What you need to know about Mitte
Mitte is more than just the centre and heart of the city. It is also the cradle where Berlin was born, growing from a small settlement founded along the River Spree in the thirteenth century. Mitte has always cultivated its own distinctive character. Not only does it embody Berlin as an open world city more than any other borough, but it also impressively reflects the city’s chequered history. In that spirit, a reconstructed city palace, open to all, is being built on a central site in Mitte where once Prussian kings ruled. With its collections and exhibitions, the Humboldt Forum in the city palace will stand for an equal dialogue between cultures.
Sights in Mitte
The original Reichstag parliament building from the late nineteenth century was designed in a solemn and imposing neo-Renaissance style. In contrast, today’s refurbished building is crowned by an elegant glass dome open to the public – a symbol of a new, politically transparent Germany firmly committed to European ideals. A few steps further on just in front of the parliament building, you can even sit down on some comfortable stone steps in the centre of the government quarter and dangle your feet in the cool water of the River Spree. Or why not ‘boat through the city’? In Berlin, nothing could be easier! Just hop on one of the many boat tours along the river, relax over drinks and snacks on board, glide past government buildings and major sights, and discover Berlin’s riverside landscapes and beaches!
Berlin's neighbourhoods at a glance
Art and culture in Mitte
In Mitte, you can find art collections and exhibitions housed in fascinating and unusual locations. For instance, the spectacularly restored Neues Museum on the Museum Island presents the legendary bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti in its own richly decorated display room under the north dome. In Reinhardstraße, you can find the private Boros Collection shown in a converted Second World War bunker. For safety reasons, the collection, which includes such names as Ai Weiei and Olafur Elaisson, can only be viewed on a tour booked in advance. And at the Gesundbrunnen U-Bahn station, Berlin’s deepest underground station, the Berliner Unterwelten have transformed an old air raid shelter in a dark seven-metre-high intermediate floor into the city’s most unusual exhibition.
Shopping in Mitte
A visit to Mitte is unthinkable without hitting the shops! The diverse array of goods on offer is almost infinite, from cosmopolitan flair in large modern malls to elegance and innovation in numerous flagship stores. It is also well worth treating yourself to some retail therapy in the many side streets and courtyards – discovering Berlin fashion labels, trendy accessories and quirky design statements. Here, you can find something to suit every taste – and every pocket.