Easily accessible from all the major tourist attractions, the area around Hackescher Markt draws a mix of digital nomads typing away in cafes, locals enjoying some of the excellent restaurants and bars in the neighborhood, and tourists, who are mostly passing through. But it’s worth lingering longer. Its eclectic vibe includes views of the impressive Berlin Cathedral dome or the formerly East German Alexanderplatz TV tower (which isn’t beautiful, but it’s still impressive), as well as fashion stores and bars that stay open until the early-morning hours.
Meet your local
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.
Where I live: Schöneberg, a quirky district that has it all: fancy shopping streets, hipster cafes and bars and quiet parks.
Best way to get around the city: In summer, bike-sharing services, which you can easily download on your phone. The public transport network is excellent and inexpensive, too.
Don’t leave without having: An experience of the one thing Berlin is really known for across the world: its nightlife. On a weekend morning in Berlin, you’ll often wonder where all the locals are. Well, either they’re still partying or they’re still in bed. Unless you love empty cities, stay out as long as you want.
But the local favorite is really: The history that keeps casually popping up in front of you. It’s a reminder that things used to be a lot worse, at least in this part of the world.
If I moved, I’d most miss: The beer gardens, beloved even by Berliners who don’t drink beer.
Berlin is all about finding inexpensive, one-of-a-kind treasures. For an authentic shopping experience, head to this secondhand store popular with locals.
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.