Once known for its bohemian charm and progressive ideals, Tempelhof-Schöneberg attracted writers, artists and intellectuals with its avant-garde atmosphere. This legacy still endures in this district in southwestern Berlin, where visitors will find an abundance of trendy cafés and restaurants and an alluring nightlife. So come along with us as we explore 11 hotspots in this dynamic borough.
Tip 1: Fly high at the THF Tower and Tempelhof Airport
A former airport site transformed into a vast recreation ground in the heart of the city, Tempelhofer Feld attracts visitors with its expansive open spaces. The field is a popular destination for picnics, sports and cultural events and continues to evolve into a cultural hub, with exhibitions and major events planned for the coming years. Join a guided tour to learn more about the airport's fascinating history, or visit the THF Tower, an erstwhile air traffic control tower, and take in the panoramic views from Deck 360°.
Where: CHECK-IN visitor centre - Platz der Luftbrücke 5; THF Tower - Tempelhofer Damm 45; Tempelhofer Feld - multiple entrances west, east and north of the field
When: CHECK-IN visitor centre - Wednesday to Monday 10am - 5pm, closed on Tuesdays; THF Tower - Wednesday to Sunday 11am - 6pm; Tempelhofer Feld - from sunrise to sunset
Tip 2: Indulge in timeless delights at Süßkramdealer
Not just for kids: Sweets have an irresistible allure, especially when cultivated with such passion. You'll find top-quality treats and more at Süßkramdealer, a treasure trove of confectionery housed in a former cigar shop. Preserving the century-old vintage oak and mahogany interior, owner Martin Hesse has transformed the offerings into an array of fine chocolate, caramel and pralines. The shop also carries its own special house blend coffee. Open on weekdays and weekends, it's a sweet haven in Friedenau for the young at heart.
Where: Varziner Straße 4, Friedenau
When: Monday to Friday 9am - 7pm, weekends/holidays 10am - 7pm
Tip 3: Party with Berlin's LGBTQI+ community at Nollendorfplatz
Nollendorfplatz in northern Schöneberg epitomises Berlin's dynamic, tolerant and international spirit, a legacy upheld for a century. Since the 1920s, it has been the hub of the LGBTQI+ scene, hosting landmarks like the Eldorado drag bar frequented by Marlene Dietrich. Today, it is a vibrant neighbourhood where rainbow flags fly in celebration of diversity and openness. Gay and lesbian festivals take place annually in its streets, while institutions like Café Berio and Raststätte Gnadenbrot have become popular gathering places for the community. The legendary nightlife around Nollendorfplatz lives up to its reputation, with no shortage of bars and clubs where you can dance the night away.
Where: Nollendorfplatz and Winterfeldplatz, Schöneberg
Tip 4: Dive into the world of craft beer at DogTap Berlin
DogTap Berlin has been a pioneer in craft beer since 2006. More than just a brewery, it's an immersive experience. Visitors can sip freshly brewed beer in the Taproom while indulging in simple yet hearty fare. The menu caters to all tastes and includes the aptly named monster burger as well as plant-based options. This unique establishment also offers activities to keep diners entertained, like shuffleboard and duckpin bowling. For the curious, a brewery tour and beer school offer a peek behind the scenes.
Where: Marienpark 23, Mariendorf
When: Monday to Thursday 4pm - 11pm, Friday 2pm - 12am, Saturday 12pm - midnight, Sunday 10am - 10pm
Tip 5: Peruse vinyl records at the POP record store
The POP record store invites music enthusiasts to explore its vast vinyl collection. Shop owner Martin's curated collection spans nearly every music genre. But his passion for music extends beyond records. His POP e.V. association fosters engagement with pop culture through talks, readings, sessions and parties. Check in-store for upcoming dates and join this dynamic space that encourages musical exploration and lively interactions.
