CITY GUIDE BERLIN: Is Kreuzberg Exclusively for Hipsters?
At this point, Kreuzberg is pretty infamous for its counterculture: hip bars, pubs, restaurants, and more. It’s pretty much set the gold standard for a hipster neighbourhood. Every edgy neighbourhood from Zizkov in Prague, to Hackney in London, aspires to be like it. As much as we love the rough feel of Kreuzberg, we wanted to see if there’s anything for the… shall we say .. more traditional members of our team? We went out in Kreuzberg and created a plan using KOMPAS. Here’s what we learned:
Starting the Day Off With a Cup of Coffee
The app recommended we go to Five Elephant, one of the most iconic coffee shops in Kreuzberg, and we couldn’t be happier with that option. Five Elephant are coffee roasters, with an attached coffee and cake shop. Now we’ve got to be honest – we didn’t try the cake because there was a lot more eating ahead of us. The coffee, however, was absolutely incredible, as good as anything you can get on the streets of London or Melbourne. The guys serving the coffee were both extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Off to a great start!
On To Some History @ the Jewish Museum
The museum was built six days before the Nazis took power, and actually operated until 1938, when it was shut down by the Gestapo. It was reopened in September 2001 and has been operational since. There is a permanent exhibition and many special exhibitions throughout the year. The permanent exhibition is split into two parts. The first part chronicles the history of Germany’s Jews beginning from medieval times to the modern age. It highlights the many contributions Jews have made to German science, culture, and much more. The second part deals with the way Jews reacted to the increased discrimination against them in Nazi times. The museum is moving, interesting, and a must visit when you’re in Kreuzberg.
Cooling Down With Some Shopping @ Hallesches Haus
We still can’t believe how damn cool this place is. It’s really hard to describe what it is because it’s a little bit of everything. It’s a general store, cafe, restaurant, event space, and probably a hundred more things. You can get some extremely beautiful things here. We opted for a copper cup (a little addicted to copper dishes, I’ll be honest). The things here are a little bit on the expensive side, so if you don’t want to splurge you might still want to just look around – the stuff here is really cool. We wouldn’t really want to shop anywhere else in Kreuzberg, this is our favourite shop now!
A Bite to Eat
The app suggested we go to Jolesch, an Austrian restaurant (it might be because of my abnormally large consumption of Schnitzel back in London). But once again, we were not the least bit disappointed. We got their delicious 3-course lunch menu for €13.50. The place is pretty small, so make sure you’re ready to wait for a short while to be seated. The staff, however, are extremely friendly, and the food is absolutely worth the wait.
A Walk by the Canal
When we were in Kreuzberg, the weather was quite a bit nicer than it is these days. The sun was out, and it wasn’t too cold, so we went for a walk at the Landwehr Canal. It’s a really nice walk: a good way to relax, walk off lunch, and take some picturesque photos. Keep this place in mind when the weather gets just a bit better!
Soaking up a Bit More Culture @ Berlinische Galerie
After visiting this place, we think it’s quite a shame that it’s not more well known. If you’re a fan of modern art, design, and architecture, you’ll love this place. With an extremely extensive collection, there’s a bit for everyone to enjoy. It’s also definitely one of the lightest museums you’ll find in Kreuzberg, and perhaps in Berlin as a whole, which is good if you want to just relax and look at some cool things.
Here we had a bit of a disagreement, so we split up:
Two of us went to Restaurant TIM RAUE, which I’ve wanted to visit ever since I’d seen Tim on Chef’s Table. While this experience will undoubtedly set you back quite a bit, it’s 100% worth it if you’re a true foodie. All of the dishes worked together spectacularly well, it was like an out-of-body experience. I’d been to Michelin-starred restaurants before (I spend unnecessarily large amounts of money on food), but nothing like this. I can honestly not recommend this place enough, I came in with sky-high expectations and did not leave the least bit disappointed. It did set the two of us back almost €400.
The others decided to go somewhere slightly cheaper (they’re not committed to the foodie cause as much as I am), but they tell us it was no less delicious (O.K.). Cocolo X-Berg‘s small size might transport you in spirit to the busy noodle shops that you would find on the streets of Tokyo, particularly after that first mouthful of pork belly ramen. It will only set you back about €30, so it might be a more realistic day-to-day option.
You can’t be in Berlin and not go to a bar, right? We decided we wanted something cool, but not too edgy. Based on our previous choices in London, KOMPAS recommended we go to Limonadier. The atmosphere is extremely pleasant: it feels like a 1920s Speakeasy. I had one of their newer drinks, the Wammy’s House, and it was absolutely delicious. The perfect mix of sweet and salty, crisp and smooth, mhmm.. takes me back. I will most definitely be back to have some more of this goodness.
In conclusion, I think Kreuzberg is a great place to visit, regardless of whether you’re a hipster or not. It’s really got something for everyone. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little rundown of a day with KOMPAS, and it has shown you a slightly different side to X-Berg.
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