Friedrichshain Travel Guide

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fridrichshain - musician

fridrichshain - musician

Volker Kunst

In the old working-class district south of Karl-Marx-Allee you will find today a lovely neighbourhood. Over the past 15 years many students moved into the area or simply transferred over the Spree from Kreuzberg because rents in the old houses were quite low. If you like places with rather austere charm, where style isn't so important, and prices are rock bottom, Friedrichshain is just the right district for you.

Near the Oberbaumbrücke, which offers a wonderful view across the Spree on both sides, is the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall (more than 1 km long). The artworks were created immediately following the German unification - this section of wall was never painted in communist times. Here on Spreeufer is Speicher, an American-inspired amusement complex with discos and bars on 4 floors. A bit further to the east, directly under the Warschauer Straße S-Bahn station, dance fans can swing a leg in Matrix.

Around the corner you can relax wonderfully after all that running around in the living-room atmosphere of Karel Duba. Just a few steps away is Non Tox, where the weekend parties are full of subversive musical contrasts. Sounds of another kind - hits - are on offer at the indestructible Busche, a haunt for gay men and lesbians. Further on in the heart of the neighbourhood there are lots of interesting shops in the Simon-Dach-Straße and Wühlischstraße. Conmux is renowned for its Sunday buffet breakfast - though the jokey sculptures here are not edible.

The best places to get a new outfit are Seven Sisters and No Naked - perfect for loud gear and club wear. Around Boxhagener Platz are pubs, record shops and health food shops. Things really get going here in the evening! The cinema on the corner of Boxhagener Straße, Intimes, is over 70 years old; the café of the same name next door with its light friendly atmosphere attracts an international crowd.

After a look at the peaceful Knorrpromenade, which is delightful when the trees are in blossom, pop into Knorre, a events centre with a varied programmes and a medieval Round Table. A nice café is Übereck, with cheap cocktails and a good buffet breakfast. If you like music beyond mainstream, the place to go is Nevergreen, where you will find international music magazines and second-hand rarities along with the usual CDs and vinyl.

When the sun comes out, you shouldn't miss the big attraction in quite another part of the district - the big park, Volkspark Friedrichshain, with lots of sports and outdoor activities. The waterworks in the fountains are another outdoor treat for free. Take your pick! Far from the glamorous shopping streets you can enjoy a very personal atmosphere here - so, off to Friedrichshain!

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