Berlin insiders' guide: From the locals


The following is part of a series of visitor guides to Berlin. See also:
Berlin on a budget | Restaurants | Jewish Berlin | Relaxing | Bars | Culture | Shopping

OK, you've been to the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and checked out that bit of the Berlin Wall on Potsdamer Platz. But if you want to see the "real" Berlin, you need to talk to a local. So we asked some of the city's film folk for their favorite spots in the German capital. Not to be found in any guidebook, our insider tips are guaranteed tourist-free zones.

Complete Berlinale coverage

Stefan Arndt
Founder/managing director, X Filme Creative Pool; producer on "Run Lola Run," "Goodbye, Lenin!" and "Summer in Berlin"
Place: The biofood Currywurst-Stand across from shopping emporium KaDeWe Tauentzien Strasse 21-24
Why: "Way too expensive, too much cholesterol -- but at least without anyone from the film industry around. A piece of happiness for 15 euros."

Werner Daehn

Actor, "XXX," "Speed Racer," "Valkyrie"
Place: Movie Theater Filmkunst 66 (website), Bleibtreu Strasse 12, 10623
Why: "It's an old Berlin art house, one of the few that survived -- a place for me where I can see films in an intimate atmosphere. I also meet a lot of people there: actors, other people I worked with. It's a place of calm, a place of reflection. Simply a place I like to be."

Hannah Herzsprung

Actress, "Four Minutes," "The Reader"
Place: Barcomi's Deli, Sophien Strasse 21
Why: "It's just a great deli, a great place to eat and hang out. They have good bagels, good sandwiches and they were one of first places in Berlin to go nonsmoking."

Christian Petzold
Director, "Yella," "Ghosts," "The State I Am In"
Place: AEG Turbinenhalle (turbine hall) in Hutten Strasse 12 (Moabit)
Why: "A factory that does not look like a jail, built by Behrens, with an outside construction. A few years ago one could smell the coffee from the nearby coffee roasters, but it has vanished, like all industrial work. Now there's only the building."

Maria Kopf
Managing director, Zentropa Entertainment Berlin; producer on "Paris, je t'aime," "Mammoth"
Place: Liquidrom (website), Mockernstrasse 10
Why: "A warm saltwater-pool in a darkened domed building with electronic, underwater music -- the perfect place for relaxation and reflection, directly around the corner from Potsdamer Platz."

Sven Taddicken
Director, "Emma's Bliss," "Berlin -- May 1"
Place: Karl Marx Strasse, Neukoeln
Why: I love walking down Karl Marx Strasse. It has a great multicultural feel -- the shops, the restaurants. For me, it's typically Berlin.

Marco Weber
COO, Senator Entertainment
Place: Borchardt Restaurant, Franzosische Strasse 47
Why: "I've been going there for more than 10 years, and the owners Rainer and Roland have become close friends of mine."

-- Scott Roxborough