Neukölln is usually viewed as less a borough of Berlin and more a hipster hangout nonpareil. This is not part of a city this is a Bohemian village, where idealistic and artistic young people mingle with abandon on rapidly gentrifying streets, reinvigorated by rising property prices after the local airport closed its doors and became a park and community space. Plenty of Turkish people and other ethnic minorities lend this neighbourhood a slightly exotic air, so you will find plenty of kebab shops and African boutiques rubbing shoulders with the pop-up galleries and hip neighbourhood hangouts. This is a place where creativity and community reign. This busy neighbourhood’s vociferous voices and graffiti-covered surfaces may be intimidating to some but underneath this neighbourhood has a gentle heart – a passionate and community led cohesion. This is a community that seems to stick together, in spite of the fact that it is the most ethnically diverse in the city, with the highest percentage of immigrants.
Some will visit this borough simply to enjoy the quirky shopping and entertainment options and the lively and ever-changing scene, though there are actually many tourist attractions to visit here too, when you have finished soaking up the atmosphere at one of the many trendy eateries or strolling through one of the community spaces in the Reuter Quarter or historic Rixdorf. Aside from the historic buildings and Bohemian Museum in Rixdorf, tourists also visit Schloss Britz, the architectural 1920s and 30s rarity of Hufeisenseidlung, Neukölln Museum, the Puppet Museum and the Sehitlik Mosque, largest of its kind in Berlin. There are quite a few wonderful park and garden spaces throughout the district and for evening entertainment there is so much to choose from, from the opera, to folk theatre with contemporary productions, and everything in between.
There are many places to stay in this quirky and interesting part of the city. Here are just some of the many options:
Park Hotel Blub: This is a modern and up-scale hotel just a minute’s stroll from the canal. It is a four star establishment with bright contemporary rooms and a fine palm-fringed restaurant. Some rooms have balconies and all have free Wifi and come with a complimentary breakfast. Park Hotel Blub is around ten minutes walk from the nearest transit hub.
Estrel Berlin: The Estrel is Germany’s largest hotel, an immense glass faced edifice with 1,125 rooms for tourist or business use. It is right next to a conference centre that hosts over 1,800 events each year.
Karibuni: Hospitality is the watch word of this hotel, whose name means ‘welcome’ – the way that people in East Africa are greeted and invited into a friendly home. The hotel is situated in a pleasant turn of the century town house on a quiet street surrounded by delightful restaurants, shops and cafes.
Hotel Atlantic: This hotel is just 750 yards from the largest shopping centre in Berlin, Gropius Passagen. There are simple, basic yet comfortable rooms and the hotel is well connected with transport links that will take you to the centre of the city or to the airport.
Hotel am Hermannplatz: This small hotel in the district offers single and double rooms which are simple but bright and cheerful. There is free Wifi and the connections to the rest of the city are excellent. There is a metro station nearby.
Hotel Britzer Tor: This family run hotel was built in 1870 and has been recently newly remodelled and equipped. Rooms are cosy yet modern, there is a sauna for guests to enjoy and at the end of a day in the district you can enjoy the oasis-like garden.
Mercure Hotel Berlin Tempelhof: This four star Mercure chain hotel is located by the former Tempelhof airport in this trendy area. This is a central location within the district and is close to transport links that will take you swiftly and easily around the whole city.
Erlanger Hof: This is a privately run hotel with a long history. The facilities are located in a quiet back courtyard building of a former clock tower and gear factory. The external space has been artistically designed and this is a good example of the re-purposing of a former industrial building.
Hotel Ibis Neukoelln: This hotel is right in the trendiest district and yet is peacefully located on a tranquil side street. It has 57 modern rooms and is well located for conferences or for exploring the tourist sites of the city.
Hotel Prens Berlin: Located on the edge of the Kreuzberg and northern-Neukölln district, this hotel is well located for exploring all the delights of both of these quirky areas. A famous outdoors oriental market is held right outside the hotel on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Euro-Hotel Berlin: This hotel is on Sonnenallee, well placed for travel around this district and indeed for metro travel around the whole of the capital. An affordable option for exploring the quirky and interesting surroundings.
Days Inn Berlin City South: Conveniently located close to the Hermannplatz subway station, this hotel is another affordable option for your stay in the Neukölln area. All the sites of the city are within easy reach from this chain hotel.
2A Hostel: If you are looking for a budget option in the city then this hostel is widely considered to be one of the most attractive youth hostels to be found in Berlin. It has private or dorm rooms and is suitable for all travellers, not just backpackers.
Rixpack Hostel Berlin Neukölln: This hostel was the first to be established in Neukölln, back in 2010. It is located in a calm back courtyard in the downtown area of the district and offers affordable beds in a vintage historic building, close to a major shopping street and also to some of the areas quaint historic buildings.
Hüttenpalast: This is perhaps the ultimate place to stay in Neukölln, a quirky industrial space turned into an accommodation venue. Here you can spend the night in swanky hotel rooms, or indulge in some whimsy and stay in one of a series of small huts, structures and caravans in a large factory space. This place exemplifies the district.