Life in Berlin: Hip Prenzlauer Berg

Prenzlauer berg is the hippest district in Berlin – at least that’s what the people living there love to describe their beloved neighborhood. With beautiful 20th century buildings, cute boutiques and an overload of cafes lining the streets and boulevards – it’s easy to understand why this area has become so popular. Wondering what it would be like to live in Berlin’s most desired districts, we decided to spend a month renting an apartment there to see what all the fuss was about…

From Poor Hippies to Rich Bohemians

Prenzlauer Berg has a fascinating history, and was once one of the poorest districts of the city, attracting a young bohemian crowd. But the days of poor artists living on cheap rents in crumbling buildings are over – since the reunification, the district has transformed into a wealthy, trendy area – and the poor bohemians have been replaced… with rich bohemians. While the residents are wealthier, they still want an alternative lifestyle, and have paved the way for the organic supermarkets, vegan restaurants and fair trade shops that now line the streets. We found a vegan fast food restaurant around the corner from our apartment and another one with an all vegan buffet around the other, a vegan shoe shop a few blocks away, which was right next to a vegan supermarket – this was vegetarian heaven!

The P-berg Mum

When walking into the hallways of apartment buildings or in one of the many cafes and parks, you may suddenly find yourself surrounded by deluxe baby trolleys. Prenzlauer Berg is the so called “latte-macchiato-mums” hood, also known as the “p-berg mums” (Prenzlauer Berg mum). You can usually find them at the nearest boulevard cafe sipping a latte-macchiato with their friends – check out this post if you want to read a hilarious and dead-on description about what the “p-berg mums” are like!

Café Culture

Perhaps thanks to the “p-berg mums”, there are countless of cafes in Prenzlauer Berg that are perfect hang-outs for people wanting to spend half their days with one cup of coffee. Here are some great places to check out:

  • Godshot Coffee Club: Famous for its great coffee, and a very cozy atmosphere making guests stay for hours on end. Only bad thing is that the wifi costs.
  • Café Morgenrot: Has a great vegan weekend brunch, where you pay what you can afford and a very laid back hippie-vibe.
  • Café Im Nu – A cozy little place with a lovely Sunday breakfast buffet (€8,90) by a nice square. 
  • Schwarze Pumpe – The perfect Berlin atmosphere and typical German food so filling that you will last all day.
  • Vita Bäckerei & Café – Our favorite bakery with delicious home made cakes in fun varieties and flavors. The Coffee is nothing to write home about, but the chai latte is awesome. It’s one of those places where old people hang their coats on the clothing hangar and sit there for hours with a newspaper.

While Sundays tend to be very quiet days in Germany with empty streets and closed doors, the cafés and restaurants in Prenzlauer Berg will be crowded already by 9 am. Going out for Sunday brunch has become a phenomenon in Berlin, and with the huge amount of restaurants, bars and cafés in Prenzlauer Berg it’s almost a crime not to indulge in all the brunch options!

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Shopping & Hang-Outs

There aren’t many attractions in Prenzlauer Berg, and yet it’s one of the places everyone tells you to visit. But why? The reason is that Prenzlauer Berg is kind of an attraction in itself. The best way to enjoy this area is to simply stroll along the streets and alleys, sit down for a cup of coffee, check out some event at the Kulturbrauerei and shop in the many quirky second hand boutiques – and of course make a visit to Mauerpark. On a sunny day, few places beat Mauerpark. It’s the favorite hang-out spot for locals in Prenzlauer Berg, and is also where one of Berlin’s most famous flea markets is held. Every Sunday you can make your way down the jam-packed market an find lots of unique things you want and convince yourself that you actually need, from vintage and antiques to furniture, toys, clothes and jewellery.

There is a great vibe in the park and a good mix of people, and sometimes there is even karaoke section going on which is pretty crazy. To sum it up, Prenzlauer Berg is the perfect place to spend a Sunday – you join the latte-macchiato-mums for brunch before visiting the Sunday market and do some thrift shopping at Mauerpark!

18 Responses to Life in Berlin: Hip Prenzlauer Berg

  1. Charles McCool February 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    I enjoy the inside looks at Berlin culture. I hope to visit one day soon.

    • Sofia February 22, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Great to hear you enjoyed the article, it’s a great part of Berlin to visit.

  2. Andi February 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Dying to get to Berlin, as I have family there!

    • Sofia February 22, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      Awesome to have family in a great city, and a good reason to visit 😉

  3. Jam @icoSnap February 20, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    Thanks for the list of cafes to check out! Saving them on my bookmarks 🙂

    • Sofia February 22, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      You’re welcome, glad you found it helpful 🙂

  4. Sheila February 20, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    We also stayed at an apartment in Prenzlauerberg. It made me fall in love with Berlin.

    • Sofia February 22, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Lovely, we found it to be a great place to live in!

  5. Matthew Karsten February 21, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    That’s quite the spread of delicious food in that one photo… I’d visit just to hang out in these cafes too. 😀

    • Sofia February 22, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      It was delicious! That photo was taken at Café Im Nu, definitely a place worth checking out 🙂

  6. Jessica February 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    We spent a couple days in Berlin, and it wasn’t enough. I want to go back! I love the vibe of the whole city – so cool and eclectic.

    • Sofia February 22, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      The first time we visited we also only stayed for a few days, but we’ve found ourselves going back there again and again. It’s one of those cities you never really tire of visiting.

  7. Erica February 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    Sounds like my kind of neighborhood, especially as I love vegan food. How did you find your apartment by the way?

    • Sofia February 22, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      It’s great for vegans and vegetarians, and there are a lot of places to choose from!
      We found the apartment through AirBnb, it’s the site we use all the time these days as we like to stay in cities for a month or so.

  8. Fran February 25, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Great article! 🙂 Prenzlauer Berg is a definitely worth visiting on a trip to Berlin. The flea market in Mauerpark is amazing – so many different things to buy and admire! And the cafés of the area are great – I even went to one where there were parrots flying around the building providing lots of entertainment for me and my friends!

    • Sofia February 26, 2013 at 9:21 am #

      That cafe sounds awesome! Do you remember the name or location of it?

      • Fran February 27, 2013 at 11:06 am #

        I think it was the Blumencafé on Schönhauser Allee.

        • Sofia February 28, 2013 at 8:42 am #

          Oh yes I know that place! Haha I never went inside though, actually thought it was more of a flower shop than a cafe. Well, I’ll make sure to stop by next time I’m there 🙂