Kreuzberg-Neukölln: A Neighborhood Guide

Our resident's guide to getting to know Kreuzberg and Neukölln, Berlin

May 27, 2024
View of the Oberbaum bridge in KreuzbergView of the Oberbaum bridge in Kreuzberg

Just south of Mitte, the center of Berlin, lies Kreuzberg- the heart of Berlin’s counterculture and hipster attitude. It’s one of the most popular neighbohoods in Berlin, especially for young professionals, artists and students. Kreuzberg is best known for its multicultural atmosphere, lively nightlife, and eclectic arts and music scenes. Officially, Kreuzberg is paired with Friedrichshain. For this guide though, we’ve decided to pair it with Neukölln, here’s why.

Kreuzberg was one of Berlin’s poorest districts until the fall of the wall in ‘89. Since then, gentrification has taken hold. It still retains its cool personality, and is now hugely popular among many kinds of people. This has led to people expanding into neighboring Neukölln. Often referred to as ‘the new Kreuzberg’, it’s the place where the really cool kids go, now that everyone knows about the original cool place.

Both areas are easily accessible. Neukölln is a little further out, but well connected by train and bus, and just over half an hour away from Mitte by bike- which is how you should be travelling if you want to get into Berlin’s eco-friendly spirit. Both neighborhoods are great choices, and not just for young, creative types- there’s plenty on offer here for everyone. Whether you’re here on vacation or making Berlin your new home, our guide has everything you need to know.

What to do in Kreuzberg-Neukölln

These neighbourhoods have thriving art scenes. Since they’re part of Berlin- there is also plenty of fascinating history to take in, and some lovely parks. Here are some of the things you really mustn’t miss if you’re staying here.

The Ambience

The atmosphere here is so distinctive and recognizable. The funky places, quirky people, and amazing street art stand out the moment you arrive. You first port of call should just be to walk around and take it all in. When ready you can find a cosy little café and start planning the rest of your day.

The East Side Gallery

Where art and history meet. No trip to Berlin would be complete without seeing what’s left of the wall. On the riverfront is the East Side Gallery- the largest remaining stretch, at over 1.3km. Immediately after the wall came down artists started work, and nowadays East Side is an open-air gallery. Features over 100 murals and works of street art, by artists from over 21 countries. A global symbol of hope.

If you want to continue the history lesson, then don’t miss the Jewish Museum, and the Topography of Terror- a museum dedicated to the horrors of the Nazi regime.

Contemporary Art

We may have mentioned that these neighborhoods are great choices for art. Kreuzberg has Bethanien, one of Berlin’s most popular places for modern art exhibitions, focusing on current social and cultural issues. In Neukölln there’s KINDL, a cultural institution dedicated to contemporary art. This former brewery has all manner of exhibitions, installations and performances for art fans to enjoy.

Neukölln is also home to the Neuköllner Oper, a concert hall devoted to contemporary productions, for fans of the alternative.

Enjoy the green

Berlin is famous for its parks, and neither Kreuzberg nor Neukölln disappoint on that front. Here are some of the best:

Britzer Garten

For what many people consider to be the most beautiful park in Berlin, Britzer is surprisingly little known, tucked away in Neukölln. Has the usual array of playgrounds and cafes, but also themed gardens, mud huts, and spectacular flower gardens. There is even a mini train if you want an easier way to see everything. An absolute must.


On the border with Tempelhof. Maybe not the most spectacular, Hasenheide is much loved. On Saturday mornings at 9am they hold a free 5k park run. Get there on a Sunday at the same time though, and you’re more likely to find an outdoor techno rave.


The most tranquil of the lot. Picturesque Körnerpark in Neukölln is so relaxed it’s hard to believe you’re in a major city. A great place to relax with friends, or just take some time for yourself.

Tempelhofer Feld

Technically in neighboring Tempelhof; this mammoth, 386-hectare park borders both Kreuzberg and Neukölln. It used to be an airport, a nice metaphor for the deindustrialization of Berlin. Now has community gardens, and dedicated areas for picnics, barbecues and sport. When the sun comes out, the locals flock here in their thousands to take advantage.

Where to eat and drink in Kreuzberg-Neukölln

Kreuzberg’s status as one of the poorest areas of Berlin attracted huge numbers of immigrants, and modern day Kreuzberg still feels the benefits of this. Being one of the most multicultural areas of the city means the food here is excellent, coming from all over the world. Some of the best places are:

The High Streets

The unofficial heart of Kreuzberg is Oranienstrasse. A great place to get your bearings, it’s full of cool cafes, bars and restaurants. Always lively, it’s also a good place to start if you’re planning a night out. Karl-Marx-Strasse is the Neukölln equivalent, and the best place to start if it’s to be your new local neighborhood.


Asian food is really popular in Berlin, and the most common are Vietnamese, thanks to a hefty immigrant community, especially in East Berlin. Umami is one of the finest, with high quality food, a very interesting menu, and a wonderful decor and atmosphere. There's a floor seating section too, for the more authentic.

Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab

With so much Turkish immigration, Berliners proudly claim to have the best Kebabs outside of Turkey, and Mustafa’s is the city’s favorite spot. The simple kiosk is not much to look at, but the long queues will tell you all you need to know about how tasty the food is. They also have veggie options, like most places in Berlin.

You should also visit the Turkish market while you’re there. Every Tuesday and Friday on Maybachufer Strasse, it’s a great place to shop, and also has plenty of delicious street food available.


Another place whose run-down image hides the fantastic food within. There are several in the city, but the Schlesisches Tor branch in Kreuzberg is easily the coolest. Under a railway bridge, out of what used to be a public toilet, they serve some of the tastiest burgers in the city.

Markthalle Neun

Initially more of a food market than a place to eat out, these days Markthalle Neun is just as popular for its restaurants and street vendors. A foodie’s paradies, whether you’re eating there, or buying ingredients to cook at home. Also hosts events, such as the coffee, and cheese festivals. Be sure to check out what’s on while you’re here.

The Riverside

Not recommended in January, but once the sun starts shining, everyone's favourite place to head for a drink after work is along the banks of the Spree. Near the East Side Gallery are several bars such as Zola, where the food is decent, the service is mediocre, but the vibe is perfect.


The coolest rooftop bar in the whole city. On top of the Neukölln Arcaden shopping mall, Klunkerkranich is pretty hard to find, which only adds to its legend. You need to take the parking elevator up to the 5th floor, and then continue on foot. It’s well worth it though, for the bar itself, and also from the spectacular views of Berlin that come with it.

Take the night further?

If you want to take advantage of Berlin’s famous nightlife, and not come home till the next day, then Kreuzberg has especially good options for clubs. Watergate is a popular choice for techno and house, and has great views of the Spree. So36 is one of the favourites for rock. If you’re looking for the kinkier side of Berlin, try KitKat, and for daytime raving, Club der Visionaere has a wonderful location on the canal front.

Where to stay in Kreuzberg-Neukölln

Kreuzberg especially has a really varied selection of hotels and hostels to choose from, which is great if you’re only in town for a few days. If you’re staying for longer though, you’ll want to find an apartment to rent. Ukio can help here, as our rentals are tailored specifically for people planning to spend a few months in Berlin. We do the legwork for you, so all you need to do is pick your favorite, and start enjoying your new city.

We hope you find the right one, and that our neighborhood guide helps you find your way around this fantastic part of this fabulous city. Auf Wiedersehen!