Fathom Favorites : Berlin

1. HAU - Hebbel Am Ufer

A theater trifecta offering a wide range of avant-garde and experimental events: international guest performances, contemporary dance, sound and light installations, and festivals.

Hallesches Ufer 32
Berlin, 10963

2. Watergate

A beloved house and techno club overlooking the River Spree is notable for its intense LED lighting installation, which runs the length of the club.

Falckensteinstrasse 49
Berlin, 10997

3. Gallery District

There are several enclaves for the new art scene, but one place to start is the area near Checkpoint Charlie, where nearly 50 contemporary art galleries and museums have sprung up.

Leipziger Strasse, at Friedrichstrasse
Berlin, 10117

4. Liquidrom

Start the morning (or end the night) with a dip in a domed saltwater pool. A good example of the new urban bathing culture, the spa has wild light projections and live DJs.

Möckernstrasse 10
Berlin, 10963

5. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

A distinctive-looking Protestant church, destroyed during 1945 air raids, features a wall of concrete honeycomb inlaid with thousands of piece of blue glass. One partially destroyed spire has been made into a memorial.

Berlin, 10789

6. Design Panoptikum

A circus-like showcase of rarities from a Russian collector who dutifully handpicks and restores all of his beloved, weird, wild objects -- from birthing doll to airplane engine, to life-size Power Ranger.

Torstrasse 201
Berlin, 10115

7. Spreebogen

Promenade along the river bank that tours through Museum Island, the Reichstag, and the futuristic government district. Get an architectural overview of the municipal buildings. Break in a lounge chair near the water.

Spreebogen Centrum
Berlin, 10559

8. TV Tower

Berlin’s tallest structure, a Soviet-era needle spiked with a metal ball, becomes a default point for orientation. You can get a drink at the Telecafe up at the top, but you’ll be paying to take an elevator and sit among a mob of teen tourists.

Panoramastrasse 1a
Berlin, 10178

9. Berlinische Galerie

The emphasis here is on Berlin-made photography, but there's a selection of homegrown sculptures, paintings, and arhcitectural models that are international in scope.

Alte Jakobstraße 124-128
Berlin, 10969

10. Tiergarten

Berlin’s central park, big and leafy -- with barbecues and a lovely low-key beer garden.

Strasse des 17. Juni 100
Berlin, 10557

11. Volksbühne

A provocative building housing provocative art. The "People's Theater" makes presence in stature (large, imposing, well-lit from below) and staging (exciting experimental theater).

Linienstrasse 227
Berlin, 10178

12. Kino Babylon

Grand old movie theater popular on the festival circuit. Huge screens and seats for 447. During the decades of division it served as one of East Berlin's leading cinemas.

Rosa-Luxemburg Strasse 30
Berlin, 10178

13. Sammlung Hoffman

Every Saturday, Erika Hoffman opens up her bright and airy apartment for guided tours of her private collection — room upon room of large-scale installations, paintings, video works, and sculptures she's collected since the '60s. Intimate and exciting, and a fascinating contrast to the private Boros Collection.

Sophie Gips Höfe, Aufgang C, Sophienstrasse 21
Berlin, 10178

14. Tempelhof Airport Park

950-acre airport opened in 2010 as a city park. Runways, terminals, and hanger are the same as they ever were. Bikers, rollerskaters and skateboarders are all over the tarmac. The only air traffic comes from the many kites flown from the runway.

Platz der Luftbrücke 5
Berlin, 12101

15. Boros Collection

Also known as “kunstbunker.” Hello awesomeness. In an actual bunker from World War II, is a private collection of contemporary art, installed to the specifications of the space. You must book your visit way in advance (guided tours in English only on weekends).


Reinhardtstrasse 20
Berlin, 10117

16. Mauer Park

On weekends, hipsters and hippies converge on a giant lawn that's one part flea market, one park playground, and one part pop-up dance party (complete with rigged disco ball). A small set of bleachers becomes the center of a public karaoke contest, and there are, unexplainably, plenty of people in costume.

Bernauer Strasse
Berlin, 10435

17. KW Kunst Werk

A large gallery/small contemporary art museum tucked into a courtyard in Mitte. Post-viewing, join artsy folks for a coffee and fresh croissant in the glass cube called Cafe Bravo.

Auguststrasse 69
Berlin, 10117

18. Pergamonmuseum

An arresting collection of original-sized, reconstructed buildings from ancient cities in Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East. The Islamic antiquities and archaeological holdings are spectacular.


Am Kupfergraben 5
Berlin, 10117

19. Hamburger Bahnhof

Impressive collection and curation of modern art in a cavernous neoclassical train station. There's plenty of breathing room for larger-than-life Warhols, Beuys, and Lichtensteins.

