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Kreuzberg: Artsy, Trendy and Quirky

Kreuzberg: Everything You Need to Know

Probably the coolest neighborhood in all of Germany, Kreuzberg is iconic. Trendy, bohemian and quirky, the district is Berlin’s number one hipster zone, packed with top-knotted Instagram influencers, endless street art, and lots of avocado on toast.

 

But beyond all those clichés, there’s so much more to the district. Brimming with excitement, an alluring energy, and loads of stuff to do, we absolutely love it.

 

And we want you to love it too. So in this article, we’ve brought you everything you need to know about Kreuzberg.

A Speedy Introduction to Kreuzberg

Berlin is made up of 12 distinct districts, which form a gigantic sprawl from the city’s center to its suburban outskirts. Of these 12, four make up the central area. They are: 

 

  • Mitte
  • Neukölln
  • Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf
  • … and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

 

The eastern part of the last one, which sits right in the heart of central Berlin, is Kreuzberg.

 

Quite where Kreuzberg begins and its neighboring areas end isn’t exactly clear. But what is clear is this: Kreuzberg is one of the most exciting city-center districts on the planet. Edgy and unusual, the graffiti-covered streets are home to an eclectic mix of bohemians, creatives and countless cultures.

 

And because of its multicultural makeup, Kreuzberg can be a great destination (and home!) for endless types of people. From families to couples to solo explorers, everyone falls in love with Kreuzberg. And if you visit, you’ll probably join them!

 

The district offers cheap eats, friendly faces, late nights, and loads of things to do and enjoy. Here are some of our favorites…

Kreuzberg

1. Things to Do in Montmartre

 

Explore the Jewish Museum: Probably the most famous museum in Kreuzberg, the Jewish Museum is the biggest of its type in Europe. It explores the history of Jews in Germany, from the Middle Ages right up to the present day.

Visit the Topography of Terror: Once the Gestapo headquarters, this museum is now a harrowing and horrifying insight into Nazis. It covers their work, their war crimes, and the terror they inflicted on endless numbers of people.

Hang with hipsters: As we’ve mentioned, Kreuzberg is the hippest part of Berlin. Make friends with the locals, and they’ll introduce you to all the best cafes, eateries, hangouts, bars, clubs, and places to spend your time.

Wander along the Landwehr canal: This canal cuts right through Kreuzberg, splitting the district in half. Because it’s at the core of Kreuzberg, it’s also at its heart—so you’ll always find people partying, creating, socializing and exploring here.

Party party party: Berlin has one of the most famous nightlife scenes on the planet. Lots of it is lurking in Kreuzberg, with grimy underground bars, late-night clubs, world-beating techno and loads more. You haven’t partied until you’ve partied here.

Checkpoint Charlie: I’m not gonna pretend this is hugely exciting. But because it’s so iconic, you have to see it. Once the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point, it’s now just a tacky attraction. 

Explore the rest of Berlin: Kreuzberg is so fun, edgy and interesting that you’ll probably want to spend all of your time there. But don’t forget to explore all of Berlin’s other districts too. Three top picks are Mitte, Neukölln and Prenzlauer Berg.

Loiter around some parks: Two of the best parks in Kreuzberg are Victoriapark and Görlitzer Park. Bordering Kreuzberg to the south is Tempelhofer Feld, an absolutely massive hangout that was once an airfield.

But that’s not all! There’s much more to do in Kreuzberg, which we’ve covered in depth. Still to come, we’ve considered art, music, food, and what it’s like to live in Kreuzberg. Here we go!

2. The Art Scene in Kreuzberg

Because Kreuzberg is so trendy, hip and happening, there’s (unsurprisingly!) a massive art scene in the area. The district is packed with street art, galleries, and loads of weird events and attractions. 

