Each neighbourhood is like a little city, with its own special atmosphere and characteristic inhabitants. The charm of Prenzlauer Berg surely lies in its diversity: fast-paced urbanity and quiet refuge for families. We’ll take you to the most fascinating neighbourhoods (or, as the Berliners call them: Kieze).
Bötzowkiez in the southeasters has established itself as the area for creative people. You’ll come across actors selling ice cream or second-hand clothes — or just enjoying their coffee in one of the numerous cafés. At Hufelandstraße you’ll find international restaurants and upscale shops for handcrafted goods, design products or toys. Bötzowstraße is the main gate to the Grüne Stadt (Green City) and leads on to Thälmannpark. One of the housing complexes was build in the 1930s, the other in the 1980s — take your time and seize the opportunity to compare the notion of quality of life from the eras of the Weimar Republic and the GDR.
Stroll along southwards Prenzlauer Allee. You’ll pass the big brick building of the district office. At the end of the 19th century it was Berlin’s largest shelter for the homeless. Further to the South Marienburger Straße leads right into Winskiez which has a more cozy feel than Bötzowkiez. Enjoy the spacious and green play ground at Marienburger Straße. don’t miss one of the first wooden tower blocks of Berlin at Christburger Straße.
Follow Christburger Straße and cross Prenzlauer Allee to the West. That takes you right into Kollwitzkiez. Around its characteristic places like Kollwitzplatz, the water tower, the Jewish cemetery and synagogue you’ll feel the beat of the touristic heart of Prenzlauer Berg. Look no further than the vast choice of cafés and restaurants. And you will notice the variety of languages spoken in this area.
Knaackstraße leads you to the water tower. The building and its square are the true landmark of Prenzlauer Berg. Built in 1877 this water reservoir is the oldest in Berlin. It was in use until 1952. Now it is a concert venue during the summer months.
At Straßburger Straße lies the charming commercial hub Alte Königstadt. The former brewery compound is now home to sculptors, planning offices, advertising agencies, music companies and the like.
On the other side of Schönhauser Allee lies Pfefferberg. Also a former brewery it houses a scenic cultural and creative hub: theatre, beer garden and a unique architecture museum. Close by, the green refuge of Teutoburger Platz invites you for some quiet. Here you can still find traces of the creative alternative atmosphere that once made Prenzlauer Berg famous.
Follow Fehrbelliner Straße to Kastanienallee. Flashy stores and brassy strollers unmistakably tell you you’re back in the urban part of Prenzlauer Berg. On your left the Prater, Berlin’s oldest beer garden awaits. Experience 180 years of entertainment and recreation.
SCHÖNHAUSER ALLEE AND SURROUNDINGS
And last but definitely not least: Schönhauser Allee, the main boulevard of Prenzlauer Berg. It measures 2,8 kilometres from end to end and takes on such diverse roles as shopping street, home of cafés and restaurants, historic showpiece, backdrop for the movies — oh, and important main road. Follow Schönhauser Allee until Stargarder Straße to marvel at Gethsemanekirche. This beautiful brick-walled church was built at the end of the 19th century. Another 100 years later it was the centre of the peaceful revolution of 1989.
On the other side of Schönhauser Allee, Gleimstraße leads you to Arnimkiez, a rather down to earth area. The Gleimtunnel at its end once marked the border between east and West Berlin. Nearby lies Mauerpark. Once the deadly no man’s land it now invites you to some relaxation and people watching.
-red-, Juli 2019
Tip: Find more sights and secrets and tours around Prenzlauer Berg and the district of Pankow in the charming booklet „Berliner Spaziergänge. Pankow“ by Marc Lippuner (Elsengold Verlag).