Welcome to Wrangelkiez
Kreuzberg has long been one of Berlin’s biggest hot spots, but over the years the district has found itself more often filled with tourists and English-speaking hipsters than the original Berliner Schnauze (a term for the local Berlin dialect). However, an authentic Kreuzberg still exists and can be found in the small neighbourhood of Wrangelkiez. Boasting a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops, the quirky neighbourhood charms locals and tourists alike.
Originally known as Schlesisches Viertel, Wrangelkiez is located on the eastern edge of Kreuzberg. The neighbourhood is surrounded by the Spree, Landwehrkanal, and Görlitzer Park. Except for Skalitzer Strasse, which is the neighbourhood’s main road, most of the streets could eventually be car-free. The initiative "Autofreier Wrangelkiez" (Car-free Wrangelkiez) has been campaigning for several years and has already made its voice heard in the Senate. The aim is to make the streets more attractive for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as minimise the environmental impact of motorised vehicles. Whether with or without a car, the Schlesisches Tor underground station with the U1 and U3 lines, as well as many bus connections, ensure that the neighbourhood is always easy to reach.
Before reunification, the peripheral location right next to the wall in what was then West Berlin was not considered particularly desirable. In reunified Berlin, however, Wrangelkiez suddenly found itself in the city centre. Suddenly the focus of Berlin politics, the area slowly began transforming from an unpopular locale to a more desirable district. From the end of the 1990s onwards, several million euros flowed into the neighbourhood as part of the Senate's "Neighbourhood Management" programme, paving the way for its development into the trendy district it is today.
Today, Wrangelkiez offers all that a city-dweller's heart could desire. Art galleries, bookshops, clubs, cafés, and many restaurants with international cuisine fill the area with charm and culture. Families are attracted by the many schools, kitas, playgrounds, and quiet residential streets. Cultural centres, theatres, and the private fashion school Esmond bring in students, young professionals, and aspiring artists. The area has a particularly high proportion of young people, with about 34% of residents between the ages of 18-35. Meanwhile, the long-established workshops and locally owned stores keep the long-time residents in the area. Every day, tourists from all over mingle with the diverse residents of Wrangelkiez, but that doesn't change the area’s intimate flair. The neighbourhood knows each other, sticks together, and celebrates as a community—for instance, every year on the 1st of May, at Myfest.
A different kind of everyday life
Gastronomical variety is in abundance in Wrangelkiez. Numerous cafés, bars, and restaurants with international delicacies line the pavements. There is certainly something for every taste – from fresh coffee and sweet treats at eliza, an extensive beer selection at Hopfenreich, to city-famous fast food under the railway tracks at Burgermeister. After eating to your heart’s content, you might encourage digestion by taking a long walk along the Spree or the Landwehrkanal. The infamous Görlitzer Park is never boring as the neighbourhood’s front yard, or you could always stroll through the charming winding streets full of historical Altbaus. If you love wandering through the area and discovering little shops along the way, you're guaranteed to feel at home in Wrangelkiez. Browse through a well-stocked record collection at Fashion Killers or discover your new favourite book at ebertundweber. The possibilities are almost endless.
Dance the night away
As the sun slowly sets, Berliners from other parts of the city and visitors from all over the world flock to Kreuzberg to bring the night to life. The first place to go in Wrangelkiez is the club Watergate, right next to the Oberbaumbrücke. If you follow Schlesische Strasse in the direction of Treptow, you will also come across an area with numerous clubs on the edge of the district. At Birgitt & Bier, IPSE, and other bars lining the water, you can dance under the open sky with a view of the Spree. Passionate concertgoers won’t be disappointed, either: Indie newcomers, as well as established artists, play at Musik & Frieden, Lido, or Bi Nuu. Somewhat quieter evenings can be spent at L.U.X or the Wendel right next door with live music in a bar atmosphere.
Young and old, international and local, long-time residents and fresh-faced newcomers bring the wonderful Wrangelkiez to life, saturating the neighbourhood with a colourfully authentic Berlin character. Kreuzberg’s Wrangelkiez is one of the jewels of the city that give Berlin its renowned personality and flair. If the area is calling your name, check out some available apartments around Kreuzberg on the map below.
Translated by Catherine Norris