'You don't have to visit the Louvre or walk along the river Seine to feel like you have visited Paris. In Berlin, you can find many French places. Of course, the Spree river, running through Berlin, is not to be confused with the Seine, but a trip to France through Berlin is easy to plan. Here are some of my hidden (French) gems from my book "Traveling the world in Berlin" in which I would like you to be able to discover France in Berlin! Until the book is published, I want you to get a taste of France by introducing my "Top 5 French places in Berlin". Allez!
In case you want to pre-order the book,
just check out my online shop for "TRAVEL THE WORLD IN BERLIN".
Berliner Eiffel tower
You don't have to go to Paris to see the quintessentially French Eiffel Tower. Berlin's district of Wedding also has a mini Eiffel Tower with the tricolour on top. This square is located in the middle of the former French-occupied zone, which the tower still reminds us of today. It stands in front of the Centre Française de Berlin, which has represented France in Berlin since the 1960s, with its wide range of cultural activities and events. You can also sip a café au lait in the restaurant at the same address and take a beautiful walk to the nearby Schillerpark.
Centre Français de Berlin, Müllerstraße 75, 13349 Berlin (Wedding), Station: U6 Rehberge; pic by Daniel Kessler
Centre Français de Berlin
The first thing most people notice is the Mini Eiffel Tower, which stands in front of the Franco-German cultural centre in Berlin-Wedding. In addition to the French centre, the building complex houses the three-star Hôtel de France, a French restaurant and an event hall. Events such as concerts for the Fête de la Musique in June take place here.
Müllerstraße 75, 13349 Berlin (Wedding), www.centre-francais.de, Station: U6 Rehberge; pic by Daniel Kessler
Together with the Deutsches Dom and the Konzerthaus, this French cathedral decorates Berlin's most beautiful square, the Gendarmenmarkt. The Französische Dom was built in the baroque style around 1780, it is a magnificent domed tower that was inspired by the Panthéon in Paris. The name comes from the French word "dôme", which means "cupola". At that time, the cemetery of the Huguenot community had to make way for the construction of the French Cathedral. Today it houses the Huguenot Museum and a viewing platform. After visiting the museum, you can rest on its stairs and watch the hustle and bustle of the square. From here you can admire the ornamentation of granite slabs, some of which are decorated with beautiful mosaics, and the iron lion's heads adorning the stone pillars in front of the playhouse.
Gendarmenmarkt 5, 10117 Berlin (Mitte), Station: U6 Französische Straße; pic by David von Becker
In the 19th century, this magnificent French rococo building was called the Princesses’ Palace and was intended as a residence for the daughters of Friedrich Wilhelm III. Today, the museum displays a wide-ranging programme as well as collections of Fine Art from the Deutsche Bank, including literature, music, sport, performance and dance.
Unter den Linden 5, 10117 Berlin (Mitte), www.db-palaispopulaire.de, Station: U6 Französische Straße, Mon, Wed, Fr–Sun 10:00–19:00, Thu 10:00–21:00; pic by David von Becker
Cinema Paris is one of the most exquisite cinemas in Germany for cineastes and Francophiles. Located on Kurfürstendamm in the Maison de France, the cinema screens French and European film art, often in original versions with subtitles. Especially on a rainy day, you can dream of the city of love here. Perfect for a trip through France in Berlin.
Kurfürstendamm 211, 10719 Berlin (Charlottenburg), www.yorck.de, Station: U1, U9 Kurfürstendamm
Discover the world, without travelling! If you are interested in my upcoming travel book "Travel the world in Berlin" just order it in my online shop. The book will be released by November 2020 - just on time for Christmas ;).
If you want to find hidden gems of Berlin, check out my folding maps BertaBerlin and QueerBerlin. They are available in well-chosen locations all over Charlottenburg, Neukölln, Kreuzberg, Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin and online. But for those of you, who want to stay up to date, feel free to follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK or register for my NEWSLETTER BertaNews.