Vibrant Prenzlauer Berg is home to creativity and a cosmopolitan lifestyle – as much in evidence in the many cafés and eateries around the Helmholtzplatz and Kollwitzplatz squares as in the wealth of independent boutiques and quirky shops where you can browse to your heart’s content. Oderberger Straße and Kastanienallee boulevard have long been a treasure trove for Berlin designer fashion and labels.
Weißensee: At the Weißer See lake
The urban beat slows in the green Weißensee district with its spreading lake. Yet here too, you can find a lively arts scene with many galleries in the streets around the Weißensee Art College – a magnet for young creatives. Close to the Weißer See lake, which gives the area its name, you can find the Weißensee Cemetery, the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe and a unique monument of cultural history.
With Berlin rapidly growing in the late nineteenth century, rural Pankow was a popular destination for a day out to escape the city tenements and crowds – and it was immortalised in some much-loved tunes of the day. Pankow still offers many attractive leisure facilities today, with generous green spaces, parks and gardens – and even its own palace! The original Schönhausen Palace dates from 1621, built by the Dohna family of Prussian nobles. The present baroque design goes back to the 1700s when the palace was converted during the reign of Friedrich the Great. Today, the palace houses a fascinating museum reflecting the building’s chequered history. The River Panke flows through the beautiful park grounds, which are especially attractive for young families.
In the far north of Pankow, the urban landscape soon returns to its rural roots, with farming and fields, paddocks for horses and nature conservation areas.
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