5 areas to avoid in Berlin if you want to live there

Before searching for your new home in Berlin, get familiar with the areas you might want to avoid living in.


4 minute read
Updated on 20 May 2024

There is an abundance of neighbourhoods in Berlin to choose from. But just like any big capital city, crime rates in Berlin can be pretty high.

But should you worry about your safety when finding a place to live in Berlin? And what should you watch out for? In this article, we'll answer these critical questions. And before you get down to the search for Berlin houses for rent, let’s explore which areas in Berlin to avoid living in. We'll even share tips and important numbers to help you stay safe.

Is Berlin safe to live in?

With a safety index of 57.76, Berlin is pretty average when it comes to safety. It’s generally safe to live in and travel to, and the crime rate is even less than that of Paris, Brussels and Rome.. Violent crimes are rare, so you don’t have to worry about crimes such as assault, kidnapping, or armed robberies.

Some parts of Berlin may feel a bit sketchy. You'll likely encounter many homeless people and beggars in parts of Berlin. Be kind and respectful, and they'll do the same.

What are the areas to avoid in Berlin?

When choosing the best neighbourhood to live in Berlin, it's a good idea to know which are the less safe neighbourhoods. Let's take a look at some of the areas to avoid living in Berlin.

1. Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Lichtenberg

In terms of crime rates, Marzahn-Hellersdorf and Lichtenberg are pretty safe to live in.

In the past, the area had a history of anti-immigrant ideologies. In recent years, there's been an increase in the number of immigrants living in this part of Berlin. Today, you may see some racist stickers or hear an occasional racist comment, but violent crime is very rare in Marzahn-Hellersdorf and Lichtenberg.

In fact, the area has a lot of green spaces and affordable housing available to immigrants now.

2. Leopoldplatz in Wedding

While Wedding is still a pretty safe neighborhood, Leopoldplatz is one area known for being unsafe.

Compared to other neighborhoods in Berlin, Wedding has a higher crime rate— but this is mainly down to the area in and around Leopoldplatz. For the most part, Wedding is a multicultural place to live with plenty of immigrants— both students and professionals.

When choosing where to live in Berlin, many people will choose Wedding because of the area's lower cost of living. While the lower living cost is enticing, you can see why it's lower when you get to Leopoldplatz Square in particular. This is one of the poorest areas in Berlin, and robberies are a somewhat common occurrence. You'll also see quite a lot of drug usage and dealing here. If you decide to live in Wedding, try to avoid walking alone at night near Leopoldplatz.

3. Görlitzer Park

Görlitzer park is located in Kreuzberg. This park is popular with locals and tourists during the day, but at night, it becomes a hotspot for drug dealers. Violent crime is rare in Görlitzer Park, and you can easily navigate through the park safely at any time.

If you decide to live close by, simply keep to yourself if you're ever approached in Görlitzer Park. If you're ever approached, simply say you're not interested and walk away.

4. Touristic spots in Mitte

Namely: Alexanderplatz, Government District, Tiergarten South. Berlin Mitte has the highest crime rate in Berlin. This is not entirely surprising as it’s the most popular place for tourists, so there're a lot of petty crimes.

In fact, Mitte is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Berlin and potentially one of the best places to live in Berlin. If you want to live at the heart of the action but stay away from trouble, try to find housing away from places like Alexanderplatz, Government District and Tiergarten South.

Alexanderplatz, in particular, is popular with scammers and pickpockets, so be careful when walking there.

5. Kotbusser Tor in Kreuzberg

Kotbusser Tor is one of the most popular areas for nightlife in Berlin. With it being such an active area at all times of the day, it's pretty safe to be here.

However, the crowds attracted by the vibrant nightlife also attract drug dealers. As a result, the police consider this area a high-crime area. It's common to be stopped and searched here if police think you're suspicious.

In general, Kreuzberg is a desirable place to live with so much happening and such an active social scene. If you decide to live in Kreuzberg, avoid spending too much time in 'Kotti' if possible, especially at the Kotbusser Tor U-Bahn station at night.

Tips on staying safe in Berlin

As with any major city, Berlin does have some safety concerns. Violent crime is rare in Berlin, but in any case, it's good to go forth with your move to Berlin with some helpful safety tips.

Here’re some tips to keep you safe in Berlin:

  • If you're living by yourself, it might be best to live in a neighbourhood with plenty of street lights and not too far from the metro station. This way, you can get home safely and quickly.
  • Make sure to lock your doors and close your windows when you leave your house. Consider getting a second lock if you don’t have one yet. But check with your landlord first.
  • Don’t forget about your safety as a tenant; get familiar with German tenant laws before signing the contract.
  • Avoid dark corners and parks after dark and be careful around U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations.
  • Keep your cash close to yourself, for example, in the front pocket of your pants or the inside pocket of your jacket.
  • If you give money to beggars, don’t show where your purse is. Some beggars belong to pickpocketing gangs.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings and hold them tight in touristy areas and on public transport.
  • Don’t fall asleep on public transport, especially at night. That would make you an easy target for pickpockets.
  • Stay away from any fights and groups of drunk people.
  • If you’re approached by a person who claims to be a policeman, kindly request to see their police ID card or call 110. Sometimes, scammers pretend to be police officers searching for drugs just to steal your cash or credit cards.

In case of emergency

Remember these phone numbers to use in case of an emergency:

  • Police: 110
  • Fire brigade and ambulance: 112
  • Non-emergency calls: +49 30 4664 46 64

Now that you know which neighbourhoods in Berlin to avoid and what to do when you feel unsafe, you can start looking for your home in the German capital!

This article is for informational purposes only.

Please reach out to content@housinganywhere.com if you have any suggestions or questions about the content on this page.

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