 

Some of Kreuzberg’s best galleries include:

 

  • Berlinische Galerie: This famous place is packed with modern art ranging from the 1800s to today. Here, you’ll find Dadaism, bizarre avant-garde stuff and loads more wacky and weird creations. Lots of people reckon this is the best art gallery in Berlin.
  • East Side Gallery: One of the biggest open-air art galleries in the world, this attraction features 1.3km of outside (and outsider!) art. It’s actually part of the old Berlin Wall, but it’s now covered in art, graffiti, scribbles, and lots of iconic images.
  • The Feuerle Collection: Set inside the dingy confines of a converted WW2 bunker, this gallery is atmospheric and eerie. It celebrates Asian art, with more than 6,000 square meters of contemporary classics and oddities.

 

Because of the district’s punkish subculture, there’s also lots of street art throughout Kreuzberg, with murals and graffiti looming on every corner. The most famous of them all is the Astronaut, a huge 22×14-meter legend. But if you have a wander, you’ll find plenty more, including political work, edgy art, sub-par garbage, and everything in between. If you like street art, you’ll love Kreuzberg.

 

If you want to explore the area’s street art in depth, book a street art tour, in which locals show you all the hidden gems and tucked-away frescos. And if you really want to see all the best street art, it’s best to hang around for a few months, but more on that later!

 

If you’re also looking for museums in Kreuzberg, these are three of the district’s best:

 

  • Ramones Museum: This museum celebrates the music, story and history of American punk rock band The Ramones. It houses more than 1,000 exhibits, and sometimes even plays host to live gigs. Gigs in a museum—that’s Kreuzberg! 
  • Museum der Dinge: The ‘Museum of Things’ is good because it’s weird. Consisting of a collection of everyday objects, Museum der Dinge houses toys, watering cans, chairs, telephones, souvenirs, and Kinder Egg figurines. No, I’m not sure why either.
  • Science Center Spectrum: This family-friendly museum is massively interactive and immersive, with excellent experiments and hugely fun exhibits. If you have kids (or if you behave like one), you’ll love this place.

 

Outside of Kreuzberg, there are also loads more museums and galleries dotted throughout other parts of Berlin. Some of the best include Contemporary Fine Arts, König Galerie, and Sammlung Boros. But in an artistic city this big, there are plenty more to choose from.

3. The Music Scene in Kreuzberg

Take one look at Kreuzberg, and it’s pretty obvious there’s gonna be a big music scene here. You get clubs, live music venues, incredible techo, and loads of quirky little hangouts. There’s even a song about the place (Kreuzberg, by Bloc Party, in case you’re wondering). 

Anyway, some of the best live music venues in Kreuzberg include:

  • Wild at Heart: Named after the David Lynch movie (We told you Kreuzberg was trendy), Wild at Heart offers punk, hard rock, and lots more loud stuff. It’s a legendary Berlin institution, so make sure you see a gig here.
  • Privatclub Berlin: Here, there’s a capacity of around 200 people, who cram themselves into the diminutive space to hear the tunes and tones of local up-and-comers. The output is massively diverse, and the DJ sets are excellent.
  • Madame Claude: Built to resemble an upside-down apartment, Madame Claude was once a brothel, but it now hosts lots of great DJs. With welcoming sofas, cheap drinks and bizarre decor, this is as Kreuzberg as a venue gets.

You’ll also find endless impromptu performances in some of Kreuzberg’s smaller bars and hangouts, usually from dreadlocked hippies who seemingly can’t go anywhere without carrying their guitars. Similarly, there are always lots of buskers in the neighborhood.

But what Kreuzberg is really famous for (and we know you know this already) is its buzzing, jam-packed, techno-blaring clubs. Dingy, dark, and open way later and longer than most other venues on the planet, some people reckon Kreuzberg’s clubs offer the best nightlife in Europe. 

And it’s hard to argue. We could probably list 10,000 excellent Kreuzberg clubs here, but here are a small few highlights:

  • Club der Visionäre: Sitting right on the canal, Club der Visionäre specializes in minimal techno. One of the smaller clubs in the area, it feels more like a grimy riverside house party than a club.
  • Tresor: Some people think this is the best techno club in Berlin. Set in the gigantic gloomy sprawl of an abandoned power plant, this is every Berlin club cliché rolled into one humongous venue. If you only go to one Kreuzberg club, make it Tresor.
  • Watergate: Perched right on the river, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, you might be tricked into thinking this place is classy. But it’s just like Berlin’s other big clubs—fun, edgy, and packed with techno. The door staff can be pretty selective though. 

