Places & Scenes

(extracts from “Berlin for Young People”)

There used to be two Kreuzbergs: a wild “36” with punks and the docile “61”, south of the Landwehr Canal, with its exemplary ecological teachers. These days the media spews about criminality at Kottbusser Tor and drugs in Görlitzer Park. If you really wanna know what’s up, then visit the Kreuzbergmuseum and go on a walk with us through the neighborhood.

We’ll begin our walk nice and easy starting from the “crime epicenter” Kottbusser Tor. At Café´Kotti, you’ll get a first impression and see the diversity of people running around here. If you return in the evening, you can go check out Möbel Olfe. Across the way, there’s the institution that is Südblock and the somewhat hidden Monarch with its picturesque view of the elevated railway.

From Kottbusser Tor, we’ll head down the idyllic Dresdener Straße until Oranienplatz. A few steps further and we arrive at Moritzplatz with the Prinzessinnengärten and the Aufbau Haus with café, theater, an arts and crafts store (Modulor) and the hip Prince Charles Club. Opposite is the Betahaus, one of the city’s initial co-working spaces.

The mainstreet of this neighborhood is Oranienstraße and we’ll head down there until Görlitzer Bahnhof. Whether day or night, it’s always busy here, and that’s why we love it. At the intersection of Adalbertstraße, most shops are open around the clock.

There are plenty of cheerful bars, e.g., Luzia, Franken, Bateau Ivre, Rote Harfe, just to name a few of the staples of the beverage and gastronomy culture. And of course there’s still the indestructible and justifiably legendary SO36 for parties, concerts, bingo, nighttime flea market and so much more… The spacious and attractive Mariannenplatz invites you linger. From here it’s just a stone’s throw to Markthalle IX that’s surprising people with their new compartmentalized concept: with special markets such as “Slow Food”, “Naschmarkt”, “Wein trifft Käse” and on Thursdays the “Street Food Market”. In addition, the Weltrestaurant, Auster Club, Vögelchen (formerly Hubertuslounge) as well as Lilis Pony Hütchen are all located here and worth the trip to Pücklerstraße.
Hunger pangs are simply unacceptable as this area allows you to munch your way through the continents, e.g., at the chic Long March Canteen or bit further around Görlitzer Bahnhof. Morgenland and Kimchi Princess bolster this claim in the tightest of spaces. Caution: the brighter the signs blink, the more likely you’re headed into a tourist trap. On one side, the multi-colored Asian fantasy world of Amrit/Mirchi – and on the other you’ll find everything’s fried, like fries with truffle at Goldies and modern sandwiches at Jus.

When you run into the elevated railway at Görlitzer Bahnhof, look up and behold the biggest Mosque in the neighborhood. It’s situated on the “ruins” of a profane “Bolle supermarket”, that was plundered and burned to the ground on May 1, 1987, after the traditional May 1 demonstration. Times are a changing: now the gorgeous Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque adorns this area. Have no fear – everyone is welcome here. Now lets head down the continuation of Oranienstraße, Wiener Straße. Up until Spreewaldplatz, you can enjoy your beer in somewhat more blue collar fashion at Wienerblut, Wild at Heart or Madonna. Across the way, you can have yourselves some naughty little shots at Morena or just proceed to the old railway building in the middle of Görli (Görlitzer Park) called Edelweiss. Not just for rainy days, the Schwarzlicht-Minigolf (blacklight minigolf) is just next door.

If you’re not up for chilling in the park, continue the tour through the ever-popular Wrangelkiez until you reach Schlesisches Tor. The area surrounding the stunning Oberbaumbrücke is a nightlife mecca where you can let your curiosity take the reins. Party people won’t be lacking options with Lido, L.U.X., Musik & Frieden or Watergate. Snackshops abound everywhere you look. Bagdad and Burgermeister are a couple of preferred addresses. A red light on the Spree lures guests to the restaurant Riogrande. Just next door is another great terrace overlooking the Spree at the FluxBau.

Onwards down Schlesiche Straße, a turnstile for new shops, until you reach the canal where Birgit & Bier, Burg Schnabel, Chalet and Freischwimmer await. Meanwhile, in the neighboring district of Treptow, there’s the excessive Club der Visionäre and formerly located at Kotti, the Festsaal Kreuzberg. Cap it off at the massive expanse of the Arena with its Badeschiff and then pay tribute to the Molecule Man.

If you’re feel more like chilling, you can enter Falckensteinstraße, past the Eisdiele Aldemir, an institution in this neighborhood, and continue on through the Görli until you’ve reached Forsterstr. on the Landwehr Canal. Or you can take the scenic route from the Arena along the canal. At the back end of Paul-Lincke-Ufer you’ll see one terrace café after another. We recommend the café Übersee. If you cross Kottbusser Damm and pass the quaint little synagogue on Fraenkelufer (beware of joggers) you arrive at an outdoor party location that is mentioned in every travel guide nowadays, the Admiralbrücke. Partygoers here understand and respect the local resident’s good right to get a good night’s sleep. Police patrol this area much more closely now. In this spirit of common courtesy, one can admire the goings-on from a safe perch from Casolare or van Loon.

