The 12 Districts of Berlin: Neighbourhood Guide (2022)

Bryony

Updated on Jan 24 • 12 minute read

Thinking about living in one of the neighbourhoods of Berlin? You're in for a real treat. Berlin can be hip or historic, with the energy of a bustling metropolis or a pieceful suburb. Yet it's always on the brink of something extraordinary. Fortunately, Berlin’s neighbourhoods also model this range of personality, offering residential areas that can be trendy, artistic and extremely welcoming to the ever-growing expat community. So, if you want to feel truly alive, Berlin’s districts offer quite an inspiring backdrop!

But there're one or two things you should know before moving to Berlin. And that's that every Berlin neighborhood has something very unique up its sleeve.

Are you looking for a quiet uptown nighborhood for your family? Or maybe you're moving to Berlin to savour its vibrant nightlife? There're just so many reasons why you might want to move to this spirited city!

To help you find exactly what you’re looking for, we'll route you through the 12 administrative districts of Berlin based on their

  • quality of life
  • infrastructure
  • internationality
  • safety
  • rental prices

Now, let’s take a look at Berlin’s exciting neighbourhoods, so you can begin the search for your dream place in the German capital!

1. Mitte

Mitte is the historic centre of Berlin. It’s made up of both the East and West districts and is a prime example of how Berlin is in a flux of constant change.

Quality of Life

In Mitte, you’ll find important sites such as the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the Brandenburg Gate, the Jewish Memorial and Potsdamer Platz along with a host of museums and innovative galleries.

Contemporary art lovers will absolutely love Hamburger Bahnhof, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and the one and only Boros Bunker. And for more classical works, you’ll have a whole Museum Island at your disposal. This central district of Berlin is pretty much art heaven!

If you’re in Berlin for a semester to broaden your horizons, Mitte also boasts the impressive Humboldt University. This means that you’ll find a lively student crowd and nightlife scene in this neighbourhood as well.

In case you’re moving to Berlin to begin your professional career, you’ll find that opportunities are abundant. Especially, within Berlin's startup scene. The area around Torstrasse is so full of tech industries that it’s called Silicon Allee, and it’s home to recognizable names like Volkswagen and Microsoft.

Infrastructure

Transportation options are plentiful, and many people simply buy or rent a bike to get from A to B.

Internationality

Mitte is one of the most international neighbourhoods in Berlin. It’s extremely popular among expat professionals and tourists.

Safety

Where tourists romp through one attraction after the other and the shopping options range from hip boutiques to high-end shops, pickpockets and shoplifters are usually not far behind. As a true "pickpocket's paradise", Berlin Mitte leads the crime statistics with a frequency of around 27 000 crimes per 100 000 inhabitants.

However, if you look beyond petty crime, Berlin Mitte yet remains one of the safer neighbourhoods.

Rental Prices

Mitte is in the upper range of rental prices in Berlin with an average price of €13.87 per sq metre.

Type of accommodationRental price
Room€550
Apartment€1500

2. Neukölln

Offering a sometimes quirky, alternative lifestyle, Neukölln appeals to many young people. A portion of the area was once an airport until a little over 10 years ago, and now it has been transformed into a trendy place to live and work.

Quality of Life

Chilled vibe and variety of vegan eateries, vintage shops and markets - this is where the cool kids hang out.

The creative community has carved out a new home where everyone mingles in a neighbourly vibe among art galleries, bars and funky restaurants. Neukölln bursts with secret spots and small experimental restaurants unlike any other.

The Schwuz is the hub of the LGBTQ+ scene where you’ll see anyone enter for a fun night out – unfazed by your personal sexual tastes or preferences in life. You’re thrilled about drag shows? The Silver Future on Westerstraße’s got something for you!

Infrastructure

The Berlin district of Neukölln offers easy connections across the city. And while the pricing has risen in recent years, it still offers many benefits.

Internationality

Neukölln is extremely popular with young expats and the hip crowd of Berlin. This area has a large Turkish and Arabic community, providing a real international touch and some of the best restaurants in Berlin.

Safety

The crime statistics show that Neukölln is still the fourth most unsafe district in Berlin, where child and youth crimes are a serious concern.

The areas of Hermanplatz and Hermanstrasse remain a hot spot where the police presence continues to be high.

