If I had to choose where I wanted to be locked up during my visit to Berlin (let’s pretend that happens), I would pick the Oranienburgerstrasse. Without thinking twice. This street, in the Jewish quarter of Berlin, is already a well known spot when it comes to the numerous restaurants and cocktail bars, but even if you leave those out, there’s still a lot to see and do. From colorful street art to the breathtaking synagogue, contrast might be the best word to describe this place. Oh, and at night you can meet the ladies of the night as well. Bonus!
Having spent numerous hours in this part of Berlin Mitte, I can safely say this is my favorite street and the place where I left most of my foot prints (not as a prostitute I might add). Let’s take a virtual walk, starting at the Monbijoupark on one side, walking all the way to the Friedrichstrasse on the other side:
A great way to start your day around the Oranienburgerstrasse is a stroll through the Monbijoupark. Because this small green spot is located right in the center of Berlin, it offers you amazing views on some of Berlin’s well known highlights, such as the Fernsehturm (or television tower) and museum island. If you’re not a first time reader, you might have seen me playing with snow here before.
Badly bombed in the second world war and fully renovated after, this synagogue has seen a lot. This beauty is one of the iconic landmarks of Berlin, and although it’s a little overshadowed by the hundreds of other things you can do in this marvelous city, the Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue) is a must see when visiting this area.
To be honest, the generator building is one of the least inspiring buildings I have ever seen. However, if you want to experience the Oranienburgerstrasse at night, this might be an excellent choice for sleeps. During my first time in Berlin, I stayed in this, somewhat fancy, hostel and I must say I’ve made quite some memories there; From learning Dora the Explorer quotes in Spanish (I was drunk) to becoming best friends with a German truck driver (I was drunk) and oh… sharing a cigarette moment with one of the Oranienburgerstrasse ladies (Can you guess? That’s right, I was drunk!). The generator hostel is of course not just a place to get drunk at, it’s actually comfortable to sleep in one of their private or dorm rooms. (Psst! They have rain showers.)
There are parts of Berlin (if not the entire city) that grab you and never let go. The Kunsthaus Tacheles is a place like that. Back in the day the Tacheles building served as a department store, but after being heavily damaged in World War II, artists and other creative’s made this a place of their own. For many years this building has been the place to experience the alternative side of Berlin, where you could find the ateliers of some of the most eccentric artists. After years of fighting with the government, the building closed its doors in 2012. Although Kunsthaus Tacheles isn’t accessible anymore, you can still view the colorful graffiti and strange sculptures on the outside of the building.
Whether you decide to stay in this street or not, this part of Berlin is an excellent way to start or end your day. Don’t be afraid to explore the area around the Oranienburgerstrasse as well, as it can lead you to numerous interesting sights, such as the Ramones museum or the Hackesher Hofe. Sit down in one of the numerous restaurants in Mitte (just avoid expensive cocktail bars) or go for some street food at Curry 61, one of the famous currywust places in the city.
Have you been to the Oranienburgerstrasse before? What were your favorites? Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment!