AN UP-AND-COMING CREATIVE HUB
Surrounded on all sides by water, Moabit is a fascinating, and quietly evolving, neighborhood that’s home to a vibrant mixture of immigrants, students, artists, and middle-class families. 25 bridges connect the district to the rest of the city, and though the neighborhood has historically been associated with its prison complex, its image is slowly changing, thanks to a proliferation of trendy shops, artist studios and galleries, and hip cafes. Residents have long appreciated Moabit for its 19th century-era architecture, old-school corner pubs, charming mom-and-pop stores, and great public transit. When moving there you need to know to where exactly.
More affordable than trendy districts like Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte, Moabit is also gentrifying more slowly than neighborhoods like Friedrichshain or Neukölln. The northern half of the district (above Turmstrasse and along the S-Bahn tracks) is characterized by working class families and industrial facilities, though there are also attractive areas like Stephankiez (around Stephanplatz and extending north to the border with Wedding) with well-preserved Gründerzeit apartment buildings.
The southern half of Moabit approaching the River Spree is a mostly middle-class and upper-middle-class area that suffered relatively little damage during World War II. The area includes a new government quarter -- and the famous serpentine-shaped residential complex known as the Abgeordneten-Schlange - as well as plenty of original 19th-century apartment buildings, many of them with lovely views of the river. Westfälische Viertel (between Stromstrasse, Alt-Moabit, Gotzkowskystrasse and the River Spree) is an especially desirable neighborhood in southern Moabit. Beusselstrasse, Alt-Moabit, Ellen-Epstein-Strasse / Erna-Samuel-Strasse / Sickingenstrasse (which runs parallel to the S-Bahn tracks), and Turmstrasse (the neighborhood’s main street, lined with kebab shops, discount stores, and fresh produce stands) are the busiest streets in the district.
The neighborhood has picturesque green spaces like the Kleiner Tiergarten, a bit dodgy though, and Fritz-Schloss-Park, which houses a public swimming pool, a miniature golf course, a climbing gym, a landmark football (soccer) stadium, and the Vabali Spa (a premium, Balinese-style wellness complex with a jacuzzi and saunas as well as massage services). Besides the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, one of Berlin’s most exciting modern art venues, Moabit has multitude of art studios and independent galleries like Baeckerei Moabit, where exhibitions usually revolve around culinary themes. The Kulturfabrik Moabit is a cutting-edge cultural center in a former factory that hosts theater, concerts, independent films, and more. Fashion lovers frequent Darklands, an avant-garde boutique featuring designs by hot names like Alexander Fielden, Amy Glenn, and Tillman Lauterbach.
Moabit is a paradise for adventurous eaters, boasting Turkish produce shops and Arabic bakeries along with Michelin-recommended restaurants like Lanninger (regional German), Osmanya (upscale Turkish), Hoan Kiem (Vietnamese), and Lei and Lui (a cafe-restaurant serving modern, often Middle Eastern-inspired, dishes). There is no shortage of charming cafes, including Buchkantine (a popular bookstore-bistro bordering the River Spree) and Cafe Tirree (a stylish art gallery-coffeeshop near the Birkenstraße U-Bahn station in the northern part of the district). The Arminius Markthalle, a beautifully-restored covered market near Turmstrasse, is a fabulous place to shop for produce, as well as sample street food and beer brewed on the premises.
Moabit has excellent access to public transportation, including the Ring-Bahn (S-Bahn) lines and the U9 subway. It’s also the location of Hauptbahnhof, Berlin’s largest railway station, with connections to long-distance, regional, and local trains.
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Dortmunder Strasse (Westfälische Viertel) by Sekamor (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Bundesschlange by Jean-Pierre Dalbera (Wikimedia Commons via Flickr) CC-BY-2.0; Wilsnacker Strasse by Bodo Kubrak (own work) CC0 1.0; Alt-Moabit by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Lehrterstrasse (Lehrter-Strassen-Kiez) by Sekamor (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Rostocker Strasse by Elikross (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Sickingen Strasse by Elikross (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Oldenburger Straße by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Bundesratufer by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Turmstrasse by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) CC BY-SA 3.0; Arminius Markthalle (Market Hall #10) by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0; Kleiner Tiergarten Park by Ich (own work) CC0 1.0