9 Places to be in funky Friedrichshain
Friedrichshain is Berlin’s most vibrant district. Here you will find old shattered factories full of colorful graffiti, and old bathhouses for weird party’s. This piece of Berlin is still a bit rough around the edges and artists, students and squatters love it for the atmosphere, rawness and cheap restaurants and bars. Hipsters discovered the area as well. These are the 9 places to be in funky Friedrichshain.
Photographs of Berlin before the Berlin Wall fell, with Trabants, battered buildings and lots of kids. Posters of furry monsters licking ice cream. A baby t-shirt with Hello Kitty with a mustache. At Boxhagener Platz, or Boxi, as the Berliners like to say, you can find really nice stuff on the flea market.
Hundred years ago Berlin was a city packed with people. Working class district Friedrichshain was filled to the brim with hard working people. Families rented out their bed to a labourer when dad went to work. At some houses there was ample space to open up a window, because the window of the neighbors was so close. But at the Knorrpromenade in Friedrichshain, life was different.
At Friedrichshain there is still 1.3 kilometer of painted concrete at the East Side Gallery. Including beautiful art works of the Trabant and the ‘deathly kiss’ of Soviet Leader Brezjnev and East-German leader Honecker. Although a lot of artwork has been restored a couple of years ago, recently a building company tore down a few slabs of Berlin Wall to make way for a luxurious apartment building near the river Spree.
The Oberbaumbrucke is the main bridge between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. 364 days a year crossing this beautiful bridge to the other side of the Spree is a great thing to do. But once a year nobody cares about the great architecture, the small towers and elegant arches. Once a year hell breaks loose.
This part along the river Spree is R.A.W. Raw, because this area in Friedrichshain is half in ruins and covered with beautiful graffiti. And raw, because it used to be the ReichsbahnAusbesserungsWerk. In the good old times 20.000 people worked here on the mighty steel of the trains.
The Karl Marx Allee is a street you will never forget after you’ve seen it. If you walk along Karl Marx Allee you’ll feel small like an ant. The buildings are called workers palaces. You’ll see it on the bricks of the buildings, which celebrate hard work. And like castles made by the rich and famous, they are also lavishly decorated and made to impress and make people look small and humble.
Volkspark Friedrichshain is a magical spot, and a perfect place for a fairytale walk. At the beginning of the park is a fairytale fountain (marchenbrunnen). Turtles spit out water, cats walk in boots and little girls feed concrete doves. The fairytales of the German brothers Grimm are beautifully depicted in stone here.
Friedrichshain has a lot of groovy, interesting bars. Students know their way around this area to go clubbing and dancing in Berghain and Cassiopeia. But Friedrichshain has more to offer. For example bars where you can buy the furniture you sit on or home made beer, lemonade, cakes and cider. And others where you can dance as well as play table football.
In Friedrichshain you can find no nonsense food for bargain prices. Even the local bakery near Boxhagener Platz makes really good cheesecake. Not a coincidence. This square buzzes with great little restaurants from all over the world.