Once the stomping ground of bohemians, anarchists and squatting artists, Berlin’s Kreuzberg might be outgrowing its rebellious anti-establishment roots, but it remains a stronghold of creativity and indie energy with its distressed graffiti-splashed aesthetic and cutting-edge attitude.
Here’s a walkable (and cyclable) jaunt around the district’s concept shops, vintage stores and laidback eateries. The neighbourhood is still on adolescent hours, so don your best head-to-toe black and don’t even think about going before 11am.
Start your trawl at Prinzenstrasse, where DIY and interior designer dream Modulor has all your stationery, wrapping and model-making fantasies covered (and if they don’t it probably doesn’t exist). Next door is eternally hip concrete-chic deli/bar/resto Parker Bowles, for daily changing carnivore and veg specials. Post lunch, stride over the street to take a quick wander through community green space Prinzessinnengärten then onto Oranienstr. where Collect Boutique has a massive stash of jazzy vintage clothing, accessories and jewellery.
Evening outfit sorted, exit Collect and continue on until you reach public square Oranienplatz where, in the far right corner, you’ll find the beguiling apotheke-inspired coffee shop Ora. Amble out right, and onto Oranienstr. where fair-trade DIM shelves wood goods and colourful tchotchkes. Nearby is sleek concept Voo Store championing sustainable, directional boutique labels such as Munich-based A Kind of Guise, simple streetwear from Wood Wood and Eytys‘ canvas kicks. Just add Acne, Adidas, et al… and on-site Companion Coffee for that all important mid-shop caffeine hit.
Shifting gears from retail thrills to cultural spoils – next up is the fairytale-like turreted hospital turned exhibition space (and occasional open-air cinema) Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien on Mariannenplatz. From here it’s a skip to Manteuffelstr. where you’ll behold a superb collection of original Bauhaus, Mid-Century Scandi and C.20th European furniture at StilSpiel – if you’re lucky owners Malte and Evelyn will be there to chat on all things Eames, Dyrlund, Desede et al.
By now you’ll be hungry enough to eat your own Liebeskind satchel. Cheery, cosy Italian cucina Der Goldene Hahn is on hand for a quick carb fest, or, directly opposite is the rear entrance to Markthalle Neun, a striking c. 19th iron-laced eatarium piled with fresh produce and food stalls by day – and if it’s Thursday, it’s open late for a lively, zingy bonanza of global street bites. The epitome of a Kreuzberg kool, Luzia is close by for drinks backdropped by rough-luxe decor, street art and live beats. Ende – Wunderbar!
If you want to dive deeper into Berlin’s hippest hood, book the Kreuzberg Tour with our friends at Context Travel.
For more fab shopping tips and neighbourhood walks, nab a copy of the LUXE Berlin guide…