Insider’s Guide to Berlin: The New German Expressionism

Berlin is electric. Two decades after the fall of the Wall, its aftershocks still reverberate through every avant-garde gallery and underground club.

While the ghosts of Hitler and Stalin linger in the city’s architectural bones, Berlin’s young generation has chosen to transform the past into something liberating. Everywhere, particularly in the fashionable Mitte district, former fortresses to fascism now shelter art galleries, museums and bars.

There are more than 500 galleries in the city—including cool new “pop-up” art spaces—and plenty of chic new boutique hotels, including the Amano, the Casa Camper and the party-friendly Soho House that has decamped in the former East German Communist headquarters. In the past month alone, a half-dozen notable fashion boutiques opened in Berlin, among them Pastpresent, an arty concept store selling vintage finds and Berlin buzz brands like Sleep is Commercial and 24/7 Suits.

Berlin’s creative boom rivals even the smoky jazz club and flirty-flapper cabaret heyday

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