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Friedrichshain

Known for its bustling nightlife, you'll also find peaceful green spaces and cosy cafes in this neighborhood.

TravelCurious Tip

Nerds: head to the Computer Games Museum, a fascinating tour through 60 years of interactive machinery (yes you can play with them)

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Before the fall of the Berlin wall, Friedrichshain was part of East Berlin. Its name is a tribute to Frederick the Great, a Prussian king from the 18th century. During the Second World War it was renamed Horst-Wessel-Staft after Horst Wessel, the Nazi activist and writer of the Nazi hymn. When Wessel was shot by communists in 1930 he died slowly and painfully in Friedrichshain hospital — an event with Joseph Goebbels turned into propaganda, hence the name change of the district.


Yin and Yang

Towards the end of the war, the district was severely damaged by allied bombing and intense house-to-house fighting during the Battle of Berlin. Right up to the nineties you could still see walls riddled with bullet holes. After the war, the boundary between the US and Soviet occupation sectors cut between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. Ever since the wall fell, they have been two of Berlin’s trendiest districts.


These days Friedrichshain is a curious mix of gentrification and loyalty to its squatter roots. The whole place is an art exhibition, with most every surface covered in bursts of graffiti, but expensive boutiques have also popped up here and there. Boisterous pubs with cheap brews sit next to cocktail bars; bleary-eyed students spill out of backroom cinemas onto luminous riverside green spaces. There’s a bit of everything, but none of it jars: the atmosphere is young, liberal and lively. You can’t help but enjoy it.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Berlin
Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz is the former East German city-centre, now a pedestrianised zone with excellent shopping opportunities and good food.
Kreuzberg
A district founded on anti-establishment values, Kreuzberg is a creative hub and home to a vibrant immigrant population.
East Side Gallery
This mile long stretch of beautiful murals was painted by 118 artist from 21 countries, to commemorate the fall of the Wall.
The River Spree
Running through the centre of the city,much of Berlin’s culture emanates from along the Spree’s riverbanks.
Treptower Park
Treptower Park is a park alongside the river Spree in Alt-Treptow, in the district of Treptow-Köpenick.
Currywurst
Famous traditional German fast food invented after WWII, consisting of hot pork sausage cut into slices and seasoned with curry sauce.

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of East Berlin with a Local
“Berlin is poor, but sexy” a former mayor famously declared about the city – discover for yourself why the world fell in love with its urban grit and underground freedoms in this half-day tour of the real, local Berlin. 

  • Take a journey through the vibrant Freidrichshain, Kreuzberg and Mitte neighbourhoods. 
  • Hear how locals describe Berlin - the experiences that have shaped their worldview.
  • Retrace history and observe the lasting repercussions of Soviet occupation.
  • Enter decaying hospitals and Industrial complexes, now converted into art spaces.
  • Unearth the finest cafes, vintage shops and music venues that lie tucked away. 
  • Explore and learn about the dazzling street art that coats the neighbourhood.
  • Grab a drink - a coffee or beer - in your local guide’s favorite haunt.
  • Learn first-hand what locals love about Berlin from someone who knows the place inside-out.
Since the fall of the wall in 1989, Berlin has metamorphosed from a Cold War city bound by razor wire and concrete to a vibrant, open city reborn. Seismic change is still ongoing, especially in Europe’s ‘Silicon Valley’ - where an insatiable appetite for innovation ensures Berlin is never static. From its cutting-edge artists, electro-DJs and uber-hip creative intellectuals that trail blaze effortlessly to the bright, bold confidence of Berlin’s neon-lit cabaret bars and nightclubs - the city is constantly abuzz.  Following your insightful local guide through hip districts, multicultural communities and countless creative spaces, you’ll learn how Berlin became a bastion of alternative living and what it’s like to live here today. Get off the beaten track and onto the streets as you explore this distinctive cultural landscape through the eyes of a Berliner. 

Enjoying a private, guided tour with a local will help you discover the sights that tourists so often miss in the artistic center of Kreuzberg. This former working-class area is a place of architectural contrasts and the transforming influx of vibrant immigrants have left it with a strong bohemian element. It hosts a number of great galleries and you will visit the Berlinische Galerie. Experience the humour, subtle nuances, social conventions and psyche of a place over a beer or coffee, and then jot down your guide’s version of “must do Berlin.” 
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