The legendary Berghain (if you can get in) isn’t quite in Kreuzberg itself. But it’s pretty close, lurking ominously in Friedrichshain, only a short walk over the river.

Kreuzberg 2

4. The Food Scene in Kreuzberg

Germany’s food scene is criminally underrated. We know you think everyone in Germany just eats bread and sausages, but that’s not true. Not always, anyway.

Kreuzberg has lots of delicious, diverse eats and treats.

The neighborhood has some of the best Turkish food you’ve probably ever eaten (well, unless you’ve been to Turkey). Because lots of Turkish immigrants have been flocking to Germany since WW2 (and probably before then), there’s plenty of authentic and affordable stuff. In Berlin, there are around 200,000 people of Turkish origin—and a huge number of them live in Kreuzberg, which is sometimes lovingly referred to as ‘little Istanbul’. 

The best places to get great Turkish food in Kreuzberg include Tadim (excellent street-food style kebabs and ‘Turkish pizzas’), Mercan (ridiculously affordable sit-down meals) and Imren (for some of the best meat you’ve probably ever eaten).

But for the best and widest range of Turkish eats, wander over to the Turkish market. Every Tuesday and Friday, you can get street food, fresh juices, cheese, pastries, fruit, coffee, and plenty more.

If you like food markets, also check out Markthalle Neun, a food hall offering a massive variety of diverse food and drink, including craft beer, fish, BBQ, cakes, tacos, African food, British pies and much more. For street food, Thursday evening is the best time.

Our final cheap eats recommendation in Kreuzberg is… of course… currywurst. It’s a must-eat while you’re in the area, but don’t get too excited—it is just a sausage with ketchup and curry powder, no matter how legendary it might be. For the best currywurst (and sausages of all other descriptions), head to famous food van Curry 36.

Aside from all of the above, some of the best restaurants in Kreuzberg are:

  • Henne: Weirdly, this place basically just serves chicken. But, like, probably the best chicken you’ve ever eaten. With over 100 years of practice, they’ve perfected their food.
  • Umami: An Asian institution, this place mainly serves up Vietnamese food. It tastes amazing, the restaurant looks good, and it’s massively popular with locals.
  • Richard: If you like fancy food, head here. Michelin-starred (and strangely-named) Richard offers modern French food in a beautiful building.
  • Max und Moritz: The best spot in Kreuzberg for traditional German food. This inn has been open for more than 100 years, and it serves up hearty, wholesome staples.

Some of the best cafes in Kreuzberg include:

  • Five Elephant: Famous for their excellent cheesecake, these guys also offer great coffee and a homely, welcoming atmosphere. This is a real local favorite.
  • Nest: Perfect for coffee, brunch and cheap eats, this place looks like someone merged a cafe and a canteen. Typically Kreuzberg, it’s simultaneously modern and retro.
  • Chapter One Coffee: Some say this is the best coffee in Kreuzberg. The pastries are great, the baristas are knowledgeable, the welcomes are warm, and the coffee is great.

As you’ve probably worked out by now, there are loads of great places to eat and drink in Kreuzberg. You could spend weeks in the neighborhood without eating the same thing twice. And that’s why the best way to explore all the restaurants, cafes, eateries and markets is by living in Kreuzberg for a little while. Which brings us to…

5.Living in Kreuzberg

If you want to live in Berlin, Kreuzberg is one of the best choices for your brand-new neighborhood. It’s central, welcoming, friendly, exciting, and relatively affordable.

 

But coming up, much more detail. We’ve included information on rental costs, how to find an apartment, and reasons you might want to live in the district.

What is it like living in Kreuzberg?

It’s brilliant, and it’s the best way to explore, enjoy and appreciate the area. Kreuzberg isn’t really famous for attractions and must-hit tourist spots. It’s much more famous because of its atmosphere and energy.