Where: Yorckstraße 52, Schöneberg
When: Daily from 12pm
Tip 6: Experience tranquillity at Germany's first cemetery café
Fairy tales abound at Old St. Matthäus Churchyard. Situated on the Rote Insel, the historical sanctuary boasts 19th-century tombs and graves of honour, bearing witness to its rich cultural past. It's a peaceful retreat from the bustle of the city, where you can take a moment to reflect. Famous figures rest here, from the Grimm Brothers to Rio Reiser. Memorials commemorate Stauffenberg's plot against Hitler and those lost to AIDS. Café finovo, Germany's first cemetery café, provides a tranquil spot for reflection and homemade treats.
Where: Großgörschenstraße 12-14, Schöneberg
When: Daily 8am - 7pm
Tip 7: Breeze and browse along Akazienstraße
Akazienstraße in Schöneberg is where the local culture comes alive. This charming street is lined with one-of-a-kind shops, bookstores, yoga studios and international delicatessens, with not a chain store in sight. Wine enthusiasts, epicureans, book lovers and treasure seekers will find plenty to browse here. Try one of the cafés, like DoubleEye or Impala Coffee, for a delightful break, or cool down in summer with delicious ice cream at vanille & marille. With its distinctive boutiques and charming eateries, Akazienstraße is the ideal spot for a leisurely stroll any time of the year.
Where: Akazienstraße, Schöneberg
Tip 8: Take a Time-Out at Café Bilderbuch
Café Bilderbuch offers a serene escape amidst the shops and beautiful courtyards on Akazienstraße. But it's more than a simple spot for coffee and cake – it also boasts an art gallery and library. A grand piano takes a prominent place in one of the spacious rooms where you can also enjoy the occasional live music performance. The eatery has a full menu of seasonal dishes and daily specials to choose from as you relax in the cosy, living room atmosphere.
Where: Café Bilderbuch, Akazienstraße 28, Schöneberg
When: Daily from 9am – midnight
Tip 9: Taste the future at Bonvivant Cocktail Bistro
As a vegan mecca, Berlin is a fitting home for the inventive Bonvivant Cocktail Bistro. Based on a unique bistronomy concept, it redefines vegetarian cuisine, elevating vegetables to Michelin-starred heights. The kitchen thrives on bold experimentation, breaking culinary boundaries to set new standards in vegetarian-vegan gastronomy. From 5 or 6-course meals to cocktails, everything receives the plant-based touch, with innovative infusions like spirulina, beetroot and pumpkin seed. Bonvivant Cocktail Bistro embodies Berlin's food revolution, combining quality and creativity in a familial atmosphere.
Where: Goltzstraße 32, Schöneberg
When: Dinner and drinks Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm, brunch Wednesday to Sunday 10am - 3pm
Tip 10: Journey back to the railway era at Natur-Park Südgelände
Natur-Park Südgelände, at the southern end of Schöneberg, features an intriguing railway depot turned urban sanctuary. Over the years, the former Tempelhof marshalling yard has transformed into a thriving oasis within the city. Explore enchanted paths where lush greenery intertwines with forgotten railway tracks and discover relics like an old steam locomotive and iconic 50-meter water tower. Brückenmeisterei, a well-preserved administrative hall, sets the scene for experimental artists and diverse events, adding another layer to this extraordinary blend of civil infrastructure and nature. For a refreshing break, head over to Café Paresüd at the foot of the water tower.
Where: At S-Bahnhof Priesterweg or via the pedestrian bridge from Hans-Baluschek-Park
When: From 9am till dusk
Tip 11: Join in the fun at ufaFabrik
Founded in 1979, ufaFabrik emerged from a former UFA film lab when a group of visionaries took over the site and transformed it into an alternative cultural centre. The site integrates a living concept with four unique stages, hosting theatre, music, cabaret, vaudeville and a children's circus. As an eco-pioneer, ufaFabrik actively supports sustainability by running environmental projects. It also offers diverse classes and workshops for all ages, fostering a spirit of sharing. The centre's Rudi & Rosa café and restaurant provides a relaxing meeting place for the community. Embrace the spirit of spontaneity and watch as fantastic stories unfold at this vibrant venue.
Where: Viktoriastraße 10-18, Tempelhof
When: Daily 10am - 7pm; Rudi & Rosa café - Monday to Saturday 10am - 10pm, Sunday 10am - 7:30pm