Finding quality coffee from all over the world isn’t very hard in Berlin and, especially in the streets around the U-Bahn station Rosenthaler Platz, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The best stop for those who love quality beans is The Barn, a popular-yet-stylish venue where you can get products that are both sustainable and Fairtrade. The café sells its beans to other coffee shops across Europe, but its small location near Rosenthaler Platz is worth visiting for its Berlin aesthetic—and the coffee, too, of course!
Rosenthaler Platz is all about location. You can easily reach the Berlin wall memorial at Bernauer Strasse; the shopping districts, art galleries and graffiti-covered walls of Hackescher Markt; or at almost any time of the day, you can walk around the little Weinbergspark and head into the prettiest little streets of Prenzlauer Berg. For especially interesting photographs, just wander the streets and keep an eye out for the street art and still-operating squats — especially on Torstrasse on the two blocks closest to Rosenthaler Platz.
There are many options for enjoying an unforgettable meal around Rosenthaler Platz. Most of the restaurants are affordable and you can get amazing Korean dishes from Yam Yam, fresh sushi from Sushi Circle and Russian dumplings, borscht and coffee cocktails at Gorki Park.
Rosenthaler Platz was part of East Berlin during the latter half of the 20th century. Its rugged appearance and alternative spirit has survived through the decades, even with the influx of locals, expats and tourists that have increased prices in the area. For many years, the area was cut off from the world (Rosenthaler Platz was a “ghost station” where trains wouldn’t stop), but today it’s a busy, commercial district. Each June, the Torstraßen Festival takes over the square and surrounding streets with live music acts and open-air parties.
Rosenthaler Platz is one of Berlin’s best districts for art and culture hawks. The streets around Rosenthalter Platz, hectic at all times of day and night, are crowded with several art galleries and design bookstores such as Do You Read Me?. From old cinemas like Babylon to theatre venues such as the Volksbuhne, the neighborhood follows the long tradition of Berlin as a city of both culture and spectacle. Don’t miss the KW Institute for Contemporary Art on Auguststraße for truly unique art exhibitions (it’s also where the Berlin Biennale is hosted every two years).
Like most of Berlin, the best activities are done outside. Rent a bike to track some of Berlin’s tumultuous history in the area around Rosenthaler Platz or just wander on your feet through the inner Hofs (courtyards) in the area, a must for those interested in architecture and history. Designer boutiques sit alongside well-known, international store brands at Rosenthaler, so be prepared to shop, shop, shop! Berlin fashion is serious business even in its subdued, almost-all-black appearance.