The Berlin district of Neukölln has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity – and northern neighbourhood Reuterkiez is at the forefront of the boom. Sharing a border with hip Kreuzberg, the area’s own X factor is threatening to steal its neighbour’s crown as Berlin’s capital of cool. The streets around Weserstraße, one of Reuterkiez’s liveliest thoroughfares, are the perfect spot for an alternative Berlin Christmas shopping trip on Neukölln’s new frontier of fashion, food and fun.
Christmas shopping on the cutting edge in Reuterkiez
Creatives and students meet a diverse community of local Berliners in this former industrial area along the Landwehr Canal – creating a vibrant mix of arts, culture, style and attitude that’s like no other. Reuterkiez is one of Berlin’s hotspots and is home to its youngest and most international community – making it the ideal spot to pick up unique Berlin Christmas gifts you won’t find anywhere else.
When it comes to looking and feeling good, Reuterkiez is ahead of the pack. Vintage aficionados will find their heaven here – check out Let Them Eat Cake on Weserstraße for some of the finest finds. If you’re shopping sustainably, give the gift of ethical style from format & WESEN. Home to eco-friendly local label format and its shop front WESEN, this space on Tellstraße stocks incredible fashion from a range of ethically minded brands. Finally, because style is about looking good from head to toe, stop by Captn-Crop on Reuterstraße to pick up a unique handcrafted hat for the trendsetter in your life. Reuterkiez also has sustainable beauty covered thanks to ERiCA Naturkosmetik. This independent mother-and-daughter run label produces ethical soaps and other products that make a bold statement – and bears the name of a third generation: owner Antje’s grandmother.
If you’re shopping for a literary gift, try Buchkönigin on Hobrechtstraße, where owners Nina and Hannah have created a vibrant hub for literary exchange and creative book recommendations. Shop the creative side of Reuterkiez: go crate-digging for the music-lover in your life at A&V Records on Friedelstraße or browse cute art, gifts, homeware and locally made hot sauce (yes, you read right) from Bohei on Weserstraße.
Enjoy the magic of the festive season in Neukölln
Reuterkiez might be hip and alternative, but some things are universal – like the joy of seeing sparkling fairy lights brighten up winter nights. Take a moment on your Berlin Christmas shopping trip to grab a cup of coffee or a mulled wine and stroll down local thoroughfare Karl-Marx-Straße, admiring the neighbourhood in all its festive finery. Watch buildings and faces light up with Christmas cheer and take a moment to remember the spirit of the season.
Food, fabulous food
Start off with a delicious brunch to set you up for a day of Berlin Christmas shopping. Brunch spot Roamers on Pannierstraße adds a splash of California sunshine to your plate, while cute Café Katulki on Friedelstraße serves up delicious baked goods and breakfasts – including Polish pierogi, Reuterkiez-style. If you’d rather grab a coffee and pastry to go, quirky Ketori Coffee on Weserstraße is a local favourite.
When you’re ready to break up your day’s browsing with something bigger, look no further than local burgers. The scene in Reuterkiez is off the scale: just off Weserstraße on foodie favourite Pannierstraße you’ll find some of the tastiest burgers in Berlin. Berlinburger International is the ultimate burger spot, serving creative recipes and delicious loaded fries. Neighbouring Bang Boom Burger gives it a run for its money, while the Three Dudes Next Door distinguish themselves with homemade falafel and tasty sauces (try the peanut!) as well as juicy burgers. All that protein offers plenty of sustenance for the next round of your Christmas shopping trip.
And after all that generous gift-buying, you deserve a treat yourself. For dinner, take a seat and sample the smorgasbord of international flavours being served up here in Reuterkiez. From Sudanese street food at Sahara Imbiss to authentic Vietnamese dining at Cocoon, or steak tartare and moules frites at Beuster Bar, you can enjoy a culinary world tour without leaving the neighbourhood around Weserstraße. Discover incredible international themed weeks at CBS Kitchen, home of the iconic Berlin hot sauce, which serves up everything from tacos to Scottish fish and chips. To wash it all down, stop at a stylish cocktail bar on Weserstraße for a nightcap. There’s plenty of choice, from chic Thelonious to relaxed Ratzeputz.
- Browse the markets by the Maybachufer. Reuterkiez winds its way along the picturesque Landwehr Canal, and the Maybachufer along its banks is home to a weekly market that’s a fantastic mishmash of Turkish and local Neukölln produce – a perfect example of the area’s multicultural vibe. Meanwhile, the fortnightly Nowkoelln Flowmarkt is a great spot to browse second-hand gifts and curiosities.
- Round off your shopping trip with a night of cinema, dining and dolce vita at Il Kino – a Berlin icon of the independent movie scene. The cosy 52-seater theatre shows a carefully curated selection of incredible films from around the globe in their original language and with German and English subtitles. Light bites and Italian food are served every evening alongside delicious beers, wines and cocktails for a classic cinema experience in the heart of Neukölln.
- Go in search of a rock’n’roll icon. Jacky Spelter is a cult hero in Reuterkiez. An early German rock’n’roller who toured with his Strangers in the 1950s and ’60s, he was an avid Elvis fan who’s said to have rubbed shoulders with the Beatles early in his career. He lived on Sanderstraße for decades, and a plaque has been put up in his memory.
Weserstraße is one of the liveliest streets in Reuterkiez, and a well-connected entry point to the neighbourhood, situated between U-Bahn stations Schönleinstraße, Rathaus Neukölln and Hermannplatz. Hop on U-Bahn lines U7 or U8 to find your way to one of these stations (check the map), then head down to Weserstraße on foot – it’s about 10 minutes’ walk away. If you prefer to take the bus, the M41 from Berlin Hauptbahnhof rail station or Potsdamer Platz will whisk you to nearby Fuldastraße.