We're on facebook

home about the creators facebook forum home about the creators facebook forum

Berlin districts

Berlin is a city with a lot of history and attractions. It consists of 12 main districts each with its own unique flair and charm. During the last decades great efforts (restructuring and rebuilding) have been made to turn Berlin into an international metropolis.

reinickendorf pankow spandau charlottenburg-wilmersdorf steglitz-zehlendorf mitte lichtenberg marzahn-hellersdorf treptow-koepenick neukoelln tempelhof-schoneberg friedichain-kreuzberg

Mitte (Mitte, Wedding, Tiergarten)
The Mitte district is located in the heart of Berlin. This district offers you a wide variety of clubs, business and restaurants as well as culture and history.  Mitte is a real tourist magnet. Since 2001 Mitte consists of the three separate sub-districts: Mitte, Tiergarten and Wedding.
This district is really popular with students. Why? Because of the affordable prices (Wedding), the proximity to sights, universities, shops, clubs, city center and much more.

In Mitte you are utterly in the middle of Berlin’s life - it’s where life happens. Originally, the DDR sector with its wide variety of relicts derived in former times changed due to the influence of the western culture and global corporations. Nevertheless, you can still feel the old European charm as you walk through the streets. If you like to shop the “Hackescher Markt ” is the place to go.

Wedding is one of the poorest areas in Berlin with a high unemployment rate and a lot of people living below the poverty line. The predominantly Turkish neighborhoods shape the landscape of this district. Despite the hard living conditions it is pretty safe. It also offers low rent and a centrally located U-Bahn infrastructure. The borough also provides a variety of different restaurants (Chinese, Indian, Turkish), shopping malls and supermarkets. Wedding provides a unique multicultural flair, which in the future will attract more and more people to move to there.

Tiergarten is named after the massive park in Berlin. In the weekend it is the meeting place. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to jog, skate, play soccer, go for a walk or just relax on the meadow - Tiergarten offers a lot of possibilities. Despite the obvious importance of the park, this is not what makes this area so interesting. Moreover it’s the variety of memorials, bridges, several embassies, the Bundespräsidialamt, the English Garden or the most stunning construction of the Sony Centre (Potzdamer Platz) that attract people of every age. A truly multicultural community is the best way to describe this neighborhood.

Tip:  Visit the Siegessäule or spend your night at Potsdamer Platz for the variety of entertainment it provides. Visit the Berlin Dome, the isle of museums or walk down “unter den Linden” to explore the Brandenburg Gate and to see the Government district.

Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg was created by joining the districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg separated by the Spree. Each one is special and deserves to be treated separately. Both areas have the advantage of being centrally located, with excellent accessibility and are becoming increasingly trendy with Berliners. Friedrichshain is a hip area that is very popular with the younger population.
According to the survey of from new berliner, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is the second most favored place to live. Students enjoy the proximity to the city centre, the well-developed transportation system and the variety of bars, clubs and restaurants.

Residents of Friedrichshain describe their district as vibrant, loud, exciting, colorful and always fascinating. Friedrichshain offers a large variety of housing in every price range. Unfortunately this district lacks typical Berlin sights, however offers a specific living culture. Rents are affordable and shopping is characterized by little retail stores rather than bigger shopping malls. Furthermore, Friedrichshain has its own park. The “Volkspark” is a hot spot especially during the summer months. It also offers an open-air theater, which brings together people from all over Berlin. Due to the vibrant nightlife, cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants Friedrichshain is suitable for young people e.g. Simon-Dach und Boxhanger Straße. There is also a good transportation network. The demand for housing in Friedrichshain is constantly higher than supply and apartments rent out fast.

Kreuzberg is inhabited by a wide variety of different nationalities. It has traditionally been a working class district and therefore rents tended to be in the lower level. Unfortunately due to the continuous transformation of Berlin, rents started to increase over the last years. Kreuzberg is colorful, lively and relaxed at the same time. Kreuzberg’s multicultural mix is growing in popularity and has mostly avoided the social problems often seen in other areas with high immigrant population (such as Neukölln, Wedding). Much of the area has been gentrified in recent years and Kreuzberg is predicted to have a good future, which will lead to an increase of rent prices. The Oranienstraße and the Bergmannstraße host some of the best clubs in Berlin and is seen as the new In-Party-Location.

