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Berlin Quick Guide: Our Favorite Neighborhoods in Berlin

Berlin Quick Guide: Our Favorite Neighborhoods in Berlin

Last Updated on May 19, 2023

This comprehensive guide includes our personal favorites in Berlin. These are our top choices to soak up the culture and feel of the German capital. In this part of our guide we look deeply at the best Berlin neighborhoods travelers would want to visit. The list is by no means final.   

Have a look at our other Berlin Quick Guides:

The best Berlin neighborhoods to visit

Berlin is one of our favorite cities, and we visit Berlin again and again, and continually to add to the list. We’re not locals (yet), but we’ve spent enough many weeks and months in Berlin exploring new neighborhoods every time we visit this sprawling, booming city. In this guide, we share which Berlin neighborhoods you should explore, and what not to miss in each one: 

Kreuzberg Neighborhood

For the two of us, Kreuzberg is the Berlin neighborhood that has the best of everything: an eclectic mix of cultures, more ethnic restaurants than we could ever eat at, gorgeous Wilhelminian-style buildings, green spaces, and an interesting blend of young punks and Turkish immigrants, the latter have made up a large part of Kreuzberg’s population for decades. Oranienstrasse and Bergmannstrasse are both lined with bars, cafes and restaurants, or you can sit by the Landwehr Canal and buy some drinks and snacks from the entrepreneurial Turkish folks who pass by with shopping trolleys filled with cold beer or sandwiches.

Berlin neighborhoodsThis self-guided walking tour of East Kreuzberg is actually pretty good and gives you a good feel for the neighborhood. If you go to Kreuzberg, you might want to go on Tuesday or Friday, when the Turkish Market in Maybachufer takes place. Open from 12pm-6pm, this market is full of fruit and vegetable stalls, Turkish snacks, gluten-free deserts, frozen yogurt, coffee stalls, clothes and anything you might or might not need – all at absolute bargain prices.

Not to be missed in Kreuzberg

  • Try Turkish food along Kottbusser Damm and around Kottbusser Tor. Hasir is apparently the place where the Doner Kebab was invented and where Anthony Bourdain ate while in town, and right across the streets you can have Lebanese food at Maroush. My personal favorite there is the Makkali (grilled vegetables with chickpea puree wrapped in pita bread).
  • Have drinks on Admiralsbrücke on a warm summer night, when the bridge it is packed with young people from all around the world.
  • Climb the actual Kreuzberg, the hill that gave the neighborhood its name. Located in Victoria Park (Großbeerenstraße and Kreuzbergstraße), there is an artificial waterfall and a national monument commemorating the battles of the War of Liberation on top of the hill. This is a great spot to watch the sunset.
  • Pick up fresh snacks from Maybachufer Turkish Market and eat them at the Landwehr Canal on a sunny Friday afternoon when the whole world seems to already be celebrating the weekend.

Berlin Kreuzberg and Maybachufer Market

Berlin Mitte Neighborhood

Berlin Mitte is the actual center of Berlin and where most of the city’s best-known sights are located. You can start with a stroll along Unter den Linden, Berlin’s biggest boulevard, all the way from Museum Island (see below) to the Victory Column in Tiergarten, passing through the Brandenburg Gate. Stop at the Reichstag, the Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe, Bellevue Palace, Gendarmenmarkt and Hackesche Höfe, venture down Friedrichsstrasse to Checkpoint Charlie or from Hackescher Markt to Alexanderplatz and the TV Tower. Potsdamer Platz, in walking distance from Brandenburg Gate, is known for its striking modern architecture and is home to several restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas and shopping malls.

Berlin neighborhoods

Not to be missed in Mitte

  • Gendarmenmarkt (often named Berlin’s most beautiful square with a Friedrich Schiller statue in its center and home to the French and German Cathedrals)
  • Lustgarten, a little park right by the Berlin Cathedral.
  • Nikolaiviertel, the reconstructed historic quarter of Berlin, with cobbled stones and historic buildings, including Nikolai Church, the city’s oldest church.
  • Monjiboupark, a small park by the Spree River, opposite Museum Island.
  • Tiergarten Park, Berlin‘s biggest park (see Parks, lakes and outdoor Berlin).
  • Hackescher Markt, a small square filled with cafes and restaurants, good for people watching.
  • Haus Schwarzenberg, a back alley off Rosenthaler Straße 39 filled with street art.
  • Potsdamer Platz, one of Berlin’s greatest examples of contemporary architecture, lots of shopping, cinemas and restaurants.
  • Rosenthaler Platz, busy square with many bars and cafes.

Berlin Mitte Germany

Prenzlauer Berg Neighborhood

Prenzlauer Berg, or Prenzlberg for short, is probably the most bohemian Berlin neighborhood, filled with little boutiques, sidewalk cafes and restaurants, and squares where young moms push their strollers to meet for morning chats. The starving artists and alternative thinkers that once populated the neighborhood have grown up, and Prenzlberg has grown up with it, becoming a chic neighborhood with high rent, young professionals, twice-weekly farmers markets, organic ice cream shops and independent boutiques. After undergoing a significant amount of renovation in the last decade, Prenzlberg is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city, with tree-lined streets and outdoor cafes perfect for people watching.

