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Spandau is separated from the rest of Berlin by the Havel river, resulting in a unique feeling: the Spandauers are local patriots.  This pride is well-founded as the center of the old town of Spandau (the Kolk) is more senior than Berlin.

The lively old town is characterized by small stores, department stores, and restaurants and has the largest pedestrian zone in Berlin.

Spandau offers swimmers, paddlers, and cyclists a world of water at their front door. The water quality is excellent. Sports enthusiasts and landscape lovers will find everything they need by walking and cycling along the Havel, dangling their legs in the water here and there, and exploring a piece of history on their tour northwards: an old GDR border watchtower. The district of Spandau is one of the most western in Berlin and has nine localities.

Localities of Spandau:  Falkenhagener Feld, Gatow, Hakenfelde, Haselhorst, Kladow, Siemensstadt, Staaken, Spandau, Wilhelmstadt

There is a lot of history to discover in one of the largest districts of Berlin. Founded as early as the 13th century as a medieval fortress town, Spandau has experienced many things through the ages – the traces are everywhere. The most imposing testimony is the early Renaissance Zitadelle Berlin (Citadel), which conceals exciting treasures behind its four-meter-thick walls and a destination for some 10,000 bats that hibernate here every winter.

Just a few steps further on, you are among the quaint cobbled streets and alleyways of the Kolk quarter, the oldest part of Spandau. The district also has a long tradition as a center of industrial production. On Eiswerder Island, the former production halls of the Royal Fireworks Laboratory are a reminder of its explosive past. The history of the world’s largest electrical company began in the Siemensstadt district.

Spandau borders the Berlin districts of Berlin/Reinickendorf, Berlin/Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Berlin/Steglitz-Zehlendorf, and the Brandenburg districts of Oberhavel and Havelland as well as the independent state capital Potsdam.
Spandau is diverse. It ranges from the typical Berlin apartment buildings in Siemensstadt and the large housing estate Falkenhagener Feld to villas and single-family homes in an almost village-like atmosphere in Kladow and Gatow.

Thanks to the good transport connections, you can quickly reach the center of Berlin or the surrounding area. The U7 from Rudow runs via Siemensstadt and Haselhorst, as well as Altstadt Spandau to Rathaus Spandau. The S75 and S9 are extensions of the Stadtbahn and run to the Spandau long-distance train station.

Sights
  • Zitadelle Berlin (Citadel)
  • Kulturhaus Spandau
  • Gotisches Haus
  • Gartenstadt Staaken (one of the most critical urban architectural monuments of the 20th century)
  • Siemensstadt (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008)
  • Little Venice (Klein-Venedig)
  • Fort Hahneberg (one of the last fortress buildings in the Prussian style in Germany)
  • Gutspark Neukladow (idyllic country park)
  • Garten Fraenkel (The listed country house garden is one of Spandau’s most beautiful public green spaces)
  • Atelier Burgwallschanze (small cultural center which is available to artists as a workshop and venue for events)
  • Kladower Hafen (Waterfront and ferry pier)
  • Gatower Windmühle (historic windmill hill from 1845, the trestle windmill is fully functional)
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is the former center of West Berlin and is also known as City West.
It is considered a high-end district in terms of living, it offers a fabulous selection of restaurants and shopping and is host to the famous Kurfürstendamm,  the Charlottenburg Palace, and some lovely parks.
Living in this district is highly sought after and can be expensive. The most famous landmark is the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächnis Kirche, situated on the main avenue Kurfürstendamm (Breitscheidplatz), which was damaged in WWII and left as a symbol of remembrance.
Location

This area is what is now known as City-West, the heart of the former West Berlin. From here, it stretches out towards the West with West-end, where you can find the Olympic Stadium and down towards the South-West into Grunewald, which is one of the wealthiest parts of Berlin – home to large scale Villas and many foreign Embassies and Diplomats. Towards the east, it meets up with the lively and bustling Schöneberg.

