Notably edgier than many of the more Western European cities, the German capital is a massive sprawl. Given its size, there are many Berlin neighborhoods, each of which offer their own unique charm and have plenty to entertain both first-time and return visitors. In addition to the posh Mitte, areas worth exploring include the up-and-coming areas Kreuzberg and hipster Friedrichshain.
Bordered by the East Side Gallery (a stretch of the Berlin wall that has been painted over by artists), Friedrichshain attracts a multicultural group and has a distinctly Williamsburg-esque vibe. While here, pop into Harmony (Kopernikusstraße 12), a trendy boutique filled with design items, and Victoria Met Albert (Dunckerstraße 81), an adorable home goods haven. Once shopped out, refuel at Silo Coffee (Gabriel-Max-Straße 4), a neighborhood favorite, or Aunt Benny (Oderstraße 7), which has expansive outdoor seating, before continuing your exploration.
Related: Five Berlin Neighborhoods to Know
Directly across the Spree River from Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg continues the cool factor. There are a number of great shops here, including sneaker haven Overkill (Köpenicker Str. 195A), vintage paradise Sing Blackbird (Sanderstraße 11) and the sophisticated Voo Store (Oranienstraße 24), a well-curated boutique offering global designers. Bonanza Coffee (Oderberger Str. 35), located just a stone’s throw away, attracts an impossibly chic group of patrons. If you need to detox from all that coffee, opt for a session at Yellow Yoga (Mariannenstraße 48) or a steam at the women-only Hammam (Mariannenstraße 6)—the scrub treatment is a favorite. In addition to the slew of delicious Turkish food stands that can be found here—don’t miss a falafel wrap at Maroush (Adalbertstraße 93)—Kreuzberg offers several more upscale restaurants as well. Spindler (Paul-Lincke-Ufer 42/43) is a local favorite, serving contemporary dishes in a beautiful setting, and Tim Raue (Rudi-Dutschke-Straße 26) offers an Asian-inspired menu and a great wine list. Night owls will find plenty to do in this area post-dinner, when one of the world’s most famous clubs, Berghain (Am Wriezener Bahnhof), starts filling up. (It’s name is a mashup of the Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain).