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Autumn walks at the Landwehrkanal

Simply going with the flow, having a coffee here and there, stopping to admire what’s in the shop windows, trying something new and then selecting something to remember a beautiful day “just doing nothing” in Berlin. Often the best way to explore the city is to do so without a specific goal in mind, although it does help to know where to start at least. And, as soon as autumn starts, the area between the Urbanhafen and the Maybachufer is the perfect spot for this kind of strolling. The colourful leaves of the trees in front of the late nineteenth-century houses are reflected in the Landwehr Canal and the streets in the area around Gräfestraße offer plenty of small shops and cafés to stop in, even if you’re just ducking out of the rain that sometimes creeps up by surprise. After a hearty breakfast in Café Ahorn with its typical Berlin atmosphere and views of the Carl-Herz-Ufer, it’s time to head out and explore the neighbourhood. The path along the Landwehr Canal takes you past the swans and ducks waiting for food on your way to the Admiralbrücke. To your right is Grimmstraße, home to diverse culinary traditions and aromas from around the world, although still with a marked Mediterranean flair. Which should it be: French crêpes at Manouche, Canadian pizza at Ron Telesky, Turkish olives at Weinblatt or sushi in Tangs Kantine?! Then walk along Dieffenbachstraße past small neighbourhood shops to Gräfestraße. Gräfestraße is the heart of this Kreuzberg neighbourhood. Check out Umbras Kuriositätenkabinett, an old book shop with spilling out the doors onto the street. Next door is Kadó Süßes und Salziges, Germany’s first liquorice shop. A little further down the street, you’ll hear the music coming from the old Long Player record store and the chatter of people catching a late breakfast at Café Zitrone (served until 3.00pm). Berlin Eismanufaktur at the northern end of Gräfestraße features special autumn flavours of hand-made ice cream such as pear or pine nuts until the end of October. Then it’s time to set anchor at the Ankerklause, a quaint harbour bar on the Maybachufer along the Landwehr Canal, where you can wait out the next autumn storm warm and dry. (Start: U1 to Prinzenstraße, End: U1/U8 from Kottbusser Tor)