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With chic Prenzlauer Berg to the north and alternative Kreuzberg to the south, the former working-class neighborhood of Friedrichshain combines a bit of both. With two-thirds of it destroyed during the war, the architecture consists of mainly GDR-era (German Democratic Republic) wedding-cake-style relics along busy Karl-Marx-Allee and buildings including the Stasi headquarters. Don’t miss the ornate, neo-Gothic double-decker Oberbaumbrücke Bridge which connects the area to Kreuzberg and, of course, the outstanding East Side Gallery along the River Spree. Billed as a symbol of hope, friendship, and freedom, its satirical murals are creative, colorful, and often cutting. Take your time walking along the 1.3km-stretch, and then experience Friedrichshain as it comes alive at night. Revaler Strasse or Simon-Dach-Strasse transform from tree-lined calm to street-party cool, thanks to the sheer number of cafes, restaurants, and bars. For clubbers, that sought-after ticket to Berghain nightclub in a former power plant should seal the deal.

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