Slowing down is the mode currently around the globe. Interestingly enough, in Berlin I was not rushing here and there. Compared with other capitals, what is the difference that makes the difference? I believe the city has a rare energy. Prenzlauer Berg’s architecture in particular is esthetically beautiful with many historical buildings.
Perhaps I felt home in the East part of Berlin and in the same time I still feel on a journey.
Prenzlauer Berg … was founded in 1920, so a hundred years ago – was for the working class, and later until today associated with “bohemians”. Is part of Pankow neighborhood and is without a doubt one of the best places I’ve been privileged to call home.
As previously mentioned, goes without saying that best way to discover a big city as Berlin is by neighborhoods.
Walk along busy and loud Schönhauser Allee and turn left on Stargarter Strasse. Here, Gethsemane Church was a shaping site and an important symbol of the Fall of the wall in 1989 during the “peaceful revolution”.
If you keep walking straight you arrive on colorful Dunckerstraße around Helmholzplatz, an area packed with restaurants and many bars.
Other important landmarks in Prenzlauer Berg include:
- Bornholmer street barrier was the first to open to former West Berlin, since Prenzlauer Berg played a shaping role in that year of change 1989
- Former brewery Kulturbraurei, now a cultural space that hosts dance schools, club FRANNZ, a biergarden, a cinema, a yoga studio even .. and a street food market on Sunday and a Nordic inspired Christmas market from late November
- On Rykerstrasse: the largest Synagogue in Europe and the Water tower nicknamed “Fat Hermann”
- Kastanienalle (chestnut alley) for vintage shopping and small boutiques, including Kauf dich Glücklich, that is also a café
- Mauer Park (Wall Park) for the ultimate type of flea market on Sundays
- Arkonaplatz near Zionskirchplatz for a different and smaller flea market, also on Sundays
- Bernauerstrasse area and Berlin Wall Memorial
- The Zeiss Planetarium on Prenzlauer Allee
Let’s talk about Coffee & Food
Most restaurants and coffee places are around Helmholzplatz, at Kollwitzplatz and along Kastanienallee.
1. Café Bekarei 📌 Dunckerstraße 23, 10437. In this charming little café on the corner with chic Stargarter street I had my first coffee in Prenzlauer Berg. And the first Portuguese-Greek unique mix of a coffee place. Many first for one paragraph. Really good coffee. Great Pastel de nata. Friendly staff. I truly recommend!
2. Café Kraft 📌 Schivelbeiner Str. 23, 10439. Went for the specialty coffee and continued to return also for the banana bread and the cakes.Very modern space.
3. No Fire No Glory – a place for specialty coffee and cakes 📌 Rykestraße 45, 10405
4. Café Anna Blume, a breakfast & Brunch restaurant and location of my book club 📌 Kollwitzstraße 83, 10435.
Visit Saturday morning or Thursday afternoon to combine it with the organic farmers market at Kollwitzplatz.
5. Bonanza Coffee Heroes 📌 Oderberger Strasse 35, 10435, the coffee shop is “responsible” for starting the wave of specialty coffee in Berlin. While the coffee roaster is in Kreuzberg, the small café near Mauerpark is home to coffee “connoisseurs”.
6. Pastificio Tosatti 📌 Schliemannstraße 14A, 10437. I am very grateful for all the pasta, lasagna tiramisu from here and Italy /the world.
7. Nothaft Café 📌 Schönhauser Allee 43A, 10345. Modern shop with homemade sweets and very good coffee. Even if at the moment during the self-isolation period is only take away, I always recommend to go and enjoy your coffee inside Kulturbraurei, only a few minutes away.
Lastly, for ice cream, gelateria “Eispatisserie Hokey Pokey” at the same 📌 Stargarden Str. 73 and “Oak & Ice” on 📌 Schönhauser Allee 52 for (obviously) good ice cream and not a good well kept secret, so expect big lines on sunny days.
Sometimes, one ritual after work is to go for a walk or run to see in Spring the cherry blossoms at Schwedter Strasse and always the sunset at Schwedter Steg, a bridge in Berlin. A reminder how beautiful is every day.