Berlin’s characteristic identity lies in the diversity of its neighbourhoods, which are well worth exploring if you are in town. Of all the districts, Neukölln is Berlin's most underestimated. This artistic and progressive quarter in the south east of the city offers something for everyone. Known as ‘Little Istanbul’, our locals love this charming Berlin neighbourhood for its laid-back vibes, graffiti covered streets and self-expression. If you are planning on visiting you may be wondering exactly what to do and where to go. To help you along, here is my ultimate list of things to do in Neukölln Berlin.
Neukölln By Day
Neukölln by day and Neukölln by night are two very different things. By day there are cafes galore, restaurants and Turkish markets. You could spend an entire day in Neukölln just wandering the street Pflügerstraße and its surrounding lanes which are a popular brunch area. The entire street is lined with one cafe after the other, all serving brunch until 4pm. Another popular choice in our delightful Berlin neighbourhood is Five Elephant Cafe, known for its cheesecake despite not serving meals.
Other than that there are plentiful variations of döner (kebab) shops and chicken shops that on weekends are open into the early hours of morning, in case you need some post-clubbing nourishment before bed. Most of them also sell Turkish-style soup and traditional Turkish tea, if in the moment that is something you feel like you would prefer. These shops are located on almost every corner, and all the way down Sonnenallee, Karl-Marx-Straße, and around the Hermannplatz area.
Neukölln By Night
At night Neukölln reveals its array of bars (a lot of the cafes also become bars). If anything could be considered a “Berlin bar” then it is definitely located in the Neukölln area. This is the Berlin neighborhood with the least nighttime tourists and is very popular among locals. Some personal favorites include Mama Bar, Geist im Glas, Raumfahrer, and FUK;S, one of the best places in Neukölln that only serve bottled beer.
Bei Schlawinchen, though this is more of a pub, is famous for being open all hours for the last thirty years! There’s also Klunkerkranich, which is located on the rooftop of the Neukölln Arcaden and provides a spectacular sunset view in the summer.
If you are into the queer scene then a cosy bar called The CLUB will definitely be something you enjoy. They also host many events and alternative drag shows weekly, just check them out of Facebook and see what events they have lined up.
The Vibrant Nightlife
Another really great thing about Neukölln is that, of all Berlin's neighbourhood, this area is pretty affordable. There are also tons fun things to do in Neukölln, which is home to several clubs that you could call a “Berliner club.” A “Berliner club” will typically have an urban, run-down look to it, hold little to no tourists, and play only techno.
Some of these include Club de Visionaere, Loftus Hall, Keller, and Griessmühle (the latter located in an old grain factory). For those who prefer the queer scene, SchwuZ is the largest gay club in Berlin that’s not Berghain, and it is constantly hosting parties such as Madonnamania, PopKicker, Yo! Sissy Music Festival, and Electronic Thursdays.
In the summer the entire path around the Landwehrkanal is very popular. Relaxing here is the ultimate way to spend a day in Neukölln. Most locals hang out and have a beer by the canal on either Maybachufer or Paul-Lincke-Ufer. The atmosphere is always very chilled and carefree, especially when the sun is shining down and there is a slight breeze.
You can also do the same in Tempelhofer Feld: a huge flat grass area that used to be an airport with easy access from stations: S-Tempelhof, U-Boddinstraße, U-Leinestraße. This spot is in my opinion the best place Neukölln.
It provides the setting for probably the most spectacular sunset view in Berlin, and you can also do anything from windsurfing to driving a segway to strap-lining to gardening to barbecuing. Everything goes. Except barbecuing on non-designated areas. Burning the grass is not acceptable. On days with good weather it is also just enough to walk around and explore this Berlin neighbourhood.
It is possibly the most international part of the city, in some areas it is even possible to hear more English spoken than German. Around every corner there is something to discover. Among the many things to do Neukölln Berlin, browsing the small independent clothing stores and flea markets, taking in the graffiti and visiting the little pockets of green parks must feature in your itinerary.
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