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Friedrichshain - Where to Stay in Berlin
Friedrichshain is centrally located to the north east of Mitte, and with a main train line, underground stations and myriad tram services unique to this eastern area, it's a great base for exploring the entire city. The south side borders the river Spree where the Berlin Wall used to stand and to south east, Treptower Park which are both great areas for jogging, sailing, cycling or rollerblading. Freidrichshain attracts a lot of young people and families looking to get a feel of the "real" Berlin. If you are photographer there are lots of great photograph opportuntites in the abandoned buildings near to the main Warschauerstrasse train station.
Another area to explore is Karl-Marx-Allee, a grand avenue running from Alexanderplatz in Mitte towards Friedrichshain. Built in the former communist era as a showpiece road, the tree-lined boulevard is really striking, with its socialist apartment blocks. If you've seen the film The Lives of The Others’ you may recognise some of the architecture as it was mainly shot on this road.
A few minutes walk from Karl-Marx-Allee and nearby Frankfurter Allee is Boxhagener Platz, an area popular with many young people such as artists and musicians. The streets around Simon-Dachstrasse are a great place to eat or hang out all night with loads of great cafes, bars and restaurants. All are reasonably priced and offer a wide variety of cuisines from around the world. If you want to party the night away, head to Friedrichshain’s clubbing district in Köpenicker Strasse.
Despite the inevitable gentrification, Friedrichshain has retained much more of its original Berliner charm than other areas and you'll find the most grafitti is this neighbourhood. On Sundays visit the flea market in Boxhagener Platz, where the locals sell everything from bikes & second hand clothes to knick knacks and fairy cakes. Next door is a playground which a lot of young families would enjoy. Don't forget in the summer months there is the wonderful Volkspark to enjoy where you can even watch films at an open-air cinema.