Everything You Need to Know about Berlin Friedrichshain
Located in former East Berlin, Friedrichshain is like someone took all the gritty Berlin clichés, stuffed them into one package, and dropped them slightly southeast of the city’s central district.
Here, you get non-stop nightlife, GDR relics, independent venues, a diverse crowd, huge nightclubs, and ubiquitous herds of hipsters.
But there’s way more to Friedrichshain than just its edgy atmosphere.
Some pockets are very laid-back, it’s surprisingly family-friendly, and you get a massively diverse number of excellent restaurants and cafes. And because its southern stretch is bordered by the River Spree, the district has some great languid hangout spots.
Because of all those reasons and more, Friedrichshain is one of Berlin’s best districts. So in this guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know about it!
Up first, here are the best things to do in Friedrichshain…
1. Things to Do in Friedrichshain
- Party: Friedrichshain is known as the biggest party hub in Berlin. We’ll cover this in more detail soon, but if you’re not partying in Friedrichshain, you’re not really experiencing Friedrichshain.
- Visit the East Side Gallery: One of Berlin’s most famous tourist attractions, the East Side Gallery is sandwiched between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. Once a section of the Berlin Wall, it’s now the longest open-air art gallery in the world.
- Hang around the Spree: Like all the world’s trendiest cities, Berlin makes good use of the river running through it. In the southern part of Friedrichshain, there are lots of great hangouts along the Spree’s bustling banks.
- Explore the Volkspark: One of the best green spaces in central Berlin, the Volkspark is lovely. With a pool, playgrounds, fountains, two small mountains and plenty more, it’s one of the city’s most popular parks.
- Take a stroll along Karl-Marx-Allee: One of East Germany’s most famous streets, this place is named after socialism’s biggest boy. Measuring more than 2.3km, the lengthy road is the best place to spot traces of the era’s architecture.
- Fall in love with the Holzmarkt: A so-called ‘urban village’ right on the banks of the Spree, this eclectic labyrinth is home to art, cafes, bars, markets, flowers, events, graffiti, and loads of funky buildings.
- Explore other areas: Friedrichshain is well-located for exploring other parts of Berlin. Neighboring Kreuzberg is a hipster haven, while Mitte is the city’s central zone. You’re also close to Neukölln, and some huge green spaces to the east.
So that’s Friedrichshain’s main attractions covered. But there’s plenty more on offer! Coming up, we’ve brought you information on the art, music and food scenes in Friedrichshain, along with some juicy details on what it’s like to live there.
2. The Art Scene in Friedrichshain
We’ve already mentioned the East Side Gallery and the Holzmarkt, two of the artiest areas in the neighborhood. But Friedrichshain has lots more excellent art venues.
One of the most popular is Urban Spree. It specializes in artists’ residencies, and showcasing the work of up-and-coming locals. It also hosts events, live music, workshops and unusual exhibitions, so it’s not just a normal gallery.
Also offering contemporary art from fresh faces is the Galerie Kuchling. The gallery itself is more traditional than the Urban Spree, but the stuff inside isn’t. It’s located on Karl-Marx-Allee.
If you prefer museums, some of Friedrichshain’s best are:
- The Wall Museum: One of the most famous, must-visit museums in Berlin. This multimedia exhibition right beside the East Side Gallery is all about the history of the Berlin Wall, and its people and places.
- Computerspiele Museum: If you like unusual attractions, you’ll love this. A videogame museum tracing the history of the genre from old-school classics to VR futurescapes, it’s interactive, exciting, immersive, and brimming with unbounded nostalgia.
- Hatch Sticker Museum: Another weird attraction, the Hatch Sticker Museum is based inside the tiny dimensions of an apartment. In it, you’ll find walls covered with huge numbers of stickers, stamps, tags and more. How very Berlin.
Very close to Friedrichshain are the DDR Museum and the People Museum. The former is centered around life in pre-unity Germany, while the latter is the first permanent home of the world-famous BODY WORLDS exhibition. Both are two of Berlin’s most popular museums.
3. The Music Scene in Friedrichshain
The music scene throughout Berlin is incredible.
But (depending on who you ask) Friedrichshain’s edgy offerings top what you’ll find in any other district in the city. You get great nightclubs, excellent live music, sets from world-famous DJs, and some of Berlin’s most no-holds-barred fun.
Some of Friedrichshain’s most popular clubs include:
- Berghain: Yep, the one you’ve all heard of. Everyone wants to get into Berghain, but nobody can. You should try anyway—and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to experience the most iconic, impressive nightclub in Germany.
- Kater Blau: Right on the banks of the Spree, and inside the Holzmarkt we’ve already mentioned, the late-night techno parties here are some of the best in Berlin.
- ://about blank: No, that’s not a typo—it’s unironically the name of one of Friedrichshain’s clubs. Gritty and grungy, this multi-room club once hosted illegal parties. These days, they’re legal, but the atmosphere doesn’t feel much different.
Another good party spot is RAW-Gelände, a maze-like collection of derelict buildings that now hold raves, events, and live music. YAAM Beach Bar (the ‘YAAM’ is short for ‘Young African Art Market’) is another, with an eclectic crowd of international attendees.
If you prefer live music, one of your best options is Artliners, which offers laid-back servings of bluegrass, rock, blues and country. Nearby is Supamolly, a punk venue with more live music and a very edgy atmosphere.