Rental prices

With Neukölln turning into the new hipster district, rents have risen significantly in recent years. However, it still remains one of the cheaper neighbourhoods of Berlin with a median rent of €9.26 per sq metre.

Type of accommodationRental price
Room€500
Apartment€1000

3. Friedrichshain - Kreuzberg

If you want to have a healthy mix of work, school and partying, then Friedrichshain or Kreuzberg may be the obvious choice. This section of Berlin was one of the most damaged in all of the city after the bombing of World War II. But now it’s been rebuilt and filled with residents who are just as creative as the city itself.

Quality of Life

Co-working spaces are popular here, as the entire neighbourhood seems to pulse with innovation.

Here you’ll find a large student population, who flock to the Kollwitzplatz for the bustling nightlife scene. Berghain, ://about blank, Wilde Renate and an infinite number of bars and great restaurants spread across the Friedrichshain district.

And not far from the Jewish Museum in Kreuzberg, lie The Berlinische Galerie and the König Gallery housed in the brutalist St. Agnes church. (Art and architecture fans alert!)

Warschauer Straße is right in the centre of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. This area also contains major learning institutions, including the Macromedia University of Media and Communication and the Hertie School of Governance.

Want to take a stroll through nature? The beautiful Viktoriapark is a green oasis with a roaring waterfall right in the middle of Kreuzberg.

Safety

You can wander around Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg peacefully on your own.

However, there are some areas to avoid, particularly during the night or with children. The northern part of Luisenstadt and between Oranienplatz and Kottbusser Tor, Görlitzer Park and Wrangelkiez, has seen a sharp increase in crime. The number of crimes has now reached around 35 500 per 100 000 inhabitants.

The majority of offences here are theft, physical assault, drug offences and transport fraud.

Infrastructure

Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg boasts its viable public transportation options with the major Ostbahnhof and Warschauer Straße connections. You can get just about anywhere in the city in a matter of minutes!

Internationality

Kreuzberg is full of diversity, with many immigrants calling it home. It’s also known for its large Turkish community, hosting a large Turkish market, where price haggling is encouraged!

Needless to say, Friedrichshain has one of the youngest overall populations in all of Berlin, and it is ideal for someone looking for a lively setting.

Rental prices

With the prices on the rise, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg has the second-highest rent index in Berlin at €13.2 per sq metre.

Type of accommodationRental price
Room€529
Apartment€1300

4. Charlottenburg - Wilmersdorf

When most Berliners think of Charlottenburg, their minds probably go straight to shopping, as the retail mecca of Germany is situated squarely on Unter den Linden. However, this also affords numerous work opportunities with big names like Apple and fashion legends Gucci and Chanel.

Quality of Life

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is an upmarket neighbourhood in the former West Berlin. The area boasts many lovely parks and the British School.

It also offers theatres and a cabaret, so the performing arts crowd spends a lot of their free time in this neighbourhood. Charlottenburg is also popular for its Asian eateries, so if you love noodle houses, you’ll have many options to choose from.

If you’re in Berlin to study, then this area might be your best bet, especially if you enrol at the nearby Technical University or the ESCP business school. You’ll also find multiple campuses of the largest art school in Europe, The Universität der Künste, located in this neighbourhood of Berlin.

Infrastructure

There are four underground lines (U2, U7, U1, U9) giving you plenty of options to explore every corner of Berlin!

Internationality

Charlottenburg is a very popular destination for English-speaking expats and, especially, expatriate families.

Safety

The boulevard lures tourists in Berlin with its numerous shopping malls and thus attracts shoplifters along with them. It comes as no surprise that some criminal energies are concentrated in Hardenbergplatz and Breitscheidplatz in particular, making Kurfürstendamm a "hotspot" for offences.

Note that it’s ten times less likely that you’ll be confronted with a crime in the neighbourhood around Wiesbadener Straße than on Kurfürstendamm.

However if you look beyond the realm of pickpockets and shoplifters, the district is safe for you (and your family).

Rental prices

Charlottenburg - Wilmersdorf has a high rent index with €12.45 being the average price per sq metre.

Type of accommodationRental price
Room€550
Apartment€1200

5. Pankow

This primarily residential area is very popular with young families and professionals. It’s clean, safe and has a thriving health scene comprising vegan cafes and organic food shops.

