Friedrichshain is the heartland of where east meets west. Formerly part of east Berlin, it now forms part of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough. This is one large region that is made up of the suburbs of Kreuzberg (formerly west Berlin) and Friedrichshain (formerly east Berlin), which are connected together across the Spree River by the beautiful and historic bridge, the Oberbaumbrücke.
Friedrichshain is where you will find modern day Berlin, buzzing with fashion and street art and urban culture. Then you simply cross a street and find yourself deep in GDR history. Friedrichshain is the unofficial capital of the east and its striking socialist style architecture really sets the scene as you absorb the stories of East Berlin.
The centre of Friedrichshain, both old and new is the majestic Strausberger Platz, and the longest architectural monument in Europe – the glory that is Karl Marx Allee. As this connects through to Frankfurter Tor, you experience a different atmosphere entirely. Inner city living is fully embraced around Boxhagener Platz and Simon Dach Strasse with cafes, boutiques, book shops, bars, clubs and street markets scattered throughout the neighborhood.
Friedrichshain’s southern border runs down along the River Spree and heads east connecting with the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall and the famous attraction painted upon it - the East Side Gallery. More than a kilometre of wall runs alongside the river featuring artworks from over a hundred artists from 21 countries.
Friedrichshain is also home to one the city’s oldest structures - the Oberbaumbrücke. Kreuzberg also claims the bridge as its own but as a shared borough it really belongs to both of them. Built in the 1700s as part of the customs wall that once encircled the city, it has divided and connected the people of Berlin in many ways throughout the centuries, Today it is a listed structure and one of Berlin’s most beloved landmarks.
Friedrichshain is where freedom and liberty found their voice after the wall came down and the creative expression of that, can be seen throughout the neighborhoods. Whole buildings are covered in spectacular street art and every corner has its own story to tell about the past. Its parks, river banks and Spree side location make it the perfect place to see the best of Berlin.