District Guide: Neukölln, Berlin
seen by Jeisson Martin, photographer
The young photographer Jeisson Martin has chosen a unique neighborhood in Berlin to be his new home: Neukölln. It’s an area full of surprises where tourists, international students, and newcomers mingle with original Berliners. The area’s best-known streets Sonnenallee and Karl-MarxStraße in particular represent Neukölln’s vibe, with all the tasty smells wafting from falafel shops, Arabic supermarkets and local shisha cafés. This neighborhood is the perfect place for an upcoming creative like Jeisson to find limitless inspiration. And maybe that’s the reason why he always comes back to Berlin, after various trips to Thailand, Toronto and Paris. Neukölln might not always be pretty, but it never fails to deliver an interesting story, and an ideal backdrop for street shots to boot.
Why does your job perfectly match your city? Neukölln is a very vibrant, multicultural part of Berlin. You interact with the “real” people here, so if you are looking to hear about crazy stories, be open and some Berliners might tell you some beautiful, shocking, or just crazy lessons they’ve learned from life. As a creative this gives me a lot of energy that I can put back into my work.
How do you spend a Saturday in your district? I like to spend my Saturdays at Körnerpark. To me, it’s the most beautiful park in Neukölln – maybe even Berlin. The Körnerpark is right in my Kiez (Berlin slang for neighborhood) and you wouldn’t expect it to be here at all, it’s just way too pretty. The second place would be the old part of Neukölln called Böhmisch-Rixdorf. Situated between Sonnenallee and Karl-Marx-Straße, you’ll be surprised to find a cozy little village here. One of the nicest Christmas markets in town is in the heart of the Böhmisch-Rixdorf area, at Richardplatz, every year. Even if it’s always super crowded, it’s definitely worth it.
1. Körnerpark | Schierker Str. 8, 12051 Berlin
2. Christmas Market | Richardplatz Richardplatz 1, 12055 Berlin
When you want to impress your date, take them to the lovely pizza (and ice-cream) place right next to Körnerpark. Nini e Pettirosso really has one of the best Pizza in Berlin and some great wine!
3. Nini e Pettirosso | Selkestraße 27, 12051 Berlin
Be aware of pickpockets. And of course the local market “Die Dicke Linda” at Kranoldplatz which takes place every Saturday. If you like fantastic cheese, wine, local slowfood or even Japanese snacks, you should definitely go there!
When you have to work on your laptop, it‘s best to go to Roasters. They have the tastiest coffee there, and you only pay 1,80 € for a cappuccino.
5. Roasters | Hermannstraße 176, 12051 Berlin
When the sun sets, go to the rooftop bar Klunkerkranich. Not so much of an inside tipp anymore, but still a great place to watch the sun set over the city of Berlin!
You‘ll meet the long-established locals at one of the numerous pubs you can find in Neukölln. In all of the ones I’ve been to, the locals were very open-minded and friendly. In Germany we call them “Spelunken” — you can recognize them from the big sign advertising the beer brand „Schultheiss“ on the outside!
The best place to people watch must be Hermannplatz for sure. Sit outside a “Späti” (short form for Spätkauf, a typical Berlin corner shop) on a Friday or Saturday evening and just absorb what is happening here. There will be a lot going on…
7. Hermannplatz | Hermannplatz, 10967 Berlin
Where do you find inspiration? For my freelance work, I really love to communicate with the people from my neighborhood. But as I now have a full-time job in the creative field, I do get my inspiration from what is happening in the world, especially in museums and galleries. If I want to see some fine selected art in my district, I go to the old Kindl Brewery – a collector couple exhibits a wide range of interesting artists in this unique building.
8. Kindl-Center for contemporary art | Am Sudhaus 3, 12053 Berlin, @kindlberlin
You can find the nicest vintage clothes in one of the countless Vintage stores in Neukölln. If you are looking for some special gems you should check out Ironic Gallery!
9. Ironic Gallery | Flughafenstr.24, 12053 Berlin, @ironicgallery_