Today, I’m featuring a guest post from the gorgeous Marta López, a Spanish travel writer based in London. I rarely include guests posts on Perking the Pansies these days (and never for profit) but when Marta asked if I’d like to publish her article on the trendy Kreuzberg district of Berlin, serving up one of the coolest cities on the planet with an authentic Turkish twist, how could I refuse?
So ladies and gents, I give you…
Turkey in Berlin, Five Reasons to Visit Kreuzberg by Marta López
The German capital hides lots of history and monuments that you definitely should explore when visiting the city for the first time. Once you have done all those things mentioned in your travel guide, there’s still a stop for you at one of the coolest and more colourful districts in Berlin: The Kreuzberg or as it’s also called “the Turkish Berlin”; a very trendy quarter that houses the most alternative culture in the city. This is the home of anarchists, bohemian souls and of course the large Turkish community in Berlin.
These are my top 5 reasons to visit this district in the German capital. And remember, Kreuzberg feels neither East nor West!
1. It’ s a very multicultural area
It used to be the black sheep of West Berlin (a sort of Bronx in Berlin) and now the truth is that it is the area with the most personality in town. 40 % of the population here is Turkish and the rest of the neighbours are immigrants, especially in the side known as “SO 36”. Every year there is a big festival called “The Carnival of Cultures”, a four day urban festival that reflects the quarter of different faces and cultures. Next year the celebration will take place on the 4th June. Do you fancy a bit of multicultural atmosphere?
2. You’ll find the best kebabs ever!
Kreuzberg is far from picture pretty and perfect but it´s really cool! Thanks to its large Turkish community living in the area, when you visit the district you will find an endless list of local Turkish bars where you can taste authentic and spicy kebabs. Top tip: Pop in at Imren Grill (Boppstr 10, Berlin) and try their tasty and juicy meat! Did you know that the Donner Kebab was actually invented here? The inventor was a Turkish expat called Kadir Nurman who has just died last October in Berlin.
3. It’s full of exotic markets
There are lots of colourful markets surrounding the district. Visiting the Turkish market in Maybachufer (note that the market closes on Mondays) means literally transporting yourself to the beautiful Mediterranean country. Here you’ll find exotic textiles, different kind of hummus and lots and lots of people searching for the best products at the best price. Top tip: Try the Turkish pizza; it is out of this world!
4. You’ll find an alternative culture
It is the home to Berlin’s punk rock movement, as well as other alternative subcultures. From graffiti covered lanes to random museums and galleries like The Berlinische Galerie, which contains Berlin art dating from 1870. But it’s not all about underground art. The Kreuzberg district is also the Mecca for fashionistas! Here arrive all the up-and- coming designers, so if you fancy unique accessories, don’ t hesitate to visit High-Lite (Bergmannstraße 99, Berlin) -We could say it´s a bit like any Shoreditch store in London.
5. Best nightlife atmosphere in the city
Who said that in Germany it’s not possible to go out until 6.00 am? In Kreuzberg the nightlife starts late and seems to end early in the morning! Most of bars here have that bohemian charm that will encourage you to stay for hours. Don’t miss out clubs such as Lido (Cuvrystraße 7, Berlin) which is in an old cinema from the fifties and runs parties on the weekend, or Monarch Club (Skalitzer Straße 134, Berlin) based in a building that offers amazing views and the best electronic music. If you are a young clubbing addicted adult, you can’t miss it!
Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL) is located only 8 km from the centre of the city so reaching the centre will take you around 20 minutes. The city buses are the best option. They stop at different points through the city; the main stop in the centre is Alexanderplatz, located in the heart of the Mitte area. If you need to travel from Berlín-Schönefel Airport (SXF) to the centre of Berlin, you can choose between three options: The regional train, the B-Bahn train and the bus that runs on a regular service.
Where to stay
If you are looking for accommodation and you want to stay closer to the alternative scene, you can search hotels in Berlin near Kreuzberg with Expedia. Remember this is probably the most budget-friendly side of the city!
Marta López is a travel writer based in London. She loves travelling and discovering new cultures. When she isn’t writing on her laptop, she can be found around the city looking for the coolest urban art. Follow her adventures on twitter @Martazepol