By C H Kwak in Berlin—
I love Berlin for all its obscure corners and strange places. And some of the best “hidden” spots are actually out in the open, right on the beaten path. As my time in Berlin comes to a close, allow me to share some of my favorite urban oases.
1. Moabit Prison Historic Park
Just across the street from the futuristic main train station, there is lush greenery hidden behind high walls. A Prussian jail built in the 19th century, the Moabit Prison was eventually demolished after WWII. Today, it’s a historic park where you’ll see immaculate landscaping, odd remains of the prison, and bored teenagers killing time. If you have spare time before your train, exit the Invalidenstrasse exit and head to the tall brick walls catty corner from the station to your left.
Oranienburger Straße 27
On Oranienburger Strasse, where packs of tourists pass ladies of the night, there’s a quiet cobblestone courtyard. Inside, there are a few art galleries of questionable caliber and overpriced cafes. But what I love about this space is how silent it is, especially compared to the around-the-clock noise of the street just outside. This is a great place to take a seat on a public bench and write postcards.
3. RAW Tempel
Revaler Straße 99
RAW Tempel, a former train depot-turned-cultural space, isn’t exactly unknown, but not many visitors to Friedrichshain see it, which is a shame. The huge warehouses have been converted into concert halls, skating ramp and clubs. You can catch a film, buy secondhand stuff at the flea market or even rent climbing gear and scale a bunker.
And if you want to get off the beaten path, there are countless hidden gems like these. But that’s for another story…