Forget the industrial fumes and the sometimes grim aesthetic of Socialist East Germany – Prenzlauer Berg is cooler and funkier than ever, thanks to a mix of gentrified neighborhoods, squats, artists’ labs, street art shops and breweries-turned-cultural centers. One of the most hidden but precious areas in the German capital is also a growing gay district, already playing host to flocks of LGBTI people from all over the world. I had the chance to explore Prenzlauer Berg at the beginning of April; the trees were blossoming, guys and girls were starting to wear summer clothes, beers and cocktails were enjoyed outdoors among the leafy avenues and the small alleys, and the mood of Berliners was on the up. For those who want to explore Prenzlauer Berg, a good starting point is the triangular open space of Kollwitz Platz. The atmosphere is gentle, especially in spring, and it’s just a short walk to the Kulturbrauerei, one of the most interesting venues in post-industrial Berlin.