Berlin Off The Beaten Path Tips by Turtleshell
Berlin Off The Beaten Path: 455 reviews and 673 photos
Please note: The market has moved to Kollwitzstraße, directly at Kollwitzplatz
Kollwitzplatz or Kollwitz Square is one of those places in Berlin, the RAF fortunately had forgotten to bomb. After the wall fell, houses were beautifully reconstructed - only those stupid graffiti can get on one's nerves.
Every Saturday morning, there's a small but eclectic farmer's market. When I lived in that area, I rarely missed a change to go there, and I always bought more than I needed, even if I was on a strict budget. There's this Tirolean deer sausage, home-made pasta, lots of organic food, wine, espresso, a fishmonger whose daughter apparently had fallen in love with me, some great bakers (especially the one opposite site of the fishmonger), fantastic French soap (what a scent!), flowers, cheese ... you name it. One vendor sells apple juice in 5 liter (1.3 gal) bags like hot cakes. And speaking of cakes ...
Again, it's a small but eclectic market.
More importantly, especially for tourists, everyone I dragged along, immediately fell in love with this beautiful and peaceful place.
After strolling around and having a Bratwurst or fresh oyster, you may want to try one of the numerous coffeehouses or have lunch at Guggelhof, a restaurant at the opposite site of the market were President Clinton, Madame Albright and their German counterparts once had dinner. Or check Kulturbrauerei for upcoming shows.
If you are familiar with German actors and politicians, you may spot one or another here. No one of the more ordinary mortals thinks of bothering them.
Market closes on 4 p.m. but you should come a lot earlier. At 2 p.m. or later the market looks very (for the lack of better words) worn. There are one or two playgrounds at Kollwitzplatz where you can leave your kids.
Getting there: Take the U2 and exit at Eberswalder Strasse. Go down Sredzkistrasse and turn right into Husemannstrasse.
1: Start at S-Bahn Griebnitzsee
IMPORTANT: Berlin's Higher Administrative Court has ruled on April 3, 2009 that the FIRST PART of the walk (pic 1) IS PRIVATE. Residents will no longer grant the general public access to the lake!
This is a 6.5 km or 4-mile-walk formerly used by GDR border police along Griebnitzsee to Potsdam (main/central station). The walk can easily be extended to visit the Dutch Quarter (8km / 5 miles) and Sanssouci Palace (11-13 km / 7-8 miles).
The walk is easy, just never leave the shore and changes to "get lost" are slim. A map of Potsdam is recommended, though.
There are coffeehouses and ice parlours along the way.
The walk is quite unique, not only for historical reasons, but also because it guides you along lakes and castles that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage program.
Take the S-Bahn railway to Gribnitzsee station, cross the street and your are standing in front of Gribnitzsee. Now turn left and follow the way (pic 1).
There are only two occasions where a little care has to be taken not to choose the wrong direction (pic 2+3). Again, just make sure that you stay close to the shore and you cant go wrong.
Some parts of the walk are now private property, which is a shame since the treaty between both German countries stated that the way around Griebnitzsee and access to the lake shall remain public domain. Still, owners have to allow the general public pass their soil. There's no reason to return to the S-Bahn station when you see a sign that reads "Privatweg" (private way).
Later, the surrounding area becomes more open. You walk through one or two parks but still along water, only that it's now river Havel.
Glienicke Bridge, the famous bridge used for exchange of spies during the Cold War, is easily visible.
When you see a main street (pic 4) cross your way, you can either go straight and head directly to Potsdam central station where you can take the S-Bahn back to Berlin.
Or you go down main street and at crossroads keep a little left. This way will take you to Potsdam's picturesque Dutch Quarter.
Have a coffee and consider taking the "full blast" by visiting Sanssouci Palace (pic 5). Entrance to the park is free; voluntary admission fees are welcome.
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