Kreuzberg and Neukölln neighborhoods were like a puzzle. Unconventional, different, yet still Berlin. Contrasting parts of the city, most tolerant, and in the same time, surprisingly traditional, both part of former West Berlin.
Walking along the Landwehrkanal, is incredible to notice the architecture in Art Deco and Art Nouveau and how much symmetry has a city that seems so chaotic, with former East, West, old parts, new constructions, party areas, grey buildings, a Wall memorial. I think one of the reasons I write these articles is a way to solve the Berlin puzzle.
I remember I walked one day from the Berlin Mitte until colorful Kreuzkölln kiez (neighborhood) – by the water, on a beautiful road, Landwehrkanal, on a warm day that made think of spring that started today, and feeling I am passing from a city to another! Maybe that’s why I don’t have this wanderlust feeling or travel blues so strong since living in Berlin.
Kreuzberg and Neukölln Mix – Parks, Markets & Music
Park Viktoria and Berlinishe Galerie near Checkpoint Charlie are two favorite and diverse sights in Kreuzberg. In fact, Kreuzberg can be translated as “cross mountain”, and the little hill can be found in this pretty park. And Neukölln name came from “New Cölln”— the old medieval town.
I thought I saw a lot of Berlin until I went for the first time last summer to the market hall called Markhalle Neun (IX) in and realized is still a lot to see. Markets to visit are this Markthalle 9 – with 150 vendors and the Saturday market at Chamissoplatz in beautiful neighborhood Bergmannkiez, with houses in Old Berlin style.
Plus, visit former Tempelhof airport, now a park, and the Turkish market at Maybachufer, part of Kreuzkölln, takes place every Tuesday and Friday.
Also, I am not an expert in techno, but in Berlin I guess you stay in line and enjoy the night out, even this seems a distant memory now. Kreuzberg was historically associated with punk rock. Clubs worth mentioning- Ritter Butke and SO36, where Iggy Pop and David Bowie used to hang out. Other options are in Oranienplatz area in Kreuzberg, with Oranienstrasse and beautiful ORA bar set in an old pharmacy,
Coffee and bread mix
Albatross bakery is the famous bakery in Berlin, always with a line of customers, for a reason, on Graeferstrasse.
Bonanza Coffee Roasters on Adalberst. 70 is hidden in a backyard, very common sight in Berlin. This roastery started the specialty coffee trend in Germany more than 10 years ago.
Kaffekirsche Roastery (Böckhstr 30), and near the canal – Katie’s Blue Cat, Five Elephants and Populus Coffee (at Maybachufer 20) are other favorite cafés in Kreuzberg. Admittedly it was also where the staff was the most friendly.
Even though most people travel to Sonnenallee to try Turkish and Arabic coffee, next to Turkish delight or Syrian sweets from Damascus Konditorei.
Lastly, at the Landwehrkanal, the most popular bridge to watch the sunset is Admiralbrücke. Other two less crowded are Glogauer Brücke and Ohlauer Brücke.
One famous rooftop bar to catch the sunset is Klunkerkranich which is the last floor of the a parking lot of a shopping mall in Neukölln, right at the Rathaus, reminding me of Dock in Brussels.
But I remember the first time I visited Neukölln, in a warm summer day, as I arrived at busy (and really laud) Sonnenallee determined to make it at my 9 o’clock and 17 minutes appointment to register in Berlin. Yes, really. You make an appointment (termin) anywhere they have open slots in the city, not only in your new neighborhood. I was also surprised. I made it inside a beautiful building only at at 9 18, and a few moments later I was a Berlin official residents. I think it took longer to receive my coffee at the Turkish bakery next door where I had also my eyes on a burek. Oh Berlin!