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Helmholtzkiez in Berlin: A hidden gem in Prenzlauer Berg

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History of the Helmholtzkiez

To look at the history of Helmholtzkiez, it is helpful to look at the historical development of the district to which it belongs. This used to be an independent district, but after the administrative reform it was combined with Pankow and Weißensee to form the district of Pankow. After reunification, it was initially considered a trendy district before becoming a popular home for many families. Most of the houses you will find in Helmholtzkiez are old buildings from the Gründerzeit. Since the district experienced little destruction during World War II, there are still many well-preserved properties from before 1948. Helmholtzkiez is now one of the most popular neighborhoods in the district. The neighborhood was declared a redevelopment area in 1993 and underwent one of the largest redevelopment projects in Europe, although for financial reasons it did not begin until five years later, in 1998. Some of the planning involved disputes between residents and those responsible. The squatter scene, which was active at the time, also played a central role here, resisting the measures with various actions. But residents and homeowners were also not convinced by the project and feared price increases. Nevertheless, progress could not be stopped: The modernization measures continued and were finally completed in full in 2015.

The Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood features many beautiful old buildings that give the area a historical charm.

Location and development of the neighborhood

Over the years, large-scale redevelopment has transformed the neighborhood into an attractive residential area with an appealing Gründerzeit ambience. The former trendy neighborhood has become a popular residential area for well-off academic families. Helmholtzkiez is also known as the LSD quarter - a nickname it owes to the streets Lychenerstrasse, Schliemannstrasse and Dunckerstrasse, which run from north to south. The central Helmholtzplatz has a green park and functions equally as a recreational area and social meeting point for residents and visitors to the neighborhood. Thanks to extensive redevelopment measures, the neighborhood is now one of the most beautiful and livable in the entire district. Anyone looking for a lively, urban flair with the right amount of creativity has found their dream home in Helmholtzkiez. In addition, there are excellent amenities, which consist of many supermarkets and organic markets as well as a gastronomic offer that is unparalleled. Helmholtzkiez also scores with its excellent care facilities, with many daycare centers, kindergartens and schools as well as several opportunities for leisure activities for families with children.

Other neighborhoods in the area

In the south of Prenzlauer Berg, you will mainly find the well-known trendy neighborhoods with many entertainment districts, cafés, bars, restaurants, stores and galleries. In the northwest, on the other hand, it becomes more family-friendly with a quiet atmosphere and many childcare facilities. The southern neighborhoods with a lively scene culture include, for example, the Bötzowviertel, the Winsviertel, the Kollwitzkiez and the Rosenthaler Vorstadt. Here you will find trendy bars, coffee shops and numerous restaurants and cafés that invite you to visit. The Bötzowviertel is also home to the Filmtheater am Friedrichshain and the site of the famous Schneider brewery. The family neighborhoods in the northwest of the district include Gleimviertel, Nordisches Viertel, and Humannplatz. The neighborhoods are characterized by a high density of daycare centers, and the renovated old buildings are flanked by lots of greenery. There are fewer classic nightlife and shopping opportunities here, but there are a large number of bike paths, ice cream parlors, and other child-friendly leisure activities. In the eastern part of the district, there are mainly housing estates, for example, the large Michelangenostrasse housing estate, the Blumenviertel with its single-family houses, and the Alter Schlachthof district, where apartments for 4,500 people have been created in the form of modern terraced houses, lofts, townhouses and urban villas.

Helmholtzkiez features numerous excellent restaurants and cafés.

