This up-and-coming district is overwhelmingly international, with an enormous number of residents born in other countries and migrated to Germany.
The latest of Berlin’s neighborhoods to see a process of gentrification is the working-class district of Neukoelln. Located immediately south of the popular Kreuzberg area, Neukoelln was once Berlin’s ghetto. Its reputation has been upended over the past decade. Today it attracts artists, musicians and students from around the world who choose to live in its reasonably inexpensive apartments. Neukoelln has a bohemian atmosphere and laid-back attitude. Join locals for an afternoon game of Frisbee in one of its many parks, for a late-night beer at a trendy bar or in rollerblading across the disused airport at its western fringe.
Start your day exploring Neukoelln with coffee and a sit-down breakfast at one of the many cafés in the hip Kreuzkoelln region of the borough. Named for its proximity to Kreuzberg, the area between Weserstrasse and the Landwehrcanal is studded with bars, cafés and restaurants. At its north, visit the cobbled street of Maybachufer to attend the local market. On Tuesdays and Fridays a fresh produce market is held with Turkish specialties, while on Saturdays a craft market occupies the space. Look for vintage clothes and housewares at the flea market held every second Sunday.
Visit the largest park in Berlin at Tempelhof Field. The former airport was the site of the Berlin Airlift and served West Berlin during the Cold War. After being decommissioned as an airport in 2008, Tempelhof has become a much-loved community space. Rent a set of rollerblades to skate across the runway or bring a picnic to enjoy in the sun.
Watch a movie at the historic Neues Off cinema. At nearly a century old, the theater has existed as a ballroom and a red-light cinema, before the current owners took over in the late 1970s and converted Neues Off into one of the city’s premier art-house movie theaters. Afterward, enjoy a meal in the historic Rixdorf district, home to one of Berlin’s popular traditional Christmas markets each December.
Reach Neukoelln by bus or train. Hermannplatz U Bahn station can serve as a great starting point for your exploration.