In Berlin, I stayed with S.Ev, a Canadian journalist who used to live in D.C. and is now the European correspondent for her employer. All the hip people, it turns out, live in the former East Berlin in neighborhoods that look like this:
Her apartment is on the top floor of a six-ish floor building (many stairs, no elevator) and has lots of big windows and slopey ceilings and awesomeness. Everybody who knows her should go stay with her. She's half a block from a subway station (which is great when the public transport workers are not on strike - more on that later) and her apartment is huge.