Rental prices average around 16€ per sq m (2021 – source: https://guthmann.estate/en/market-report/berlin/charlottenburg/)

Housing

Very green (Lietzenpark), Apartment living in the inner city part (Wilmersdorf, Charlottenburg & Schmargendorf) and single-family homes and villas out towards West-end & Grunewald.

Landmarks & scenes

A visit to the Kurfürstendamm, or Ku’damm as Berliners call it, is one of Berlin visitors’ top priorities. The world-famous boulevard in the west of the city is not only a shopping mile – strolling down the Ku’damm is also worthwhile because of architectural and cultural highlights.

The Kurfürstendamm is the lifeline of City-West and is one of the most famous streets in the world, it is 3.5 kilometers long and is located between Breitscheidplatz and Halensee. Berliners and tourists stroll on the wide sidewalks past elegantly decorated shop windows or take a seat in one of the numerous cafés. At the corner of Joachimsthaler Strasse, Berlin shines as a world metropolis – all around the Gedächtniskirche, large department stores, and fashion stores, in the direction of Olivaer Platz, well-known luxury brands showcase have their flagship stores.

  • Charlottenburg Palace – built between 1695-1713 in the Baroque style. Surrounded by a beautifully landscaped park.
  • Olympic Stadion – situated in Berlin-Westend, built between 1934-1936 for the 1936 Olympics.
  • KaDeWe – Berlin’s most famous luxury department store, shopping to your heart’s desire. Situated at Wittenbergplatz.
  • Grunewald Forest – When the Berlin Wall still stood, the Grunewald was the largest forested area in the western part of the city, and often enough, overrun by strollers and bike riders. Today, it has become much quieter in the “Green Forrest”. But it is still beautiful. All through the year, the 3,000-hectare large forest is a relaxing place for walks. To the west, the forest is bounded by the Havel. (Source: https://www.visitberlin.de/en/grunewald)

Come with us and discover the icons of the Berlin landscape and the history behind them. From the famous Brandenburg Gate to the deep remembrance at the Holocaust Memorial – this is what makes our city special!

Brandenburger Gate: Survivor of two world wars and embodying a dead zone during the Cold War, this historical sight is undoubtedly THE most famous landmark in all of Germany! Dating back to 1788, when King Friederich Wilhelm II of Prussia ordered the gate as a symbol of peace, it was one of 17 gates that provided access to Berlin at the time. Architect Carl Gotthard Langhans, in charge of coordinating the project from 1788 to 1791, used the Propylaeum (the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens, Greece) as inspiration for the Gate. The famous statue on the top of the gate is called the Quadriga, where Irene – the Greek goddess who symbolizes peace – guides the chariot with her four horses. After WWII, only one of the heads of one of the horses survived the bombing, which now can be found at the Markisches Museum. Although, before the fall of the Wall, it was viewed as a symbol of divided Germany, the Brandenburg gate now represents a symbol of reunification and freedom.

Siegessäule:  the Berlin victory column was designed by architect Heinrich Strack, who was hired to design the column after the Danish-Prussian war in which the Prussians defeated the Danish in 1864. By the time of its completion in 1873, the Prussians had also defeated the French and the Austrians. Due to the second victory, the extravagant “Victoria” statue was added on top of the column. The column’s original location was Königsplatz, but the Nazis moved the column in 1930 to where it stands today. Due to this move, it actually survived the bombings of WWII. However, this move has also stained the reputation of the column, as some connect it to a Nazi symbol. Either way, it is worth a visit and walk to, or from the Brandenburg Gate.

East Side Gallery: with 1,316 meters in length, this gallery is the longest open-air gallery that exists worldwide. The gallery, consisting of the Berlin Wall that separated west and east, is now made up of various artworks, which artists put on the wall after it fell- redefining this gruesome border. It not only acts as a memorial for the people trying to escape eastern Germany, but it also portrays a sign of freedom. The famous drawings on the Wall vary from  Honecker and Breschnew kissing, to a Trabant (east german car) bursting through the wall.

