Historic German parliament building.

https://www.bundestag.de/en/visittheBundestag/dome/registration/245686

Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany

Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley, Berlin, Germany

Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley, Berlin, Germany

Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley

Alley filled with ever-changing street art (behind Café Cinema)

Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Stasi Museum

Housed in the East German secret police’s headquarters, this museum lays bare the Stasi’s evil and all-encompassing tactics for surveilling its people.

https://www.stasimuseum.de/en/enindex.htm

Ruschestraße 103/Haus 1, 10365 Berlin, Germany

DDR Museum

Hands on museum gives insight into daily East German life. You can even simulate a drive in the unreliable East German car, the Trabant

https://www.ddr-museum.de/en

Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1, Direkt an der Spree, opposite of Berliner Dom, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Marx-Engels Forum

Relic of the GDR has statues of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels along with relief wall showing the history of communism in Germany.

Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Monsterkabinett, Berlin, Germany

Monsterkabinett, Berlin, Germany

Monsterkabinett

Freaky museum of metal sculptures and noise by the Dead Pigeon Collective.

http://www.monsterkabinett.de/

Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Pergamon Museum

Controversial museum housing Turkish artifacts that the Turkish government would like back. Many of the main exhibits are closed until 2019 due to renovation.

https://www.smb.museum/en/museums-institutions/pergamonmuseum/home.html

Bodestrasse 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Spreepark, Berlin, Germany

Spreepark, Berlin, Germany

Spreepark

Abandoned amusement park is closed to visitors but can be viewed from the outside or by booking a tour.

http://www.berliner-spreepark.de/

Totilastr. 14, 12103 Berlin, Germany

Hansa Studios

Ramones Museum, Berlin, Germany

Ramones Museum, Berlin, Germany

David Bowie fans will want to see the elegant studio where Heroes was recorded. Iggy Pop and Nick Cave recorded here as well.

http://www.hansastudios.de/english/

Köthener Str. 38, 10963 Berlin, Germany

Ramones Museum

World’s only museum dedicated to the ground breaking band from Queens, NY.

https://www.ramonesmuseum.com/

Oberbaumstr. 5, Kreuzberg, 10997 Berlin, Germany

Georg-von-Rauch-Haus

Collective of leftist artists and free-thinkers that puts on concerts and exhibits.

http://www.rauchhaus1971.de/

Bethaniendamm 26, 10997, Berlin, Germany

David Hasselhoff Museum

David Hasselhoff Museum, Berlin, Germany

David Hasselhoff Museum, Berlin, Germany

Germany loves the Knight Rider and Baywatch actor as evidenced by this (perhaps) tongue in cheek display.

https://www.circus-berlin.de/the-unveiling-of-our-hoff-museum/

Weinbergsweg 1a | The Circus Hostel, 10119 Berlin, Germany

Führerbunker Parking Lot

Hitler’s underground bunker is where he spent his last days and committed suicide with his wife, Eva Braun. The bunker has been destroyed and a parking lot fittingly sits atop it.

Wilhelmstrasse 77, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Astor Film Lounge

View German and American films in luxury at a classic film house

https://berlin.astor-filmlounge.de/

Kurfürstendamm 225, 10719 Berlin, Germany

Berlin Welcome Card

Card offers discounts to many Berlin attractions and free public transport.

https://www.berlin-welcomecard.de/en

Food

Curry at the Wall

Street food kiosk with the best vegan currywurst.

https://www.curry-at-the-wall-berlin-mitte.com/

Zimmerstraße 97, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Curry Bergmann

Excellent currywurst and sausages. Vegan options.

http://www.bergmann-curry.de/

Bergmannstr. 88, 10961 Berlin, Germany (Kreuzberg)

Curry 61

Curry 61, Berlin, Germany

Curry 61, Berlin, Germany

Good currywurst with kitschy artwork poking fun at Cold War era politicians.

http://www.curry61.de/

Oranienburger Str. 6, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Krasselt’s Imbiss

Currywurst served with a secret house made sauce.

http://www.krasselts-berlin.de/

Steglitzer Damm 22, 12169 Berlin, Germany

Spätzle & Knödeln

Bavarian comfort food.

http://www.spaetzleknoedel.de/

Wuehlischstr. 20, 10245 Berlin, Germany

Das Lokal

Locally sourced ingredients. Reservations a must.

http://lokal-berlin.blogspot.com/

Linienstr. 160, 10115 Berlin, Germany

Schneeweiß

The best schnitzel in Berlin. Menu usually has a vegetarian option.

