Mitte, Berlin.
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Mitte (“Center”) was best known during the Cold War for its three border control points demarcating East and West Berlin, including the infamous Friedrichstraße Crossing Point, a.k.a. “Checkpoint Charlie.” Once the Wall came down, the neighborhood underwent an artistic renaissance, as derelict buildings became home to local art galleries, edgy cafés, and massive techno parties.

Today, this borough is a major tourist hotspot for history lovers – virtually every building around the tree-lined main boulevard Unter den Linden played an important role in Berlin's history – while the neighborhood’s sprawling size guarantees a lifetime of shopping and nightlife. Many come to explore the remnants of Berlin’s past, from the spectacular glass-domed Reichstag building, where Germany was officially united, to the Acropolis-inspired Brandenburg Gate – the only remaining “gate” between former East and West Berlin.

Most of the city’s major museums, including the famous Altes and Pergamon, are also found in this neighborhood, while Friedrichstraße has become a major shopping street that’s rife with big-name designer stores. Torstraße and Mulackstraße feature scores of boutiques and pricey independent retailers as well, but budget-conscious buyers need only venture further north to Bergmannstraße and Alexanderplatz to find an ocean of vintage outlets, or check out the area around the famous artist colony of Tacheles, where both of Berlin’s vices – marijuana and prostitution – can readily be found.

Nearby Hackescher Markt is home to many busy outdoor cafés, making finding a quick meal a cinch, and Mitte’s incredibly diverse residents – Turks, Arabs, Africans, East Asians, and transplants from all over Europe – promise easy access to everything from cheap kebobs to five-star French cuisine. The same can be said of the area’s ever-bustling nightlife, although those looking for the richest concentration of bars, clubs, and lounges need only walk down Oranienburger Straße and its surrounding blocks, where barebones dives with great live music, swanky mixology dens with amazing cocktails, and some of the city’s most exclusive clubs keep the party going long into the night.

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Where to Go in Mitte

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