Splendidly well-groomed Prenzlauer Berg is one of Berlin's most charismatic residential neighbourhoods, filled with cafes, historic buildings and indie boutiques. It's a joy to explore on foot. On Sundays, the world descends on its Mauerpark for flea marketeering, summertime karaoke and chilling in the sun.
Mitte - Alexanderplatz Area
With its boutique-lined lanes and charming courtyards like the Hackesche Höfe, the Scheunenviertel is fashionista central. It teems with progressive bars and restaurants, making it a pleasure to explore after dark as well. This is Berlin's traditional Jewish quarter, whose revival is symbolised by the gleaming dome of the rebuilt Neue Synagoge on Oranienburger Strasse.
Kreuzberg & Northern Neukölln
Kreuzberg and northern Neukölln across the canal are Berlin's most dynamic and hip neighbourhoods. With the Jewish Museum and the German Museum of Technology, the area has a couple of big sights, but its main draw is in its eclectic shopping, and a glut of excellent eateries and nightlife reflect its multicultural demographic.
A cocktail of culture, commerce and history, Mitte packs it in when it comes to blockbuster sights: the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie are all within its confines. Cutting through it all is the grand boulevard Unter den Linden, large sections of which are currently torn up for construction of a new U-Bahn line.
Mitte - Scheunenviertel
This historic area is sightseeing central, especially for museum lovers who hit the jackpot on the little Spree island of Museumsinsel, home to five world-class museums, including the unmissable Pergamonmuseum. The Berliner Dom watches serenely over it all, including the reconstruction of the Berlin City Palace across the street.
Potsdamer Platz & Tiergarten
This new quarter, forged from ground once bisected by the Berlin Wall, is a showcase of fabulous contemporary architecture and home to big cinemas and shopping. Culture lovers should not skip the Kulturforum museums, especially the Gemäldegalerie, which sits right next to the world-class Berliner Philharmonie.
Amorphous, multiethnic and rough around the edges – Wedding is a draw for urban explorers of neighbourhoods still exhibiting pre-gentrification authenticity. Sights are fairly scarce but if you’re keen on the offbeat, down-to-earth locals and improvised DIY bars and creative venues, you’ll still find them in this working-class northern district.