Quality of Life

Countless artists, writers and thinkers populate the area of Pankow as studio spaces here are much cheaper than in other European capitals. Plus, it’s also a good place to find co-working spaces if you’re a freelancer, digital nomad, or just like to get out of the office or library for some fresh ideas.

You’ll also find KulturBrauerei here, which was once a brewery but now is a huge draw for people looking for nightlife and dining, all under one roof.

Immigrants like to settle in the section of Prenzlauer Berg, close to Mitte. It’s for a good reason it’s consistently voted one of the prettiest areas in all of Berlin. It offers many beautiful streets with art galleries, small boutiques and concept stores that you can endlessly explore on your weekends.

Infrastructure

Did you know that Pankow is so far north of Berlin that it borders Brandenburg? And yet, in no time at all, you'll be in any part of Berlin if you take a train, metro or bus.

Internationality

What once used to be an area dominated by students, artists and German families is becoming more popular among young urban professionals. Pankow’s gentrification is attracting heaps of internationals these days.

Safety

Pankow positions itself in the average category of criminality. With 9 718 crimes per 100 000 inhabitants, Pankow is definitely considered a safe neighbourhood where you don't have to worry about walking the streets alone.

Rental prices

Rental prices are average in Pankow at €10.5 per sq metre.

Type of accommodationRental price
Room€475
Apartment€1075

6. Lichtenberg

Lichtenberg is one of the most well-known neighbourhoods in East Berlin. Partly, because it’s a prime example of the architecture of its post-Cold War days, made up of block-style concrete structures. Other reminders of the city’s history exist here in the Stasi Museum, filled with spy memorabilia, and a former prison, now the Hohenschönhausen Memorial.

Quality of Life

Depending on your point of view, some young people see this area as hip, but others note that it’s beginning to become outdated. And since you’re on the hunt for housing, lowering prices can work in your favour.

Families with kids will enjoy the green zones of Lichtenberg and one of Europe’s largest zoos, Tierpark.

Lichtenberg also offers a wealth of business and internship opportunities. Many private companies are taking advantage of the budget-friendly pricing and are setting up shops in this area.

Infrastructure

When you need to get around quickly in Berlin, the Berlin-Lichtenberg station offers a variety of links all across the city and beyond. So transportation is always fast and reliable.

Internationality

This quiet residential area is a multicultural hub. It's known for a large Vietnamese community concentrated in the popular Dong Xuan Center. They share the neighbourhood with predominantly working-class German families.

Safety

What‘s the safest district in Berlin? Ta-da: It's Lichtenberg! With 9 461 crimes per 100 000 inhabitants, you're safer here than anywhere else in Berlin.

Rental prices

Lichtenberg is not only the safest but also the cheapest neighbourhood in Berlin. Its average rent cost index is €9.03 per sq metre.

Type of accommodationRental price
Room€470
Apartment€820

7. Tempelhof - Schöneberg

Like so many of the cities in Berlin, Tempelhof played an important role during the Cold War with its now-defunct airport. That's where American planes would land to bring supplies to the people of West Berlin.

Quality of Life

Schöneberg was once a hot spot for culture in Berlin. In fact, many musicians lived here and even recorded albums in the neighbourhood’s studio spaces, including the likes of David Bowie. It’s now known as the hub for alternative lifestyles in Berlin, with a myriad of gay bars and a pulsing nightlife scene.

The University of Economics and Law has its home in Schöneberg, so you can also expect a thriving student area with inexpensive housing options.

However, it’s also a perfect place to raise your children, with many safe areas to play, cycle and skate. The former airport grounds regularly host public family activities, besides being just a great place for a picnic!

On top of that, Tempelhof-Schöneberg houses the Berlin and Alexander von Humboldt International Schools.

Infrastructure

Living in Tempelhof, you'll be in neighbouring districts like Schöneberg, Neukölln and Kreuzberg in no time.__ The area offers best public transportation, so you can reach every corner of Berlin quickly and easily.

Internationality

Tempelhof-Schöneberg is a residential area of Berlin popular among German and expat families because of the green spaces and playgrounds it offers.

You’ll also find a high presence of international students and starters that come here to find a balance between low rent, lovely surroundings and trendy hipster hangouts.