Tip: Walk along the Karl-Marx-Allee or visit the East-Side-Gallery. If you are looking for a party, that’s the district to live in! Whenever you have time, visit one of the flea markets in Kreuzberg or visit the historical Checkpoint Charlie with its DDR Museum.

The district Lichtenberg-Hohenschönhausen belongs to the former German Democratic Republic und consists of ten different areas. The image of Berlin´s biggest district is mostly characterized by the high amount of industrialized apartment blocks („Plattenbau“). Even though Lichtenberg is home of one of the biggest zoological gardens in Germany as well as many historical GDR sights (eg. Stasi prison), only a few tourists visit this part of Berlin. This is mainly due to the relatively bad reputation of the district, which arises from a high unemployment rate as well as the concentration of local Nazi organizations. Locals on the other hand describe the district as livable and safe. Very low rent, good shopping opportunities and an easy connection to the city center is the reason why the district is becoming increasingly popular with young people as well as families. The disadvantage of this area is that there are hardly any bars or clubs. The proximity to Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain, however, makes this area desirable.
Students enjoy a great transportation system, good shopping opportunities, peace and quiet, and the proximity to parks and the Spree in this district.

Tip: If you’re curious how it feels to spend a night in prison, you have to visit the “das Andere Haus 8” in Lichtenberg.

Neukölln is located in the southeastern part of Berlin and was occupied by the American military after the Second World War. Due to the high rate of crime, this district has a bad reputation. Although the situation has improved over the last years, Neukölln is still seen as one of Berlins’ most dangerous districts with a high unemployment rate and many social issues. However, over the years many international artists and musicians moved to Neukölln revitalizing the district. Former storefronts became pubs, cafes and galleries. A new monthly flea market called “Nowkoeln Flohmarkt” opened up in May this year to further attract people. Neukölln consists of a multicultural community, but nowdays more and more students move there. Low rent, good shopping alternatives as well as the excellent transportation system will further support the transformation of this district over the next years.

Tip: Visit the Volkspark-Hasenheide with its Open-air theatre in the summer or the Karl-Marx-Straße, Neuköllns best known shopping street.

Today s’ Pankow is a combination of the historical districts of Prenzlauer Berg, Pankow and Weißensee. The residents are mostly young families and students. The reason so many young people choose to live there is the proximity of idyllic public parks, lakes and swimming places, as well as a vital community centre and prospering industries. Considering sights, you have to mention the Max-Schmelling-Halle and Velodrom which hosts international Rock & Pop concerts as well as sports events. However, the most sought after part of this district is Prenzlauer Berg. Residents call it lovely “Prenzlberg”. After a large renovation of this area, the residents changed from mainly young people to a more upscale population. It’s still seen as one of the trendiest areas in Berlin. The nightlife of Prenzlauer Berg takes place between Zionskirche, Prenzlauer Allee and Kollwitzplatz.  You can visit trendy bars and clubs. The good public transportation system and the centralization of shopping malls create an area of activity 24 hours a day.
Pankow (or Prenzl’berg) has nice cozy residential areas,  bars, cafes and restaurants. Students see it as a safe and cool place to live.

Tip: Visit the farmers’ market at the Kollwitzplatz for breakfast and live music on Saturdays for the chance to meet German celebrities.

Treptow-Köpenick is known for its old towns, the castle (Köpenicker Schloss) and the many of different lakes, woods and parks. It is the largest district in terms of area with the lowest population density in Berlin. With the proximity to Berlin’s city center it is really attractive to young Berliners. Also, more and more bars and clubs can be found in this district. Therefore it offers a well-balanced mix of entertainment and recreation. The habitants of Treptow-Köpenick are not only families, but also artists and young business people.

Tip: The Kranhauscafé offers a panoramic view over the Spree in a cozy atmosphere.

