Berlin is split into 12 official Bezirke (districts; for example, Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg), which are subdivided into individual Kieze (neighbourhoods). Key sights such as the Brandenburger Tor and Museumsinsel cluster in the walkable historic city centre – Mitte – which also cradles the fashion-centric Scheunenviertel around Hackescher Markt.
North of Mitte, residential Prenzlauer Berg has almost Parisian flair (especially around Kollwitzplatz) and brims with boutiques, cafes and a fun flea market. South of Mitte loom the contemporary high-rises of Potsdamer Platz and the Kulturforum museum and music hub. Further south, Kreuzberg and Neukölln are party central, as is student-flavoured Friedrichshain east across the Spree River.
Mitte is linked to Charlottenburg, the main western district, via the vast Tiergarten park. Its commercial hub, in turn, is the City West around Zoo station and along the Kurfürstendamm shopping strips. The sightseeing highlight here is Schloss Charlottenburg, about 3.5km northwest of the City West.
Feature: Beyond the Scheunenviertel: Lesser-Known Jewish Sites
The Holocaust Memorial, the Neue Synagoge and the Jüdisches Museum are Berlin’s flagship Jewish sites, but other places of remembrance abound.
Gleis 17 Memorial Trains departed for the concentration camp from these tracks.
Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz The villa where Nazi leaders planned the ‘Final Solution’.
Mendelssohn Exhibit A homage to one of Berlin’s most prominent Jewish families.
Jüdischer Friedhof Schönhauser Allee The final resting place for famous Jewish Berliners.
Block der Frauen A memorial to a successful act of Nazi resistance.