Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Berlin

Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:12pm EDT
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By Sarah Marsh

BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to spare in Berlin? The city which proudly bares the scars of the turbulent 20th century history it overcame to become a political and creative powerhouse, bang in the center of Europe, has a lot to offer.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a visit to the German capital, this year celebrating 20 years since reunification:


6 p.m - Berlin has always been a cultural hub so spend your first evening in the historic Jewish quarter of Berlin, home to countless galleries, boutiques and bars.

Start on Oranienburgerstrasse with a visit to Kunsthaus Tacheles -- a ruined department store that is now an artists' squat. Tacheles is just one of many forums for alternative culture in Berlin facing eviction from quirky historical properties which property developers want to spruce up. So check it out now -- before it's too late.

Further down the street, take a moment to admire the golden dome of the Moorish-style New Synagogue, before cutting through a courtyard to reach Auguststrasse, famed for its art galleries and array of international cuisine.

8 p.m. - Have dinner either at Kasbah, a cozy, Moroccan restaurant with Oriental decor serving a delicious lamb-prune tagine; or Monsieur Vuong, famous for its funky vibe, Vietnamese dishes and fruit smoothies.

10 p.m. - Then head to Claerchens Ballhaus, a timeless institution dating back to 1913. People of all ages come to the ballroom seven days a week to dance under a massive disco ball. Don't forget to check out the elegantly dilapidated mirror salon upstairs, harking back to a bygone era of glamour.   Continued...

<p>A man serves grilled food in the backyard of the Tacheles alternative art centre in Berlin, August 7, 2010. REUTERS/Thomas Peter</p>