The North of Berlin consists of the boroughs of Spandau, Reinickendorf, Pankow and the districts Wedding and Gesundbrunnen. The area was urbanized in the 19th century through the industrialization of Berlin. Before that most districts were small towns. In the early 20th century it was the working-class area with heavy industry where Siemens was founded (today even a small part of Reinickendorf is called Siemensstadt, due to the location of the company). Today it's become more residential but big industrial complexes are still seen in some areas.
Spandau is the westernmost borough (Bezirk) of the German capital city of Berlin. The district lies conveniently in a green area with the nearby Spree and Havel rivers. Once a town in its own right, Spandau is one of the oldest areas in the Berlin region and retains much of its unique character, having been spared the worst of the Allied bombing in the Second World War that so devastated the rest of the city. The center of the district is formed by a dense network of medieval streets and a market square, retaining a large number of timber-framed buildings. Spandau was the site of the military prison in which Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess was imprisoned after the 1946 Nuremberg trials until his death in 1987. The prison was then demolished.
Reinickendorf is a borough in the northwest of Berlin. It consists of the localities Tegel, Reinickendorf, Märkisches Viertel (1970s-era apartment blocks area) and some small, village-like areas. In general, it is a very green district with much water and the neighborhoods have a typical small town cityscape. In addition to the airport there are some minor sights interesting for tourists (especially architecture in Tegel).
Pankow is a borough of Berlin. In 2001 the three former districts of Prenzlauer Berg, Weißensee and Pankow were combined to form the new Pankow district. The former Pankow on the other hand is a very green, middle-class district with a laid-back atmosphere and some minor sights for tourists. Weißensee, too, is a largely residential district. Prenzlauer Berg is dealt with in East Central.
Wedding and Gesundbrunnen are parts of the Bezirk Mitte but not of the Ortsteil Mitte. There are between Reinickendorf and Mitte.
Spandau is the terminal station for a couple of public transport lines (especially the backbone line U7). Some long distance and all regional trains stop at Spandau.
By public transport
The main backbone for the western parts is the U-Bahn line U7, Berlin's longest, with the major stations 1 Zitadelle. , 2 Altstadt Spandau. and 3 Rathaus Spandau. . The S-Bahn lines S3 and S75 end/starts here as well.
The BVG (the public transport company) runs a public ferry between Kladow and Wannsee which is primarily designed for commuters.
- 1 Tegel Airport (TXL IATA). is located in the southwest of Reinickendorf, 15 minutes distance from the center of Tegel. From the airport you can get into the center of Berlin with the bus lines TXL, 109 and X9 or into the center of Tegel by bus 128 (change at Kurt-Schumacher Platz to U6 to Alt-Tegel). From the center of Berlin take the U-Bahn line U6 to Alt-Tegel, or the S-Bahn line S25 to station Tegel if you want to get into the center of Tegel. U-Bahn line U8 and S-Bahn lines S1 and S25 go through Reinickendorf; main stations are Alt-Reinickendorf (S 25) and Rathaus Reinickendorf (U8).
- 2 Berlin-Spandau. and 3 Berlin-Gesundbrunnen (in the district Gesundbrunnen). the station would be "Nordkreuz" if it were named with the same logic as Ostkreuz, Westkreuz and Südkreuz are stops for many long-distance trains and all regional trains. Both stations have interchange to various S-Bahn, U-Bahn and buses.
- 1 Spandau Citadel (Zitadelle Spandau), Am Juliusturm 64 (U7 Zitadelle, Bus X33 (stop Zitadelle)), ☎ . Open Tu-F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su 10:00-17:00. A fortress built between 1560-1590 to Italian design on the site of a 12th-century castle. entry €2.50 (concessions available).
- 2 St Nikolai Kirche. A splendid 15th century Gothic church with many fine accoutrements.
- 3 Luftwaffenmuseum der Bundeswehr (German Air Force Museum; RAF Gatow), Flugplatz Gatow 33 (from S+U Rathaus Spandau, take Bus 135). At a former Luftwaffe and Royal Air Force (RAF) airfield, RAF Gatow. The museum's focus is on military history, particularly the history of the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr, with a collection of more than 200,000 items, including 155 aeroplanes, 5,000 uniforms and 30,000 books. There are also displays (including aeroplanes) on the history of the airfield when it was used by the RAF. Aircraft include reproductions of Otto Lilienthal's gliders, of World War I planes such as the Fokker E.III, and World War II planes such as the Bf 109 and Me-262, as well as at least one aircraft of every type ever to serve in the air forces of East and West Germany. Most of those postwar aircraft are stored outside on the tarmac and runways, however, and many are in bad condition. There are long term restoration projects, including a Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
- 4 Schloss Tegel, Adelheidallee 17-21. Guided tours Mondays from May to Sept. A remarkable medium-sized classical castle by the famous K.F. Schinkel built 1820 to 1824, also called "Humboldtschlösschen", because Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt (and their family) lived here once. Still privately owned.
