Kreuzberg is a district located in the heart of Berlin, Germany. It has a rich history, with several significant events and cultural movements shaping its identity.
In the 19th century, Kreuzberg was a working-class neighborhood, with factories and tenements dominating the area. In the early 20th century, Kreuzberg became a hub for leftist and socialist movements, with the Communist Party gaining a significant foothold in the district.
During World War II, Kreuzberg suffered significant damage from bombing raids, and much of the area was destroyed. In the post-war era, the district was divided into East and West, with the Berlin Wall cutting through the heart of the neighborhood.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Kreuzberg became a center for alternative culture, with artists, musicians, and activists flocking to the area. The district was home to squatters and alternative living communities, with many abandoned buildings repurposed into cultural centers and art spaces.
Today, Kreuzberg is known for its vibrant nightlife, multicultural population, and eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, and galleries. It has become a symbol of Berlin’s rich and diverse cultural history, with many visitors drawn to the district’s unique atmosphere and dynamic energy.
Kreuzberg: What to see and do
Kreuzberg is a lively and diverse district with many interesting sights and attractions. Here are some suggestions on what to see:
- Görlitzer Park – A large park with a bohemian atmosphere, Görlitzer Park is a great place to relax, have a picnic, or play sports. It’s also a popular spot for street performers and outdoor events.
- Markthalle Neun – A historic market hall that hosts regular food events and festivals, Markthalle Neun is a must-visit for foodies. Try local specialties like currywurst and doner kebab, or sample international cuisine from the many stalls and vendors.
- Oberbaum Bridge – A striking bridge that spans the River Spree, the Oberbaum Bridge is an iconic symbol of Berlin’s reunification. It’s a popular spot for photos and offers great views of the city skyline.
- Bergmannstrasse – One of Kreuzberg’s main streets, Bergmannstrasse is lined with trendy cafes, boutiques, and restaurants. It’s a great place to stroll and people-watch, or to shop for souvenirs and gifts.
- Street Art – Kreuzberg is known for its vibrant street art scene, with many murals, graffiti, and installations throughout the district. Take a walking tour or explore on your own to discover the many works of art scattered throughout the neighborhood.
- Jewish Museum Berlin – A museum dedicated to the history of Jewish life in Germany, the Jewish Museum Berlin features exhibitions, events, and educational programs. It’s located just outside of Kreuzberg but easily accessible by public transport.
- Viktoriapark – A hilltop park with stunning views of the city, Viktoriapark is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. It’s also home to a waterfall and a monument commemorating the Prussian victory over Napoleon.
- Tempelhofer Feld – A former airport turned public park, Tempelhofer Feld offers a unique space for recreation and relaxation. Visitors can walk, bike, or rollerblade along the runways, or enjoy a picnic or BBQ in the open fields.
- C/O Berlin – A photography museum and gallery, C/O Berlin features a rotating schedule of exhibitions by international artists. The museum also offers workshops, lectures, and other events related to photography and visual art.
- SO36 – A legendary music venue and nightclub, SO36 has hosted some of the biggest names in punk, rock, and electronic music. It’s also a popular spot for parties, concerts, and cultural events.
More fun things to do
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There are always a variety of exhibitions taking place throughout the area. Here are some current and upcoming exhibitions to check out in Kreuzberg:
- Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art: This museum in the heart of Kreuzberg features exhibitions and installations from local and international urban artists. Check their website for current exhibitions and events.
- Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien: This cultural center hosts a variety of exhibitions, performances, and events throughout the year, with a focus on contemporary art and culture.
- Street Art Museum Berlin: This museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and culture of street art in Berlin. They offer guided tours of the city’s best street art locations, as well as exhibitions and events.
- Galerie Kornfeld: This contemporary art gallery in Kreuzberg features works by emerging and established artists from around the world.
- Kunstraum Tapir: This gallery showcases contemporary art from a variety of disciplines, including painting, sculpture, photography, and more.
- alte münze: This historic building in Kreuzberg is home to a variety of cultural events, including exhibitions, concerts, and festivals. Check their website for current events and exhibitions.