Friedrichshain is also home to lots of excellent chill-out bars, where you can drink and socialize without needing to party hard. Some of the most popular are:
- Hops and Barley: As you probably guessed, these guys brew their own stuff. They make excellent beers, but they also churn out scrumptious ciders.
- Booze Bar: No-frills and unpretentious, Booze Bar does what Booze Bar is. Here, you slurp on cheap drinks while you sit on stools beside the bar.
- Kaia Bar: Classy, classic cocktails served with a casual vibe and electronic music. Great for negronis and espresso martinis.
Aside from all those places, the Holzmarkt is also a great place to hang out and drink.
4. The Food Scene in Friedrichshain
Most people think German food is bad. But those people don’t know what they’re talking about.
Berlin’s food in particular is brilliant, and Friedrichshain is one of the city’s best districts for chomping and chewing. It offers lots of traditional fayre along with a hugely diverse range of international meals and morsels. Some of the best eateries in Friedrichshain include:
- Khwan: A massively popular choice for its authentic, traditional Thai food, Khwan is a Berlin institution. Its tasty treats are the closest you’ll get to Thai street food in Germany.
- Kurhaus Korsakow: Come here for some of the best German food in Berlin. Here, you get regional ingredients and local specialities without having to eat in an overpriced tourist trap.
- Trattoria Portofino: Another no-frills eatery, Trattoria Portofino serves up hearty portions of Italian classics. Great value, fresh ingredients and lovely food and wine, it’s one of the most popular restaurants in all of Berlin.
If you’re looking for cafes in Friedrichshain, check out:
- Shakespeare and Sons: Offering bagels, coffee and cakes inside an English-language bookstore, Shakespeare and Sons is a hugely popular expat hangout.
- K. Lieblings: If you like very nice coffee, this is one of the best spots in Berlin. The coffee tastes great, the baristas know their stuff, and it has a really relaxed vibe.
- Silo Coffee: One of the most famous coffee houses in Berlin, Silo Coffee is iconic. According to their own website, it’s “their goal to offer the best brunch in Berlin.” So try it out for yourself and see what you reckon.
Friedrichshain is also one of the best street food neighborhoods in Berlin. Throughout the district, there are endless stalls selling kebabs, currywurst and other tasty treats. And on top of all that, you often find pop-up markets in and around the neighborhood selling varied (and delicious) street food from around the world.
5.Living in Friedrichshain
For people planning on a short-term move to Berlin, Friedrichshain is a perfect place to live. It’s central, diverse, varied, exciting and full of other expats and digital nomads. If you want to quickly and easily make friends in Berlin, Friedrichshain is one of the best districts to do it.
Coming up, we’ve unpacked the area in more detail, including rental costs, how to find an apartment, and what it’s like to live there.
What is it like living in Friedrichshain?
It’s hugely underrated. Friedrichshain doesn’t have the same lofty reputation as Mitte, Kreuzberg and Neukölln, but it soon will.
As we’ve covered, Friedrichshain offers great food, art, people and events, and lots of things to do.
But it’s not just for party people. It’s also a great district for a whole load of other expats, digital nomads and long-term tourists. In and around the area, you also get great green spaces, lots of families, and some pretty good international schools. So you don’t need to party ‘til 6am to live here.
If you’re moving with family, consider living in the northern part of Friedrichshain, as it’s the quieter, more family-friendly part of the neighborhood. And compared to most city-center districts in Berlin, this area is also surprisingly clean.
Because Friedrichshain is one of the hippest districts in one of Europe’s hippest cities, anything goes here, and anyone can be who they want to be. So no matter who you are, where you’re from, and who you’ll be traveling or living with, Friedrichshain can be a brilliant home. You’ll always be welcome and comfortable.
Even better, compared to lots of other big cities in western Europe, Berlin is surprisingly inexpensive. But more on that next!
What Is the Average Rent in Friedrichshain?
According to the helpful stats at Numbeo, here’s what you can usually expect to pay for rent in Berlin:
- One-bedroom apartment in the city center: 947€
- One-bedroom apartment outside of the city center: 670€
- Three-bedroom apartment in the city center: 1,885€
- Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city center: 1,264€
Because Friedrichshain is in the central part of the city, you can expect to pay similar to the city-center costs outlined above. But because Friedrichshain is historically a working-class neighborhood, here’s some good news: you can sometimes find rents that are a little less expensive.
How Do I Find an Apartment in Friedrichshain?
This is the only real downside of moving to Friedrichshain.
Annoyingly, finding a place to live in Friedrichshain (or any part of Berlin) can be ridiculously hard. As you’ve probably already heard, Berlin’s rental market is notoriously saturated.
But no matter which of platform you use, you’ll probably struggle. Just like you do, everyone wants to live in Berlin. And because of that, there are more home-hunters than homes, meaning that landlords can drive up rental prices. Would-be Berliners looking for homes are therefore forced to attend endless house viewings, and negotiate inflated prices for sub-par housing.
For that reason, it’s usually better, easier and faster to get a serviced apartment or a serviced flat. If you do, you can move in quickly and easily, without any fuss or stress.
At Homelike, we offer some of the best serviced apartments and serviced flats in Berlin. So if that’s what you’re looking for, take a look at our properties! We have lots of excellent apartments in Friedrichshain (and many other parts of Berlin!), and they’re all ready to move into right away. They’re all furnished, homely and affordable, and they all offer a fuss-free move. For a speedy, simple, short-term relocation, they’re the perfect solution.
If you want to know more, click here.