Places of interest, sights, and events in Helmholtzkiez

Among the most famous sights you can visit in Helmholtzkiez are the Gethsemanekirche, the Pappelallee cemetery park, the Eliaskirche and the so-called Göhrener Ei, a listed ensemble of buildings on Göhrener Straße. It owes its name to the elongated semicircular shape in which the buildings are arranged. Art and culture lovers regularly flock to Ballhaus Ost, a production and performance venue where independent theater and art projects are presented. More than a hundred productions can be admired here each year, featuring nationally and internationally known artists as well as undiscovered talent. The nightlife in the neighborhood is also impressive, as there are various pubs, cafés and restaurants in the Helmholtzkiez that invite you to discover the neighborhood from a culinary point of view as well. A large number of fast food stores and snack bars have settled around the Kulturbrauerei. Whether Korean, Mexican, vegan, Italian or Indian - here all tastes are guaranteed to get their money's worth. On cozy summer evenings, it is also great to spend time around the central park with a cool drink in hand, watching the colorful hustle and bustle and soaking up the harmonious ambience of the neighborhood. Everyone comes together here: Families, young people, visitors to the neighborhood and old residents. In addition, flea markets are held regularly around the square. The children's flea market in particular, which is held on nine Sundays a year, regularly attracts many mothers and fathers from the entire neighborhood and beyond, who rummage and dawdle here while their children let off steam on the nearby playground or visit the children's café Spielzimmer. Also popular with young and old is the MACHmit! museum, located in the former Elias Church. Children aged three to twelve can play, learn and do handicrafts to their heart's content, and there are also changing exhibitions, workshops and puppet shows.

Living costs and rent prices in Helmholtzkiez

Anyone wishing to purchase an apartment in Helmholtzkiez should calculate higher prices for a two-bedroom apartment in the Gründerzeit quarter than in the rest of the capital. For example, these range from €400,000 to €600,000 for an apartment with an area of about 60 m². Rents are also at a comparatively high level, as in the entire district. For example, rents for an apartment with an area of 60 to 80 m² are €14 per square meter, for 80 to 100 m² the average cold rent is €10 per square meter, while for apartments with an area of between 100 and 120 m² it already rises to €20.50 for the square meter. Those who are willing to pay this will be rewarded with a living environment that combines the best features of Berlin. The quality of life in the Kiez is considered extraordinarily high, because there is so much on offer. The neighborhood is especially known for its family friendliness. Countless playgrounds, leisure activities for young and old, and a high density of daycare centers, kindergartens and schools ensure that young couples with children are happy to settle here. In addition, Helmholtzkiez offers an attractive cityscape, as the renovated old buildings with their Wilhelminian style facades are well worth seeing. Parks, recreational areas, and the many restaurants and cafés do the rest. The crime rate in the neighborhood is low - a factor that also ensures that families feel comfortable here. In general, many young people live here, and the proportion of residents between the ages of 20 and 45 is above average compared to the rest of the capital. Young couples and singles appreciate the extensive range of evening activities on offer, while families enjoy the quiet atmosphere and the appealing greenery and play areas available in the neighborhood. When you buy an apartment here, you also acquire a property that is experiencing high demand in the local market, which is not expected to decline in the near future. One- and two-bedroom apartments are particularly in demand due to the age structure in the area. Therefore, buying a property here is a sensible choice not only for owner-occupiers but also for potential landlords.

Play table tennis at the green park in Helmholtzplatz.

Wilhelminian charm and urban liveliness

The social structure of Helmholtzkiez, as in the entire district, has been in a state of upheaval for several years. Whereas it used to be home to the so-called alternative scene, nowadays it is increasingly the higher income groups, often with an academic education, who are settling there. The neighborhood has undergone a major upgrade, especially in recent years. New playgrounds have been built and old ones renovated, and the neighborhood's predominance of old buildings and Wilhelminian-style facades create a harmonious cityscape. Since the Gründerzeit buildings here have all been renovated, the quality of living is high. In addition, there is a lively atmosphere with plenty of restaurants, trendy stores, and numerous art and cultural events. The residential prices in the neighborhood are certainly above the already high price level that is estimated in Berlin for renting and buying real estate - but in return, the neighborhood also offers a charming home that leaves hardly anything to be desired.

What to do in Helmholtzkiez

Written by:

Stefanie Aust, Guest Writer

Stefanie loves to put complex topics from the real estate world into understandable and inspiring words. Whether it's about the right financing, choosing the right type of flat, or a successful property search: Stefanie is happy to inform you.

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