City district in the west
From the sandy banks of the Havel to the Technical University, from the Olympic stadium to the Teufelsberg, from Charlottenburg Palace to Jungfernheide park, from the German Opera House to the Schaubühne theatre, and from the exhibition centre with Berlin's television tower to the many shopping streets and tranquil squares, the district has something for everyone. The Kurfürstendamm is an absolute must for any visitor to Berlin. From Breitscheidplatz, site of the Memorial Church, to Rathenauplatz with its concrete Cadillacs, this is the buzzing heart of a district that has plenty more to offer: Grunewald forest is a popular choice with Berliners for a day out, and the good life can be enjoyed in the exclusive 'villa districts' of Westend and Grunewald, middle-class residential areas such as Schmargendorf, the Rheingauer Viertel around Rüdesheimer Platz or Eichkamp, as well as in modern residential areas such as Siemensstadt.
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- Take in the Noon Songs at a Saturday service in the church at Hohenzollerndamm.
- Relax in summer at the Wine Festival at Rüdesheimer Platz square.
- Discover Berlin’s literary scene at a reading in the Literaturhaus in Fasanenstrasse.
- Tour the Haus des Rundfunks – an icon of German broadcasting history.
- Enjoy a classic movie in the historic splendour of the Eva Lichtspiele cinema.
The museums and collections around Charlottenburg Palace offer a cultural diversity that is second to none within a very small area. In addition to the museums in the palace itself, these include the acclaimed Berggruen Museum, Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection, Bröhan Museum, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Museum at Villa Oppenheim, Replica Workshop and Ceramics Museum. Situated behind the palace is one of the largest and most beautiful original baroque gardens, which is an ideal place to relax. The parkland on the shores of Lake Lietzensee is also great for a stroll. And for those wishing to get up close to nature, the Ökowerk nature conservation centre on Lake Teufelssee has a wealth of fascinating things to see.
Olympic stadium + Waldbühne
Next to the Olympic stadium, the Waldbühne outdoor stage provides a marvellous backdrop for open-air concerts, including for many years the legendary season finale by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Between Ernst-Reuter-Platz and Charlottenburg Gate a giant campus has sprung up that comprises the Technical University, the University of the Arts and a number of other scientific institutions.
Going Local: Vive la France in Berlin's Schloßstraße
The tour directions for the walk shown in the video can be found in the “Going Local” brochure available in the visitBerlin shop. Order yours today.
Going out, cultural scene
From the Theater des Westens to the German Opera House, and from the Schaubühne and Renaissance theatres to the Vaganten, Wühlmäuse and Stachelschweine cabaret theatres - Berlin caters for all tastes. The Bar jeder Vernunft also offers top-notch cabaret shows. And so many clubs, bars and restaurants turn night into day – especially around Savignyplatz, Ludwigkirchplatz and Stuttgarter Platz. Thousands of concerts, most of them free, are organised every year by the Music Academy, and you can hear all different types of live music at various venues from jazz club to big concert hall.
You can enjoy a wide range of sports in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, around the Olympic stadium, for instance, the Horst-Dohm ice-skating rink in Wilmersdorf or Mommsen stadium next to the exhibition centre. Alternatively, you can go sailing on the River Havel, horse riding in Grunewald forest, hang-gliding off Teufelsberg hill, rowing on the River Spree or swimming in the Hundekehlesee lake. If you prefer walking, you can choose between the city, its many parks or nature at its best in Grunewald forest.
Kurfürstendamm and Tauentzien are a true shopper's paradise. There's everything from elegant boutiques to discounted designer stores, from specialist bookshops to electronics outlets. The pedestrian precinct on Wilmersdorfer Strasse becomes more and more attractive every year. If you are looking for something really special, you simply must explore one of the many shopping streets with their unique products and personal service.
- Brixplatz is one of the most beautiful parks in Berlin with a waterfall, ravines, and natural gardens all within its relatively tiny confines. Reichsstraße, Westend.
- A-Trane Chilling out with a cold beer and hot jazz. One of the best spots in town for true jazz fans. Bleibtreustr. 1, 10623 Berlin
- Amerika Haus was built as a cultural and information centre of the United States government in 1957 adjacent to Zoo station. Since 2014, it has been home to C/O Berlin Foundation’s world-class photography exhibitions.
- Leonhardtstraße is a beautiful little shopping street between Stuttgarter Platz and Amtsgerichtsplatz lined with charming shops.
- Das verborgene Museum (The Hidden Museum) was founded in 1986 document those women artists who among the first to graduate from art schools in Germany only to be forced into exile or silence in the Nazi era.
- Experience the ups and downs of Berlin’s U-Bahn history at the Berlin U-Bahn Museum. Receive a historic U-Bahn ticket upon admission to the museum and embark on a journey into the past with old signage, forgotten technologies, and an antique signal box.
- Tap into stories of espionage on the Teufelsberg. At 120 metres, the Teufelsberg is not only one of the highest hills in Berlin, but also houses an old U.S. listening station.
- 3 April 2014 saw the opening of Bikini Berlin, Berlin’s first concept mall. The zoo windows on the ground floor and the top-floor terrace give visitors a good look inside the primates display in the adjacent zoo, weather permitting.
Other neighbourhood tips can be found in our free “Going Local Berlin” app. Download your copy today and check it out.
You may also want to check our series of posts on Berlin’s districts in the visitBerlin blog.
Festival of Nations
Usually in July before the summer holidays on Prager Platz.
The world's largest trade fair for nutrition, farming and horticulture, every January at the exhibition centre.
ITB International Tourism Fair
The leading trade fair for the international travel industry, every March at the exhibition centre.
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