The diversity of Berlin Mitte mirrors the diversity of the city. When I moved here, I discovered the city by neighborhoods. After Tiergarten, now I wrote down some moments spend in Mitte, considered today the downtown, but for almost 30 years was divided between East and West.
first places I recommend to anyone heading to Berlin are Hackescher Markt and the Museum Island, both in Mitte.
Berlin has an important heritage from the Prussian Empire, and many cultural monuments are located in Mitte: Brandenburg Gate, hidden backyards, Reichstag, Museum island, Bebelplatz with Humboldt University, just to name a few (since the list is very long).
Unique Museumsinsel is an UNESCO World Heritage with 5 world class museums – a must see – where you can find the Old Museum (Altes Museum), the Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie), New Museum (Neues Museum), Pergamon Museum, Bode-Museum and James Simon Gallery.
Reichstag building is the seat of German Parliament (Bundestag) and it can be visited for free, only registration is required at least a day in advance online. Best to spend the afternoon or evening visiting the building with its famous glass dome, where I took the below picture at sunset.
Hackescher Markt is one of Berlin’s oldest areas and Hackescher Höfe is a complex of 8 interconnected courtyards, designed in Art Nouveau and filled with small boutiques, galleries and even a theater and a cinema
In Bebelplatz you can admire Hedwig Cathedral and the Humboldt University, attend a concert at State Opera Unter den Linden, go the rooftop of the Hotel de Rome, or reach Berlin Dom and Museum Island – even just for sightseeing.
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).
An important word, Kaufhaus means “department store”, that could include libraries, fashion shops, furniture, restaurants and so on. Only 5 minutes away from Konzerthaus, Galleries Lafayette Berlin is “Kaufhaus” in Friedrichstrasse, from Paris with love, and part of “Quartier 207”, a complex of shopping centers and offices interconnected though galleries. I personally like the “Gastronomie” floor with restaurants, macaroons, strong coffee and a French bookstore nearby.
Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus “culture house” has a café, an English bookstore, more books, spontaneous concerts and “the largest classical music department in the world”, but also jazz and international music. If you are in doubt where to start for sightseeing or shopping, Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden boulevard are the answer.
Let’s talk about coffee
I have been living for almost a year in Berlin, but I think I would need years to become an expert in the food scene and third wave coffee places in this huge & cool city. To be in Berlin is to be well-caffeinated. My top, in no order, only my amateur impression:
1. Röststätte Berlin – award winning specialty coffee, that offers also barista workshop and classes 📌Ackerstraße 173 and 2nd location in Hackescher Markt
2. Five Elephant in Mitte is a smaller venue of the Roastery in Kreuzberg. The coffee is excellent. The online shop is also available 📌Alte Schönhauser 14
3. The Barn Coffee Roasters is 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 and also Neue Schönhauser Strasse 12
4. Father Carpenter – is hidden in a courtyard, typical for Berlin, very beautiful 📌Münzstraße 21, 2. Hinterhof
Zeit für Brot is the place where I had my first breakfast and coffee in Berlin. 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.
Brammibal’s near Potsdamer Platz – plant based donuts are my go-to. I am not vegan and donuts are not my favorite dessert, and still, I always return to the Banoffee, Esspresso and Lemon Curd ones.
Ate most gelato from Cuore di Vetro (📌Max-Beer-Strasse 33), Canal Artisanal inside Hackeschen Höfe and many sorbets from Eismanufaktur Berlin (📌Auguststrasse 63).
2 thoughts on “Berlin Mitte & Museum Island”