http://www.schneeweiss-berlin.de/en

Simplonstr. 16, 10245 Berlin, Germany

Alpenstuek

High end restaurant with top notch schnitzel.

https://alpenstueck.de/

Gartenstrasse 9, 10115 Berlin, Germany

Mustafa's Gemuese Kebab

Most popular döner kebap stand in Berlin. Expect long waits.

http://www.mustafas.de/

Mehringdamm 32, 10961 Berlin, Germany

Adana Grillhaus

Sit down restaurant with excellent kebap

http://adanagrillhaus.de/english

Manteuffelstrasse 86, 10997 Berlin, Germany

Vöner, Berlin, Germany

Vöner, Berlin, Germany

Vöner

Vegetarian döner kebap

https://www.facebook.com/Voener/

Boxhagener Str. 56, 10245 Berlin, Germany, 10245 Berlin, Germany

Metzer Eck

Neighborhood bar with good food including bratkartoffeln (fried potatoes)

https://www.metzer-eck.de/eng/.

Metzer Str. 33, 10405 Berlin, Germany

Cookies Cream

High end and Michelin recognized vegetarian restaurant.

http://cookiescream.com/

Behrenstr. 55, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Marjellchen

The place to try königsberger klopse

http://www.marjellchen-berlin.de/

Mommsenstrasse 9, 10629 Berlin, Germany

Zur Letzten Instanz

Founded in 1621, the oldest restaurant in Berlin and one of the best.

https://zurletzteninstanz.com/en/

Waisenstrasse 14-16, 10179 Berlin, Germany

Monsieur Vuong, Berlin, Germany

Monsieur Vuong, Berlin, Germany

Monsieur Vuong

Best Vietnamese restaurant in Berlin

https://www.monsieurvuong.de/en/

Alte Schoenhauser Str. 46 | Mitte, 10119 Berlin, Germany

Brauhaus Georgbrau

Beer hall with traditional German food (and a vegetarian section as well)

https://brauhaus-georgbraeu.de/en/

Spreeufer 4, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Prater Garten

Restaurant and seasonal outdoor beer garden in operation for over 180 years.

https://www.pratergarten.de/en/

Kastanienallee 7-9, 10435 Berlin, Germany

Hofbräu Wirtshaus Berlin

The Munich institution has a beer hall outpost in Berlin.

https://www.hofbraeu-wirtshaus.de/en/berlin/

Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 30, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Augustiner am Gendarmenmarkt

Another Munich beer hall now open in Berlin

http://www.augustiner-braeu-berlin.de/

Charlottenstr. 55, Ecke Jagerstrasse, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Brauhaus Lemke

Traditional beer hall with a beer garden out back.

https://www.lemke.berlin/hackscher_markt/

Dircksenstraße, S-Bahnbogen 143, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Lindenbräu am Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany

Lindenbräu am Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany

Lindenbräu am Potsdamer Platz

Modern take on a traditional German beer hall.

https://www.bier-genuss.berlin/en/lindenbraeu-am-potsdamer-platz/360

Bellevuestraße 3, 10785 Berlin, Germany

Vagabund Brauerei

Craft beer bar with excellent rotating selections.

https://www.vagabundbrauerei.com/the-taproom/

Antwerpener Str. 3, 13353 Berlin, Germany

Hops and Barley

Craft beer brewed on site with an outstanding unfiltered pils.

http://www.hopsandbarley.eu/home.html

Wühlischstraße 22/23, 10245 Berlin, Germany

Brauerei Eschenbräu, Berlin, Germany

Brauerei Eschenbräu, Berlin, Germany

Brauerei Eschenbräu

Hard to find but worth seeking brew pub

http://eschenbraeu.de/

Triftstr. 67, 13353 Berlin, Germany

Monterey Bar

Self-styled rock and roll brew pub.

http://montereybar.com/

Danziger Str. 61, 10435 Berlin, Germany

Deck 5

A bar bringing a bit of the Riviera beachfront on the roof of a mall in Berlin.

https://www.deck-5.com/

Schoenhauser Allee 79, 10439 Berlin, Germany

Klunkerkranich, Berlin, Germany

Klunkerkranich, Berlin, Germany

Klunkerkranich

Rooftop bar is the best spot to see the sunset. Can be very crowded.

http://klunkerkranich.org/

Karl-Marx-Str. 62, 12043 Berlin, Germany

Café Luzia

Coffee bar by day, techno club by night.

http://www.luzia.tc/

Oranienstraße 34, 10999 Berlin, Germany

Dschungel

Weird bar with a jungle motif.

