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Neukölln: Vibrant cosmopolitan diversity

Neukölln © visitBerlin, Foto: Sarah Lindemann

Neukölln is a dynamic mix of different ethnicities and cultures: To judge from the shop fronts, street life here is an eclectic mix of Arab bakers, Turkish bridal shops, Vietnamese eateries, nail salons and gambling casinos!

Neukölln-Rixdorf was always a vibrant entertainment district

In old Imperial Germany, Berliners came to Rixdorf to relax and enjoy, away from humdrum everyday life. Back then, aside from cheap lodgings for workers, this Berlin suburb offered everything for a good time out – with more beer gardens, clubs, dance halls and events than anywhere else in Berlin. The crowds in the Kindl halls thrilled to acrobats and tumblers, while audiences of several thousand regularly packed the Mercedes Palace – the luxury cinema of its day. Among friends, some simply called this “a party and working class slum”. But Kaiser Wilhelm II did not intervene – except in 1912, when he simply renamed the district Neukölln. When people talk about Rixdorf today, they mean Neukölln’s old centre around Richardplatz. In 1910, wealthy gravel pit owner Franz Körner wanted to support Rixdorf/Neukölln’s civic pride. Not only generous but (fortunately) also rather vain, he gifted Neukölln a mini-palatial gardens in a neo-baroque style on the condition that the park bore his name – Körner Park. Today, the park not only has attractive fountains, but an orangery with a café and exhibition room. Summer concerts are held on the little square in front of the orangery. So no matter whether Rixdorf or Neukölln, 1910 or 2014, entertainment and this district have always gone together – just like music and dance!

Off the beaten track

Sehitlik Moschee

The Sehitlik Moschee (Mosque) on Columbiadamm recalls 16th and 17th-century Ottoman architecture. Tours for groups of up to eight people. Prior registration required.

Kindl Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst (Centre for contemporary art).

In autumn 2014, the extensive former Kindl brewery complex in the Rollberg locality opens its doors as a venue for international contemporary art.

BiOriental Market

The lively Maybachufer market is open from 11 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday – great vegetables, Turkish specialities and fabrics.