Berliner Dom: One of the largest Protestant churches in Berlin is located on Museum Island. The Berliner Dom has origins back to 1465  when the catholic St. Emanuel’s Chapel was named a collegiate church, which translates to “Domkirche”. In 1750, the church was completely rebuilt. Later, In 1892, the Dom was completely refurbished showing more and more resemblance to the Dom which can be seen today. However, after WWII, the Dom suffered significant damage which was only temporarily fixed. Thorough renovations started in 1975, due to funding from the German Government it finished 27 years later in 2002.

Jewish Memorial:  the 19,000 metre² (200,000 ft²) area covered with 2,7000 thousand concrete slabs so-called „stelae“ is known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe or the Holocaust Memorial. It was opened in 2005 and designed by architect Peter Eisenman, dedicated to the more than six million Jews who were murdered in WWII, the genocide known as the Holocaust. The idea of corroborating the victims of the holocaust in Berlin only appeared in the late 1980s. However, although government funding was quickly available, it took another 10 years of political debate to agree on the design of the project.

Written by: Cilia Trendelenburg

 

Steglitz-Zehlendorf is one of the more affluent areas of Berlin – the idyll and tranquillity, far from the big city’s hustle and bustle, provides a much sought-after balance.  Above all, The district is characterized by quiet residential areas, forests, and tranquility provided by the proximity to the numerous lakes.

Steglitz is closest to City-West and very urban. It is considered a middle-class residential neighborhood with excellent shopping facilities. It is well connected to the rest of the city by U-bahn and buses. Schloßstraße in Steglitz is a shopping mile, it features several malls and all the typical high street stores, restaurants, supermarkets and a weekly market.

Dahlem district is one of the most expensive residential areas in Berlin.  It is a science research location, home to the Free University of Berlin (FU), numerous research institutes, and many museums have been established here.

As you travel further South-West to Zehlendorf, Schlachtensee, Nikolasee and Wannsee almost 50% of these districts consist of water and forest. Several lakes attract the inhabitants of Berlin to the cool water in hot temperatures. Particularly popular is the Großer Wannsee, and its lido opened in 1907 – but the other lakes of the district are also worth a visit.

For those seeking recreation, numerous sports clubs and the Botanical Garden offer a balance to everyday life. The area is home to several international schools and a large English-speaking community.

Rents in this district are high, but there is a choice between social housing, city villas, and single-family homes.

The western part of Zehlendorf with Wannsee, Nikolassee, and Schlachtensee is upscale and exclusive. In the south and east, the residential areas are simpler and somewhat less expensive. Steglitz itself is still very urban with mixed rents. Lankwitz and Lichterfelde have a more small-town feel and have more reasonable-priced rents.

Zehlendorf Mitte also features a town center with a large variety of shops, doctor’s practices, restaurants, and the Zehlendorf Rathaus.

There are also small ‚town‘ centers in Dahlem, Schlachtensee, Mexicoplatz, Nikolasee, Lichterfelde and Wannsee – all with opportunities for bakeries, grocery shopping, bookstores and restaurants.

Places of Interest:

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, I have german roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

Berlin has an exquisite variety when it comes to shops and restaurants but also offers a huge variety of street markets.

From culturally diverse street food and fresh produce markets to individual and sustainable handmade and second-hand shopping markets, one can easily spend some time strolling through these locations.

Below are listed some of our favorites!

Food markets: Markthalle Neun:  this food hall is filled with food stands that offer a variety of different cuisines from your typical pasta stand to American BBQ and also Turkish delights. You can top this food experience by grabbing a delicious ice cream at Rosa Canina’s stand!

Thai-park: If you’re craving some traditional and local Thai food, check out this market happening every Saturday and Sunday at Preußenpark! Individuals familiar with Thai, Vietnamese, and Korean cuisine set up numerous stands offering price-friendly and delicious sweet and savory dishes! 