Prenzlauer Berg Berlin

Not to be missed in Prenzlauer Berg

  • The Mauerpark, ideally on a Sunday when the flea market and Mauerpark karaoke take place.
  • Wasserturmplatz, the water tower and surrounding park are a great place to relax.
  • Oderbergstraße has some great cafes and restaurants
  • The farmer’s market around Kollwitzplatz every Thursday and Saturday.
  • Kulturbrauerei, a former brewery that now houses bars, restaurants, clubs, galleries and a cinema.
  • Jewish Cemetery on Schönhauser Allee 22-23.
  • Kastanienallee, a long street filled with restaurants and shops.

Prenzlauer Berg

Friedrichshain Neighborhood

Friedrichshain is technically part of Kreuzberg, but it’s a big enough neighborhood that it deserves a mention in its own right. While Kreuzberg is south of the Spree, the Friedrichshain part of the borough is located north of the river and borders with Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg in the west. Friedrichshain is one of Berlin’s most lively areas, with a buzzing nightlife scene, lots of cafes and restaurants, street art and some great riverside bars.

Berlin Friedrichshain

Not to be missed in Friedrichshain

  • The Sunday Flea Market on Boxhagener Platz
  • The East Side Gallery (also see An overview of the German capital)
  • Badeschiff, a swimming pool on the River Spree (in the summer)
  • RAW Tempel for street art and clubbing on Revaler Straße 99.
  • Berlin’s infamous Berghain techno club, for a great sample of the city’s nightlife
  • Simon-Dach-Straße has many popular bars.
  • Volkspark Friedrichhain and the magnificent Fairytale Fountain.
  • Oberbaumbrücke, a double-deck bridge with two towers over the River Spree.
  • The Osthafen (East Port) area and the ‘Molecule Man’ sculpture in the Spree River, best seen from Oberbaumbrücke.


Neukölln Neighborhood

Neukölln, a socially problematic Berlin neighborhood only a few years ago, is now an up-and-coming alternative to Kreuzberg. A similar melting pot of cultures, the neighborhood has seen a huge upswing over the last few years, with art galleries, creative businesses, cafes and bars popping up everywhere. The most interesting area is the Reuter Quarter, the area around Reuterstraße where most of the new businesses and boutiques set up and attract hipsters and artists alike. The historical center of Neukölln is Rixdorf (between Karl-Marx-Straße and Sonnenallee) with Richardplatz being its heart, a surprisingly bohemian part of Neukölln which still has many buildings from the mid-19th century. Old churches, small shops and courtyard off winding roads give this part of the neighborhood a village feel.

Not to be missed in Neukölln

  • Tempelhofer Freiheit, the former airport which is now a giant recreational space – see the parks section for more.
  • Comenius-Garden, a public garden in Rixdorf at Richardstraße 35.
  • Let Them Eat Cake, an awesome art space meets vintage clothes store, Weserstraße 164.
  • Körnerpark, a beautiful park with a cafe and gallery at Schierker Straße 8.
  • Klunkerkranich Rooftop Bar, ideally at sunset, see also in Our favorite restaurants, cafes and bars.
  • Volkspark Hasenheide, a big park off of Hasenheide.

Berlin neighborhoods

Have Berlin neighborhoods to add?

As you can see, we have only started to explore Berlin’s best neighborhoods and will update this guide every time we return to Berlin – if you have any suggestions for neighborhoods we should check out or things you think people shouldn’t miss in the neighborhoods above, please share them in the comments below!


Sunday 16th of August 2015

My boyfriend and I are traveling to Berlin in September. This was an amazing help to start planning!! thanks so much!


Monday 17th of August 2015

Thanks so much, Jenn :) I will JUST miss you :D


Thursday 12th of December 2013

Great article, very well done. I totally agree with your selection by the way. My most favourite would be Friedrichshain if I had to decide...

I guess you would love the abandoned eisfabrik by the way!


Thursday 19th of December 2013

Job - A quick Google search revealed that the abandoned Eisfabrik would be right up our alley, indeed! I read about these photo tours you can take in Berlin where you get to explore abandoned buildings & factories with your camera - I'd love to go on one of these one day!


Wednesday 11th of December 2013

We stayed in Wedding and really liked it, especially some of the food options (great pierogies and falafel!)


Thursday 19th of December 2013

Julia- this puts Wedding right on the list of the neighborhoods to explore next time we're in Berlin :) I actually haven't had pierogies in Berlin yet, so if you remember the name of the place, let us know!


Tuesday 10th of December 2013

Great guide and lovely recommendations, seriously. Although my family lives in Berlin and I have been there many times I can see I have not discovered this city yet! There are still plenty of things to do there. I must climb the actual Kreuzberg with my mom one day!!


Thursday 19th of December 2013

Thanks, Agness! That's what we love about the city - there's always something new to explore... so much to do, so much to see! :) Climbing the Kreuzberg for sunset is great - bring a bottle of wine :D


Tuesday 10th of December 2013

Man, I could have used this guide when I was in Berlin last summer! I stayed in Kreuzberg and absolutely adored it. Since I was insanely sick at the time, I'll definitely be returning so that I can actually explore it properly.


Thursday 19th of December 2013

Megan - great to hear that! :) Make sure to let us know when you're in town again - we might be there, too ;-)