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Germany : Berlin - September 2010

Country Code: Dial ++49 for Germany

This month, Berlin rocks. The city’s Music Week (6-12 September, berlinmusic- week.de) includes events such as rock bands performing in the hangars of the former Tempelhof airport, and a Club Night on the 11th, when one ticket gets you into 30 clubs. Jeroen van Marle is our city guide

Getting around

Tempelhof Airport is located in the southcentral borough of Tempelhof- Schöneberg.

Train: The airport is connected to the city centre by U-Bahn line 6, which can be picked up from Platz der Luftbrücke station. The journey takes 10 to 15 minutes and tickets cost €2,10.
Taxi: The trip into the city centre takes around 15 minutes and costs about €12.
Tourist information: There are offices at the Brandenburg Gate and the main railway station (tel. (0)30 250025, visitberlin.de).

MITTE

Berlin’s central district has truly awoken after decades of slumber in isolation behind the Wall, and it’s now a prime area for shopping, eating and sightseeing. Wander from the stately boulevards, squares and tourist shops around Unter den Linden to the funky Hackescher Markt, with its quirky restaurants and boutiques.

Culture vultures – To experience live music with a difference, head just west of Mitte to the Liquidrom thermal baths (10 Möckernstrasse, tel. (0)30 2580 7820), where weekly waterside concerts are held by the beautifully lit underground pool. Float in the hot salt water while listening to musical styles varying from jazz to didgeridoo.

Must eat – Head to a quiet Mitte street for some great sushi at Kuchi (3 Gipsstrasse, tel. (0)30 2838 6622). The fresh, modern interior is a pleasant place to battle for a table (if you haven’t booked ahead) and sample sushi specials as well as crisp miso duck, chicken yakitori and green tea ice cream.

Must drink – The pull of gravity may feel distinctly stronger after a few fantastic cocktails at the upmarket Newton Bar (57 Charlottenstrasse). But it’s not Sir Isaac you’re raising a glass to here – it’s legendary photographer Helmut Newton, whose huge ‘Big Nudes’ snap occupies a whole wall of the bar.

CHARLOTTENBURG

This district around Zoo Bahnhof train station was once the buzzing centre of West Berlin, but over the years lost some of its glamour to the newly discovered districts further east. Its elegant boulevards and tree-lined streets are still worth discovering, however.

Sleep soundly – Jazz lovers should lay their heads at the Ellington (50-55 Nürnberger Strasse, tel. (0)30 683150, ellingtonhotel. com, rooms from €118), located in a stylish 1920s building. The basement formerly housed the Badewanne club, where legends such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington once played – photos of this musical history can be found throughout the hotel.

Culture vultures – Berlin’s prettiest baroque palace, Schloss Charlottenburg (20-24 Spandauer Damm), was beautifully restored after the war and sits in landscaped gardens north of the commercial area. It was built in 1695 as a summer palace, but took another century to acquire its current grandiose form. Visitors can wander the grounds and rooms to take in the period furniture and art. Romantic candle-lit dinners with baroque music are also held regularly.

Must eat – For fine European dining with a French twist, book a table at First Floor (Palace Hotel, 45 Budapester Strasse, tel. (0)30 2502 1020); try one of the set degustation menus for a mouth-watering experience, paired with the world’s best wine. Quality dining comes at a price, but you can also drop by for a lighter lunch.

KREUZBERG

Once a dead-end area with its back against the wall, this was the most alternative kiez (district) of West Berlin, with punks, draft-dodgers and a huge Turkish population. Kreuzberg’s reconnection to its eastern neighbours has done much to diversify and modernise the area, and its relaxed way of life and rocking nightlife continues to attract many visitors.

Culture vultures – One of Berlin’s top museums, the Jewish Museum (9-14 Lindenstrasse, tel. (0)30 2599 3300) is designed to resemble an unravelling Star of David and contains an in-depth exhibition on the history of Jews in Germany. The boom years of the early 20th century are juxtaposed with the exhibits and sober voids to contemplate the wartime horrors. Plan to spend a few hours here.

Must eat – An old Kreuzberg market hall now houses the rustic Markthalle restaurant (34 Pücklerstrasse, tel. (0)30 617 5502), serving late breakfasts and delicious German and international dishes. The menu changes every week.

Dance the night away – Perched on the very edge of Kreuzberg and overlooking the elegant Oberbaumbruecke bridge over the Spree, Watergate (49 Falckensteinstrasse) is a fantastic club attracting local and international DJs, and a trendy young crowd eager to hear new music.



Compiled by Jeroen van Marle

Previous issues for Berlin
 
   
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
please confirm event/venue details in advance.

 

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