Europe > Central Europe > Germany > Berlin > Berlin/Tempelhof and Neukölln
Tempelhof and Neukölln are two districts in the central south of Berlin.
Tempelhof was a district of Berlin until it was amalgamated with Schöneberg in 2001. As the two areas have little in common, we cover Schöneberg as part of Berlin/City West. Tempelhof is an industrial area and in the south is a living area for families. The northern part is mainly occupied by the airport Tempelhof which was closed in October 2008 and now serves as a public park.
Neukölln is a district of Berlin. It consists of four sub-districts (Britz, Buckow, Rudow and Neukölln). Neukölln has a history as a poor working-class district with a large number of migrants. Neukölln offers big contrasts between the densely populated northern part and the more village looking southern parts. Southern neighbourhoods Britz, Buckow and Rudow became part of Berlin with the 1920 Groß Berlin Gesetz and largely kept their structure. The northern part of Neukölln, nicknamed Kreuzkölln, has been undergoing gentrification much like neighbouring Kreuzberg. Neukölln frequently makes national headlines as a supposed Problembezirk (district with problems), but this is in part due to alarmism of the last two district mayors, who got book deals and federal office out of it and in part due to press exaggeration. Yes, the area has higher than average unemployment and certain types of crime are more common, but it's not exactly "Lord of the Flies", and by global standards the crime rate is probably on the lower end of the spectrum.
By public transport
U-Bahn line U6 from station 1 onwards south is the backbone of the district. The major S-Bahn station 2 , a DB station with national and international rail service, and 3 also lie within the district. Südkreuz also sees a number of long distance buses though there is no dedicated station like the ZOB near the trade fare area.
The U-Bahn linesand are the backbone of transportation in Neukölln. All stations from to and from to are northern Neukölln. Several bus lines connect the residential areas especially in the southern parts.
The 4 . Bus X7 links the airport with , then you can continue towards or .starts at Schönefeld airport and ends at
The federal motorway 100 (the new city highway) has been constructed on the border line with Berlin/Treptow-Köpenick (the former inner Berlin border). It offers a fast way to the new BER airport which will some day be the only airport for Berlin. During rush hour the entry and exit ways might be congested but the main traffic is to come after the airport opening.
- 1 Tempelhof Airport (take U6 to "Platz der Luftbrücke", "Paradestraße" or "Tempelhof" to enter the park). Sunrise to sunset. The "mother of all airports", according to Sir Norman Foster, is a huge relic of the interwar era. The terminal building, built between 1936 and 1941 immediately south of the city centre, was the hot spot of the Berlin airlift (Berliner Luftbrücke) in 1948-49, but closed as an airport on October 30, 2008. In 1951 a monument was added to its entrance square - then renamed "Airlift Square" -to commemorate the airlifts over the Berlin Blockade. The airport was featured in movies like Billy Wilder's One Two Three. Nowadays, the airfield is a spacious park with many visitors in summer and fall. The terminal building is still fascinating - the halls and neighbouring buildings, intended to become the gateway to Europe, are still some of the largest structures in the world. The terminal building is used as a venue of fashion weeks or fairs. In the 21st century the now former airport was a hot-button political issue: First Tempelhof Airport was the subject of a failed ballot measure to keep it open as an airport. A few years later, a ballot measure to prevent new construction on its outskirts was successful, thus preserving the urban open space at the cost of an exacerbated housing shortage. The park is free; guided tour of the building €15 for adults, €10 for students, €7 for children 14 and under.
- 2 Police Historical Collection (Polizeihistorische Sammlung), Platz der Luftbrücke 6 (adjacent to Tempelhof Airport), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-W 09:00-15:00. Official website (in German). A museum of Berlin's different police forces through the ages, displaying historic uniforms, weapons, and specialist equipment such as cameras. Completing the collection are a photo archive and around 50 police vehicles, which are only viewable on certain 'open doors' days. €2, concessions €1.
- 3 Schwerbelastungskörper (heavy load body), General-Pape-Str/Loewenhardtdamm. Tu-W 14:00-18:00; Th 10:00-18:00; Su 13:00-16:00. Closed Nov-Mar and Good Friday. From 1941, 12,000 tons of concrete in a 15-m-high and 20-m-diamater cylinder were built to test the load-bearing capacity of the Berlin soils (turns out glacial sands are no good basis for gargantuan architecture) for Albert Speer's Germania buildings. Too massive for later blasting, this is one of the more bizarre remains of the Third Reich. free entry.
