Recommended as private guide in
Rick Steves' 'snapshot Berlin':
" enthusiastic historian who grew up behind the Wall..."

before and after


off the beaten path



Every spring I travel myself. While seeing different European cities I always notice one thing: it is hard to see places where there is no other tourist around. Just - this is why I travel: to get the unique and genuine experience of being with the locals. So the following recommendations are secrets- they are places you will not find in any travel guide. Please be aware that these places may not have menu cards or descriptions and labels in English. Still you can trust that the locals, or at least some of them, will speak English and be sure in Berlin they will all be happy to help you.


Kleiner Friedrich1  Seeblick - the real thing, place for long-term locals.

This is truly where the locals go in the evening, either for dinner or just a beer. The place exists since 1993 and some have been guests ever since. Its reasonably priced, opening hours are between noon and 1.30 am, weekend until 2.30. Address is:


Rykestrasse 14

10405 Berlin

They also have their own website, pictures of the place can be found here: website


Kleiner Friedrich1 Kohlenquelle - this is for hip people.

It is a specific audience that comes here, usually they are called hipsters. Some may bring their friends with them who are just on a visit in Berlin, that is why some foreign languages can be heard here. In any other way - that place is local. The furniture is a wild mix and looks rather shabby - just - this is intended. Its reasonably priced and there is free WiFi. Not a place to eat but more to get a drink or two, to see and to be seen.

Address is:

Kopenhagener Str. 16

10437 Berlin

They received some reviews on tripadvisor:   website                                          


Kleiner Friedrich1  Bäckerei Siebert - best bakery in town

Did you ever see a queue of maybe 100 people in front of a bakery? If you do, it has to be bakery Siebert and its Saturday morning. This is the oldest bakery of Berlin. They bake their bread (so good!) since 1906, its the fourth generation of the same family. Also the rolls are excellent and the best is the Pfannkuchen! Infact its a bit like a donut, just more fresh, more taste more everything. 

Closed on Mondays! That is because the baker puts an emphasize on a free Sunday and the dough need a day to be ready for the oven.

Address is:

Schönfließer Str. 12

10439 Berlin

They have their own website, here some videos can be watched, just scroll down.                       


Kleiner Friedrich1  Osmans Töchter - Turkish cuisine at its best!!

The name of the place remains a secret. I did not find out yet who is A) Osman and B) his daughters. What is clear to me: this is one of the most fancy restaurants in town. Reasonable prices, very fresh and unique Turkish cuisine, innovative and friendly. It opened about a year ago and turned out to be the favorite of the locals - THIS PLACE IS ALWAYS BOOKED OUT! The first time I tried to reserve a table for next day they told me that they could reserve one - but only for one hour... Make sure you book in advance. The website is not in English yet, the online form for reservations is, here it is: website

Address is:

Pappelallee 15

10437 Berlin


Kleiner Friedrich1  Tierpark - the Zoo of the east.

Berlin has two Zoos. That happened in the1950th, when the eastern part of the city wanted to stop its people to move to the western part of Berlin to see exotic animals - because after WW2 the old traditional Zoo of Berlin was located in the western part of the city. So they set up their own Zoo. Just they did not want to call it just like the west-Berlin 'Zoo'. So they named it 'Tierpark', which means something like 'animal park'.

Tourists always go to the Zoo in west-Berlin, during the weekends there are more tourists but Berliners. It seems the world has forgotten about the Tierpark. Infact many say, its a lot better than the Zoo, a huge park, beautiful to walk with amazing buildings where animals of all kinds can be seen. I spent hours in the Elephants-house. As a nice side - effect - this is where the locals go. If you want to get an idea about what former east-Berlin feels like - go to the Tierpark.
One just has to know, it takes a while to get there. It has its own subway-station (line U5) called, well, 'Tierpark'. Once you are there its easy to find. As a hub to change anywhere from to the U5 always serves Alexanderplatz.

Address is:

Am Tierpark 125

10319 Berlin

And they have their own: website

  Friedrichgold4 © Bernhard