Invalidenstrasse 50-51
Berlin, 10557

20. The Neues Museum

The building (which showcased an ensemble of Neoclassical antiquities) was war-torn, bombed-out, and neglected by Communist East Berlin for about 70 years. It took British architect David Chipperfield another eleven to figure out how to fix it up. The revamp is incredibly delicate and modern. A fine place for the bust of Nefertiti.

Bodestrasse 1-3
Berlin, 10178

21. Neue Nationalgalerie

At the very least, please pass by the exterior of Mies van der Rohe’s glass museum. The enormous first floor room, nearly empty, plays tricks with light and space. The excellent exhibition is located underground.

Potsdamer Strasse 50
Berlin, 10785

22. Mogg & Melzer

Mogg & Melzer

An old Jewish school for girls has been turned into a new institution for galleries and restaurants that pay homage to Jewish culture. Mogg & Melzer steps into the delicatessen role, serving excellent matzo ball soup, pastrami sandwiches, and reubens piled high with sauerkraut in a clean, cozy, modern space. 

Augustrasse 11-13
Berlin, 10117

23. Fischers Fritz

Fischers Fritz

Berlin's only Michelin two-starred restaurant resides at The Regent hotel, complete with white tablecloths, fancy plating, and a little bit of stuffiness.

Charlottenstrasse 49
Berlin, 10117

24. Cafe Liebling

Cafe Liebling

Charming, white-walled, laid-back, and very neighborhoody. It's on a particularly sunny corner across from a park, and you can enjoy a homemade soup, coffee, or delicate sandwich while catching some rays.

Raumerstrasse 36a
Berlin, 10437

25. Konnopke Imbiss

Konnopke Imbiss

Currywurst, the Berlin sausage snack, has been served from this kiosk since 1930. Long lines at lunch and early evening, eat standing up so that you're ready to go for seconds.

Schönhauser Allee 42
Berlin, 10435

26. Curry 36

Curry 36

Berliners are very opinionated about their late-night, post-clubbing snack, a sausage cut into bit-size pieces and sprinkled with curry powder. Order with fries, and all the condiments they provide.

Mehringdamm 36
Berlin, 10961

27. Manufactum Brot und Butter

Manufactum Brot und Butter

A delicious deli counter, cafe, and dry goods shop adjacent to the throwback general store Manufactum. The bread and cheese selection is top notch. Lots of edible souvenirs you'll want to bring home.

Hardenbergstrasse 4-5
Berlin, 10623

28. Ixthys


Incredibly tasty and uncomplicated Korean home-cooking served in a simple shop on a residential street. The walls are covered with Bible verses, as are the laminated menus, which offer bimbimbop and kimchi mixed in with instructions on living a Christian life. Proceeds go to charity.

Pallasstrasse 21
Berlin, 10781

29. The Barn

The Barn

Aussies run this fresh-feeling neighborhood coffee shop, where they showcase their love of carefully concocted espresso drinks, toothsome sandwiches, and homemade baked goods.

Auguststrasse 58
Berlin, 10119

30. 3 Schwestern

3 Schwestern

A large and lofty restaurant and music venue inside of an old hospital (that kind of looks like a castle). On the menu: modern German food and live rock-and-roll.

Mariannenplatz 2
Berlin, 10997

31. Paris Moskau

Paris Moskau

Dreamy standalone building that once served as the crossing point for the Paris-Moscow railway is home to a charming French-German restaurant — elegant and Old World inside and out.

Alt-Moabit 141
Berlin, 10557

32. Barcomi's


Tucked inside a quiet ivy-and-brick courtyard near Hackeschermarkt, an American dancer-turned-baker creates hearty deli-style sandwiches, soups, salads, and cakes.

Sophienstrasse 21
Berlin, 10178

33. Bonanza Coffee Heroes

Bonanza Coffee Heroes

Serious baristas roast, tamp, tap, and serve excellent espresso drinks in a cramped but cozy spot on a charming block near Mauer Park.

Oderberger Strasse 35
Berlin, 10435

34. Tajikistan Tea Room

Tajikistan Tea Room

An Asian jewel box hidden from the bland tourist promenade in a small courtyard. Thick Persian carpets line the floors, and folks lounge on ikat divans next to low tables (there’s a no shoe policy). Order the Russian tea ceremony, which has a silver samovar plus a slew of accompaniments — like rum raisins, marmalade, crystallized orange. The waiter will no doubt offer vodka to cut the sweetness.

Oranienburger Str.27
Berlin, 10117

35. Oliv


Modern cafe great for meetings with those graphic designers/DJs/stylists. Cool rack of magazines for flipping through while waiting for your latte.