Now you’ve arrived in “61”. This is where you’ll discover the charming Gräfestraße and Dieffenbachstraße. If you leave Gräfekiez in your dust and scurry down Grimm- and Körtestraße, you will eventually hit Südstern. It’s probably best now to take a rest and what better place than the beer garden at Brauhaus Südstern. Take heed when crossing the square to advance to the Bergmannstraße. Everything is very quaint, at first. To left some cemetaries and the café Strauss. Once at the Markthalle, the street develops its Mediterranean flair up until Mehringdamm.

Enjoy the atmosphere over a coffee at Kaffee am Meer or indulge in some American style treats at Barcomi’s. Across the street the Gyros Man works his magic; the friendliest and tastiest around, no exaggeration. While you’re here, don’t underestimate the side streets. Check out the Saturday morning Bio-Market at Chamissoplatz. It just sits there perfectly still like on a movie set. Whoever wants to reflect on the sights and sounds of this journey should really consider heading to the Kreuz-Berg (Cross Mountain), where you can relax while taking in the panorama view and use the time wisely to plan your next adventure. Or you could try a fassbrause drink at Golgatha, have some wine at the Vereinszimmer at the foot of the waterfall, try the famous West Berliner currywurst at Curry 36 or Mustafa’s famous veggie döner next to U Mehringdamm, sports and relaxation at the new Park am Gleisdreieck, or one of many other alternatives in Kreuzberg (unlike the jaded world of politics) – Kreuzberg is the alternative.


eat & drink

On Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg, Oranienburger Straße in Mitte, and now also at Winterfeldtplatz in Schöneberg, the Bans Brothers are expanding their popular Indian Food Restaurant chain. A good place to have huge portions of good food at affordable prices, if you can get a seat, since they are pretty busy during the tourist season. You can chase the blues away with their generously decorated cocktails, enjoying the Hindu-Buddhist ambience.
Oranienstr. 202-204
U1 Görlitzer Bhf., bus M29

Sneak a peek into the rather kitschy garden of Berlin’s oldest Turkish restaurant and treat yourself to delicacies from the charcoal grill.
Schlesische Str. 2
U1 Schlesisches Tor
Barcomi’s Café und Kaffeerösterei
Drop by for a freshly ground coffee – and sample the sweet American treats like brownies, muffins, the legendary New York cheesecake, or take your pick from the wide variety of bagels. The branch at Sophienstrasse 21 in Mitte offers a more extensive menu and a cold cuts / salad bar.
Bergmannstr. 21
U7 Gneisenaustr.

Bateau Ivre
The “Bateau” treads the turbulent waters of Kreuzberg but has acquired flagship status not only to the credit of their great breakfasts, solid meals and nightly tapas. Even on a cold winter’s morning, this “drunken boat” meets standards and you’ll hardly be able to resist the magnetic atmosphere in the summer.
Oranienstr. 18
U1 Görlitzer Bhf., bus M29
Betahaus Berlin
The city’s creative types meet at this co-working space”at Moritzplatz. Does this work style suit you? For 15 € you can get a day ticket and their lunch at the café is quite good too.
Prinzessinnenstr. 19-20
U8 Moritzplatz, bus M29


Salumeria Lamuri
Italian deli with nice people. Try their delicious paninis, salads, Italian croissants, home-made cake and a daily changing and freshly prepared lunch menu.
Köpenicker Str. 183
U1 Schlesisches Tor



Romantic spot for sunsets (especially in summer) where star-crossed lovers collide with guitar playing Kreuzbergers and their beer drinking dogs.
U1 + 8 Kottbusser Tor, U8 Schönleinstr.
Baumhaus Bar
Overlooking the elevated U-Bahn at the Oberbaumbrücke, this bar really resembles a giant treehouse. One story below you’ll find two floors and a stage where concerts, “Kaos Karaoke”, “Wheel of Fortune” parties… A chance for everyone to get their rocks off.
Falckensteinstr. 48
U1 Schlesisches Tor


A welcoming Cerberus at the door and a great atmosphere make this pleasant place a favorite. If you want to shake your booties and go wild don’t miss the Balkanbeats parties. For the quieter types, we recommend the Soul Inn parties.
Cuvrystr. 7
U1 Schlesisches Tor

Ritter Butzke
Looking for the meanest, heaviest parties and most raucous atmosphere? Look no further. No mainstream here. Instead, you’ll find lively Electro beats and good Hip Hop parties. Always packed, often until the next (mid)day!
Ritterstr. 26
U8 Moritzplatz, bus M29

For those who know and those who remain uncertain, this is a warm and cozy den. No room here for men/women/undecided with intense fear of contact. Loud, jarring, gaudy – amazing!
Oranienstr. 187
U1 + 8 Kottbusser Tor,
U1 Görlitzer Bhf., bus M29

This club’s place in the annals was safe already before the Wall came down. Parties, concerts, bingo, a night-time flea market, rollerskate disco night and other events are sure to please its broad clientele. The program also ensures that this place is always rocking!
Oranienstr. 190
U1 + 8 Kottbusser Tor,
U1 Görlitzer Bhf., bus M29