A village flair in the midst of Berlin's grey concrete jungle? There’s one neighbourhood that strikes that balance with ease: Berlin Spandau! In the old town of Spandau, old timber-framed houses adorn the urban scenery and its parks tempt you to take a break.
Away from the matcha lattes and concept stores, a real gem hides away from the tourist masses and residents of the hipster districts: Berlin Spandau! This Berlin neighbourhood has a lot to offer its newcomers.
Before you set foot in the streets of Berlin Spandau and let yourself drift into the village flair, it's good to know what actually belongs to Berlin Spandau. After all, even for locals it hasn't been that obvious: until 1920, Berlin Spandau was still an independent municipality and later became the eighth district of Berlin.
What this means for you is that in Berlin Spandau you have an almost independent urban Berlin infrastructure and in no time at all you can get not only to Kreuzberg & Co. but even to Prague or Budapest. Living the travel life!
What's more, Berlin Spandau was the only district in Berlin that was divided by an East-West conflict after the war. But back to the present: what actually belongs to Berlin Spandau?
These five districts belong to Berlin Spandau:
It's no secret that in Berlin Mitte one coworking space sprouts from the ground next to another and Berlin start-ups in their tech ecosystem come up with one brave business idea after another; after all, that's what makes the heart of Berlin what it is. But on the brink of the creative scene and startup hubs, on the outskirts of Berlin, is where Berlin's economic engine lies: Berlin Spandau.
As a matter of fact,
the fifth district with its utilities is an economic powerhouse for Berlin”
and this despite the fact that Berlin Spandau has always wrongly been a shadow of the capital. Would you have thought that?
Pastures and forests en masse: away from the typical Berlin concrete blocks in Neukölln and pompous villas in neighbouring Charlottenburg, Berlin Spandau gives you a real village feeling away from the bustling metropolis. In no time at all you can escape the urban jungle and retreat to the forest or paddle a canoe through the streams of 'Little Venice'.
So, time to discover 7 places in Berlin Spandau that will soon make you look like a local! Ready?
A 180-degree change in front of the town hall: in winter, the square in front of the town hall in Spandau buzzes with the lights of the Christmas market, and during the week, fruit and flower vendors bustle about the weekly market. Between the fresh vegetables and colourful flowers, you can let the baristas whip up a coffee for you or try a gourmet journey through the food trucks at the weekly market.
And because you need something sweet after the Berliner Buletten (meatballs), head across the street to Altstädter Ring.
In a declaration of love for their city, Florida Eis ice cream is a must for true locals: it's a true Berlin classic!
Since 1927, Florida has been available in all its colourful flavours, and when you enter the ice cream café, it feels like a trip back in time to the 80s. But what you wouldn't expect: despite the vintage vibe, Florida Eis is anything but retrograde, because the ice cream is produced using solar energy and CO2-neutral.
By the way, even though Florida Eis is a must-visit for everyone in Spandau, you can find the ice cream in countless Berlin supermarkets and order it all over Germany.
Ready for a little stroll through the old town? Take a stroll up Carl-Schurz-Straße, past the water on your left and right until you see Galeria Kaufhaus on your right. Turn right into Charlottenstraße and you'll already feel the historic flair of the old town of Spandau.
In the middle of the old town of Spandau, you quickly forget that you are on the outskirts of Germany's largest city. The alleys and half-timbered houses in the old town are reminiscent of small-town charm.
Stroll through the side streets and let yourself be enchanted by the historic buildings, the Gothic House or the St. Nikolai Church, the old houses and colourful facades. Do you feel the historical vibe around you? Then head for the next spot: the Spandau Citadel.
To get there, you have to cross to the other side of the Havel at the Julius Tower until you see a fortress hidden behind the trees on your left, around which the Havel flows. Is the drawbridge lowered? Then you can enter the fortress.
Let's go back in time, or more precisely: to the High Renaissance. Hidden behind the trees and surrounded by the Havel, you'll find one of the best-preserved fortresses in all of Europe: the Spandau Citadel.
In summer there are always big castle festivals here, and if you're lucky you'll see one of the many exhibitions there today! It's best to check on the internet beforehand to see if there's an exhibition on the citadel's programme today.
Had enough of castles and knights? You've earned yourself a beer! Even though the next stop is right next to the Spandau Citadel, you first have to cross the drawbridge back onto Am Juliusturm and turn right into the small street Neuendorfer Straße. Past The Black Pearl and over a bridge is Brauhaus Spandau opposite the car park.
Without a lot of frills and even before the Craft Beer Era, Spandauer Brauhaus has been serving Craft Beer since 1994. With hearty home cooking and one of the 13 in-house beers, you can enjoy a delicious meal here at reasonable prices and at the same time enjoy a view of the Havel.
If you want to delve even deeper into the art of brewing, you can join one of the brewery tours (including a tasting!).
A smooth transition from wheat in beer form to wheat in bread can be found at Getreibestübchen not far from the brewery at the roundabout down Neuendorfer Straße.
Where organic is still organic: Time has stood still a little at the Back- und Getreidestübchen. The rolls and breads are still made by hand here, from the flour straight into the bread bag - a true paradise for bread lovers!
At the Back- und Getreidestübchen you can either enjoy freshly baked goods in the in-house café or stock up on flour, cereals or even ready-made baking mixes for your home bread bakery.
With flour and a bag of baked goods under your arm, you're off to an island surrounded by the Havel. If a 24-minute walk is too long for you, you can also take the M36 and ride around the lake.
It doesn't get much more idyllic than this, and all this in Berlin: on the island of Eiswerder, surrounded by the Havel, you' ll find the old half-timbered house with the Stilbruch restaurant. Let's face it, the restaurant isn't a bargain, yet the charming atmosphere and view of the water give you an idyllic view that you won't find anywhere else in Berlin. The menu is upmarket and traditional, with lamb shank or cod fillet, and there's also a delicious selection of Berlin wines!
So here's to you and your new home in Berlin Spandau!