Münzstrasse 8
Berlin, 10178

36. Cafe Einstein Stammhaus

Cafe Einstein Stammhaus

Fantasize about the Austrian coffee houses of the 1920s and play into it: Ask for a window table in the walnut dining room, leisurely read the paper, and stay for an an aperitif.

Kurfürstenstrasse 58
Berlin, 10785

37. Filetstück


Thoughtfully cut meats and interesting vegetable sides in a clean, white, dressed-up butcher shop. Quiet. Nice lighting. Excellent meals.

Schönhauser Allee 45
Berlin, 10435

38. Lebensmittel in Mitte

Lebensmittel in Mitte

A Bavarian market up front (wooden crates of produce, deli cases), and energetic cafe in the back. Stop in for specialties like spätzle.

Rochstrasse 2
Berlin, 10178

39. Kimchi Princess

Kimchi Princess

Korean barbecue joint with a party atmosphere and soju bar next door. Keep up the beat in the bathroom, where you will find toilet karaoke.

Skalitzer Strasse 36
Berlin, 10999

40. Kuchi/Next To

Kuchi/Next To

Tiny, casual Japanese ramen counter with a small but solid menu of noodle soups. The German ceramicist who owns the place also supplies the lovely dinnerware.

Gipsstrasse 3
Berlin, 10119

41. Paris Bar

This French bistro was a hopping place for artists and journalists in the post-Wall years. You can still feel the history when you walk in the door, but the waitstaff is a crap shoot (sometimes, attentive and excellent; other times, dismissive). Good steak frites and elbow-rubbing make up for the rest.


Kantstrasse 152
Berlin, 10623

42. Bandol sur Mer

Bandol sur Mer

Make reservations! This super cozy 22-seater is all about seasonal French plates, depths in taste, and unpretentious service (which can be tough to find in this town).

Torstrasse 167
Berlin, 10115

43. Schlosshotel im Grunewald

Schlosshotel im Grunewald

An opulent and somewhat secluded palace and gardens on the western side of the city. Each room has its own luxurious charm (without a trace of the Berlin grittiness you hear so much about). Setting and service are impeccable from dining salon, to winter garden, to Turkish bath.

Brahmsstrasse 10
Berlin, 14193

44. The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton

Feels a little New World ritzy for a luxe accommodation that aims to channel Old World elegance. But the amenities and services are everything you'd expect.

Potsdamer Platz 3
Berlin, 10785

45. The Regent Berlin

The Regent Berlin

Classical-style luxury hotel in touristy Gendarmenmarkt Square. Home to the only German restaurant with two Michelin stars.

Charlottenstrasse 49
Berlin, 10117

46. Adlon Kempinski

Adlon Kempinski

One of Berlin's first grand hotels is still pretty ostentatious (gold ceilings, limestone bathrooms), but these days it feels rather corporate. The conference crowd takes up most of the lobby bar area, though the service is good and the Brandenberg Gate is just steps away.


Unter den Linden 77
Berlin, 10117

47. Hotel de Rome

Hotel de Rome

A rare specimen of Old World splendor (you can take tea in the Opera Court and schmooze in the ballroom). The surrounding area, unfortunately, is a bit touristy. Make a quick escape to the opera.


Behrenstrasse 37
Berlin, 10117

48. Linnen


Feel like a local the minute you pick up your keys the ground floor cafe, the unofficial front desk for the inn/b&b-hybrid upstairs. Choose between four well-appointed rooms or the two-bedroom suite. (They also have off-site apartments to let.) All are clean, fresh, modern, affordable, and run by some of the nicest guys in town. 

Eberswalder Strasse 35
Berlin, 10437

49. The Dude

The Dude

The 27-room townhouse is run by an irreverant German with a penchant for good design and NY steaks. So much so that he filled the spiffy 19th-century space with a stunning spiral staircase, Kartell lamps, and sconces from his favorite opera house. Then he flanked the hotel with a NY-style steakhouse on one side, and a delicatessen on the other. 

Koepenicker Str. 92
Berlin, 10179

50. Ellington Hotel

Ellington Hotel

Nice, albeit slightly sterile, modern business hotel with eight state-of-the-art conference rooms, private dining room, wine vault, and summer terrace for large groups or corporate events. Close to KaDeWe department store and Ku'damm promenade.

Nürnberger Strasse 50-55
Berlin, 10789

51. Oberholz Apartments

The best cafe for solid, free WiFi usage in Mitte also has spiffy apartments for short-term rent. You can live like a local, and experience the hustle and bustle of Rosenthaler Platz right from your window.

Rosenthaler Strasse 72a
Berlin, 10119

52. Hotel Amano

Hotel Amano

Good for business travelers who want a little bit of action and neighborhood culture in between meetings. Apartments are sleek, modern, affordable, and fitted with a kitchenette.

