Hip, bohemian, and brimming with beautiful architecture, Berlin Kreuzberg is a fascinating study in contrasts. Home to artists and immigrants as well as young professionals and upper-middle class families, it’s one of Berlin’s most popular districts, thanks to its central location, its picturesque streets and waterways, its impressive food scene, its diversity, its nightlife, and its rich cultural offerings.
Bordered by the Spree River in the east, Kreuzberg is bisected by the Landwehr Canal, which flows from east to west across the district. East Kreuzberg, starting at Schlesisches Tor and extending to Oranienstrasse and Kottbusser Tor, was once the epicenter of Berlin’s artistic counterculture. Today it’s still a lively area full of nightclubs, bars, street food, improvised art galleries, and a high percentage of young singles and immigrants. The area around Kottbusser Tor, the streets near the Moritzplatz U-Bahn station, and the stretch of Friedrichstrasse south of Checkpoint Charlie feature plain, modern, downmarket apartment blocks. North of Kottbusser Tor, leafy residential streets like Naunynstraße and Waldemarstrasse are lined with a mix of period and contemporary apartment buildings -- some renovated, some not.
West Kreuzberg, which includes tastefully-restored 19th- and 20th-century buildings as well as upscale canal-side apartments, is a family-friendly, upper middle class area that is experiencing a building boom. Graefekiez, Bergmannkiez, and the streets around Paul-Linke-Ufer are especially desirable neighborhoods. Kottbusser Damm, Mehringdamm, and Skalitzer Strasse (where the U1 subway runs above ground) are the district’s busiest thoroughfares.
Besides numerous neighborhood playgrounds and canal-side green spaces, Kreuzberg has lovely public parks like the Park am Gleisdreieck and Viktoria Park, which contains an artificial waterfall, Berlin’s highest natural hill, and some of the best views in the city. Every spring, the “Carnival of Cultures” festival celebrates the city’s diversity with street parades, live music, and food from around the world. Among the neighborhood’s other cultural attractions: the Tempodrom concert arena, the Berlinische Galerie, and the Aufbau Haus, a former factory that now houses artists' workshops, galleries, cafes, bookstores, and a theater for live performances.
Bergmannstrasse and Oranienstrasse offer some of the best shopping in Berlin, including stylish shops like Voo and Schoener Waers Wenns Schoener Waer, a sustainable design boutique. Süper Store in Graefekiez carries hand-crafted furniture and everyday objects with a clean, simple aesthetic.
One of the most fascinating food neighborhoods in Berlin, Kreuzberg boasts some of the finest Turkish cuisine in the city, along with Michelin-starred restaurants like Nobelhart und Schmutzig, Horvath, and Tim Raue. Locavores and artisan food aficionados frequent Markthalle IX, a farmers’ market and street food hub that regularly hosts culinary festivals centered around cheese, wine, bread, and more. Being one of Berlin’s trendiest districts, Kreuzberg is home to a plethora of bars and nightclubs, particularly near Schlesisches Tor and on Oranienstrasse, ranging from the legendary SO36 to Ottorink, a low-key bar specializing in German white wines. The U1 and U8 subway lines make it easy to connect to the rest of the city via public transportation.
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Legiendamm by Another Believer (own work) CC-BY-SA-4.0; South of Besselpark by Orderinchaos (own work) CC-BY-SA-4.0; Oranienplatz by Beek100 (own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0; Fraenkelufer by Mark Ahsmann (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Hornstrasse by Dirk Ingo Franke (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Dudenstrasse by Beek100 (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Diffenbachstraße by Uli Herrmann (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Mehringdamm by Beek100 (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Am Halleschen Ufer by Arbalete (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Hedemannstraße by jimmyeee (own work) CC BY-SA 2.0; Großbeerenstraße (Quartier Riehmers Hofgarten) by Beek 100 (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Alexandrinenstraße by Beek100 (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Adalbertstrasse/Naunynstrasse by Uli Herrmann (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Görlitzer Bahnhof by Georg Slickers (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Wiener Straße by Beek100 (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, Wassertorstrasse by Uli Herrmann (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Landwehrkanal by Lienhard Schulz (own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0; Bergmannstrasse by Peter Weiss (own work) CC0 1.0