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Bicycles in a Berlin neighbourhood
neighbourhood life in Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

Tour 49 - A Neighbourhood Tour

The tour begins at H'Otello / K'80. at Knesebeckstraße 80. From the front door of the hotel, head to your left. At the end of the block, you'll come to Kurfürstendamm.

Kurfürstendamm

Take a left onto Kurfürstendamm and ride along the City West's famous shopping district with numerous shops and department stores that will tempt you to take a break from your tour. In about five blocks, as the street curves to the right onto Breitscheidplatz, you'll see the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. This church was left in ruins after World War II as a striking war memorial and was later paired with the adjacent blue glass tower in the 1960s.

KaDeWe

Follow the street as it curves to the right and becomes Tauentzienstraße. In three blocks, you'll come upon the legendary Kaufhaus des Westens, normally called KaDeWe ("kah-day-vay") by locals. The department presents high-quality luxury products and designer brands over its seven storeys. On the gourmet foods floor, there are numerous counters offering international delicacies that are perfect for a little break. Once you leave KaDeWe, continue heading east on Tauentzienstraße, across Wittenbergplatz, when the street is renamed Kleiststraße. In about 750 metres, you'll cross Nollendorfplatz and then continue straight ahead onto Bülowstraße. After almost a kilometre, the street will curve to the right. Shortly after the curve, turn right onto Kulmer Straße. At the end of the block, take a left onto Goebenstraße, Cycle straight ahead under the rail flyovers (overpasses) onto Yorckstraße. Stay on Yorckstraße for 1.4 km as it curves to the left and then to the right until you come to Mehringdamm.

Tip: The intersection of Yorckstraße and Mehringdamm is a good spot for a break as it offers a number of cafés, restaurants, and fast food counters that enjoy a reputation well beyond Berlin.

  • Vanille & Marille, Hagelberger Str. 1, ice cream parlour
  • Kaffee am Meer, Bergmannstraße 95
  • Café Sarotti-Höfe, Mehringdamm 57

Or, you might want to wait to take a break until you come to nearby Viktoriapark, with its great views of the city. Take a right onto Mehringdamm and then, after two blocks, take another right onto Kreuzbergstraße.

Viktoriapark

Leafy Viktoriapark is a green oasis that's home to the Kreuzberg hill that gave the district its name and makes a perfect spot for a break. You have several options to choose from here: you can enjoy the splashing of the waterfall, enjoy panoramic views from atop the Kreuzberg, or you can take a seat and relax in the popular Golgotha beer garden. Head back to Mehringdamm, take a right. In about three blocks, the road will be renamed Tempelhofer Damm and you will see Tempelhofer Feld to your left.

Tempelhofer Feld

The vast grounds of the former Tempelhof Airport have been turned into a massive outdoor recreation area and you can ride a few circuits enjoying the wide-open skies. You'll run into what seems to be the entire city out here cycling, jogging, flying kites, picnicking, and barbecuing. Once you're ready to move on, return to Tempelhofer Damm, heading to the north (right) back onto Mehringdamm, past Yorckstraße and on to the Landwehr Canal (about 1.7 km). Cross the canal and then take an immediate left onto Hallesches Ufer, which runs along the canal. As you ride along the north bank of the canal, you'll soon see the striking skyscrapers of Potsdamer Platz jutting up into the sky. As you come up past the Staatsbibliothek (State Library) on your right, take a right onto Potsdamer Straße which will take you to Potsdamer Platz.

Potsdamer Platz

What was once a wasteland in central Berlin split in half by the Berlin Wall, Potsdamer Platz has now become a lively city centre with restaurants, shopping malls, cinemas and theatres. Definitely worth a look is the futuristic Sony Center, with its tent-like roof that is illuminate at night in a variety of colours and the adjacent Museum for Film and Television. The Potsdamer Platz Arkaden across the street and the luxury Mall of Berlin a little further east on Leipziger Platz both offer plenty of shopping options.

Lunch Break

Potsdamer Platz is home not only to many snack stands, but also a number of restaurants, including:

  • Maredo – Steak Restaurant, Potsdamer Platz 1
  • VOX Restaurant, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 2
  • Das Haus der 100 Biere, Alte Potsdamer Straße

Head back west on Potsdamer Straße for about two blocks until you come to Scharounstraße, home to the Kulturforum. The Kulturforum is home to several museums, including the Gemäldegalerie with an impressive collection of the great masters such as Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian. Across the street is the unique trapezoidal, golden roof of the Philharmonie, home to the Berliner Philharmoniker. If you happen to be in the area on a Tuesday, then you may want to schedule a stop at the free chamber music concert held every Tuesday at 1 pm in the foyer of the Philharmonie. Ride past the Philharmonie, then take an immediate left onto Tiergartenstraße and enjoy riding along the Tiergarten park. You may also want to take a detour into the leafy park. As you ride along Tiergartenstraße, you'll pass numerous embassies, including those of Italy, India and South Africa.

Tour map

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Zoologischer Garten

The oldest zoo in Germany is home to approx. 20,000 animals representing 1,500 species and is considered the most important animal collection in the world. The adjacent Aquarium offers fascinating biotopes for sharks, piranhas, and the fish of coral reefs. At the intersection, curve to the right and stay on Budapester Straße past Bikini Berlin and Zoo Palast.

Bikini Berlin

If you have not yet managed to find the right thing while shopping earlier, you can try your luck in the fashionable Bikini Berlin concept mall. In addition to exclusive design and fashion shops, the mall is home to original pop-up stores, which open only for a brief time.

Zoo Palast

Right next to the Bikini Berlin is the historic Zoo Palast cinema, which combines the charm of a historic movie house with the latest technology and interior design. In addition to the large auditorium where the Berlinale films are shown during the annual film festival, there are several other smaller cinemas. Follow Budapester Straße until you come back to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. At the fork in the road, turn left onto Kantstraße. Stay on Kantstraße for four blocks until you come to Savignyplatz, where you take a left onto Knesebeckstraße. Cross under the S-Bahn tracks and you'll be back where you started. Duration of the tour : about 3-4 hours Difficulty: suitable for adults with older children and for groups With generous support from the H'Otello / K'80.