Additionally, here are some general resources for finding events and exhibitions in Berlin:
Where to eat
Kreuzberg is known for its diverse and vibrant food scene, with many restaurants, cafes, and street food vendors serving up delicious cuisine from around the world. Here are some suggestions for where to eat in Kreuzberg:
- Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap – A legendary street food stand, Mustafa’s is famous for its mouthwatering kebabs and long lines. Get there early to avoid the crowds and enjoy a freshly grilled sandwich with all the fixings.
- Markthalle Neun – A historic market hall that’s been transformed into a foodie paradise, Markthalle Neun features dozens of stalls and vendors selling everything from craft beer and wine to handmade sausages and artisanal cheese.
- Kimchi Princess – A popular Korean restaurant that serves up authentic dishes like bulgogi and bibimbap, Kimchi Princess is a great spot for a hearty and flavorful meal. Be sure to try the signature kimchi fried rice!
- Vöner – A vegan fast food joint that specializes in plant-based versions of classic dishes like döner kebab and currywurst, Vöner is a must-visit for vegans and vegetarians. The food is tasty and affordable, and the vibe is casual and laid-back.
- Burgermeister – A burger joint housed in a former public restroom, Burgermeister is a unique and quirky spot that serves up some of the best burgers in town. Try the classic cheeseburger or opt for a more creative option like the chili cheese burger.
- Bar Raval – A cozy and stylish tapas bar that serves up small plates of Spanish-inspired cuisine, Bar Raval is a great spot for a casual meal or a night out with friends. The menu features a variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian options, as well as a selection of Spanish wines and cocktails.
- Orania Berlin – A sophisticated restaurant located inside a boutique hotel, Orania Berlin offers a contemporary take on European cuisine. The menu features seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, and the restaurant’s elegant decor and live music performances create a memorable dining experience.
- Schneeweiss – A charming cafe and restaurant that serves up a mix of German and Mediterranean cuisine, Schneeweiss is a great spot for brunch, lunch, or dinner. The menu features dishes like schnitzel, falafel, and pasta, as well as a selection of beer and wine.
- Südblock – A queer-friendly cafe and bar that serves up vegan and vegetarian cuisine, Südblock is a popular spot for brunch, lunch, or dinner. The menu features creative and flavorful dishes like seitan burgers, lentil soup, and vegan quiche, as well as a selection of cocktails and beer.
- Gelateria Mos Eisley – A small gelato shop that serves up a rotating selection of homemade flavors, Gelateria Mos Eisley is a must-visit for ice cream lovers. The shop’s Star Wars-themed decor adds to the fun and playful atmosphere.
Where to stay in Kreuzberg, Berlin
Kreuzberg has a variety of accommodation options, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels.
If you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodations in Kreuzberg, here are some options for you:
- Grand Hostel Berlin – This stylish hostel offers private and shared rooms at affordable prices. It’s located in a renovated factory building and has a bar and lounge area, as well as a communal kitchen and outdoor terrace.
- Pfefferbett Hostel – This hostel is located in a historic brewery building and offers affordable private and shared rooms. It has a bar and lounge area, as well as a courtyard and garden.
- Die Fabrik – This hostel is located in a former factory and offers affordable private and shared rooms. It has a communal kitchen, garden, and terrace, and is located near several popular attractions in Kreuzberg.
Medium range budget
If you’re looking for medium-range accommodations in Kreuzberg, here are some options for you:
- Mövenpick Hotel Berlin – This modern and upscale hotel is located near the Anhalter Bahnhof train station and offers stylish rooms with amenities like a Nespresso coffee machine, flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a fitness center, sauna, and restaurant.
- Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Berlin City – This cozy and affordable hotel is located in a quiet neighborhood and offers comfortable rooms with amenities like a flat-screen TV, minibar, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a bar and lounge area, as well as a garden and terrace.
- Lulu Guldsmeden – This eco-friendly hotel offers cozy and stylish rooms with amenities like a flat-screen TV, minibar, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a courtyard, garden, and lounge area, as well as a sauna and bicycle rental.
There aren’t any luxury hotels specifically in Kreuzberg, as it is known as a more alternative and bohemian neighborhood. However, here are some luxury hotels located in nearby areas that you may want to consider:
- Hotel de Rome – This elegant hotel is located in the historic Mitte neighborhood, near the popular Friedrichstraße shopping street. It offers spacious rooms and suites with amenities like a flat-screen TV, minibar, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a spa, fitness center, and several restaurants and bars.
