Living in Berlin : East Berlin

Berlin counts several different districts with radically different atmospheres.  That is maybe what i like the most here; the possibility to choose an area depending on how you want to be living in Berlin. Hereunder are short descriptions of the most popular eastern Berlin districts.

Living in Berlin Friedrichshain:

Living in Berlin Friedrischain
Frankfurter Tor and a glance at Karl-Marx Allee

Cut in half by the very long Frankfurter Allee, Friedrichshain offers a very cosy atmosphere with little streets flooded with local bars, cafes, friseurs and fashion-designer shops. This district was once famous for its path-ways covered with dog-poo but like many places in Berlin, gentrification had radically changed the district to a much cleaner tone. Its inhabitants  are often expats who likes the southern part of the area around Simon-Dachstr. Many young couples have also moved around Samariterviertel where kinder-gardens are not rare at all. Friedrichshain is also home to many good clubs along Revealerstr. and to the mighty Berghain/Panorama Bar.

Move there if : You like a cosy village life at day and a wild night life after dark and you can afford the increasingly expensive rents.

Living in Berlin Kreuzberg

Living in Berlin Kreuzberg
Typical Kreuzberg Mural

Historically the alternative district and the biggest turkish city outside of Turkey, it has since gone under waves of gentrifications leaving areas like Bergmanstr. with more pricey neighbourhoods since the fall of the Wall. The area around Görlitzer Park is one of my favourite in Berlin, especially in the summer where Beers along the Landwehrkanal and grills are a must-do.  You can however find a very different atmosphere around the jewish museum or the world-wide famous Checkpoint charlie. It is also very hard to find a flat there. The area around Kotbusser Tor is still very turkish though, like the Market on Paul-Lincker Ufer. It is a very central area : Mitte, Friedrischain and Neukoln are just around the corner.

Move there if : Your job is in the area and you have the money and the connections to find a good flat there.

Living in Berlin Neukölln

Hermannplatz, one the liveliest part

Certainly less of a hype than Kreuzberg or Friedrischain, Neukölln is begin to attract a crowd that likes the reasonable offer of bars and clubs around Hermannplatz, and that enjoys cheaper rents in the southern part around leinestrasse.The area around Schönleinstr has  definitely a peaceful charm that adds up to the convenient connection of the U8. A lot of green parks is around the corner with the Volkspark and Tempefhoferfeld, that always provide a refreshing breeze in the summer.  It is sometimes said dangerous for ladies if they walk alone at night but there is no problem during the day.

Move there if: You work in Mitte, Schöneberg or Kreuzberg and that you don’t mind an extra 10min commute for a balanced exciting-peaceful environment.

Living in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg

Living in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg
A good example of beautiful buildings of Prenzlauer Berg

Very well preserved from WW2 bombings, Prenzlauer Berg offers a lot of small cute streets where cafes and restaurants are numerous. It was for long a very bohemian district where artists could create during the communist era. After the wall fell, the area gentrificated quickly to let young couples move in the beautiful flats available. It is often nick-named “Impregnated Berg” since the birth rate there is the highest in Europe ! There are kindergardens and bio-supermarkets at every corner. The area around Eberswalderstr. is a must-do for a wild night-out and the Mauerpark is one of the best places around for a sunny summer afternoon .

Move there if : You are looking for a upper-end family-friendly district with a laid-back atmosphere and nice flats.

Living in Berlin Tempelhof

Living in Berlin Tempelhof
Many festivals and concerts are taking in place in the former airport

Very well known for its abandoned airport and its horse race tracks, Tempelhof offers a very good option for families that would like to be living in Berlin and in a more quiet environment. It’s also very well connected to more busy Kreuzberg and central Berlin through the S2 while being a good starting point for Berlin Brandenburg Region and suburbs. It offers slightly larger apartments and houses if a baby is on the way. It can also be a good option for Students studying in Dalhlem.

Move there if: You need more space for you and your family. Your priority is a quiet home but you fancy a night -out once in a while.

Ya see ? There are many options for you when living in Berlin ! I hope this helped. If you are looking for a district in West Berlin, here are short descriptions of west Berlin districts.


  • Reply luc 12/05/2016 at 16:04

    What about Pankow? 😉

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 12/05/2016 at 17:19

      Good point. I’m not knowledgeable about the area so i wouldn’t know. If you suggest a description. I would glady add it here.

  • Reply Logan 30/12/2014 at 06:21

    Thanks for info! I have been living in San Francisco, USA for 20 years, talk about gentrification, sf is getting really bad and I am moving to Berlin in April, it is so cheap in berlin right now and want to move before it gets expensive. I can live there for 3 months of what I pay here for 1 month. Thanks again for all your very helpful information.

  • Reply Markus 27/11/2013 at 23:49

    Did you realise, that you mixed some East and West Berlin parts?

    At least if you say in the historical fact of that there was a wall around West-Berlin and thats this belongs to the different development…

    East: Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Mitte

    West: Wedding, Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf, Schöneberg, Tempelhof, Kreuzberg, Neukölln

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 29/11/2013 at 18:33

      thx for making this point. I think i just meant East and West geographically, not historically.

      • Reply Noe 28/11/2019 at 12:34

        Please get your facts right when writing an article about West and East Berlin! No German refers to the geographical part of East and West Berlin! Markus is correct when referring to the Eastern and Western districts.

        And please learn German. Berliners kind of dislike foreigners who make a move to learn their language.
        Grunewald – Not Grünewald
        Friedrichshain – Not Friedrischhain
        Schöneberg- Not Schönerberg
        a lot more.
        Reading this as a German Berliner is a disgrace. And confirms the image of ignorant foreigners moving to Berlin

        • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/11/2019 at 09:32

          Hey Noe. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Reply Michael Kraft 20/08/2013 at 09:05

    First time visitor, with a few questions:

    Article (“Living in Berlin – East Berlin”) appears to suggest that there are no ‘cheap’ East Berlin accommodations anymore (except parts of Neuköln — “the southern part around leinestrasse”). Is that accurate?

    Also, re: “If you are looking for a district in West Berlin, here are short descriptions of West Berlin districts.” . . .
    . . . Is there a missing link that’s supposed to be there? (i.e., where’s the “here”?)

    Then . . . having used instead the “Last links” link at the top of the page to get to the ‘West Berlin’ page, I read:

    “All in all, living in Berlin, in its eastern part is calling out to a slightly less alternative life style than in the eastern districts.”

    Did you mean “in its western part” — ?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 29/08/2013 at 22:00

      Hi there Michael,

      Thanks a lot for taking the time of leaving this. Obviously, i need to improve my proof reading for the next articles to be up. Typos were fixed thanks.

      Concerning your first question about accomodation, i would like to apologize if i gave this idea. What i mean i think is that it’s harder and harder to find cheap accomodations at prices that existed only 5-8 years ago in those areas. I’m talking about the “Berlin Cheap”. Prices increase rate is often higher in East Berlin too. Off course, to foreigners coming from Paris or London, almost anywhere in Berlin will seem cheap.
      Did that clear things up for you ?

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