It’s early evening in Berlin. The cafe tables fill with drinks and the streets come alive with the sounds of the after-work crowd. As I walk down Alte Schonhauser Strasse, I’m lured in by hip bookstores and boutiques and I already know I’m going to like this neighborhood. I have 24 hours in Berlin, and this is where I’m going to spend them.
24 Hours in Berlin
This ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve been to the city a few times, and on my last visit I had 48 hours in Berlin to see the main sights. So on this trip I want to focus on getting to know one part of the city better. And it’s a worthwhile part.
The Scheunenviertel in Mitte is the historic Jewish quarter, and these days it’s a cool neighborhood near Museum Island and some of the other big attractions. With lots of restaurants and galleries, courtyards and cafes, it’s a great place to spend 24 hours.
After my evening stroll, I return the next day with fellow travel blogger Ilana to soak up more of the atmosphere and get to know the Scheunenviertel better.
We find art galleries and open-air watering holes on Auguststrasse, along with hidden courtyards like Heckmann-Hofe, which opens onto a leafy park surrounded by shops and restaurants. Over on Gipsstrasse, green spaces and gardens vie with cool coffee shops for our attention.
Later on I find a riot of color in a Saigon street food restaurant called District Mot on Rosenthaler Strasse. I stop for a meal there, absorbing the spicy flavors of chili tofu as I watch the world of cool Berlin go by.
I continue my 24 hours in Berlin with a walk up Weinbergsweg. I find vintage photos whiling around a giant umbrella and checkered tablecloths spilling out of a French bistro. Across the road, the smell of Portuguese custard tarts and fresh espresso wafts out of a cafe as I veer off to explore the side streets.
They’re full of the details I love about cities, and I can’t help pausing to photograph pretty shopfronts and peer into tea houses.
When the day is done, I circle back to Alte Schonhauser Strasse to take in more of the evening scene. It’s been great to focus my visit on one part of the city, and I’m glad I’ve been able to explore so many of the Scheunenviertel’s high streets and side streets during my trip.
It also reminds me why it’s worth visiting a city a few times to get a deeper understanding and concentrate on specific areas after I’ve seen the main attractions. I hope it won’t be long until my next trip, and when I return I can’t wait get to know Berlin a bit better.
Have you been here? How would you spend 24 hours in Berlin?