Edgy in the East: Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg

The epitome of young Berlin life

One would be hard pressed to find a more distinctive and popular area in Berlin that the twin neighbourhoods of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Formed in 2001 by merging the former East Berlin borough of Friedrichshain and the former West Berlin borough of Kreuzberg, these two share an intense rivalry, belying their status as a symbol of Berlin’s unity. However, they have far more in common than separates them, and their unique flair has created a ceaseless demand for living spaces.

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Culture & Lifestyle
With such an international, youthful, dynamic mix of people, it’s no wonder that Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is where Berliners and tourists alike come to enjoy themselves. In a city well-famed for its decadent nightlife, the bars, restaurants and clubs scattered throughout this neighbourhood are amongst the world’s most famous and most celebrated.
Yet what makes the area truly fascinating are the omnipresent reminders of the city’s storied past.
On your way home from dancing until the sun comes up (and goes down again), you may pass by the graffitied remnants of the Berlin Wall, nestled next to the river, and pass over the Oberbaumbrücke, a double-decker bridge linking the two formerly-divided parts of this neighbourhood, and an important symbol of Berlin’s unity.
Nature
With all of the recreation and indulgence going on, locals need some places to relax and reconnect with nature. Luckily, they are very well-served with green spaces.
The Volkspark Friedrichshain, in the north of the neighbourhood, is the oldest public park in Berlin, and one of its largest, a hugely popular spot for locals to spend a summer’s day. The Park am Gleisdreieck in the far west of Kreuzberg was transformed from an old railway site into a finely landscaped, prize-winning city park.
And as the two neighbourhoods are bisected by the river Spree, there is an abundance of river- and canal-side areas, perfect for strolling through on a Sunday afternoon.
Economics
Despite its reputation for partying and recreation, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg also boasts some of the city’s top companies, and a thriving start-up scene fostered by numerous co-working spaces and incubators.
Coca-Cola, Zalando, BASF, and Axel Springer are just some of the companies to have offices in the area, while telecommunications and media giants Universal Music Group, MTV/Viva and Viacom are part of the Mediaspree project.
On a smaller scale, but no less vital to the business fabric of the area, coworking spaces like betahaus and Social Impact Lab support young companies and invest in new projects.

Friedrichshain's Highlights

Karl-Marx Allee

Socialist boulevard famed for its monumental architecture

Stralau Peninsula

Picnic on the banks of the river

Simon-Dach-Kiez

A fascinating variety of restaurants

RAW-Gelände

Former train yard turned subcultural arts centre

Märchenbrunnen

Fairy-tale fountain

Kreuzberg's Highlights

Viktoriapark

Remarkable views overlooking the city

Markthalle 9

The centre of Berlin’s modern food scene

HAU

Cutting edge avant-garde theatre

Myfest

Open-air street party held every 1st of May

Zentrum Kreuzberg

An emblem of West Berlin’s retro-modernist architecture

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