From underground nightclubs to organic vegan cafés, Berlin’s bohemian neighbourhoods are packed full of vibrant attractions. Step away from the tourist trail in Germany’s capital and you’ll be transported back to the 1970s.
Graffiti will be everywhere and the city’s pubs, vintage shops, and illegal raves will keep you partying until dawn. Staying cool we’re going to avoid the city centre and take you on a journey inside Berlin’s alternative districts.
North of the Centre: Prenzlauer Berg
A bohemian stronghold since the 1990s, Prenzlauer Berg has a romantic atmosphere full of boutique shops and student cafés. Popular with musicians and artists, the neighbourhood is the best preserved in Berlin and most buildings date back to the 1880s. Best known locally for its independent stores, you can buy fashion wares, vintage furniture and antiques everywhere you look.
If you just want to hang out, then grab a few beers and head over to Mauerpark. It’s home to Berlin’s most popular flea market, which was originally inspired by the karaoke sessions that take place on Sunday afternoons.
From spring until autumn, Mauerpark is packed like a hipster rock festival. There are also many cafés on the streets around Mauerpark that serve locally brewed coffee and snacks if you get hungry.
South of the Centre: Kreuzberg
Berlin’s rebel district is the first port of call for hipsters arriving in Berlin. A popular stronghold for LGBT anarchists and counter-culture hippies, Kreuzberg is famous for its colourful and provocative graffiti. During the daytime you can go on a street art trail and discover the stories behind the paintings.
Other notable attractions in the area include Berlin’s Jewish Museum and the world-famous East Side Gallery, which runs along the eastern side of the Spree on Muhlenstrasse across from the O2 Arena between Warschauer Strasse and Strasse der Parisier Kommune (S-Bahn Ostbanhof).
Come nightfall, the anarchist district becomes a kinetic nightspot full of vintage pubs and cocktail bars. Bohemian to its very core, some of the best nights out in Germany take place in this rebellious neighbourhood.
Party animals wanting a late night snack are in the perfect place for a curry wurst or a doner kebab, especially if you’re drinking near the Bergmannstraße. Failing that there are plenty of delicious food trucks open until the early hours.
If the graffiti and attitude don’t make you love Kreuzberg, then the cheap food almost certainly will.
South-East of the Centre: Neukölln
Kreuzberg’s hardcore little brother, Neukölln is known locally as the “Little Istanbul” and has been magically transformed over the last ten years.
With abandoned laundrettes becoming converted into studios, Neukölln is now the underground choice for artists. Here you can hang out in small Turkish cafés before getting your photo taken at the Photoautomat.
With young people flocking to Berlin every month, the city’s bohemian neighbourhoods are fascinating places to explore. Even better you don’t need much money to stay here. Berlin is a remarkably cheap place to find a bed.
Funky, alternative and undeniably hipster, Germany’s capital is a top destination for aspiring artists. But don’t take our word for it though, book with us and find out for yourself.
*Header image by Matt Biddulph (Flickr/Creative Commons)