- The Westin Grand Berlin – This luxurious hotel is located near Unter den Linden boulevard, in the heart of Berlin. It offers spacious rooms and suites with amenities like a flat-screen TV, minibar, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a spa, fitness center, and several restaurants and bars.
Public transportation in Kreuzberg
Kreuzberg is well-connected by public transportation. The following is a comprehensive guide to public transportation in Kreuzberg:
- U-Bahn (subway): There are three U-Bahn (subway) stations in Kreuzberg: Kottbusser Tor, Görlitzer Bahnhof, and Prinzenstraße. The U1, U8, and U3 lines run through these stations, making it easy to get to other parts of the city.
- S-Bahn (urban rail): The S-Bahn is Berlin’s urban rail system, and it runs through the city center, including Kreuzberg. The nearest S-Bahn station to Kreuzberg is Berlin Ostbahnhof, which is served by the S3, S5, S7, and S9 lines.
- Bus: There are several bus lines that run through Kreuzberg, including the M29, M41, and 140. The M29 and M41 are particularly useful for getting around Kreuzberg itself, while the 140 connects Kreuzberg to the nearby neighborhood of Neukölln.
- Tram: The M10 tram runs through Kreuzberg and is a popular option for getting to and from the nearby neighborhoods of Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg.
To use public transportation in Berlin, you need to purchase a ticket. Tickets can be purchased at ticket machines located at U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations, as well as at some bus and tram stops. You can also purchase tickets through the BVG app or BVG website.
Fares in Berlin are based on zones, and the cost of a ticket depends on how many zones you travel through. A single ticket for zones A and B, which cover most of the city center, costs €2.90 (as of March 2023). There are also daily, weekly, and monthly tickets available, which offer unlimited travel within certain zones.
Here are some useful links related to public transportation in Kreuzberg:
- BVG (Berlin’s public transportation company)
- Berlin U-Bahn map
- Berlin S-Bahn map
- BVG app
- Ticket fares
- Berlin public transportation guide
Kreuzberg itinerary for one day
Here’s a one-day itinerary to help you make the most of your visit:
9:00 AM – Breakfast at Markthalle Neun Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Markthalle Neun, a historic market hall that hosts a popular weekly food market. Grab a croissant and a cup of coffee, or try one of the many other breakfast options available from the different vendors.
10:00 AM – Walk along the East Side Gallery After breakfast, take a stroll along the East Side Gallery, a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall that has been turned into an open-air gallery. Admire the colorful murals and political messages while learning about the history of the city.
11:30 AM – Visit Görlitzer Park Next, head to Görlitzer Park, a large green space in the heart of Kreuzberg. Take a walk around the park, sit on the grass, or people-watch while enjoying the lively atmosphere. Be sure to check out the graffiti-covered walls of the abandoned train station located in the park.
1:00 PM – Lunch at Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap No visit to Kreuzberg is complete without a stop at Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap, a popular street food vendor serving delicious kebabs filled with fresh vegetables and meat. Be prepared to queue for a while, but the wait is worth it.
2:30 PM – Visit the Jewish Museum Berlin After lunch, visit the Jewish Museum Berlin, located just a short walk from Mustafa’s. The museum tells the story of Jewish life and culture in Germany, and also features a striking architectural design.
4:00 PM – Coffee and cake at Five Elephant If you need a break, head to Five Elephant, a cozy coffee shop that serves delicious coffee and cake. Sit outside and watch the world go by, or browse the small selection of books and magazines.
5:00 PM – Shopping on Oranienstraße Take a stroll down Oranienstraße, one of the main shopping streets in Kreuzberg. Browse the boutiques and vintage stores, or pick up some souvenirs from one of the many street vendors.
7:00 PM – Dinner at Vöner For dinner, try Vöner, a vegan kebab shop that puts a creative spin on traditional meat-filled kebabs. Enjoy a flavorful meal that’s both healthy and delicious.
9:00 PM – Drinks at Das Hotel Bar End your day with a drink at Das Hotel Bar, a cozy and quirky bar that serves creative cocktails and has a relaxed atmosphere. Sit back, relax, and reflect on your day in Kreuzberg.