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Detours with locals. Travel tips you can trust.
People hanging out on Admiralbrücke.

A guide to local favorites in Gräfekiez

People hanging out on Admiralbrücke.
  • By Rick Noack
  • Photos by Verena Brüning
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When German magazines want to illustrate a particularly beautiful street in Berlin, they often end up with a shout out of Gräfekiez. And still, for some reason, this part of the city isn’t on most travel guides. During the evenings, the scenery conjures a mix of Italy and Berlin. At night, the Admiralbrücke Bridge bustles with people noshing on pizza from the nearby Italian restaurant and drinking local brews from the Spätshop convenience stores. You can spend a warm Berlin summer night like an actual Berliner here, listening to music performances and enjoying some good vibes. And if you’re lucky, someone will have moved a piano onto the bridge, too.

Meet Rick Noack

Rick Noack currently covers international news from The Washington Post's Berlin bureau. Previously, he worked for The Post from Washington as an Arthur F. Burns Fellow and from Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

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Brandi Espresso Bar
Start your day with some Italian breakfast and espresso, just like the Germans living here. (We’ve long acknowledged: German breakfast is good, but Italian breakfast is better.)
Brandi Espresso Bar, Dieffenbachstrasse 63, 10967 Berlin
Der Eismacher
Enjoy a constantly changing selection of ice cream, right next to a still-intact World War II air-raid shelter that now hosts luxury apartments on top.
Der Eismacher, Körtestrasse 10, 10967 Berlin
Tempelhofer Feld
This former airport rebuilt by Adolf Hitler is now a free public park, with grills, a communal garden and a paradise for bikers or “kite-surfers” (on wheels). You can also tour the airport building, if you pre-book.
Tempelhofer Feld, Tempelhofer Damm 9, 12101 Berlin
If you’re passing by, this bridge of wrought iron might not strike you as a top sight, but it turns into a vibrant melting pot for artists, locals and tourists in the evening.
Admiralbrücke, Admiralstrasse & Planufer, 10999 Berlin
Zola Pizza Restaurant
With seating inside and outside, this is a perfect dinner place both in summer and winter. Afterward, take a stroll along the Landwehrkanal.
Zola Pizza Restaurant, Paul-Lincke-Ufer 39-40, 10999 Berlin
Freiluftkino Hasenheide
From the end of May until early September, many Berliners head to open-air cinemas. Hasenheide’s is among the most popular and offers movies in English, too.
Freiluftkino Hasenheide, Hasenheide, Berlin, Germany
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Rick Noack
Rick is originally from Dresden, a two- to three-hour drive from Berlin, and moved to the German capital in 2017, following stints after high school in France, Washington and London.
Verena Brüning
Verena is a contributing photographer for The Washington Post based in Berlin. She moved from the western part of Germany to Berlin in 2009, attracted by friends’ inexpensive and spacious apartments … back then, it was easy to find one. She fell in love with the juxtapositions and imperfection of Berlin, and loves Treptower Park.