Friedelstr. 12 | nähe Herrmannplatz, 12047 Berlin, Germany

Schwarzes Café

The spot where Iggy and Bowie used to hang. Open 24 hours.

https://www.schwarzescafe-berlin.de/

Kantstraße 148, 10623 Berlin, Germany

Das Hotel Bar

Small, quirky cocktail bar. Beware, can be smoky

https://www.dashotel.org/

Mariannenstr. 26 A, 10999 Berlin, Germany

Shopping

Mauerpark Flea Market

Sunday morning flea market attracts huge crowds

http://www.flohmarktimmauerpark.de/

Eberswalder Str., 13355 Berlin, Germany

Markthalle IX

Covered food market with lots of restaurants and a microbrewery

https://markthalleneun.de/

Eisenbahnstraße 42/43, 10997 Berlin, Germany

Neurotitan

Part art gallery, part comic and ‘zine shop, part electronica music store, all oddball Berlin.

http://www.neurotitan.de/index.html

Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Dubenkropp Pralinen & Schokoladen, Berlin, Germany

Dubenkropp Pralinen & Schokoladen, Berlin, Germany

Dubenkropp Pralinen & Schokoladen

Best chocolatier in Berlin.

https://www.dubenkropp.com/

Grolmanstr. 20, 10623 Berlin, Germany

Captn-Crop

Handmade unique hats and bags

https://www.captn-crop.com/

Reuterstr.52, 12047 Berlin, Germany

Goldhahn und Sampson

Up market culinary shop with a café and legendary cooking classes

https://www.goldhahnundsampson.de/shop/

Dunckerstr. 9, 10437 Berlin, Germany

Hard Wax

Deeply influential record store that is also home to Basic Channel, Rhythm and Sound, and Chain Reaction record labels.

https://hardwax.com/

Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44a, 10999 Berlin, Germany

Spacehall Record Store, Berlin, Germany

Spacehall Record Store, Berlin, Germany

Spacehall Record Store

Great place to shop for vinyl in Berlin

http://spacehall.de/

Zossener Str. 33, 10961 Berlin, Germany

Kollwitzplatz Market

Saturday farmers market

Kollwitzplatz 64, 10435 Berlin, Germany

Urban Industrial Berlin

Unique industrial furniture and fixtures. Interesting to wander around.

http://urban-industrial.de/

Hasenheide 13 10967 Berlin, Germany

Accommodations

Select Hotel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt

Best budget option in the Mitte neighborhood

https://www.novum-hotels.com/en/hotel-gendarmenmarkt-berlin

Charlottenstraße 66, Mitte, 10117, Berlin, Germany

Circus Hotel

Eco-friendly hotel on Rosenthaler Platz in the Mitte neighborhood

https://www.circus-berlin.de/hotel/

Meliá Berlin

Meliá Berlin

Rosenthaler Strasse 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany

Meliá Berlin

Full service four stat hotel in Mitte; close to everything.

https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/germany/berlin/melia-berlin/index.html

Friedrichstrasse 103, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Linnen

Linnen, Berlin, Germany

Linnen, Berlin, Germany

Excellent hotel with attached café in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.

http://www.linnenberlin.com/

Eberswalder Str. 35, 10437 Berlin, Germany

Myer’s Hotel

Hotel in an historic building in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.

https://www.myershotel.de/en/

Metzer Str. 26, 10405 Berlin, Germany

Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz

Centrally located hotel in Alexanderplatz.

https://www.leonardo-hotels.com/leonardo-royal-hotel-berlin-alexanderplatz

Otto-Braun-Str. 90, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, 10249 Berlin, Germany

Nhow Hotel

Self-styled music hotel with in house recording studios and guitar room service

https://www.nhow-berlin.com/en/

Stralauer Allee 3, 10245 Berlin, Germany

Hotel Kiez Pension Berlin

Reasonably priced hotel in the Friedrichshain neighborhood.

https://www.kiez-pension-berlin.de/English

Jungstr. 41, 10247 Berlin, Germany

Hotel the Yard, Berlin, Germany

Hotel the Yard, Berlin, Germany

Hotel the Yard

Boutique hotel in the Kreuzberg neighborhood

https://hotel-theyard.berlin/?lang=en

Alexandrinenstr. 125, 10969 Berlin, Germany

The Dude

Boutique hotel in a 19th century townhouse.

https://www.thedudeberlin.com/en/

Koepenicker Str. 92, 10179 Berlin, Germany