Safety

In Tempelhof-Schöneberg, you can walk through the streets without worries. Living in the south of the district is the safest place to be. By contrast, the north poses slight troubles, especially around Nolledorfplatz.

Rental prices

The rental prices in Tempelhof-Schöne are on the lower side with an average rent per sq metre of €10.

Type of accommodationRental price
Room€520
Apartment€990

8. Treptow - Köpenick

Treptow and Köpenick are very popular Berlin neighbourhoods for young people and families, providing both safety and moderate housing prices.

Quality of Life

The older industrial buildings in Treptow are transforming into office spaces for startups or co-working, so you can expect a young crowd of professionals. That brings along plenty of nightlife options and an inspiring art scene. At the same time, the tranquillity of Köpenick’s forests, lakes, and nature preserves makes the area perfect for windsurfing, sailing and cycling.

The popular Treptower Park offers a great place for picnics with friends and outdoor family activities. And it's also home to Archenhold Observatory, a favourite stop for science and astrology students. Plus, it’s a great place to see Berlin’s skyline.

Infrastructure

Treptow is close to Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, and Neukölln, and frequent trains make it simple to get around.

Köpenick is a little further away from the centre of Berlin. But, just like Spandau, it’s a quiet retreat close to the city via public transportation lines.

Internationality

Thanks to its low cost of living and its proximity to the hip areas of Kreuzberg and Neukölln, the Alt-Treptow neighbourhood is increasingly popular with young expats and creatives. The more you move to the east, the more family houses you’ll encounter.

Köpenick isn’t a particularly international district, but you’ll still feel comfortable there as an expat.

Safety

No doubt about it: with 9 623 cases per 100 000 inhabitants you are safer in Treptow - Köpenick than in nearly any other district.

Rental prices

The rents in Treptow-Köpenick roughly reflect the average rental prices in Berlin with €10 per sq meter.

Type of accommodationRental price
Room€489
Apartment€920

Not so obvious places to live in Berlin

Want to stay away from the action? In the popular districts of Berlin, it might be hard to find the piece and quiet you seek. Or maybe you’re looking for a place to start a family. Then safety and nature might be your primary concerns.

If that sounds like you, consider the tranquil residential areas of Steglitz - Zehlendorf, Marzahn - Hellersdorf, Reinickendorf, and Spandau.

Each of these districts lies on the outskirts of Berlin, bringing about all the benefits of suburban lifestyle. Here you can enjoy the lowest rental prices and crime rates while having access to beautiful recreational areas. Steglitz - Zehlendorf, Spandau, and Reinickendorf will treat you with lush forests and lakes. In Marzahn - Hellersdorf, you’ll find historic GDR-era concrete towers, high-rise apartments and vast parks.

And luckily Berlin’s developed public transport infrastructure allows you to easily commute to your study or work!

Type of accommodationRental price
Room€350- 469
Apartment€900 - 1000

Let’s recap

Urban families and expats with a higher income should consider the central location of Berlin Mitte or the upper-middle-class hood of Charlottenburg.

Are you looking for a hot spot for culture and nightlife? Neukölln, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg are easily the coolest areas in Berlin.

If you want to be surrounded by many hip cafes and co-working spaces, look for an accommodation in Pankow. It’s the ultimate hub for digital nomads and a perfect location for urban professionals and modern families!

As a student, you’ll easily find a lovely house that fits into your monthly budget for living in Berlin in Lichtenberg. That is if you don't mind staying a bit further away from the action, of course.

A lovely area for families and young internationals alike, Tempelhof-Schöneberg offers great spaces for family activities and student hangouts.

Maybe vast green areas would be a deal-breaker? Then check out Treptow-Köpernick and Steglitz-Zehlendorf.

Reinickendorf, Spandau and Marzahn-Hellersdorf might be perfect for expats seeking a quieter place to live or raise their children.

Final thoughts

Berlin is a hot spot for internationals, so you’ll surely find your dream home around like-minded people. That also means that housing is in high demand in the German capital, so you’ll want to begin your search early.

And whether you’re moving to Berlin or another exciting expat destination in Germany, it’s important to have all your paperwork ready. Make sure you have your work or student visa arranged if you need one, and get an overview of the German rental laws.

We wish you good luck in your search!

Willkommen in Berlin!

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

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