12 Places to be in pretty Prenzlauer Berg
Prenzlauer Berg was a rough neighborhood. Before the Berlin Wall fell a lot of houses looked nearly demolished. The people that lived in them took a bath in Stadtbad Oderbergerstrasse. After the Berlin Wall fell the neighborhood changed radically. The houses received a facelift. The beautiful architecture, lovely cafe’s , restaurants, and green parks make Prenzlauer Berg the place to be for many tourists in Berlin. The laid-back atmosphere, organic food stores and eccentric shops have also turned it into one of the most popular neighborhoods to live in. Former beer brewery’s and bread factory’s are turned into cultural hotspots. These are the 12 places to be in pretty Prenzlauer Berg:
Between Prenzlauer Berg and its neighbor district Pankow you can spot a lot of fascinating battered buildings that are a hot spot of creativity. For example former brewery Willner Brauerei. Beer brewer Emil Willner created this brewery with remarkable red and yellow stones around 1860. For a long time wheat beers came rattling out of this plant. Until 1990 when the place was abandoned. Recently this Sleeping Beaty has woken up again and she bursts with creativity.
East Berlin was grey, battered, people living there were sad, depressed and wore depressing clothes. Those are the cliches you always here about the GDR if people who grew up in Western Europe or the United States. And although a lot of cliches might hide some truth in them, we would also like to show you a different part of East Berlin that was not grey, desperate, colorless or boring: the Punks of Prenzlauer Berg.
At the end of the 19th century a better name for Prenzlauer Berg might have been Beer mountain. The Berlin district was beer heaven. Beer gardens thrived and there were beer breweries on nearly every corner or hill. Such as the Kulturbrauerei, Willner Brauerei and of course, the brewery on the Pfefferberg.
Every quarter had it’s own Stadtbad, like Wedding and Mitte. But one of the most beautiful ones is Stadtbad Prenzlauer Berg at the Oderbergerstrasse. Big bellied Neptune, the god of the seas, welcomes you at the entrance. Fish, tortoises, crabs and octopuses swim along the façade of Stadtbad Prenzlauer Berg. German sculptor Otto Lessing made the stunning sea creatures.
Berlin has many places to drink large wheat beers, but the best Berlin biergarten definitely is the Prater at the Kastanienallee. The beer garden is surrounded by chestnut trees and young people sit next to elderly people on wobbly benches to drink a beer and eat sausages, while toddlers run around. It is a small haven in the busy streets of Prenzelberg.
The Kulturbrauerei was a vibrant place, back in 1842. Rattling bottles were filled to the brim with beer and people ran to make sure all thirsty Berliners got a sip of their favorite brew. Today it is still easy to spot where the bottles were made and filled and the beer brewed. But nowadays they brew culture at the Kulturbrauerei.
Not surprisingly, in 1890 bread was baked in the Brotfabrik with its remarkable yellow bricks. But the new owner in 1952 was not that into communist bread and fled to West-Berlin, like many other East-Germans. After that no more sweet rolls or rye breads were baked here. After the Wende the Brotfabrik became a house of culture.
Dicke Hermann is one of the landmarks of Prenzlauer Berg. When you enter the Rykestrasse the tall, yellow brick tower is hard to miss. The tower is remarkable for it’s size, but also for it’s history. Dicke Hermann was built in 1856 to provide the inhabitants with water. In 1933 it became a sinister location. Local Nazi’s used the engine room to torture people.
When the Berlin Wall was build, it ran right through the lives of Berliners in the area of Bernauer Strasse. The Bernauer Strasse was right in the middle of the border. When the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961, the entrance of a few buildings was in the East. But if the inhabitants looked out of their windows, they saw West Berlin right beneath them.
The Mauerpark was no man’s land near the Berlin Wall. It’s hard to imagine nobody being able to walk or stroll here if you know what it looks right today. Children sled down the hill and in the summertime they swing here. On Sundays there is a famous flee market with vintage clothes and granny furniture. Only the colorful remains of the Berlin Wall remind of the old days.
Prenzlauer Berg has some really good and interesting restaurants. We think the best Berlin breakfast can be scored here. And what about a restaurant without a fixed price? You drink as much as you like, and only pay to get a glass. After a great evening you figure out yourself what you put in the money jar. Great lunches can be found here as well, like la Poulette, as well as the best home made ‘torten’ and ‘kuchen’ of Berlin.
Prenzlauer Berg loves booze. Berlin Beer was made here. Thirsty countrymen drank a wheat beer at the Prater when they were on their way home after a visit to the city centre of Berlin. The first beer bottles came rattling out of the plant that is now called the ‘Kulturbrauerei’. Prenzlauer Berg is still a great place to chill with a beer. Especially Oderbergerstrasse and Helmholtzplatz with the Lychener, Pappel and Dunckerstrasse have great bars. At some you can even play ping pong.