Since reunification, the old city centre district Mitte (meaning ‘middle’) has rightly snatched back the title of most-visited district from Charlottenburg. On and off the boulevard Unter den Linden are baroque and classical monuments to Prussian culture. The architecturally humbler but more neighbourhood-like Scheunenviertel area to the north allows the casually chic to saunter from courtyard gallery to sidewalk café. Only traces are left of the Jewish community that lived here from the late 17th century, welcomed by the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm.
Between Mitte and Charlottenburg, the huge Tiergarten park began as the Great Elector’s hunting grounds in the 1600s. Traffic passes through it, doing a dosey-doe around the Siegessäule victory column. The Straße des 17.
Arrivals by plane and train usually end up at Hauptbahnhof station, central for the city but not really close to anything. Use the S-Bahn trains from the top level to reach Mitte's Friedrichstraße, Hackescher Markt and Alexanderplatz stations, or take the fancy three-stop U55 U-Bahn straight to Brandenburger Tor.
Pocket Walk: Mitte
Start off at Brandenburger Tor and the Reichstag before heading south past the Holocaust Memorial and Potsdamer Platz to the Topographie des Terrors exhibition and the adjacent stretch of Berlin Wall. Follow Zimmerstraße for the Stasi Exhibition and Checkpoint Charlie. Walk north along Friedrichstraße and turn right at Mohrenstraße for Gendarmenmarkt square, before ambling to Unter den Linden via Bebelplatz. Walk east past the Neue Wache and Berliner Dom, turn left into Spandauer Straße, and pass through Hackescher Markt station. Visit the Hackesche Höfe complex before walking down Oranienburger Straße for the Neue Synagoge. You can catch the S-Bahn from here back to Brandenburger Tor.