- 5 Dicke Marie. Not far away from Schloss Tegel (at the "große Malche") you can take a look at the oldest tree in Berlin, an oak which has been growing there since about 1192 (so it's actually older than Berlin itself). The name ("fat Mary") allegedly stems from the brother Humboldt who named the tree after their overweight cook.
- IBA-Bauten at Tegeler Hafen (U-Bahn station Alt-Tegel). During the International Building Exhibition 1984 to 1988 a bunch of remarkable buildings were set around the old Tegeler Hafen. Architecturally diverse, the most important is the Phosphateliminierungsanlage (Gustav Peichl). Also some buildings by Charles Moore are interesting.
- Borsigwerke and Borsigturm (Get out at station Borsigwerke (U6)). Ex-industrial buildings from the late 19th and early 20th century, nice clinker-architecture and the first (mini) highraiser of Berlin, the Borsigturm, 65 m high, built 1922-24. The area houses now offices, a shopping mall and some places for entertainment.
- 6 Lübars. One of the most authentic and oldest villages (1247) in the outskirts of Berlin, it looks the same way it did some hundred years ago. Take S-Bahn 1 to Waidmannslust and then bus 222 to Alt-Lübars.
- 7 Schönhausen Palace (Schloss Schönhausen), Tschaikowskistraße 1. A pretty restored Baroque palace (restoration completed in 2009).
- 8 Soviet War Memorial (Schönholzer Heide), Germanenstraße, 13156 Berlin.
- 9 Berlin from below (Berliner Unterwelten), Brunnenstraße 105 (at Gesundbrunnen station). Several daily tours 10:00-16:00 in different languages. Go on guided tours below Berlin to the World War II bunkers, flak towers, Cold War defence shelters, etc.
- 10 Humboldthain (Humboldthain S-Bahnhof). A pleasant park, featuring an anti-aircraft gun emplacement ("Flakturm") which offers sweeping views over Berlin
- Swimming, watersports and boat trips on one of the biggest Berlin lakes, the Tegeler See.
- 1 Greenwich Promenade (10 minutes walk from U-Bahn Alt-Tegel). Relaxing lake-side strolls on 'Greenvitch Promenaid', a path named after Reinickendorf's twin town of Greenwich, London.
- 1 Borsighallen, Am Borsigturm 2. A nice shopping mall located in Tegel. It's converted locomotive assembly halls turned into a typical medium sized Berlin mall with every shop you'll need. Additionally there is a cinema and other entertainment stuff.
- 2 Markthalle Tegel, Gorkistraße 13-17, 13507 Berlin (two minutes from U-Bahn Alt-Tegel), ☎ . M-F 08:00-19:00, Sa 08:00-16:00, Su closed. Indoor food market. Fantastic fresh foods at local prices, including bakers, deli counters, and greengrocers.
- 1 Brauhaus Spandau, Neuendorfer Straße 1, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. M 16:00-24:00; Tu-Th Su 11:00-24:00; Fr Sa 11:00-01:00. mains from €8.
- 1 Casa Schmuck, Wilhelmstr. 114, 13593 Berlin. Maybe the sweetest little bed and breakfast place in Berlin. Outside the center in Spandau, close to lakes and rivers, to the Olympic Stadium and the convention center. The lady running it is really nice!
- 2 Smart Hostel, Hotel and Apartments, Genter Str. 53 a/b (U Seestr.), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. 5 minutes away from U Seestr.
- 3 Hotel & Hostel Altstadt Spandau Berlin, Wasserstr. 4 (U Altstadt Spandau), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. 5 minutes away from U Altstadt Spandau. from €15.
- 4 Hettler & Lange Hotel und City-Camping, Gartenfelder Straße 1 (take U7 to Haselhorst, then bus 133, get off at Gartenfeld stop; then continue for another 300 m in the same direction, and turn right just before the bridge), ☎ . A nice campsite and small hotel next to the river. The amenities are quite basic, but clean and sufficient. Not suitable for people who need absolute silence for a good sleep - but the noise from the nearby Tegel airport is not very hard to get used to. €13-25.