Marzahn-Hellersdorf is a district of former East Berlin. It consists of 10 boroughs. Due to social problems and  high number of apartment blocks, Marzahn has quite a bad reputation. Many people have left Marzahn  the last few years. Besides the predominant industrialized apartment blocks („Plattenbau“), Marzahn also has a few beautiful green areas as well as parks. Towards the border of the district the residential neighborhoods are more upscale. Broad restoration works and the design of new park sites make this area a more interesting to families especially because living in the suburbs offers families a chance to own a house and still be close to the city. This district is rather quiet and offers low rent.

Tip: If you ever decide to visit Marzahn-Hellerdorf, there is one place you should see: “Gärten der Welt” (Gardens of the World).

Steglitz-Zehlendorf is the district with the highest income per houshold and  very low unemployment rate. Zehlendorf is a very green and a quite civic district. This area is especially popular in the summer due to the many beaches, woods and green areas. Steglitz-Zehlendorf also has many museums (for example the Botansicher Garten) and Berlins largest university (Freie Universität). Compared to Steglitz, much of Zehlendorf consists of villa colonies.The rent is really high. Graduates mostly inhabit the neighborhood with their families, well-paid professionals and artists. Some celebrities of the german TV choose this district to call home. Good access to public transportation and low crime rate attract students to live there.

Tip: Shopaholics have to visit the „Schlosstraße“, Berlin’s second largest shopping area, right behind the famous Ku’damm.

The district Spandau is located in the western end of Berlin and is one of the oldest areas. The residents see this district as separate from Berlin and as their own city. The beautiful historic city centre, the multitude of old landmarks and the architectural monuments from several centuries ago helped Spandau to retain its original unique character. Spandau also offers good shopping opportunities. Due to the remoteness of Spandau and the hustle and bustle of the inner districts, mostly young families live there. You will also meet a lot of foreign people. The rents fluctuate according to the locations. Students like the quite, peaceful and beautiful surrounding as well as the friendly neighborhood.

Tip: The “Zitadellen Schänke” is a restaurant with a medieval flair and meals with several courses.

Tempelhof-Schöneberg is primarily known for its airport. In 2008 the Tempelhof Airport had to give way for a new mega airport (Berlin Brandenburg International Airport) that will probably open sometime in 2011. The area of the former airport was transformed into a 300-hectare big park which offers fun activities and walking trails. In this district you will find a lot of the typical apartment blocks and industrial facilities. Middle-aged singles and young families choose to live in this district due to the relative low rent, the many of green areas, bars and restaurants. Furthermore, residents enjoy the markets and the relaxed lifestyle. However, if you are looking for nightlife Tempelhof-Schöneberg is the wrong choice.
This district attracts students due to the proximity to the city centre. They also like the artistic style, the little shops, boutiques and the nice cafes.

Tip: Climb the “Alter Gasometer” to enjoy a panoramic view over Berlin

Reinickendorf was part of the French sector during the time of the German occupation. The district features the most important international airports the Berlin-Tegel and the „Märkische Viertel“. Vast woods, classic apartment blocks and villas dominate the landscape. Reinickendorf is very popular with families due to the wide variety of family houses and the quiet atmosphere. Unfortunately the areas around the ”märkisches Viertel” and “Gesundbrunnen”have a high crime rate.

Tip: Walk along the “Greenwich Promenade” and enjoy the relaxing lakeside strolls or visit the “Markthalle Tegel” to experience Reinickendorfs indoor food market.

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is centrally located and is well connected by an excellent transportation system. It’s one of the best districts in Berlin. The demand for housing exceeds the supply. This district is peaceful, safe and central. Nature can be found right next to urban facilities. Due to the upscale living areas with villas and upscale family houses, the neighborhood mostly consists of graduates, artists and senior citizens. Therefore, rent tends to be high. This district offers a lot of possibilities. You can for example walk the trails of West Berlin or visit the exhibition hall (ICC). If you prefer shopping, the Kurfürstendamm will be the right place to go. On sunny days you can stop by at the “Tierpark”, to have a cold beer in one of the “Biergärten”. Furthermore Savignyplatz and Bleibtreustraße, with all its little boutiques and variety of restaurants, offer tourists and residents another way to spend the day.

Tip: If you love Chinese food, you can’t miss the “Lon-Men’s Noodle Haus,” which has the best soup in town.

view sources for this page

Der Cityguide für Neu-Berliner neustädter Berlin (www.neustaedter.de)