This month I was attending the Berlinale film festival closing night. On the 1st of January I was publishing a post about Berlin 2020. And now we stay home, accept the situation, reconsider priorities and change habits, but one good news is that cities, beloved museums, the mountains and the beaches will still be there.
When I moved to Berlin, I discovered the city by neighborhoods. After Tiergarten, now I wrote down some moments from a weekend spend in Berlin Mitte (pre-pandemic times) with some basics: sightseeing, music, food and coffee.
Mitte means middle and is considered today downtown of Berlin, but for almost 30 years was divided between East and West Berlin.
Berlin has an important heritage from the Prussian Empire, and many cultural monuments are located in Mitte: Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag (German Parliament), Bellevue Palace, just to name a few (because the list is very long).
Mitte is the home also of the Hackesche Markt, Kulturforum, of unique Museum Island and of the Berlin Dom – a must – even just for sightseeing.
The small island is an UNESCO World Heritage and it deserves a separate article.
For the 5 Museums we have the opportunity of an online tour since they are closed. Until now I only went for a walk in the Museumsinsel and look forward when I will visit them:
- Old Museum (Altes Museum), that used to be called Royal Museum
- Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie)
- New Museum (Neues Museum)
- Pergamon Museum
The Berlin concert hall (Konzerthaus) is located at the historic square called Gendarmenmarkt and is flanked in perfect symmetry by the French Cathedral (Französischer Dom) and the German Cathedral (Deutscher Dom).
First, I had on Saturday at 1 o’clock a guided tour though the Konzerthaus and in the evening a concert. The tour is organized in English and German and costs 3 euro, and could be organized also in French.
During the visit we saw the main auditorium – Grand Hall (Großer Saal), Apollo Hall, Small Hall, modern Werner-Otto Hall with amazing acoustics and the music club
We learned that the neo-classical building was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1821. Originally, the building was opened as a theater. It was destroyed in the Second world war and completely rebuild. Today is home of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.
Let’s talk about coffee
I have been living for almost a year in Berlin, but I think I would need 10 years to become an expert in third wave coffee places in this huge & cool city. So I will only give my amateur impression. Top 3 from Mitte, not in order:
1.Father Carpenter – is hidden in a courtyard, typical for Berlin, but very beautiful, closed during the social distancing period, but with the posibility to buy vouchers.
📌Münzstraße 21, 2. Hinterhof
2.Five Elephant in Mitte is the smaller child of the Roastery in Kreuzberg. The coffee is delicious, and I find the little coffee in Mitte more cozy and friendly. This shop is closed at the moment, so fingers crossed to be re-opened very soon, but the online shop is available with discounts.
📌Alte Schönhauser 14
3.The Barn Coffee Roasters is very famous in Berlin (for a reason), with a minimalistic interior and with coffee environentally sourced. I remembered they organized interesting events during the Coffee Festival last year.
📌Auguststraße 58, 10119 Berlin
Brammibal’s at Potsdamer Platz Arkaden – plant based donuts are always my go-to. Free of any artificial product and delicious. I am not vegan and donuts are not my favorite dessert, and still, I always return to the Banoffee, Esspresso and Lemon Curd ones :).
Zeit für Brot is the place where I had my first breakfast Pand coffee in Berlin. Is an absolute favorite place. Smells of fresh bread, coffee and cinnamon. I wanted to move in. When in doubt, cinnamon buns and brownies are a good choice.
📌Alte Schönhauser 4
Everything is temporary. Things will get better.