Neukölln has been known for its large immigrant population, but is now considered to be a highly up-and-coming neighbourhood of Berlin where more and more artists, students, and new homeowners are moving to. Particularly northern Neukölln – also known as Kreuzkölln – has seen a huge influx of money and has become particularly trendy, and this trend is moving steadily further south. Particular areas of note is the part of Neukölln close to the Maybachufer channel that also hosts the famous Turkish market (off of U-Bahn Schönleinstraße), the Schillerkiez (off of U-Bahn Boddinstraße ), and the Richardplatz (off of U-Bahn Karl-Marx-Straße ).
- 4 Sonnenallee. Became famous from the film named after this street. During the Cold War, the street was split, with one section belonging to East Berlin and one to West Berlin.
- 1 Neuköllner Oper, Karl-Marx-Straße 131 ( .), ☏ , (tickets). Visit a play and be amazed by the creativity, which the opera house has won some awards for.
- 2 Stadtbad Neukölln, Ganghoferstraße 3, ☏ . Built from 1912-14 in Art Nouveau style and carefully renovated in 1984, this swimming pool (actually two in one building), covered in mosaics and domes, is one of Berlin's most beautiful. A must see for architecture fans.
- 3 Volkspark Mariendorf. Boasts an open-air cinema and is the perfect activity to do at night.
- 4 Britzer Garten. A 90-hectare garden and former national garden show place (1984); public park with great flora and big playgrounds for kids; popular amongst children and seniors on weekends.
The region boasts many specialty food shops (Asian, Indian, African, etc.), which offer an impressive international selection for very competitive prices.
Neukölln is home to many so-called "Spätis" which Berlin has become known for. "Spätis" are kiosks regularly open until 02:00 or 03:00 (some are open 24 hours), offering everything from cigarettes, drinks, and sweets, to necessities (dairy, dry goods, canned food, etc.) Slightly more expensive than grocery chains, but less expensive than gas stations.
- 1 Kindl-Boulevard Passage, Hermannstraße 214-216, 12053 Berlin (U-Bahn Boddinstraße). Shopping centre on Hermanstraße with many stores, a cinema, and a Kaiser's supermarket.
- 2 Neukölln Arkaden, Karl-Marx-Straße 66, 12043 Berlin (U7 Station Rathaus Neukölln), ☏ . 07:00-23:00. An abundance of clothing stores and eateries, a post office, gym, a cinema known as "Karli" (movies in both German and Turkish shown regularly), and a very large supermarket (Kaufland) in the basement. Free wi-fi.
- 3 Turkish Market, Maybachufer (U8 Schönleinstraße). Tu F 11:00-18:30. The “Turk's market” at the Landwehr Canal at the Maybachufer in Neukölln near Kreuzberg sells vegetables, Turkish specialities and a lot of materials.
- 4 Gropiusstadt Passagen, Johannisthaler Chaussee 317, 12351 Berlin (U-7 station Johannistaler Chaussee), ☏ . 10:00-20:00. It's the biggest mall in Berlin and offers a wide variety of shops.
- 1 Cafe & Restaurant Louis, Richardplatz 5 (600 m. from U-bahn Karl-Marx-Str Station. Line 7), ☏ . 11:00-23:00. Austrian food, giant schnitzels and quality beer on tap.
- 2 Café Jacques, Maybachufer 14 (U-8 Schönleinstr. Station), ☏ . 18:00-03:00. Great French cuisine (especially the fish and the self-made noodles), nice service, very crowded though.
- 3 Cafe Rix, Karl-Marx-Straße 141 (U-7 station Karl-Marx-Str), ☏ . Next to the Neukölln Opera house with international cuisine.
- 4 Tabibito, Karl-Marx-Straße 56 (U-7 Rathaus Neukölln Station), ☏ . 12:00-23:00. Japanese restaurant, family-run, very friendly (sometimes you get a snack for free), since it's little, can be very crowded in the evenings.
