Back in 2015, I’ve lived in Berlin for a year. In German, you refer to the neighbourhood you live in with your ‘Kiez’. This Berlin neighbourhood guide is about my former Kiez: Friedrichshain.
Next to the fact that I lived there, Friedrichshain is one of my favourite neighbourhoods anyways. It is located on the Eastern side of the city, which is a bit more raw and hipster. There are many nice bars and restaurants to go to and Friedrichshain is home to the famous East Side Gallery.
In this guide, I’ll provide you with an overview of the best places to visit when in Berlin and heading to Friedrichshain. Interested in another neighbourhood like Neukolln? You’ll find the Neukolln Neighbourhood Guide here.
When you want to visit Friedrichshain, it is easiest to take the U-bahn to either Samariterstrasse or Warschauerstrasse. Within Friedrichshain the best way to get around is by foot or bike I would say. There are several places to rent a bike in Friedrichshain, one place is close the the Michelberger Hotel.
When you would like to take public transport, your best option is the bus as different bits of Friedrichshain aren’t well connected by U-bahn.
The East Side Gallery is the remainder of the Berlin Wall, that is now decorated with all kinds of art and paintings. Since a couple of years, the wall is protected by fences due to the heavy graffiti. The wall is located between the Oberbaumbrücke and Ostbahnhof and has a length of 1,3 km.
The Oberbaumbrücke is the bridge that connects Friedrichshain to Kreuzberg. Cover your nose as the smell under this bridge is not toooo nice. The bridge is located at Warschauer Strasse, which is the starting point of a metro line. View are stunning as you can see when a metro is crossing the bridge.
The pictures below are taken from the Oberbaumbrücke viewing the Spree. The Spree is the river that crosses the whole city and I personally love the view from this bridge. Chill at the lawns behind the East Side Gallery and enjoy the view.
One of the things I loved about Berlin (and Friedrichshain) are the small and cute little cinemas. With small cinema rooms and smaller screenings visiting a movie is completely experience compared to an ordinary cinema. My favourite one was B-ware Laden Kino – which was very close to my home. Another good one (and it has a nice and sunny terrace!) is Intimes. Check out the street art on the wall!
Mainly referred to as: Boxi. A small park in the middle of Friedrichshain. On Saturdays it is home to a market where you can get your fresh food and enjoy a coffee. On Sundays, there is a flee market and I can really recommend both the markets. Go early in the morning, grab a cup of coffee at one of the stalls and enjoy the view on Berlin waking up. Definitely try the Quark bar! There are many different flavours of quark and you can pick your own toppings. It is lovely.
This might be the most colorful street in Berlin – the Kreutzigerstrasse. It is close to Boxhagener platz and the nearest U-Bahn station is Samariterstrasse.
Friedrichshain is home to many great restaurants and bars and I dare to say I have tried many of them. Below you’ll find some of my favourites.
Silo is one of my favourite places for brunch. The menu is awesome with some nice bread and oven baked pancakes. The place is rather small, so you might have to wait a bit. There are a couple of tables outside – which is even better on a sunny day.
Another place close to Boxhagener Platz (I told you! This is the place to be). Enjoy some sourdough bread with fresh ingredients.
The French atmosphere can’t be missed when entering this little cafe. This is the perfect place to enjoy a good cup of coffee/espresso with a home made cake. The picture shows that they look GOOD!
Aunt Benny is another great place. Does it even need more words? I guess this picture explains it all. This is the brunch platter with cheese, meat and bread – and it tasted delicious.
Aunt Benny is located a little bit further out on a 15 to 20 minute walk from Boxi.
This place is my all time favourite in Friedrichshain and I have to admit I visited almost every week. My standard menu was the Mano Menu that could be shared with 2 persons for only 15 euros. However, I’m not sure if the menu still exists. Still, the sushi is rather cheap and good!
Another great place in Friedrichshain is called Transit. Transit is a restaurant that focusses on Asian ‘tapas’. A unique Asian dining experience as they describe it. They have several restaurants in Berlin, the one in Friedrichshain is located at the Sonntagstraße.
Il Ritrovo is my favourite place for pizza in Friedrichshain. The place is part of a chain, with restaurants in almost every neighbourhood in Berlin. Definitely visit one during your trip.
In my opinion, the best burgers in Friedrichshain. Located at – surprise! – Boxhagenerplatz, you can expect a huge and tasty burger.
Looking for Thai food? Then try Lemon Grass! The place is cheap (like many restaurants in Berlin) and you can get great Thai curry.
I love this place, especially on sunny days. Located at the spree (on your way from Warschauerstrasse to Alexanderplatz, you’ll pass the place), you can enjoy the chilled vibes at this beach bar.
The Simon-Dach-Strasse is a street with many bars closely located to each other. My favourite one, by far, is Dachkammer. Upstairs, it is a little darker (this area is not always open) and downstairs it has a little brown cafe feel.
At Minimal Bar you’ll find table tennis tables, a dancing area, but also cosy couches and tables to drink your beer. To me, this is a typical Berlin bar, not that known among tourists. Great place to head to!
Another place for craft beers is Hops & Barley. The place has a different feel from most bars in Berlin and worth a visit.
When in Berlin, you’ll find all aspects of the city in Friedrichshain. The neighbourhood is home to many clubs. My personal favourite is Salon zur Wilden Renate. When you don’t want to queue and want to skip the higher entrance fees, make sure to visit Suß war Gestern. Other clubs in Friedrichshain are for example Suicide Circus and about:blank.
As I lived in Berlin, I don’t know too much about different hotels. However, I’ll hand you three recommendations.
The Michelberger Hotel is probably one of the best known hotels in Friedrichshain. With a nice lobby and restaurant, this is a great place to stay. Rooms are around €100 per night.
Cheaper and more basic, but neat and clean. Perfectly located on 10 meters from U-bahn (metro) station Samariterstrasse.
Berlin has many great experiences to take, also with a more alternative vibe our not your standard tourist sights. I wrote an alternative Berlin city guide, focussing on the less standard places to go.