I travel to Berlin two or three times per year, and often will stay for a month to visit freinds when I go. I've also worked there for short periods of time in the past, and plan to go back long term early next year, with a short trip in September. I first discovered the city eight years ago, and have come over about 15 times and really enjoy my time there. It really feels more like home than foreign at this point!
Anyway, when I'm in town, I usually stay with friends in Mitte, which is also where I use to have a flat, so I'm quite familiar with that area. I also know the Prenzlauerburg-Pankow areas fairly well because this is where I spend most of my time when I'm in town. I rarely go over into West Berlin, and am not so familiar with that part of town.
I've always gone out and walked around in Berlin at all hours of the day and night and I've never run into any trouble on the street or the subways or anything. It's always felt really safe, even when walking through dark abandoned parks late at night or other places that I'd think twice about before I walked through if I was in a big American city. Female friends of mine that live there routinely just walk anywhere by themselves at night without any fear or caution it seems.
So my question is where are the bad areas/neighborhoods in Berlin that you could find yourself in trouble in? Like problems with gang members, getting robbed, assaulted, shot, etc? I know all big cities have certain places one should avoid, but I've never learned which areas of Berlin are these area? I've always assumed there must be a few places you should avoid? I know there's far fewer guns on the street in Germany, but I''m not so naive to think no gang members or punks are on the streets are carrying? I've actually seen videos on Youtube that confirm this!. I have heard to avoid Oranienburg (-sp-?) area, but that was it.
So can any native Berliner's answer my question?
[Edited 2007-07-18 05:23:49]