Berlin’s Kreuzberg was once the poorest neighborhood in the city, but today the popular central district is the hub of Berlin’s unique style and culture.
With its impressive array of street art and its eclectic mix of international cuisine, coffeeshops, night clubs and trendy bars, Kreuzberg attracts the hippest of the hip. The former West Berlin borough leads somewhat of a double life, with years of gentrification, having now apparently split it into half shabby chic hipster paradise, half stylish and upper class. Below, the ultimate guide to Kreuzberg and its main hotspots to get to know the essence of Berlin.
A fashion area
Oranienstraße is Kreuzberg’s fashionista street housing the weird and wonderful. The sidewalk of Oranienstraße hosts Voo, a concept store situated in a former locksmith shop. They sell clothes for women and men from Scandinavian and French brands, among them Carven, Soulland, Acne and Kenzo.
An historic place
The East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall which consists of 105 paintings by artists from all over the world. The pieces document a time of change and express the euphoria and great hopes for a better and more tolerant future for all people worldwide.
A place for eating
Directly under the subway rails at Schlesisches Tor one can find Burgermeister, a small but delicious burger joint. It’s green, ornate, a century old and… it used to be a public toilet. Try the Meisterburger layered with caramelised onions, bacon, BBQ sauce and mustard paired with cheese fries.
A place for chilling out
Görlitzer is a big and chilly park with a nice mixture of people. Lovingly called Görli, the park has recently become the meeting point for hipsters as well as ravers, being the perfect place to feel the free spirit of Berlin.
Perched over the Spree River canal, Ankerklause is a cozy former boathouse known for its affordable breakfasts and quality coffee. The balcony hanging over the water is a great place to dock on sunny days.
Salon Zur Wilden Renate is an intriguing labyrinth of cosy rooms and dark nooks. The atmosphere of this unrestored building is that of a theatrical house party. Music is usually house and techno, most often by Berlin-based artists.
Kreuzberg has long been revered for its diverse cultural life and as a part of Berlin where alternative lifestyles have flourished. The guide to Kreuzberg and its main hotspots is shown in the map below.