Coming to live in Berlin is a truly international experience. Students and young workers from all over the world concentrate in the German capital and form an incredible, multicultural environment. Berlin is a lively, vivid city that is constantly evolving with new trends. It’s the kind of city where you can walk into a club on a Friday and only walk back out on Wednesday morning. Check out the 5 most popular neighbourhoods in Berlin:
Kreuzberg is probably Berlin’s coolest neighbourhood, so it’s no surprise that it is one of the most popular ones among students — which also means that rent prices have skyrocketed in recent years.
This trendy and artistic neighbourhood has all the best bits of Berlin in one place, and it also brings together very different contrasts: you can either live in a fancy area around the Bergmannskiez or the Paul-Lincke-Ufer, or enjoy the alternative and multicultural scene with a graffitied backdrop in Oranienstraße and Kotti (Kottbusser Tor).
Kreuzberg is also the perfect area if you enjoy relaxing on the grass: the Görlitzer Park (fondly called Görli by Berliners) and the Urbanufer at the Landwehrkanal are great choices. The neighbourhood also offers a great number of restaurants and bars — Bergmannstraße is the place to be for an evening of bar-hopping.
Berlin’s public transportation network is great, so it’s easy to get around. Kreuzberg is the ideal place for students studying in Macromedia College, Design Academy Berlin and ESMOD Berlin. From Bahnhof Hallesches Tor, the purple U-Bahn U6 line takes you to Humboldt University in three stops.
Mitte is Berlin’s artistic neighbourhood in the heart of the city. It’s one of the most popular and touristy areas in Berlin and where most people start looking for a place, which also makes it quite pricey. Mitte is packed with nightclubs, restaurants, trendy bars and designer shops, so there’s no risk of ever getting bored of it.
Living in Mitte means you will be within walking distance of Alexanderplatz (or Alex, how the locals call it), Hackescher Markt and Friedrichstrasse. With Berlin’s excellent trams, regional trains and buses, you can also easily find your way to any other neighbourhood in the city.
Mitte is the perfect neighbourhood for students studying in Humboldt University of Berlin, one of the three largest state universities in the city with more than 30,000 students. It’s also the perfect place if you study in Medienakademie, in the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), the Media, Communication and Business School (HMKW), the Hertie School of Governance, or the IUBH.
Prenzlauer Berg is the homey neighbourhood of Berlin, where around every corner you encounter young families pushing baby prams. Along with a large number of health food shops, there are also several cafés and great restaurants. Kollwitzplatz square is a local favourite to spend the weekend afternoon hours.
The famous Mauerpark is also in the area: you can sing, play basketball, check out the second-hand market or just chill in the grass whenever the sun happens to be shining. Kastanienalle is another busy place, especially during the evening with all the bars in the area. Kulturbrauerei or Pfefferberg are great choices to go dancing or to grab a German beer with your friends.
Prenzlauer Berg is a good choice if you study in the Humboldt University of Berlin — it’s just 25 minutes away by tram, metro or bus. If you take the tram and S7, you’ll reached the Technical University of Berlin in 35 minutes.
While Schöneberg is a mostly residential neighbourhood, it’s also home to Berlin’s LGBT community. While cheeky bars, clubs and provocative shops line up the streets, especially around Nollendorfplatz, Schöneberg also fills up with families on Sundays. Outdoor markets rise up from the neighbourhood’s open squares, and the area’s vintage and antique shops also turn it into the perfect place for an afternoon stroll.
In Schöneberg, pre-war Berlin buildings clash with modern-shaped complexes from the 50s and 60s. For those who love shopping, the KaDeWe department store is a must-see — think of it as Berlin’s equivalent to Harrods or Galeries Lafayette. Also worth visiting is the Schöneberg Town Hall was where President John F. Kennedy gave his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in 1963. The bell still tolls at noon every day as a reminder of the value of freedom.
Schönberg is a great place for students studying at the Technical University of Berlin — it’s just 8 stops on U7 and 2 stops on U2 away from U Eisenacher Str station. From the same station, you can reach Humboldt University in 4 stops on on U7 and 4 stops on U6.
Friedrichshain is the first thing that comes out of a Berliner’s mouth when you ask them where they would like to live in Berlin. It’s a trendy area with a lot of young people — in fact, it’s the district with the highest percentage of 18 to 26 year olds. Why? Because even though it’s pretty central, you can still find affordable places to live.
In Friedrichshain, two extremes clash against each other: the mainstream and old buildings collide with an alternative atmosphere and prefabricated buildings, and drummers, children and dogs alike meet in the streets and liven up the neighbourhood.
In Friedrichshain you can find the East Side Gallery, a very well preserved part of the Berlin Wall. There are also a lot of restaurants and bars, especially around Simon-Dach-Straße. The neighbourhood is also known to be the home of the famous and almost impenetrable Berghain nightclub. While there is still daylight, you can go for a walk through one of the many flea markets in the area or relax in Volkspark Friedrichshain.
From Frankfurter Tor, it takes you 25 minutes to reach Humboldt University (4 stops on U5 followed by 4 stops in U2). From Warschauer Straße, it also 25 minutes to reach the Technical University of Berlin (8 stops on S5).
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Are you staying in Berlin and you don’t know where to eat? Check our guide of 5 insanely cheap places to grab a bite in Berlin!
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