Loving it local: Moabit's Turmstrasse
Why do we think Turmstrasse in the Berlin district of Moabit is worth a visit?
Partly because, once you've spent too long bumping into countless other tourists in Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, or fought your way through hordes of hipsters in Neukölln or Kreuzberg, it's simply refreshing to experience a very different kind of Berlin.
And although Moabit's main drag is admittedly low on standard attractions, it's high in unpretentious, bustling local flavour.
It's also - along with several intersecting thoroughfares - lined with no-nonsense eateries where you can chow down for less than you'd pay in many better known Berlin neighbourhoods. Food offerings are predominantly Turkish or arabic, but Moabit's growing diversity means that there are opportunities, too, to sink your teeth into something other than the ubiquitous doner.
Note too that, while Turmstrasse might be Moabit's main commercial thoroughfare, it's (refreshingly) free of chi-chi boutiques, shabby-chic bars or any of the other 'destination' locations with which Berlin abounds.
The message here, in fact, is resolutely cheap and cheerful - bargain bucket offerings and discount textile outlets abound.
And for a slight reprieve from the generally utilitarian surroundings, a couple of wondrous 19th-century facades in neighbouring Gotzgowsky Strasse (below, right) put even Prenzlauer Berg's stucco-tastic concoctions to shame.
Berlin's latest answer to New York's Lower East Side or London's Mile End? Perhaps.