Rent a bike to get around. It’s the best way to explore Kreuzberg, which is a very bike friendly area
Bright Young Things
Kreuzberg, also known as X-Berg, is one of the best known areas of Berlin. Before the fall of the Berlin wall it was a poor, isolated part of West Berlin, but once the city was reunified it suddenly found itself in the thick of things. The initially low rent make it attractive for students and artists, and even today Kreuzberg has one of the youngest populations of all European city boroughs.
Kreuzberg has long been famous as the home of Berlin’s counterculture, and in particular Berlin’s punk rock movement. The SO36 which Iggy Pop and David Bowie hung out in when they lived in Berlin is still going strong today. Although it is more gentrified these days, Kreuzberg retains an edgy revolutionary streak. It is the hub of Germany’s digital currency transactions, with the world’s highest density of businesses accepting Bitcoin.
Carnival of Cultures
A high proportion of people in Kreuzberg are the descendants of Turkish immigrants.Try their food: simit rolls and searing pans of menemen, which is scrambled egg with peppers and tomatoes. Boy-o-boy it’s good. But if you want something native, try the currywurst at Curry 36. You don’t get much more German than that, and Curry 36 is widely considered to do the city’s best sausage and curry sauce. But that’s just a fraction of what Kreuzberg, one of Berlin’s most diverse districts, has to offer. Every year in May the Carnival of Cultures festival takes place, where different heritages are celebrated together in a vibrant street parade, with music, dancing, food and crafts. It’s a wonderful tribute to their inclusive philosophy.
Disobedience, at last
The Tempelhof airport is no longer used but the enormous historic space still hosts exhibitions and festivals. We can thank the German commander Oberst Rudolf Böttger for that fact it still exists. At the close of the Second World War, as the Red Army descended on Berlin, he refused to carry out orders to blow it up, choosing instead to kill himself. Our regards, Oberst.
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