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Prenzlauer Berg - Where to Stay in Berlin
Situated very close to the centre and once part of the former east, Prenzlauer Berg was for a long time one of Berlin’s poorest eastern districts. Today it's probably the safest, quiestest, most gentrified residential quarter, with shops and cafes catering to young, middle-class tastes. Popular with families, it has a relaxed atmosphere with quiet streets along and some of the best shops and restaurants the city has to offer.
Prenzlauer Berg is a beautiful neighbourhood awash with grand turn-of-the-century buildings, which have now been restored to their former glory, complete with high ceilings, ornate detail and welcoming internal courtyards so it’s a really picturesque area.
Prenzlauer Berg is a great choice if you are a family or a couple looking to enjoy relaxed local Berlin life but want to be only a few minutes to the historic centre (Mitte). The best way to explore Berlin is by bike. Go to the Kultur Braueri, one of the focal points of the area, hire bikes and then it's a down hill ride all the way to the Brandenburg Gate! Around 10 minutes all it takes. In the winter months one of the best Christmas Markets can be found in the courtyard grounds of the Kultur Braueri.
Not to be missed is Kollwitz Platz (Square), with its renowned Sunday farmers’ market. It's a popular haunt surrounded by some smart Berlin restaurants and cafes, frequented by a well-heeled crowd, sometimes with their children in tow in the day time, who come here to meet, socialise, make use of the amazing playground in the square or just to sunbathe.
Helmholtzplatz is another thiriving place in Prenzlauer Berg with a younger spirit. It’s a huge square surrounded by some great restaurants, and quirky Berlin style cafés and bars where you can drink and chat the night away in the company of the regulars - a mix of locals and an international crowd. In summer it is a fantastic place to play table tennis on one of the outdoor tables - the activity of a true Berliner!
Then there's Kastanienallee or ‘Casting Allee’ as the locals call it, which is has a mucn more lively buzzing atmosphere amid more shabby-chic surroundings. It’s a great street in which to shop and café hop - another popular Berliner sport. On a Sunday Prenzlauer Berg is the place to be. There is nothing better than to brunch in one of the cafes before heading to Mauer Park and Arkona Platz fleah market, bargains galore! Another draw of Sunday's at Mauer Park is the open air karaoke where anyone can particpate!
If you are looking to get off the beaten track, stroll down to Winstrasse and the surrounding streets. Admire the buildings and stop of at one of the boutique shops and lovely cafes along the way. Not far is the water tower (Waser Turm) which is another unique focal point in Prenzlauer Berg. The structure has historical significance from the Nazi era and has been converted into apartments as well as doubling up as an art gallery sometimes.