Friedrichshain

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Loca­ted in the east of Ber­lin, Fried­richs­hain is a dis­trict full of histo­ry: Karl-Marx-Allee, one of Berlin's most famous ave­nues, is lined with apart­ment blocks in the style of Soviet clas­si­cism - bet­ter known as wed­ding cake style - which were built during the years of the GDR as model hou­ses for Soviet life. Sin­ce the 1990s, Fried­richs­hain has been known for its squat­ted buil­dings and a magnet for anar­chists, punks and artist coll­ec­ti­ves. At weekends, the neighbourhood's clubs and bars are open late into the night. Fried­richs­hain has cal­med down some­what in recent years due to gen­tri­fi­ca­ti­on, but is still known for its alter­na­ti­ve and artis­tic sce­ne and reta­ins some of its edgi­ness, espe­ci­al­ly around Riga­er Straße. 
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Get to know your neighbourhood

Markets and shopping facilities

The "Box­ha­ge­ner Platz", an often dir­ty but very popu­lar gras­sy squa­re, is the real cent­re of Fried­richs­hain. It's a gre­at place to get tog­e­ther with fri­ends on a sun­ny after­noon, and there's a Satur­day mar­ket as well as a regu­lar flea mar­ket on Sun­days whe­re you can find ever­y­thing from old books and records to second-hand clo­thes and food. A lar­ge anti­ques mar­ket is held near Ost­bahn­hof on Sun­days, sel­ling anti­ques, second-hand clo­thes and lots of GDR memorabilia.

Nightlife

Fried­richs­hain has the lar­gest con­cen­tra­ti­on of night­clubs in the enti­re city. This is due to the abun­dance of old indus­tri­al buil­dings and warehou­ses that have been con­ver­ted into hedo­ni­stic play­grounds whe­re you can dance the night away. The­se include the legen­da­ry "Berg­hain", a club so popu­lar that it has spaw­ned count­less blog posts dis­cus­sing the best way to get past the boun­cers. For years, Berg­hain was con­side­red the best club in the world. The "RAW area" on Reva­ler Stras­se has clubs and con­cert halls such as the "Astra Kul­tur­haus", the "Cas­sio­peia" and the "Hau­ben­tau­cher", which has an out­door pool and a sun deck in the style of the Côte d'Azur. The alley­ways within the RAW site are worth a visit for their street art. The "Urban Spree" is a litt­le quie­ter, whe­re the­re are often cul­tu­ral events and mar­kets. The­re are even more par­ties on the banks of the Spree, for exam­p­le at the "Kater Blau", the "Yaam" or the "Salon zur Wil­den Renate".
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Cafés and restaurants

Many of Friedrichshain's favou­ri­te cafés and restau­rants are loca­ted near Box­ha­ge­ner Platz, inclu­ding along the vibrant Simon-Dach-Stra­ße. On one side of "Boxi" is "Bur­ger­amt", a popu­lar place for jui­cy bur­gers - some of the best in Ber­lin (the­re are also vege­ta­ri­an opti­ons). A few doors down is Vegan Living, a Viet­na­me­se restau­rant with a huge sel­ec­tion of dis­hes and vegan tra­di­tio­nal tapas-style dis­hes. Fur­ther down the same street, on Kros­se­ner Stra­ße, Ali Baba's ser­ves gene­rous pla­tes of fal­a­fel and kebabs. Fried­richs­hain also has many cafés for break­fast or lunch, such as the "Loui­se Ché­rie Cafe, Home­ma­de" or "Mil­ja & Schä­fa". In sum­mer, peo­p­le sit at their out­door tables and relax over a lei­su­re­ly brunch or cof­fee and cake and watch life go by in this colourful dis­trict. If you're loo­king for a solid caf­feine fix, you'll find cafés like "Silo Cof­fee" on Gabri­el-Max-Stra­ße, "Moko­fuk" on Grün­ber­ger Stra­ße or "Hap­py Baris­tas" at Ost­kreuz­bahn­hof. "Tan­te Ben­ny", hid­den away in Oder­stra­ße, makes good cof­fee, but abo­ve all mar­vell­ous cakes and brownies.

Art and culture

With many old warehou­ses that have been con­ver­ted into art gal­le­ries, cul­tu­ral spaces, clubs or cafés, Fried­richs­hain has one of the live­liest cul­tu­ral sce­nes in Ber­lin. His­to­ri­cal sites also make the dis­trict stand out. The "East Side Gal­lery", for exam­p­le, is the lon­gest remai­ning strip of the for­mer divi­ding wall bet­ween East and West Ber­lin. The 1.3 kilo­met­re-long stretch stands as a monu­ment to free­dom, trans­for­med by art and graf­fi­ti. Next to it is the Ober­baum Bridge - the red bricks of the bridge attract street artists, musi­ci­ans and, accor­din­gly, the bridge is full of peo­p­le every evening, wat­ching the sun set over the city and lis­tening to gui­tar or key­board sounds. Fri­ends can chall­enge them­sel­ves at the Com­pu­ter Games Muse­um, which pres­ents the histo­ry of video games and offers num­e­rous inter­ac­ti­ve exhi­bi­ti­ons. The near­by "Kino Inter­na­tio­nal" has a distinc­ti­ve archi­tec­tu­ral design from the GDR, but now shows all the modern Hol­ly­wood blockbusters.
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Parks and leisure

The "Volks­park Fried­richs­hain" is loca­ted on the bor­der with Prenz­lau­er Berg. As Berlin's oldest public park, it has sports fields, play­grounds, sun­bathing are­as and small lakes, foun­ta­ins and sculp­tures. It's a gre­at place to relax after work or at the weekend. The lar­gest green space is not in Fried­richs­hain its­elf, but across the Spree - in Trep­tower Park. It's per­fect for cycling, jog­ging or wal­king the dog. The­re are kiosks on the river­si­de pro­me­na­de sel­ling chips, ice cream, drinks and more. The­re are also pedal boats and kay­aks for hire. When visi­ting the Island of Youth, the­re is often live music as well as snacks, water and beer.

Transport and location

Fried­richs­hain is loca­ted in the east of Ber­lin, from Alex­an­der­platz to the Ring­bahn rail­way line. U-Bahn line 5 runs to Alex­an­der­platz, whe­re you can con­nect to all of the city's main under­ground, S-Bahn, tram and bus lines. The U1 under­ground line runs in Fried­richs­hain to the west of War­schau­er Stra­ße. The S-Bahn, espe­ci­al­ly the S 41 and S 42, con­nects to a lar­ge part of the city, inclu­ding Ber­lin Cen­tral Sta­ti­on. Ost­kreuz is also a major junc­tion with regu­lar depar­tures to Schö­ne­feld Air­port. For tho­se who work in Ber­lin-Mit­te, com­mu­ting by bike is easy - the­re is a long cycle path that has just been upgraded: along Frank­fur­ter Allee via Karl-Marx-Allee to Torstraße.

Did you already know?

The Mole­cu­le Man, a 30-met­re-long steel sculp­tu­re by Ame­ri­can sculp­tor Jona­than Borof­sky, towers bet­ween Elsen­brü­cke and Ober­baum­brü­cke. It stands whe­re the three dis­tricts of Fried­richs­hain, Kreuz­berg and Trep­tow meet, a point of con­ver­gence in reuni­fied Berlin.

Friedrichshain

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