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City West: The new face of the old west Berlin

Photo: View of the Berlin City West with the Bikini Berlin
View of the Berlin City West with the Bikini Berlin (c) visumate

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. With so many fascinating sights and historical buildings, interesting discoveries are a part of any stroll around the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf neighbourhoods.

Berlins ‘Taj Mahal’

A Taj Mahal in Berlin? Yes! Our tour starts at the Ahmadiyya Mosque 3 in Brienner Strasse. Germany’s oldest mosque was designed by architect K.A. Hermann, and dates from the 1920s. The light reflecting off the white minaret, towers and central dome can be seen from far away. The nearby Hohenzollernplatz 4 is home to an impressive brick church, built from 1930 to 1933. Fritz Hoger’s expressionist design created a church with towering walls and high bell tower. Every Saturday at noon, the church hosts a thirty minute ‘Noon‑ Song’, a service of music with a professional choir singing classic hymns and choral works.

From Fasanenstrasse to the Verborgene Museum

From here, stroll down the upscale Fasanenstrasse towards Kantstrasse and Savignyplatz square and check out the array of attractive restaurants and bars. The Buchhandlerkeller 5 at Carmerstrasse 1 near the square has been an institution in Berlin’s literary life for over 30 years. If you head down Pestalozzistrasse, parallel to Kantstrasse, you soon come to Suarezstrasse 6 with its wealth of antiques stores and furniture and design outlets. On your way there, why not plan in a break at the Verborgenes Museum 7 at Schluterstrasse 70? The exhibitions explore women’s art, an area often neglected in the art world. Many of the art pioneers on show trained in the male-dominated art colleges of the early 1900s; started to exhibit and then, under the Nazis, were pushed back into private life or driven into exile. It’s also well worth taking a detour to enjoy a stroll down Leonhardtstrasse 8 , a relaxed local shopping street between Stuttgarter Platz and the Amtsgericht square.