If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of an old town near the Brandenburg Gate apartments, the Nikolai quarter, to the west of Alexanderplatz, is the place to go. This is Berlin’s first and oldest residential district, with its historic houses, the Nikolaikirche and lots of little restaurants and cafés lending it a unique charm.
A handful of historic buildings dating from the 16th to the 18th century have been reconstructed in the quarter, including the Ephraim-Palais, the Gasthof Zum Nussbaum, the home of G.E. Lessing and the Knoblauchhaus, which hosts an exhibition on the Biedermeier period and the influential Knoblauch family. The Nikolai quarter, which was destroyed during World War Two, was restored to its current state to mark its 750th anniversary in 1987. The well-known Klosterstrasse, which contains the ruins of Klosterkirche, the Baroque Parochialkirche and Palais Podewils, is also within walking distance.