 

And to really appreciate that atmosphere and energy, you need to spend lots of time in the area. Here’s what’s so great about living in Kreuzberg:

 

  • It’s diverse: No matter who you are, what you like and where you’re from, you’ll fit in here. And even better, there are lots of digital nomads and remote workers in Berlin (and especially Kreuzberg!). So if that’s what you are, you’ve found your crowd.
  • It’s affordable: Compared to several other parts of Berlin, Kreuzberg is relatively affordable, in terms of food, rent, nightlife, and everything else.
  • It’s easy to get around: Kreuzberg is really well-connected to all other parts of Berlin, by both public transport and bicycle. 
  • You can explore the rest of Berlin: Speaking of getting around, you’ll need a long time to explore all of Berlin, and all of its other districts. One of the biggest cities in Europe, it’s ridiculously diverse, and there’s plenty to explore.
  • You’ll really get to understand Berlin: If you visit the city on a speedy few-day tour, you’ll never really understand the city. But if you stay for a while, you absolutely will.
  • Lots of cafes: If you’re a digital nomad, here’s some good news for you: Kreuzberg has lots of excellent cafes to work from. Much better than just working from home all day! There are also plenty of excellent co-working spaces in Kreuzberg (and all of Berlin).

 

Beyond all that, Kreuzberg is also surprisingly family-friendly. In the southern and western parts of the neighborhood, there are some affluent areas with lots of families. Here, you’ll find green spaces, and slightly more glamorous, modern, family-friendly hangouts. So even if you don’t use a skateboard as your primary method of transport, you can still enjoy the place.

 

Kreuzberg is actually a pretty great place to raise kids (compared to lots of Europe’s other city-center neighborhoods). It’s affordable, there’s lots of stuff for kids to do, and it’s multicultural. And there are some great international schools in Berlin!

kreuzberg 3

What is the average rent in Kreuzberg?

According to Numbeo, here’s what you can 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€

 

But Kreuzberg’s prices can sometimes be a little cheaper than the figures above (especially compared to some of Berlin’s other central areas!). So if you shop around and find a good deal, it’s definitely possible to find relatively cheaper rental prices.

 

But, of course, no matter where in the world you’re moving to, if you’re looking for somewhere short-term, prices will probably be a little higher than usual.

How do I find an apartment in Kreuzberg?

People think it’s hard to find apartments in Berlin. And it can be, especially in sought-after central districts like Kreuzberg. Often, hundreds of people apply for one spot in one home, and landlords can (sadly) drive up prices in order to make bigger profits. In the process, potential house hunters wind up paying hugely-inflated rental costs that are unfair and unreflective of the place they’ve paid for.

If you want to avoid that exploitative mess, you can move outside of Kreuzberg, to a suburban area on the outskirts of Berlin. But, since you’re reading this guide, that’s probably not what you want to do. Another option is to seek out unfurnished flats, but that’s not an ideal solution if you’re only going to need a short term rental in Berlin

Lots of people start their flat-seeking hunts on Facebook, where you can find groups dedicated to letting and subletting in Berlin. If you’re looking for a shared place, where you’ll have flatmates, consider looking at WG Gesucht. All of these sites, including Facebook, are very competitive. A small few people use Craigslist, but it’s not particularly popular in Germany.

In short, it can be pretty hard to find an apartment in Kreuzberg (and in lots of other parts of central Berlin). So if you’re only planning on being in Kreuzberg for a few months or even less, it’s usually easier to get a fully equipped apartment.

It’s a way easier option than what we’ve outlined above: you simply find a place you like, pay the money, and move in. No stress, no fuss, no uncertainty, and no competitiveness. 

If you’re trying to find an apartment in Kreuzberg with everything included, or a serviced flat in Kreuzberg, we have a selection of great places on our site. Our apartments are all fully furnished, beautiful, welcoming, and ready to move into right now. There’s no booking fee, there’s no organization required, and it’s all quick, simple and fuss-free. 

If you want an easy escape to Kreuzberg (or anywhere else in Berlin!), and you don’t want to spend endless hours trying to find a place to stay, Homelike is here to help. With us, you get trusted landlords, no fuss, and no complications. Just beautiful, accessible, welcoming places to live. And best of all, there’s always one available!

If you want to know more, click here.

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