It isn’t that easy finding the best places in Kreuzberg, especially when you’re here for the first time. The reason is that there are too many interesting and cool places around here, you just won’t manage to see all of them in just one or two days without a guide. So…here it is, the straight tip for a perfect day and a perfect night in the best stores, gallerys, cafes, bars, clubs and parties in Kreuzberg.
10 A.M. – Breakfast
Morning has broken. Where do they serve the best breakfast? Our first tip is the cafe Freischwimmer. A lovely arranged cafe directly at the waterfront where the Landwehrkanal flows into the Spree. Here you can order a variety of well done breakfasts for every taste, including a continental breakfast for those who can’t eat much in the morning. Special feature: Smooth records mainly from the sixties and seventies handpicked and played by the bar staff.
Our second tip is the Bateau Ivre, named after a famous poem by Arthur Rimbaud, which is written on the wall inside the cafe. It is a quite sophisticated bar in the heart of Kreuzberg where they serve very good cappuccino and other Italian coffee specialities. Also the breakfast offers are good and not too expensive. But if you don’t like nor music from the sixties neither french poets or too sophisticated places, then you should visit our third breakfast tip, the cafe Jockel Beer Garden. It’s a very relaxed place right in front of the Landwehrkanal. Aside, a variety of tasty sandwiches and burgers are offered at a reasonable price.
12 A.M. Shopping
Full from breakfast? Alright, then you maybe want to have a look at the best shops around. For shopping you should linger around the Oranienstraße. It’s the main street for shopping and generally all kind of cafes, pubs and stores in Kreuzberg. For fashion and shoes visit the following stores (all on Oranienstraße): Search and Destroy (skaters fashion, t-shirts), Wildfremd (very nice fashion and bags for girls also from Berlin couturiers), Depot 2 (streetwear and shoes) or Ritchie (nice fashion for girls and boys and sneakers). Also outside this area you’ll certainly find plenty of stores worth visiting. For buying music, visit Heisse Scheiben (kind shop owner and a great variety of second hand LPs and CDs of all kinds of music) or Alberto Records (also a very kind shop owner and a big variety of second hand LPs and some funny furnishings from the sixties and seventies). Interested in literature? Here you’ll find the best book offers in English language: Hammett (new and used books – crime thrillers and murder mysteries, more than 1500 in English) or Fetting und Minx, which is a very good second hand bookshop but with just a few English titles.
2 P.M. Galleries and Museums
Tired from shopping? No way! Art gallerys and museums are waiting. Our tip for a really worthwhile art gallery is the gallery Endart – a legendary one, which was founded by artists in the early eighties. Nowadays it shows political but funny art and reminds of the time, when Kreuzberg was a district close to the Berlin Wall. Of course you also shouldn’t miss to see the most famous art gallery in Kreuzberg – the Bethanienhaus and the Kunstraum Kreuzberg. Both are true relicts of the time when houses where occupied by political activists. The Bethanienhaus once was occupied for several years, too – to avoid its tear-off.
If you aren’t an art fan but interested in the history of technology and science, then you should visit the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin. Outside the building hangs a original airplane from the time, when Berlin was bolted by the Russians after World War II and had to be provided with food by airborne supply. A definite tip is also the Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum) – both, the architecture of the building by Daniel Libeskind, as well as the exhibition of the jewish history itself are worth a visit.
6 P.M. Fast Food and Restaurants
Kreuzberg offers almost every imaginable cuisine from around the world, with the largest selection of pizzas, burgers and Asian restaurants. If you’re rather into fast food, check out the Burgermeister at Kottbusser Tor or the tiny and cheap Piccola Musica at Wiener Strasse. If you’re headed for Kreuzberg 61 (the western part of Kreuzberg), try the famous Mustafas Gemüse Kebap or Curry 36 right next to it for a traditional German Currywurst.
Legs are hurting and you got a little more time for dinner? Try the well-known Casolare right in front of the Landwehrkanal. The pizzas are delicious, cheap and quite big, if you like, try the “Incredibile” with hot salami and walnuts. Another tip with a view is the turkish restaurant Defne. For asian food Tangs Kantine is a good choice. A bit more pricey is the austrian restaurant Jolesch, but also the food is very good. Last but not least – want to try something different? Check out the Wilde Küche where they serve “biophotonic” vegan food. It’s delicious.
8 P.M. Best Bars
Now we slowly approach the legendary nightlife of Kreuzberg. Here are the hints for the early evening: first of all there is one must – the Ankerklause, a nearly mythical pub in this district. The pub is decorated in a kind of “sailor-style”, a little battered but very funny. Feed the jukebox for your favourite songs and enjoy a very tasty Czech lager.
Opposite this pub lies the Fuchsbau – also very nice, but far from being battered. It’s a quite hip and down-to-earth bar in a nice and very basic room.
Hint number three: the Luzia. A very hip location inbetween a bar and a club (on weekends) with an excellent and enormous room, furnished with chattels from the fifties.
Also a definite tip is the Sofia – a rather run-downed and bad taste but very funny bar in a former greek restaurant. Last hint for the early evening: the San Remo Upflamör. A bit calmer but nevertheless a fine bar to start the evening with a few drinks, situated almost directly at the river Spree and the former run of the Berlin Wall. Apart from that this part of Kreuzberg is full of good locations as well.
10 P.M. Clubs and Nightlife
Now the time has come to plan the party. If you chose the San Remo Upflamör first, and also if you didn’t, you should go to the Lido, one of the best clubs in Kreuzberg and Berlin. The Lido lodges in an old cinema from the fifties and has plenty of room to offer. Every weekend different parties take place here, but a special tip is the Soul-Inn-party once a month (check their website).
A must is as well the Hotel-Bar, which has become one of the hottest locations in Kreuzberg in a very short time. The club is small – as well as the bar above – but nevertheless a real melting pot of all kinds of people. A frisky and exceptional place for parties run by real enthusiasts.
The Monarch Club also belongs to Kreuzberg’s three hottest clubs. It is situated in a really ragged building from the seventies, but offers a gorgeous view on the elevated railway at the metro station Kottbusser Tor. On weekends the Monarch is one of the busiest party places, mostly with good DJ’s.
What else? Of course the famous SO 36 – a club and concert hall founded in the early and rough eighties. Punkrock and Hardcore concerts take place here every week.
Finally friends of electronic music should consider the Ritter Butzke. It’s a fantastic club covering three floors. Or you check out the area around the Schlesische Strasse, where lots of cool clubs can be found, like the Watergate, the Ipse and the Birgit und Bier.
4 A.M. One last beer before sunrise…or several
Deaf and dull but still brimful of life? Here are the hints for the best nightcaps: First of all the mother of all 24 hours bars in Kreuzberg – the Schlawinchen. It’s never closed and also never empty. A bit cranky in here, but nevertheless lively (full of drinkers) and really funny. And the beer is incredibly cheap.
Even more cranky is the bar Rote Rose. Also never closed but rather appropriate for hard-boiled people and friends of obscure furnishings and music.
Hint three and the best place for your nightcap is the Minibar. The name says it all – this location is a very very small one. But this has the advantage to get to know the other guests easily and without any detours. And when you stumble outside the Minibar you can be sure that you’ve seen the best places in Kreuzberg in just one day. Hence: Welcome to Kreuzberg, enjoy your stay!