Auguststrasse 43
Berlin, 10119

53. Ackselhouse


A thoughtfully designed boutique space where each of the 35 rooms have a different modern theme and nice, big bathtubs. Located in ever-so-charming Kollwitzplatz area (near the best farmer's market in Berlin).

Belforter Strasse 21
Berlin, 10405

54. Hotel Michelberger

Hotel Michelberger

Whimsical, creative, edgy hotel hangout feels like crashing at a friend's shared artist loft. Extremely affordable and fun. Book a "WG" (flatshare) if you want to socialize and/or save some cash.

Warschauer Strasse 39
Berlin, 10243

55. Soho House

Soho House

The private member's club has 40 very spacious rooms in a decked-out Bauhaus building, a very buzzy lounge and restaurant, and insane views of the city from the rooftop patio. Watch Berlin's movers and shakers at work (while tipsy).

Torstrasse 1
Berlin, 10119

56. Lux 11

Lux 11

If you want a location central to shopping and sight-seeing, you can't go wrong with Lux. It's the sleeker side of new Berlin with design-driven rooms, fancy salon, lobby hangout.

Rosa Luxemburg Strasse 9-13
Berlin, 10178

57. Türkischer Markt

A weekly Turkish market that stretches along a leafy canal. Shop for headscarves, produce, and pistacchio spread, then end with a tall beer at nearby Ankerklause bar.

Maybachufer, at Landwehrkanal
Berlin, 10967

58. Chelsea Farmers Club

Proper, jaunty Brit-wear (from cardigans to tuxedos), shop, and clubhouse. Hang around long enough and you may be invited to wear a smoking jacket and join a dinner party.

Schlüterstrasse 50
Berlin, 10623

59. Manufactum

Labor intensive products using Old European standards, beautifully designed, durable, and functional (metal, glass, wood) displayed carefully. So that you covet a garden shovel and a rain coat with equal measure.

Hardenbergstrasse 4-5
Berlin, 10623

60. Apartment

Avant-garde obscure Berlin based clothing and accessories labels mixed with edgy international brands.

Memhardstrasse 8
Berlin, 10178

61. Erich Hamann Bittere Schokoladen

Way old chocolate maker since 1912 chrome, glass, wood; a beautiful setting for eating bitter chocolates.

Brandenburgische Strasse 17
Berlin, 10707

62. KaDeWe

Europe's largest department store is a century old and remains a wow-factor in the former West. German boutique brands splay out on multiple floors, so take your time, and make your way to the food hall filled with kiosks, bars, delis, and coffee shops. Merchandise displays pluck consumerist heart strings.

Tauentzienstrasse 21-24
Berlin, 10789

63. Goldhahn & Sampson

Specialty delicatessen and fancy foods shop where you can also pick up a hot coffee and loaf of breakfast bread. On a charming block in Prenzlauerberg overlooking a park.

Dunckerstrasse 9
Berlin, 10437

64. LIV

Need souvenirs? Try this shop for colorful kitchenware (teapots, water jugs, canisters) from noteworthy European brands.

Stargarder Strasse 9
Berlin, 10437

65. Hardwax

Hard Wax is one of the most important records stores in the world for electronic music enthusiasts. It's known as a stalwart in Berlin's techno scene, but some of the city's biggest DJs, whose expertise spans dub, disco, house and ambience, have worked or are currently working behind the counter.

Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44
Berlin, 10999

66. Pro QM

A fine bookstore inside an old butcher shop — lots of nice floor and wall tiles, big windows, and picture books.

Almstadtstasse. 48-50
Berlin, 10119

67. Wolfen

Handsome little shop for sharp knitwear.

Auguststrasse 41
Berlin, 10119

68. Konk

Sweet little boutique jutting off a very nice strolling stretch of Augustrasse offers the ladies drapey items (wraps, bubble sweaters, shapeless dresses) and affordable accessories from local designers.

Kleine Hamburger Strasse 15
Berlin, 10117

69. Do You Read Me?

A magazine-phile dream. Super comprehensive magazine store. Floor-to-ceiling shelves of magazines, quarterly journals, small-run periodicals in fashion, photography, design. Hard-to-find monthlies, local newbies, with titles like Gentlewoman, Purple Fashion, 80*81, Pin-Up, Achtung, Granta, The Weekender. in English and German.

Auguststrasse 28
Berlin, 10117

70. Kado

A whole shop devoted to licorice, that polarizing treat, with varying degrees of Salmiak (the savoriness that makes your face pucker). Clear glass jars of gummy treats are lined up according to region and salt/sugar profiles. There are super cool tins of nibs, antique scales, and an old-fashioned cash register that cranks.

Graefestrasse 20
Berlin, 10967