Well, after a solid three weeks in Berlin, there’s one thing on my mind: my feet are killing me! I’ve been so excited to explore that I’ve ended up walking ridiculous amounts every day as I check out all the amazing corners of the city. After meandering through museums, parks, and beautiful streets, I certainly feel like I am getting my bearings.
Yet, while there are many amazing parts of Berlin, I think I will always have a special place in my heart for the district where my homestay is … Kreuzberg! This district, sometimes written as X-Berg by residents, touches the river Spree in the east and is in a sort of middle-southern part of the city. As I’ve begun trekking to different parts of the city, I have been thrilled with how many incredible locations there are to explore right in Kreuzberg itself. Thus, I’d like you to join me on a day around Kreuzberg!
I start my day in the section of Kreuzberg called “Bergmannkiez.” Each neighborhood or “Kiez” has its own brand of charm and beauty. I find Bergmannkiez to be home to some of the most beautiful residential buildings in Berlin, and I am thrilled to be able to marvel at them anytime I leave my homestay (even my homestay is in one of these amazing buildings!).
My first stop is to a local corner store to pick up an orange Mio Mio (a sort of caffeinated drink I’ve recently become a fan of) and a pretzel! Coming from a town where every sort of food or snack location is far away, one of my favorite parts of Berlin has been never being too far away from a yummy pretzel.
After collecting my goodies, I begin my trek to Markthalle Neun in the eastern part of Kreuzberg. Despite being a 50-minute walk from my homestay, I am keen on going by foot wherever I can. Walking through Berlin is an activity in itself. Between the gorgeous mix of architectural styles and street art, long walks are almost equally as entertaining as walking through a museum. On my way to Markthalle Neun, I pass over Admiralbrücke. In the evening when it’s warm outside, people will meet friends and hang out in the green spaces surrounding the bridge to enjoy the sunset and the beautiful views.
Upon reaching Markthalle Neun, I’m pleased to discover I’ve worked up an appetite again. This is perfect timing, as Markthalle Neun is known for the incredible food served there. There are so many options, that it is impossible to decide on any specific one! I will settle for trying small bites from a few locations and then enjoying the people-watching around the Markthalle.
After the people-watching at Markthalle Neun, I head over to Oberbaumbrücke for a view of the Spree River. This beautiful bridge with its iconic reddish color was one of the first places I visited when I came to Berlin, and it is still something I enjoy visiting and admiring when I’m in the area.
Now that I have certainly walked a good amount, I decide to take Berlin public transport back to my side of Kreuzberg. Another favorite part about Berlin for me is the access to public transport! IES Abroad Berlin gives all students monthly public transportation passes, thus giving me the freedom to hop on and off whenever! While I typically take public transport to and from school every day, the pass comes especially in handy when I’m trying to explore new corners of Berlin. With the ease at which I can move around this city thanks to public transport, it isn’t too hard to imagine being able to live and work in Berlin without ever needing a car (something I couldn’t possibly imagine doing in my hometown).
Upon arriving back in the Bergmannkiez area, I decide to cross the busy Mehringdamm street to spend some relaxing time in Viktoriapark. There is certainly enough space to lounge on the grass and read or listen to music, yet there is also a beautifully constructed waterfall system leading up the Kreuzberg hill. After climbing to the top of this hill, one can find a gorgeous view of the surrounding area along with a monument dedicated to King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia.
Later, I meet up with friends at one of the many amazing restaurants in Kreuzberg before heading to Tempelhofer Feld. This space was once the main airport in Berlin, yet its relatively central location in the city made it an unideal airport space, leading to the construction of the current Berlin airport further outside the city. This abandoned airport after long government proceedings was turned into a public outdoor space. Bikers, skateboarders, joggers, and rollerbladers are now cruising down the runways where planes once landed. Tempelhofer Feld is one of the first places I visited with my host family in Berlin, and it is likely my favorite place in the city. Between the special events sometimes put on in the field and the gorgeous sunsets, there is a lot to love about Tempelhofer Feld.
Regardless of how long my friends and I choose to hang out at Tempelhofer Feld, my homestay is a short 20-minute walk from the field, so I am never too far from home. Having completed my entire day in Kreuzberg, I’m bewildered by how many other sites I still have left to visit! Berlin continues to amaze me because just as I cross off more places to visit on the list I’ve been keeping, I discover 15 more that I need to add. Considering the city has surprises waiting in every corner and new events popping up every week, it looks like my legs will continue getting a workout. On to the next adventure!
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Howdy folks! My name is Josef Kiesenhofer, and I'm a passionate accounting, German, and Spanish student excited to explore the world. I love all things blue and embroidering on clothes. I sometimes have a broadcast radio DJ show, too!