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How to spend a day in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin’s coolest neighbourhood

How to spend a day in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin’s coolest neighbourhood

Our microguides series is inspired by the slow travel movement, encouraging travellers to relax their pace and take a deep dive into one particular neighbourhood in a well-loved city. Rather than a whirlwind itinerary which aims to hit up every must-see attraction, these compact, close-up guides encourage you to zone in, take your time and truly explore like a local.

Being on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall wasn’t all bad news for Prenzlauer Berg. After Germany’s reunification, this dynamic, neglected neighbourhood of historic buildings and leafy squares was ripe for evolution, drawing followers of every youth culture from punk and rave to hipster. Today, along with the adjacent districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, this central-east part of the city is Berlin’s counterculture hub.

Though recent years have seen it become somewhat gentrified, Prenzlauer Berg is still the most exciting base for a Berlin city break. Bohemian, laid-back and very international, this isn’t somewhere you visit for landmark museums and attractions: it’s more about being than seeing, with stacks of places to eat, drink and hang. It’s packed with cool urban experiences, but the real buzz lies in its “kieze”, or micro-neighbourhoods. The one around Oderberger Strasse is particularly worth exploring, for its upbeat bars and restaurants tinged with traces of Berlin Wall history.

Locals in Prenzlauer Berg

(Getty Images)


Delve into Berlin Wall history

Oderberger Strasse gives way to the Mauerpark (Wall Park), a lively green space where people picnic and play on what was once the “Death Strip” between sections of wall, patrolled by dogs and raked by searchlights. Markers show where the structure stood, while memorials on nearby streets recall the fall of the Wall.

Catch a cultural explosion

At the other end of Odeberger Strasse is Kulturbrauerei, a former brewery reborn as a busy cultural hub. Whatever you’re into, you’ll find it among its nightclubs, cinema, concert halls and Sunday street food market, with seasonal flair from a beer garden or Nordic Christmas Market.

Take a dip

When the colder months call time on wild swimming in Berlin’s lakes, historic swimming pool Stadtbad Oderberger comes into its own. This 20m pool fills a historic, cathedral-like, triple-height space originally built in 1899 and recently restored; the water…

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