Discover Bergmannkiez in Kreuzberg
Discover the best of Bergmannkiez in Kreuzberg
In the south of Kreuzberg and thus in the heart of the capital lies a fascinating little area: Bergmannkiez. While other districts popular with tourists are often avoided by Berliners, this cultural and culinary hotspot attracts everyone with its reputation. Here, locals and visitors alike come together to enjoy a variety of possibilities.
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Berlin's historical neighbourhood
Bergmannkiez is located between Gneisenaustrasse, Mehringdamm and Fidicinstrasse in the district of Kreuzberg. With its abundance of Gründerzeit buildings, the area paints a rare picture in Berlin. The main feature of the neighbourhood is the long promenade which leads from the the Viktoriapark all the way down to Volkspark Hasenheide. On the long walk you can enjoy beautiful Wilhelminian architecture. Unlike many other areas, most of the houses in Bergmannkiez were spared during the Second World War. Favoured by the reworking of many facades, this results in one of the most beautiful residential areas in the city. Not only is it easy on the eyes: the district offers a wide range of leisure activities, making Bergmannkiez a Mecca for everyone who wants to experience the best of what Berlin has to offer.
The Parisian-esque streets, lined with many restaurants, cafés, and unique shops, invite not only tourists to make a pilgrimage to the Bergmannkiez, but also Berliners from Mitte, Pankow, Treptow-Köpenick and the like. This part of Kreuzberg is inhabited by more of a middle-class, artistic-intellectual demographic who frequent the area’s many small theatres, vintage shops, and the market hall. Built in 1956, the Marheineke-Markthalle hosts dozens of small shops--from wine stalls to book stores--making it a popular meeting place. It also holds art exhibitions and a flea market on the weekend. Bergmannstrasse has another popular market: Every Saturday from 9am to 3pm, sustainable shoppers browse regional and environmentally-friendly goods at the Eco-market on Chamissoplatz, the historic market square.
Another unmissable landmark in Bergmannkiez is the Wasserturm Tempelhofer Berg, which can be found close to the square if you continue walking through Willibald-Alexis-Straße and Kopischstraße. This impressive water tower was built between 1887 and 1888 to supply water to the residential area, which was brand new at the time. For even more history, take a stroll through the cemetaries of four adjacent church yards on Bergmannstrasse, which hold the graves of important historical figures such as Adolph von Menzel, Martin Gropius, Gustav Stresemann, and Theodor Mommsen. You can even stop for a coffee break at the Café Strauss, which can be found in the old cemetary chapel.
Carnival of Culture
In summer you can eat, drink, and dance in the streets at the Karneval der Kulturen and Bergmannstrassenfest. Held almost every year since 1994, the enormous street festival transforms Bergmannstrasse into an boisterous party. Musicians of every genre from all over the world fill the streets with music and dancing. With over 50 bands performing, there is something for everyone's taste. Speaking of which, your tastebuds can also join the party: a vast variety of food stalls line the street, offering festival-goers refreshments of every sort so the party can go on. No one is an outsider in Bergmannkiez: visitors and locals mingle together and shape the area’s unique identity.
A shopper's dream
Besides markets, Bergmannstrasse is also home to dozens of different shops and boutiques. From thrifty vintage stores such as Humana to trendy boutiques like Broke + Schön, your clothing needs will surely be satisfied. If clothes aren't your thing, eccentric record store Space Hall is an out-of-this-world experience for music lovers. Stationary obsessives will adore Schwesterherz, and book lovers won't want to leave Another Country--the famous English bookstore with stacks of used books and cosy corners perfect for hiding away with a new novel.
Eat and drink your fill
You might see 50 people waiting in line outside a kebab shop on Mehringdamm, but keep walking and you will find a broad culinary selection, such as köfte at Knofi's, spaetzle at Peter Schlemihl's, or pho at Umami. After dinner, you’re faced with a choice: a nightcap in a cozy pub (like at ERNST bar), a few rounds of pool in the most famous punk bar of the city (Clash), or dance the night away to live music in the Indie club next door (Junction Bar). You could even check out a play or comedy show in English at the English Theatre in Berlin. Wherever the night takes you, you’re sure to come across people from all walks of life.
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle, there are many parks for recreation and relaxation around the neighbourhood. In Gleisdreieck you’ll find one of Berlin’s most famous skateparks, where you can watch the professionals catch serious air or work on your own tricks. The Tempelhofer Feld has everything the big city otherwise lacks: green meadows, fresh air and plenty of wide-open space. If that’s too flat for you, try climbing the Kreuzberg hill in Viktoriapark, and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of waterfalls and the city at your feet. There is truly something for everyone here at Bergmannkiez, making it one of Berlin’s most beloved districts.
Translated by Catherine Norris