Splendidly well-groomed Prenzlauer Berg is one of Berlin's most pleasant residential neighbourhoods and a joy to explore on foot. On Sundays, the world descends on its Mauerpark for flea marketeering, outdoor karaoke and chilling in the sun. A visit to the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer is essential to understanding how the Berlin Wall shaped the city.
Mitte - Alexanderplatz Area
With its boutique-lined lanes and charming courtyards like the Hackesche Höfe, the Scheunenviertel is fashionista central and teems with hip bars and restaurants. Come face to face with the quarter's Jewish roots on a visit of the Neue Synagoge, then check out the galleries along Auguststrasse and Linienstrasse.
Kreuzberg & Northern Neukölln
Kreuzberg and northern Neukölln are epicentres of free-wheeling, multicultural and alternative Berlin. Spend the day hunting down vintage threads and street art, chill in a cafe or an airport-turned-public-park, then plunge headlong into the city's most vibrant nightlife.
With the mother lode of sights clustered within a walkable area, this part of the city should be your first port of call. Book ahead for access to the Reichstag dome, then check off the Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, Unter den Linden boulevard and splendid Gendarmenmarkt on an easy stroll. Head to Friedrichstrasse for upmarket shopping and entertainment.
Potsdamer Platz & Tiergarten
This new quarter, forged from ground once bisected by the Berlin Wall, is a showcase of fabulous contemporary architecture. Art lovers should not skip the Kulturforum museums, especially the Gemäldegalerie, which sits right next to the world-class Berliner Philharmonie.