When you talk to ‘real’ Berliner (born here, preferably at least 2nd generation…), you almost get the impression Wedding is a ghetto. Full of Turkish people, criminal, basically almost a no-go-area. So, after living here for almost a year, the real deal is obviously not so black-and-white.
The best part for me personally is that it is still such a vibrant mix of different kinds of people, with different origins. Yes, there are a lot of Turkish people, but also ‘real’ Berliner, or immigrants like me. In contrast to the more gentrified areas of town (Mitte, Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain), it’s not very monocultural here. And hipsterism is also far away.
In Wedding you will still find the relaxed, sometimes rough Berlin vibe that used to be all around town ten years ago. It has poor and ugly spots, but around the corner you will find some real gems. I live at the end of Badstraße, which I like to call ‘Little Istanbul’, but have a beautiful view into Uferstraße with its dance studios and Adidas The Base, a street football project by the fashion brand.
Yes, it takes much more effort to find the cool places here. But whenever I take friends on one of my (in)famous pub crawls, they are pleasantly surprised. So, just to lift the veil from the well-kept Wedding secrets:
- Dujardin: arty bar in the Uferstrasse
- Jatz: smoky student cocktail bar
- Moritzbar: officially gay, and always cosy
- Basalt: expensive beautiful hipster cocktail place
- Fredericks: unassuming relaxed pub in the Afrikanisches Viertel
- Kater und Goldfisch: relatively new Italian coffee bar
- Cafe Pförtner: restaurant/bar with the famous bus as part of the interior
- City Kino: old great cinema with foreign-languaged movies (usually not dubbed!)
- Offside: whiskey bar and one of the better football pubs
- Wilma’s: great hidden smokey bar, one of my favourites
- F-Bar: another smoky unassuming bar close to Gesundbrunnen
- Freya Fuchs: new bar catering for the younger crowd in the Sprengelkiez
- Bei Ernst: jazzbar and ‘Stammkneipe’ in the Sprengelkiez
- Vagabund: small brewery, open three nights a week
- Esschenbräu: a bigger small brewery, in summer with a famous beer garden
- Kleine Bar: hidden small bar, can host max 30 people
- Anita Berber: classy nice club opposite of where the Stattbad used to be
- Panke Bar: also hidden in the maze opposite of the former Stattbad
- Forsberg: expensive, great cocktail place opposite the old Stattbad
- Silent Green: former crematory gone lunchroom and concert venue
- Oh Calcutta: trashy cocktail bar in my Koloniestraße
- Kikisol: smoky bar with live open stage nights twice a week
- Analog: playing only analog music (vinyl and cassettes). Around the corner of Dujardin
- Freiluftkino: one of the best open air cinemas, unfortunately mostly dubbed movies
- Club Humboldthain: small sweet club in the S-Bahnhof of that name
- Piano Salon Christophori: one of the best venues for classical music in Berlin, a very small workshop for small-scale concerts
And there is even more. So if interested, check out my blog about Berlin or the excellent Weddingweiser blog.