Tomorrow we’re off for another trip to Berlin and as it’s a bit of a whistle stop tour, just over 48 hours, we’ve decided to stay in the central part of the city, Mitte. Not the most avant garde part of the city, but certainly the most central.
Mitte, has many fantastic hotels and as always I went to my trusty talisman of travel Booking.com to find one. What I love about Booking.com is that you can weed out all the undesirable places to stay and edit your search to the standard of the hotel you are looking for, the budget and most importantly for me the hotels that have received customer reviews of 8/10 +. I have never found a bad hotel using this method and I’m hoping that the Zoe Hotel in Berlin, our home for this stay, is no different.
Obviously I’ve chosen to share an image of the bar, a great bar, in my humble opinion, is always a sign of a good hotel?
Mitte being the centre of the city, is full to bursting with great places to eat and below are just a few of the cafe bars and restaurants I’ve researched for our visit. I know a lot of you will probably prefer to just walk around a city and find things as you come across them, which of course I love to do as well, but with such a short time frame, it’s always good to have an idea of the general direction of some great places.
House of Small wonder is a Japanese inspired cafe with a sister operation in Brooklyn NY. It just looks pretty, enough said!
Hackescher Markt is full of little bars and cafes and the Hackescher Hofe building built in the Art Nouveau style in 1906 is a fascinating complex of interconnecting courtyards originally built for residential housing and craft and trade areas, Berlin’s first work live space and still a cultural and artistic centre today.
Gendarmenmarkt is one of the loveliest areas of Berlin, a city which is not usually decribed as pretty. The location of a French & German Cathedral and a neo classical concert hall, it’s surrounded by cafes and bars and is home to a Christmas market and outdoor ice rink from the end of November.
Clarchens Ballhaus is one of the oldest dance halls in Berlin, opening it’s doors for the first time in 1912. It’s open every night for ball room dancing lessons, with a live band and Dj’s most evenings and now a newly refurbished restaurant, The Gypsey where authentic German cuisine is served.
There are too many shops to mention in Mitte area but one I can’t wait to visit for all my stationary dreams come true is Type Hype. Anybody that knows me knows that I love a font and this shop prints just 5 designs on an original printing press over a multitude of merchandise. Graphic heaven!
Not far from Mitte is Kreuzberg, home to many artistic and creative souls in Berlin and synonymous with the Bowie years of Berlin & the location of club SO36, the favourite haunt of Bowie & Iggy when they lived in Berlin.
Today Kreuzberg still has that creative edge and is full of independent shops bars and restaurants.
Kantine Kohlmann serves tiny tapas size dishes of traditional german food in an industrial urban environment.
Markthalle Neun runs a street food market on Thursdays where stall holders sell their local produce, cooked on the premises for locals and tourists to enjoy.
Sage restaurant has been recommended by our friends who ate there last year and so we’ve booked for Friday evening. Its run by the owners of the club of the same name and the menu has a selection of German classics and regular seasonal additions. The atmosphere is casual as you would expect from club owners and in the summer months they run a river side BBQ and regular DJ sets.
FolkDays looks like my kind of shop, stocking a carefully curated selection of fair trade clothes, homewares & jewellery.
Berlin is vast and has so many interesting areas so where ever you stay it will be fabulous. If you’ve also visited Berlin and know other places worth exploring on our trip, or indeed our next trip there, let me know. I’d love to hear from you x
If you’ve never been to Berlin and are thinking of going and have found this little blog post useful, you might like to read my last post about this incredible vibrant city here?