Where to live in Berlin: The best neighborhoods in the German capital
Wondering where to live in Berlin? This fabulous city is divided into 12 main districts and within these are a number of smaller suburbs and neighborhoods. From the affluent west to the trendy east and the family-friendly areas to the north and south, there is something for everyone in the German capital. If you're thinking of moving to the city, check out this guide to the best neighborhoods in Berlin.
Where the central district of Moabit meets the leafy West Berlin suburb of Tiergarten is the neighborhood of Moabit. Offering relatively low rents, a and excellent access to central Berlin, there's plenty of reasons to move to Moabit. Popular with students, the neighborhood is fairly quiet, the architecture electric, and the community diverse, with many Turkish families calling Moabit home and helping ensure many excellent eateries. The low rents are starting to attract artists which means Moabit promises to be the new trendy place to live.
This northeast Berlin neighborhood is ideal for young families with its many excellent facilities such as playgrounds and creches as well as clean streets and a friendly vibe. Frequently voted as one of the best places to live in Berlin, it's also a haven for foodies who like to stay healthy with a wide selection of vegan and organic food stores, cafes and restaurants and is also home to the famous Mauerpark Flea Market. Be warned however, as a place of serious gentrification, property isn't cheap in Prenzlauer Berg.
The popular district of Friedrichshain boasts many more excellent neighborhoods within it. Similar to, and neighboring, Kreuzberg (see below), this area is very popular with young people and families looking for plenty of culture, art, great places to eat and an excellent nightlife. A younger, hipper and more edgy version of Prenzlauer Berg.
This small neighborhood lies at the centre of the larger, Friedrichshain area (above), located to the east of the city and deserving its own special mention on this list. Simon-Dach-Kiez was once one of Berlin's most alternative areas, a place that thrived on counter-culture and liberal attitudes. As the squats and empty warehouses have turned into yoga studios and nightclubs, the area retains an atmosphere of hippie-dom but also caters for those who also want a good standard of living.
A traditional leafy residential area, Schöneberg is located to the Southwest of Berlin. Unlike nearby Charlottenberg, Schöneberg does boast some elements of hip culture, but this exists alongside grown-up living, excellent amenities, established restaurants and good access to shopping. This includes the famous KaDeWe department store that lies between Schöneberg and Charlottenberg.
Yet another upcoming, trendy and artsy corner of Berlin, Neukölln is particularly popular with expats who enjoy lower rents compared to much of Berlin. Set to become to the new Prenzlauer Berg in a decade or so, those who buy here now are either doing so because of the low prices, or because they know a thing or two about property investments. As a diverse, cosmopolitan area, Neukölln is a wonderful place to discover new foods and cultures.
Another great choice for families, but also popular with those looking for somewhere with a friendly heartbeat, beautiful architecture and plenty to do. Kreuzberg is located to the southeast of the city and is full of cobbled streets, lined with 19th century stucco apartment blocks. Within this area is the smaller neighborhood of Gräfekiez, one of the most gentrified in the region, as well as beautiful Wrangelkiez, more edgy and noticeably cheaper than Gräfekiez.
Quite unlike the many bohemian, urban and progressive neighborhoods in south and east Berlin, Charlottenburg is the quiet and genteel home to the most traditional and affluent populations of the city. Located firmly in West Berlin, it's home to the stunning Charlottenburg Palace. This large suburb boasts beautiful architecture, clean tree-lined streets and as you can guess, costly price tags for both buying and renting. However this quiet and refined neighborhood is perfect for those looking for a safe, tranquil haven, with easy access to exclusive bars and restaurants as well as big-name designer shops found at the KaDeWe department store.
A small neighborhood located within the central district of Mitte, Wedding has become something of an up-and-coming surprise in recent years. Very popular with the young artsy set, Wedding is surprisingly welcoming and laidback given its very central location. It's also considered a bit of a hidden gem and is still not on the radar of investors. Ideal for those who want both cheap rents AND excellent proximity to the centre of the city as well as friendly neighbors.