GESUNDBRUNNEN: CENTRAL, AFFORDABLE AND ECLECTIC
Taking its name from a now-defunct mineral spring, Gesundbrunnen started out as a health spa destination for daytrippers in the 18th century. During the 20th century, it became a blue-collar district surrounded on three sides by the Berlin Wall. These days, it’s known as an up-and-coming multicultural hub with some of the most attractive, budget-friendly real estate in the city. Besides its excellent public transportation network and strategic location between Berlin’s eastern and western sectors, Gesundbrunnen’s affordable living options, inviting parks and green spaces, and abundant shopping are drawing more and more new residents to the area.
Gesundbrunnen has one of the highest percentages of non-German residents of any Berlin locality, and its inhabitants also include working-class citizens who’ve been here for generations, along with recently-arrived artists, singles, and young families in search of low-cost living space. Tolerance is the rule: the backyard mosque and the corner bar co-exist peacefully here, and trendy new cafes and galleries share the streets with mom-and-pop shops peddling produce and bric-a-brac from around the world.
On the southeast end of the district (bordering the comparatively expensive neighborhoods of Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg) is the Brunnenviertel neighborhood, an area in transition with a growing number of new luxury developments featuring modern buildings with elevators, balconies, and large dining spaces. Straddling the Panke Canal on the southwest end of the district is the Gerichtstrasse quarter, once a favorite with Berlin artists, now known for a changing mix of beautifully renovated and contemporary architecture that includes several upscale residential real estate projects. Formerly one of the roughest neighborhoods in Berlin, the Soldiner Kiez in the northeast is an area on the rise, thanks to its period buildings, its pleasant green spaces along the Panke Canal, and a generous infusion of commercial and arts funding. The eponymous Gesundbrunnen quarter in the central and northwest part of the district blends charming 19th- and early 20th-century architecture and bare-bones apartment towers, particularly in the area surrounding the S-Bahn station and on Badstrasse, the main thoroughfare.
Pankstrasse, Chausseestrasse, Brunnenstrasse, Badstrasse, and Reinickendorfer Strasse (on the district’s eastern border) are the busiest boulevards in the district.
The Gesundbrunnen Shopping Center at the S-Bahn station of the same name is one of the largest shopping malls in the city. The neighborhood also has a plethora of discount chain stores like Aldi and Lidl, as well as Kaufland and Kaiser’s, along with housewares and entertainment stores like Media Markt, Woolworth, and Poco. Less mainstream options include the Kauf dich Glücklich outlet, which features cutting-edge fashion and accessories from emerging designers.
Volkspark Humboldthain is the green heart of Gesundbrunnen, a spacious park with a public pool, children’s playgrounds, vineyards, a beautiful rose garden (a rarely-visited Berlin gem), and a former World War II flak tower with 360-degree views of the city. The Panke, a tributary of the Spree River, flows through Gesundbrunnen, and there are inviting parks and bike trails along its banks. The Hanne-Sobek-Sportanlage is a historic soccer stadium where lower-division Bundesliga teams still play.
Cultural offerings in the neighborhood include free theater, festivals, art exhibits, and music performances at Uferstudios, as well as culinary-themed events at Kochende Welten, a stylish loft dining room in a repurposed factory showcasing food from around the world. Situated on the edge of the Panke in what was once the Gesundbrunnen public bathhouse, the Bibliothek am Luisenbad is the district’s public library - a lovely spot to read the daily newspaper or work on your laptop.
While Gesundbrunnen lacks upscale restaurants, there are plenty of international culinary offerings from countries like Croatia, Pakistan, Italy, Turkey, Vietnam, and Lebanon, plus a number of cafes for every taste. Located in a former BVG (Berlin public transportation company) workshop, Cafe Pförtner is a friendly all-day cafe catering to artists in the Uferhallen. Cafe Lichtburg and Restaurant-Cafe Uferlos serve simple but reliable German food, while Volta specializes in modern Mediterranean small plates and craft beer. Coffee lovers frequent Il Milanese del Tacco and Miss Ploff, and beer enthusiasts hang out at Castle Pub, an Irish-style bar with 50-plus beers on tap.
Gesundbrunnen has prime public transportation connections, including a number of S-Bahn (S1, S2, S25, S4, S8 and S85) and U-Bahn lines (U8 and U9). The Gesundbrunnen train station also offers links to long distance trains, and the neighborhood is one of the few in the former western sector of Berlin that’s also served by tram lines (M10, M13, and 50).
Average Rental Price per m2
Building Style Ratio
(NOTE: these numbers are for Wedding and Gesundbrunnen, as immobilienscout24 doesn’t separate the two neighborhoods)
Photos (left to right): Badstrasse by Kvikk (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Am Franzosenbecken by Sinuhe20 (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Chausseestraße by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Stettiner Strasse by MB-one (own work) CC BY-SA 4.0; Gartenstadt Atlantic buildings on Zingster Straße by User:Hk_kng (own work) CC BY 2.5; Koloniestraße by Sargoth (own work) CC0; Historical landmark apartment building on Koloniestrasse by Sargoth (own work) CC0; Milastrasse: Apartments in the former Groterjan-Brauerei by Kvikk (own work) CC BY-SA 4.0; Kokswiese Sport Field (a.k.a. NNW Platz) by Gesundbrunnen Berlin (own work) CC BY-SA 4.0; Humboldthain public swimming pool by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) (own work) CC BY-SA 4.0; Pankstrasse by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Gesundbrunnen Shopping Center by Andreas Praefcke (own work) CC BY 3.0