The place where we feel at home. When Berliners talk about their ‘hood’, they call it their ‘kiez’. Today, a neighbourhood is a feeling about life: a happening place without hassle. And that’s what Berlin has in trumps – from the Akazien ‘kiez’ in Schöneberg to the Kaskel ‘kiez’ in Lichtenberg. Berlin is divided into administrative boroughs, but it’s their neighbourhood which gives the city its vibrant quality of life.
The cool downtown catwalk in Mitte
For serious shopping, there’s always the Kaufhaus des Westens and Kurfürstendamm boulevard – not mentioning the Potsdamer Platz and Friedrichstrasse. But for funky, offbeat stores, it’s hard to beat the quarter around Alte and Neue Schönhauser Strasse. When the Wall came down, the streets around Hackescher Markt had to be totally refurbished. The houses were dilapidated and grey, and interspersed with empty plots run wild. Overnight, the area was revamped, transformed into one of the hippest places in town. Today, the coolest location to see and be seen is around Alte and Neue Schönhauser Strasse. The mix of trendy and alternative lifestyles around Hackesche Höfe draws Berliners and visitors. Here you can find galleries next to architectural practices, and design offices rubbing shoulders with organic stores. On the 2km stretch between Hackescher Markt and Torstrasse, you find all kind of outlets selling shoes, cosmetics, bags and clothes – along with such happening restaurants as Monsieur Vuong (Vietnamese) or ‘Mädchenitaliener’ (Italian-Mediterranean). Hip stores and cool cats – Mitte is right at the heart of an exclusive feeling for life!