Culture and history, modern and unspoilt
With its old quarter and citadel, Berlin-Spandau offers remarkable architectural monuments surrounded by a variety of biotopes in the Havel basin. In addition to urban flair, it has a wealth of idyllic countryside featuring water, meadows, forest and fields – with farms, stables, inviting restaurants and marinas, a golf course and marked trails. It has developed from an old-established industrial centre into a modern centre for the service industry with new shopping centres, hotels and restaurants. More Information...
- Stroll around Spandau Citadel ramparts and enjoy the idyllic atmosphere.
- Discover the Kolk, the oldest quarter in Spandau, and the historic streets behind St. Mary’s Church.
- Paddle your own canoe through the unspoilt Tiefwerder Water Meadows.
- Visit the impressive Fort Hahneberg, reputedly the last artillery fortress built in Germany.
- Take the time to explore the Gartenstadt Staaken, a garden town that represents
one of the leading examples of urban planning in the early 20th century.
Gothic House + Museum of the city's history
Known for its citadel, Berlin-Spandau is a veritable treasure trove of history: the Gothic House, now at Breite Strasse 37, was built as a dwelling in the second half of the 15th century, making it the oldest remaining secular building in Berlin. Since 1993, it has housed the museum of the city's history on its upper floor, along with art exhibitions and the tourist information office on its ground floor. The house is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm.
Spandau Citadel is considered the best preserved Renaissance fortification in northern Europe. There has been a fort on this site since the 11th century. Completed in 1230, the Julius tower is one of the oldest surviving structures in Berlin. The citadel's current exterior was created at the end of the 16th century by Italian architects. Today, it is open to the public. Many historical buildings have been restored and are now used for cultural events or as a museum where visitors can see finds from excavations dating back to the Middle Ages. Attractions in the old quarter include the Protestant Church of St. Nicholas, the birthplace of the Reformation in Berlin and Brandenburg. The font dating from 1398 and the baroque pulpit are well worth a visit, as is the tower which affords awe-inspiring views. Other one-of-a-kind attractions in the district include the Airforce Museum of the German Federal Armed Forces in Gatow and Fort Hahneberg, once situated in a strip of no man's land right by the Berlin Wall.
Going Local: Spandau - Young at heart
The tour directions for the walk shown in the video can be found in the “Going Local” brochure available in the visitBerlin shop. Order yours today.
Going out, cultural scene
With its Citadel Music Festival, Spandau offers open-air concerts featuring world-class international artists. The nearby open-air stage at the citadel hosts the Spandau Summer of Culture, which attracts visitors with its theatre and musical theatre productions, concerts by new bands and national classical ensembles. During "Classics in Spandau" young award-winning orchestras perform at various venues around the district.
Thanks to Siemensstadt sports club, Spandau not only has the third-largest sports association in Berlin, but also a multifunctional sports centre with a national reputation. The Südpark leisure centre with its adjoining swimming pool complex is very popular with locals and visitors alike, as are the many water sports facilities (rowing, canoeing and sailing) in Gatow and Kladow.
The largest pedestrian area in Berlin with 160 shops and three department stores, Spandau's old quarter is one of the most traditional areas for shopping in the German capital. A farmers market is held four times a week from March to November. The nearby Spandau Arcades shopping mall and the "Ellipse" centre with its cafés, restaurants and other service facilities are also great places to spend some time.
- The Bundeswehr Air Force Museum at the former Gatow airfield, is perhaps the city’s biggest secret, at least by sheer size. The museum is located on the outskirts of the city and admission is free. Visitors can see hangars, the control tower, and the former runways. Otto Lilienthal made his first attempts at flight at this airfield.
- Fort Hahneberg stands today as an architectural and natural monument. Built from 1882 to 1888 as the last artillery fort in Germany, it was up against the Berlin Wall for decades and was therefore not accessible.
- The Finnenhaussiedlung from the 1950s stretches along Kladower Damm from Lonnrotweg to Topeliusweg. This housing estate is home to 377 small two-storey houses made of wood from Finland (hence its name). Decorated in various shades of grey, yellow and red, the houses were built to alleviate the housing shortage after the Second World War.
- Enjoy a slice of cake and do some people-watching in the historic Konditorei Fester;
- then head over to Ulis Museumladen on Jagowstrasse to admire vintage bicycles and maybe purchase parts for your old jalopy. Once a year, the shop organises a market for classic and historic bicycles. It also offers guided tours on vintage bikes.
- Take an idyllic canoe trip from Stößensee through the canals of Klein Venedig and on the Havel Canal.
- Landhausgarten Fränkel is a cottage garden designed by Erwin Barth between 1925 and 1933 that is now open to the public with lawns, rose beds, ornate watercourses, and a riverside view overlooking the Pfaueninsel. The hiking/biking trail from Alt-Kladow to Sacrow leads right past the garden’s gates.
Other neighbourhood tips can be found in our free “Going Local Berlin” app. Download your copy today and check it out.
You may also want to check our series of posts on Berlin’s districts in the visitBerlin blog.
Spandau Havel Festival
Friday to Sunday on the 2nd weekend in June;
Location: Lindenufer, from the lock to Dischinger Bridge;
Programme on four stages, more than 150 stallholders and caterers;
Spectacular fireworks show on Saturday;
Open day at Spandau lock
Spandau Old Town festival & Summer of Wine
Thursday to Sunday, beg. of September
Location: Market, Carl-Schurz-Str., town hall square;
Concerts, acrobatics, wine tastings, three stages
Spandau Christmas market
Held every year from the last Sunday in November before Advent to 23 Dec.;
Location: throughout Spandau's old quarter;
largest Christmas market in Berlin, and one of the largest in Europe, with 250 stalls during the week and 400 at the weekend;
daily stage events, major concerts every Friday;
nearby: Spandau Christmas Dream (showmen in front of the town hall) and Florida Winter Wonderland ("American Christmas")
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