Hop onto the S75 or U5 to get away from Mitte and into Marzahn-Hellersdorf. This district, located in northeast Berlin, has beautiful gardens, delightful shopping centers, a castle, and a handful of impressive art galleries.
Though Marzahn-Hellersdorf isn't a picture perfect portrayal of typical Berlin, it is home to a significant portion of the city, and has reasonably diverse sites for visitors to pop in to.
Made up of the localities of Biesdorf, Hellersdorf, Kaulsdorf, Mahlsdorf, and Marzahn, one of the most interesting places in Marzahn-Hellersdorf is Gärten der Welt (The Word's Gardens), a large park containing gardens constructed in the styles from China, Japan, Korea, and Bali. The park also contains a reproduction renaissance garden and labyrinths that are a blast to explore. Tours are available three days a week, but you shouldn't have a problem finding your way around.
One of Berlin's only windmills is in Marzahn-Hellersdorf. Located at Hinter der Mühle 4, the windmill is open Sunday through Friday and guided tours are available if requested in advance. If you're lucky, you may even see a happy couple getting married in front of the windmill. With sails more than 20 meters (65 feet) in diameter, the windmill is sure to blow you away.
Built in 1868, Schloss Biesdorf is located on 14 acres and contains a wonderful park in which you may want to go on a picnic. The castle contains a wonderful tower—one which looks like it should be home to Rapunzel and her long hair, which makes it both charming and grand. Be sure to bring your camera if you're visiting in spring or summer, as Biesdorf Castle is a very scenic locale.
The nearby Eastgate Berlin is a shopping mall that has everything but the kitchen sink for sale (though, if you looked hard enough, I'm sure you could find that too!). With more than 150 shops, there's no doubt you'll find something that you need (or a gift for someone back home). Plus, if homesickness strikes, there's a Pizza Hut in the food court, which is sure to dissolve any cravings for food from home.
If Eastgate is too fast paced and overwhelming, Spree-Center Hellersdorf may be a shopping location that's more your pace. Although the offerings at Spree-Center are not nearly as expansive as those at Eastgate, it's a decent place to take a break from endless visits to museums and churches, much like the borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf on the whole.
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