Mauerpark :   From traditional Berliner sausages to Spanish paella, one has a variety of options to quench your appetite at this street food market located at Mauerpark!

Weekly Markets (fresh produce): 

Markt am Winterfeldtplatz: This market held every Wednesday and Saturday, located by Nollendorfplatz, offers a variety of local produce and food stands- if you’re there around lunchtime grab some delicious tacos at El Mexicano

Marheineke Halle: Open every day besides Sundays, grab your fresh foods at this indoor market hall located by Bergmannstraße. 

 Wochenmarkt am Karl-August Platz: another comprehensive food market offering numerous fresh produce stands, open Wednesdays and Saturdays!  

Kollwitzmarkt: After or before getting your coffee in this gorgeous neighborhood, discover one of Berlin’s notorious local produce markets, offering a variety of fresh goods! Thursdays, this market dedicates its stands to organic-only produce. 

Türkish Market: get mountains of local and delicious produce at this market for reasonable prices! Although less fresh, the prices drop even lower the later you go! 

For further weekly markets in your neighborhood check out:

https://www.wochenmarkt-deutschland.de/maerkte/berlin/wochenmaerkte-in-berlin/

Vintage market: 

Mauerpark: You can easily spend hours at this flea market every Sunday! Since most attractions and shops are closed on Sunday, this is the place many spend their Sunday morning and afternoon at. You may find various hidden gems ranging from jewelry to outdoor furniture! 

Flohmarkt U Fehrbelliner Platz:  Also open on Saturdays and Sundays, right next to Thaipark, this second-hand market has numerous stands that sell antiques and vintage clothing and goods for reasonable prices! 

 

RAW Gelände: Although the RAW site is known for its nightlife, it also transforms into a culturally diverse flea market on Sunday morning and afternoon!  After strolling through this market, you can have a beer or drink with some delicious burgers or pizza at the beer garden also located on-site! 

Written by Cilia Trendelenburg

 

The district Treptow-Köpenick emerged after the 2001 administrative reform by merging the previously independent districts. It is Berlin’s district with the largest area and lowest population density, consisting of seventy percent water and parkland. The district has a unique natural beauty, which makes it stand out. Fifteen localities that stretch from some of the trendiest parts of the inner-city to the southernmost border’s sleepy villages are part of this district. Ideal for nature lovers, the Köpenick Forest is the largest forest area in Berlin.
Müggelsee is the city’s biggest lake, and along the banks of the River Spree, Treptow Park boasts beautiful meadows and picnic areas. With a wide variety of residential areas to choose from and some of the most competitive rental prices, Treptow-Köpenick is a district that deserves attention.
The rental prices range between 11.95 -16.00 Euros per sq meter (2020).

Localities of Treptow – Köpenick: Köpenick, Treptow, Oberschöneweide, Grünau, Schmöckwitz, Müggelheim, Rahnsdorf, Friedrichshagen, Plänterwald, Baumschulenweg, Johannisthal, Niederschönedweide, Adlershof, Altglienicke, Bohnsdorf

Points of Interest include:

  • Müggelturm (popular day-trip destination in Köpenick with a spectacular view)
  • Altstadt Köpenick (small streets and old buildings from the medieval period)
  • Schloss Köpenick (the palace of Köpenick houses treasures from the Kunstgewerbemuseum
  • Soviet War Memorial (Treptower Park)
  • Falkenberg garden city (Falkenberg Gartenstadt – early example of social housing)
  • Schöneweide Industrial museum (industrial history of Schöneweide as an industrial zone from Bismarck to the present)
  • Archenhold Observatory in Treptower Park (the longest extendable and pointable telescope in the world)
  • Nazi Forced Labour Documentation Centre (Memorial to the Former Forced Labour Camp in Schöneweide)
  • Stadttheater Köpenick (family theatre)

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