A tiny, trendy burger joint is squeezed in next to a massive discount hairdressers, dwarfed by the latter’s glittery shopfront. Liquor stores and shops selling battered furniture reclaimed from house clearances cluster next to the latest cheerfully-painted bakery run by a visitor from the UK or the US. An anti-gentrification slogan is scrawled on the side of an airy Italian restaurant. Welcome to Kreuzkölln, a district that isn’t quite sure whether it wants regeneration or revolution.
Visitors to the city could be forgiven some confusion over the area’s name – it’s where northern Neukölln meets Kreuzberg, bordered by multicultural Sonnenallee and Kottbusser Damm. During the Cold War, Sonnenallee was a border crossing and Neukölln a neglected area populated mainly by immigrants drawn by the cheap rents. When the Wall came down, artists and students flocked there for the same reason, and today’s Kreuzkölln is filled with studios and artisan cafes by day, and edgy, deliberately distressed bars by night. Let Berlin&I lead you on a stroll around this rapidly-changing area’s central street, Pannierstraße… [READ MORE]