Berlin Mitte is the very center ("Mitte" means "middle" in German) of Germany's capital, and fittingly for a unified city in a now unified countyy, it contains both formerly Eastern and Western parts of Berlin. It is also by far the trendiest district in the city, and Mitte event venues can be what come to mind when people think of edgy, alternative Berlin. Mitte houses many of the city's principal tourism spots, such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and the main square of Potsdamer Platz. In the middle of Mitte (please excuse the wordplay) is Museum Island, which sits on an island in the River Spree. To the south of the neighborhood is the equally famous Checkpoint Charlie, the former border crossing. The Tiergarten park is to its west, and to confuse matters, the wider borough of Mitte also contains a small district called Mitte — the middle of the middle, perhaps? Quite obviously, the Berlin Wall divided this district, and parts of the wall still can be seen today.
Berlin Tegel "Otto Lilienthal" Airport (TXL) is the main international entry point for the city, that is until the new Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport (BER) opens. Tegel is five miles northwest of the city center, and has flights from all over the world.
Chief among venues in Mitte is the bcc Berliner Congress Center, which has three large spaces each able to host 1,500 persons. That said, Berlin's main convention center is the Berlin ExpoCenter City, which has 1.6 million square feet of exhibition space in 26 exhibit halls, as well as 54 meeting rooms and a 100,000-square-foot Summer Garden. Also in the city are the International Congress Center Berlin, which has 80 rooms seating between 20 and 9,100 persons, and the CityCube Berlin, which offers 120,000 square feet of exhibit space, eight conference halls for between 400 and 3,000 persons, a column-free space for up to 5,000 persons, and 37 meeting rooms.
Hotel venues in Mitte include the 400-room Westin Grand Berlin, which has some wonderfully inventive meeting space (such as a lobby for 1,200 persons, a 31,000-square-foot garden, and elevated, separate Dragon House for 80); the world-famous, 382-room Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin, which has 14 meeting rooms and two ballrooms able to host 450 and 500 persons, respectively; the 379-room Berlin Marriott, which has 12 meeting rooms covering more than 11,000 square feet of space; the sumptuous, 195-room Regent Berlin, which has 10 meeting spaces, including the Salon Gontard for 140 persons; and the very upmarket, 146-room Hotel de Rome, a Rocco Forte property that has a ballroom with a double-height ceiling for 120 persons.
Mitte certainly has unique gathering spaces. Soho House Berlin is a private members' club that can be rented and has such spaces as the Screening Room for movies and seminars and Red Room and Politburo for functions, while the Arte Luise Kunsthotel is a 50-room property that started out as an alternative art project and has stayed true to its roots; it has arresting art and sculpture everywhere, as well as inventive party spots. Other choices include Belushi's Bar, as American a spot as you will find here — in the former American Zone of Berlin — that can be rented in its entirety; Adagio Berlin, an events space and nightclub for up to 1,000 persons with a two-tier lobby on the Marlene Dietrich Platz; and Axica Kongress-und-Tagungszentrum reception and conference facility with extremely trendy architecture courtesy of Frank Gehry and Berliner artists and designers, as well as space for up to 600 persons.
Excellent restaurants for groups include the German-cuisine Sophieneck, which is in an ornate corner building on the wonderfully named Gross Hamburger Strasse; the beautiful Restaurant Zur Gerichslaube, which has large arched entrances and sits next to an imposing church of St, Nicholas; celebrated Borchardt, which has period decor, has been serving excellent cuisine for 150 years, and has a private upper dining area supported by massive pillars; the Art-Deco Dressler, which has a private room for 12 persons, as well as a terrace, wine cellar, and main restaurant; and Ampelmann Restaurant, which is named for the beloved pedestrian-crossing symbol of the former East Germany and can be rented for up to 300 persons.