- 5 TanzCafé Britz, Germaniapromenade 24 ( ), ☏ , email@example.com. 12:00-20:00. Hidden away in a residential area. Cute café/restaurant with lots of dancing activities and excellent and really cheap food prepared by a french chef. €3.90 and up, items over €10 are rare.
- 6 Café Selig, Herrfurthplatz 14 ( ), ☏ . 10:00-22:00. Cute café/restaurant in the Schillerkiez by the church. Good place to people-watch, drink a coffee, and to eat brunch.
- 7 Zio Felix, Okerstraße 35, ☏ . Good pizza.
- 8 Britzer Mühle, Buckower Damm 130 (Dachdeckerweg Bus stop.), ☏ . Classical German cuisine in an old wind mill.
- 9 Casa Montella, Krokusstraße 80 (bus 171 from U Hermannplatz), ☏ . Good Italian restaurant in Rudow.
Especially in the northern part of Neukölln (east of Kottbusser Damm, next to the Kreuzberg-border), the bar scene is becoming increasingly established. The rest of Neukölln houses a few student-friendly bars. Nearby Kreuzberg offers more variety.
- 1 Arcaoda, Karl-Marx Platz 16 (U-Bahn: U7 Bahnhof Karl-Marx-Straße, Bus: N7 Karl-Marx-Platz), firstname.lastname@example.org. This club in an old bowling alley offers electro club nights, live music performances, independent music, art exhibitions and food.
- 2 Brauhaus Rixdorf, Glasower Straße 27, 12051, ☏ . M-Th 16:00 - 23:00; F Sa 12:00 - 23:00; Su 12:00 - 22:00. Traditional brewery with a very nice biergarten, lovely in summer. The food is typical Bavarian fare, and of pretty good quality.
- 3 Klunkerkranich, Karl-Marx-Straße 66 (U-Bahn: U7 Rathaus Neukölln, Bus: 104,166,N7,N94, parking level 6 and 7 of the Neukölln Arcaden), ☏ , email@example.com. Popular rooftop club, beach bar, sundeck or garden on top of a parking garage with a fantastic view over Neukölln, live music and DJs playing electro, funk, disco or jazz.
- 4 Kulturverein Kinski, Friedelstraße 28, ☏ . Famous for late nights and cultural activities. Frequented by Neukölln film enthusiasts, and occasionally rare films are screened. A nice feature: if you want to organise an artistic event or plan to DJ, just go there and sign up in the list at the bar.
Schillerkiez is close to the former Berlin Tempelhof Airport. Since the airport closed down, the area has become popular. There are several nice bars in the area.
- 5 Frollein Langner, Weisestraße 34, ☏ . Furnished with several sofas it has a living room atmosphere. They serve Bavarian beer and small snacks. The main room is non-smoking. There is a separate room for smokers.
- 6 Froschkönig Pianobar, Weisestraße 17 (Few min from U-8 Boddinstr. Station). 18:00–00:00. Awesome pianobar with literature nights and occasional jazz concerts. Very relaxed atmosphere, located in the Schillerkiez.
- 7 Syndikat, Weisestraße 56, ☏ . One of the most famous bars in this part of town. It's been around for some 25 years and considered to be one of the best 'Kneipen' in Neukölln.
Because Neukölln is not really in the city center, most hotels are for coach tours or bigger groups. They are busiest on weekends. If you come with a group (at least 10 people) negotiate a discount.
- 1 2A-Hostel, Saalestr. 76 (next to S Neukölln), ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Cheap modern hostel, built in 2011. from €13.
- 2 Estrel, Sonnenallee 225. It claims to be biggest hotel and entertainment complex in Europe. 1,125 rooms, a convention center and Michael Jackson's father stayed here.
- 3 Mercure Hotel Tempelhof Airport, Hermannstrasse 214-216 (entrance at Rollbergstrasse), ☏ . East of the former airport.
As mentioned above the area of Neukölln has a rather sensational bad reputation in the German press and some politicians would like to make you think it is some sort of apocalyptic hellscape which it in reality is not. Unfortunately what does seem to be a problem is antisemitism, as in 2018 a young Israeli wearing a kippah was beaten up and called "yahudi" in Neukölln. While the reaction of every politician of relevance up to the federal government was one of solidarity with the victim and condemnation of the attack and antisemitism in general, it is not advisable to be identifiable as visibly Jewish here.