Berlin is a large cosmopolitan city spread out over a wide geographic zone (nine times bigger than Paris!). Destroyed in 1945, then partitioned by a wall between the West and East from 1961 to 1989, the city is rich in history and culture with many different neighbourhoods to explore. Each neighbourhood has its charms and unique assets. Before you rush into a new apartment or buy property it is important to learn about the many different neighbourhoods of Berlin and choose an area that corresponds to your lifestyle and expectations. Here is a small overview of Berlin’s most common neighbourhoods.
Mitte is the historic centre of Berlin with monuments, museums, and government buildings. It is a neighbourhood with lots of shops that vary in theme from hip to luxury, especially around the cultural centre of Hackesche Höfe. After shopping you can enjoy strolling on the banks of the Spree and cap things off with a refreshing drink in Schenenviertel, home to a wealth of lounge bars. All in all, Mitte is very pleasant with many amenities, but it must be noted that this chic neighbourhood does come with a higher price tag.
Situated on what was once the western side of Berlin during the Cold War, the classic neighbourhood of Charlottenburg lived its peak of popularity before the fall of the wall. Now it is a peaceful and affluent area known for its castle and crossed by the famous Avenue Kurfürstendamm, locally known as Ku’damm. This neighbourhood is also marked by a bombed church that has remained untouched since the war as a stark reminder of past atrocities.
Wilmersdorf is a quiet neighbourhood bordering Charlottenburg and Schöneberg with a mix of modern and classic architecture.
Friedrichshain is home to the more privileged artists and students of Berlin; it buzzes with a creative and alternative ambiance. Unique bars and restaurants are easily found here among a healthy peppering of vintage shops. Kreuzberg is one of the rising neighbourhoods of Berlin and consequently property in Kreuzberg tends to have a high price tag. Within Kreuzberg there is the family friendly side of Bergmannkiez, bent toward intellectuals and environmentally friendly folk, as well as the more youthful part of Schlesisches Tor.
Following an impressive gentrification process, it is quickly developing and rising in popularity thanks to relatively affordable rent and real estate properties. With the establishment of several start-up entrepreneurs and also new population from northern Europe like Scandinavians, Neukölln is becoming an increasingly popular area with a multitude of trendy places, restaurants and bars. The most sought after properties in Neukölln are those around Hermannstr, between the canal Neuköllner Schiffahrtskanal and the Heisenheide Park.
Schöneberg is a diverse neighbourhood that opens its arms to welcome all. As a result, its inhabitants form a medley of people from different ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations. Known for having Berlin’s very best farmer’s market, Winterfeldplatz market, where everyone comes to enjoy the smorgasbord of delightful local products. Thanks to Jugendstil, the German equivalent of art nouveau, the architecture and style of Schöneberg is very kind on the eyes.
Steglitz is a shopping district that is well-connected to public transportation. It is a conventional middle and upper-class neighbourhood with lots of green spaces and the lively main street of Schlosstrasse around which several real estate developments are taking place with new buildings and the renovation of classical period buildings. Zehlendorf is a more eccentric neighbourhood with the advantage that many homes have gardens as well as being in a forested area with many lakes.
Buying property in Berlin
Whether you’ve lived in Berlin for a while or you’re considering moving to this thriving European capital, it is essential to learn about Berlin’s variety of neighbourhoods and carefully consider the advantages and inconveniences of each. In such a sprawling city, your choice of neighbourhood is all the more consequential with far reaching effects on your daily habits and social life. With the help of this guide you can make wise property choices that are in tune with your values.
This neighbourhood guide was written by https://www.firstcitiz.com, a real estate agent with a wide selection of apartments in Berlin and a passion for this beautiful city!