This is the Paris of Berlin

“You’re in Prenzlauer Berg, the most beautiful district in Berlin.” So says the owner of Zula- Hummus in Berlin. Looking around the stunning, tree-lined district of Prenzlauer Berg, it is hard to disagree with the Hummus man’s first assertion. For nowhere in Berlin are you as likely to feel so blissfully European as here, in […]

“You’re in Prenzlauer Berg, the most beautiful district in Berlin.” So says the owner of Zula- Hummus in Berlin. Looking around the stunning, tree-lined district of Prenzlauer Berg, it is hard to disagree with the Hummus man’s first assertion. For nowhere in Berlin are you as likely to feel so blissfully European as here, in Kollwitzplatz, the heart of Prenzlauer Berg. The weekend market that takes place here bears this out absolutely. From venders selling homemade jams and juices to craftsmen and women offering homemade jewelry and leather goods, this is the place that embodies all that Europe is and represents.

As for whether or not Prenzlauer Berg is typically Parisian, one would be more inclined to call it Notting Hill-esque, as in the posh London borough. But strolling Kollwitzstrasse at midnight, the idea of Paris doesn’t seem so far away at all. The lights of Café Anna Blume are still aglow at this time, the occasional patron stepping up to the flower shop-cum-café’s cake display and pointing through the glass to the slice of godliness they wish to purchase. Other than streetlights, most of the surrounding area seems quiet, only the soft wistful sound of a few scattered patrons munching on cake or sipping on hot chocolate coming to the ears. Here they while the time away, waiting for the lights of dawn to bring the sleepy district to life once again.

When the morning comes you’ll find, further down off Oderberger Strasse, a queue out front of Bonanza Coffee Heroes. This is where you’ll find the best lattes and cappuccinos that Berlin has to offer, with enough unique and interesting varieties to see you coming back through your stay. On the same street, just a little ways down, you’ll find Kauf Dich Glücklich. This little toy store/waffle and ice cream gallery offers the best waffles to be found in the whole of the city and a bright, decadent interior in which to enjoy them.

If you continue north up Oderberger Strasse, you’ll come to Mauer Park where each and every Sunday venders unveil Berlin’s biggest market. Come together with throngs of sweaty locals to peruse the countless stands where you will find everything from bicycles to vintage clothing to rare and out of date records. After you grow tired of poring over every type of item known to man, settle down to listen to the brave, or perhaps merely foolish, individuals try their hand at singing before the assembled masses.

For dinner, head east, to Schönhauser Allee where at I Due Forni you can savor the most scrumptiously orgasmic pizzas you are likely ever to find, all served to you by a rag tag gang of Italian punks.

When the sun drops from the sky and it is once again midnight in Prenzlauer Berg, the district seemingly untouched by the heavy hand of time, you will know that you are not in Paris or some posh London borough, but are in Berlin. And really, why would you want to be anywhere else?
Brendan Monroe
Team Curso eG/CTR 2011

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