Lichtenberg, formerly home to the headquarters of the Stasi police in Germany, is now a prosperous borough that has been labeled the Chinatown of Berlin. These are the best things to do and see in the area.
Zoos can be off-putting for various reasons, but Tierpark is a zoo that can put those worries to bed. This place leaves ample space for the animals to roam, as if onlookers were getting to experience the animals in their own habitat. This place is so large that it’s recommended taking a whole day to see it. Around each bend is another happy haunt where various species of the animal kingdom reign. Tierpark’s nature can be so immersive, it’s easy to forget it’s even in Berlin.
Tierpark Zoo, Am Tierpark 125, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 515310
Dong Xuan Center
Though Dong Xuan Center is technically a center, it would be more appropriate for it to be called a community. By design, it’s a multi-building market hall that houses just about everything imaginable that has to do with Asian culture. This modern-day market hall is 88,000 square meters and has over 150 different vendors. It’s the go-to place for great pho, rice cookers, and hard-to-find ingredients. Yes, there are other Asian markets in Berlin, but none quite like this. Vietnam is the predominate Asian culture represented here, so it’s just about the best place to come for authentic Vietnamese food. Spiky hats, cheap luggage and a plethora of ‘what?’ is also sold at this colorful cultural bazar.
Dong Xuan Center, Herzbergstraße 128-139, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 55152038
Nadia + Kosta
This unpretentious operation is making a name for itself on the strasses of Lichtenberg. The coffee is at a high level, and the prices below that. Mid-century modern furniture and patterns color the interior of this charming establishment, creating a stylish and retro aesthetic. Cappuccinos are foamed with attention and at two euros a pop, are practically a steal. No wannabe script writers hacking away on their laptops or over zealous coffee aficionados talking about soil type when they swirl their coffee like wine here. This is a proper, relaxed café that calls back to the old times before Wi-Fi became more important than water.
Nadia + Kosta , Türrschmidtstraße 31, Berlin, Germany, +49 178 2895049
This is where landscape meets park, which doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense in English, but it does in German. Landscape refers to protected area, and park refers to recreational area. The idea is having these two elements exist cohesively and to form one mammoth of an urban park. There’s farming, there’s nature and there’s fun. What was a misused space of organic junk juxtaposing some factory buildings became the brainchild of an urban renewal project. There’s now even Pomeranian course wool sheep. New paths were created for bikers, joggers, and roller skaters to bask in the prosperity of this project.
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