Neukölln Spells Diversity
What used to be a borough of extremes is now a haven for artists, students and young families. As a result of a turbulent, fascinating development that spans several decades, present-day Neukölln is very much in vogue. Home to a population of roughly 329,000 and with residents of around 160 different nationalities, it is arguably the most multicultural borough in the city.
Neukölln is best captured in one term: diversity. The borough extends from places like Hasenheide and Hermannplatz in the north, to Britzer Garten and Hufeisensiedlung in its centre, and all the way down to Gropiusstadt in the south. The trendiest part of the borough lies at its northern end, between Hermannplatz and Reuterplatz, and it is known beyond the city limits under the portmanteau word “Kreuzkölln.” It is where the city’s cultural life presents its most motley and diversified side. Along the canalside promenade of Maybachufer, an almost legendary street market gives you the chance to stock up on traditional and exotic foods. And the narrow streets around Hermannplatz are dotted with countless and highly diverse restaurants, pubs and bars that will tempt you to stop for a drink.
At the same time, Hermannplatz borders on the largest park facility in the northern part of the borough: Hasenheide—the great outdoors in the middle of the city. You find spruce here and vast open areas, a public swimming pool and an outdoor cinema. The list of possibilities this park has in store for the local populace is virtually endless. Families love Hasenheide—which translates into “hares’ heath”—as much as spare-time athletes do. And for those who always wanted to do their morning run on an abandoned runway, the grounds of former Tempelhof Airport are directly across the street from it.
Neukölln – a Boundless Borough
The airport grounds, now called Tempelhofer Feld, extend right up to the truly breath-taking Schillerkiez neighbourhood. Streets are lined by one beautiful period building after another, each of them unique and distinct. Cultural highlights around Schillerkiez include the Rollberg-Kino cinema or the Kindl-Brauerei centre for contemporary art, housed in a former brewery. Close to the borough’s city hall lies the Neukölln-Arkaden shopping centre with 60 retail units, a multiplex cinema and the local branch of the municipal library.
A short distance south, you will find the origins of Neukölln in the historic sub-district of Rixdorf. Formerly a hamlet in its own right, it attracted protestant exiles from Bohemia whose legacy you can still trace along Richardstrasse with its low-slung cottages. Protected as a heritage site, the ensemble of buildings will take you back to bygone times. A historic gem is the Rixdorf blacksmith shop whose forge continues to be used by artisans and craftsman while the venue as such is used for events.
As you head south, the looks of the borough change. The vast garden landscapes of Britzer Garten contrast starkly with the sprawling housing estate of Gropiusstadt, which in turn gives way to quaint residential areas of single-family detached homes.
The borough of Neukölln is served by two underground lines that run parallel here but branch farther north, one going to the northern, the other to the western edge of town. In addition, there are numerous bus lines, several rapid transit lines and a dedicated junction to the A100 expressway, providing great mobility options.
Neukölln simply has it all: Optimal transportation access, cultural diversity and a rich retail spectrum that covers everything you need for day-to-day living. Making your home in this part of town will feel like a privilege.