Mitte means ‘in the middle of’ and if you can claim a city centre in the once divided metropolis that is Berlin, then it’s probably somewhere in Mitte. Some might say it’s the Brandenburg Gate and Pariser Platz, on Mitte’s western edge. The gate forms a central point between the government quarter along the banks of the Spree, the green sprawl of the Tiergarten and the royal quarter along Unter den Linden, connecting through to historic Gendarmenmarkt and Friedrichstrasse.
Others may focus on the eastern part of Mitte and claim Alexanderplatz is the city centre, with its large expanse of square and diverse shopping options extending through to Hackescher Markt. Alexanderplatz is also home to that giant sparkling disco ball in the sky - the TV Tower, which can be seen from all over the city and is for many, a meeting point from which to begin their sightseeing.
Wherever the city centre is or might be is anyone’s choice these days. Berlin is a multilayered wonderland of stories and things to discover, of experiences from the past and of the future. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Museum Island rubs shoulders with the sleek modern apartments and office buildings along Friedrichstrasse. Ornate Prussian era palaces and statues can be admired as you stroll through stylish shopping quarters filled with contemporary fashion, design and culture.
Central Mitte is also the place to go to eat and play, with plenty of great restaurants, bars and cafes. Food here is delicious and diverse, from traditional German, to modern Jewish and all the Vietnamese you could wish for. You can also load up on typical Berlin street food as you visit the famous Checkpoint Charlie precinct, the site today of plenty of tourist centred museums and sites memorialising and documenting Cold War era history.
The northern border of Mitte is probably one of Berlin’s most visited sites as it’s home to the Berlin Wall Memorial. Northern Mitte traces the line the Berlin wall once followed, from Bernauer Strasse through to Nordbahnhof and it’s here that visitors can truly get a sense of how the presence of the wall impacted on the city.
Mitte certainly gives a sense of modern day Berlin and how the city has and continues to develop through division and reunification. It is filled with Berliners, expats and tourists and really is ‘in the middle of’ the city with the best things to find in Berlin.