Choose The Friedrichshain Neighborhood For A Hip And Budget-Friendly Stay In Berlin

Berlin is known for its edgy vibe, eclectic architecture, and overall cool quotient. With a reputation as an arts destination, it's no surprise that Berlin is home to 170 museums — not to mention the displays of contemporary and street art. This is a city that elevates and celebrates culture.

While staying in the city proper is what the majority of visitors opt to do (and there's no reason you couldn't spend days on end within the city center without ever leaving) to experience Berlin like a local, opt to check out the heart and soul of this city — its neighborhoods. While this task can be a bit overwhelming, one thing to remember is Berlin will have a place that fits your needs.

There are 12 different districts (called bezirk) that make up Berlin. Each bezirk is broken down into kiez, (which is a small area within a larger town). To add another layer of complexity, each kiez can be broken down by the street. Each area can have a comely different personality than the one before. With such a range of options, of course, each neighborhood provides a different scene and shows the city in a new light. 

If you're a culture-lover, the area of Friedrichshain, (also known as Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg ) is a fun (and budget-friendly) option that should be on your radar.

Friedrichshain offers the best of both worlds

Berlin is not only the capital of Germany, but it's also one of its most-popular destinations. According to Statista, Berlin welcomed 5.13 million visitors in 2021 and of that number, 3.85 million were international. While Berlin ranks high as a destination, it's the neighborhoods surrounding the beloved capital that provide the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local scene. Friedrichshain is a local favorite and the perfect home base if you're looking for a unique experience.

The area is close enough to the city proper for convenience, but also shines a light on a lesser-seen side of this world capital. Friedrichshain is on the city's east side (it was once part of East Berlin) and is surrounded by Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, and Lichtenberg. A stay here means you can expect plenty of indie boutiques and casual eateries. The area is bursting with street art, both cheeky and political, as well as political and cultural tributes to its history. A stay in Friedrichshain will afford you the opportunity to experience the trip through your own lens — versus seeing it on social media first — since it remains under the radar to many visitors.

Get lost in the Friedrichshain way of life

Visiting Friedrichshain does not have to break the bank, since it offers many budget-friendly attractions for visitors of all ages.  Home to the largest stretch of the Berlin Wall, the neighborhood also offers up plenty of budget-friendly sights and activities. For starters, the East Side Gallery which sits along the Spree River, is a colorful showcase of artwork from over 100 artists. The free, open-air gallery is a favorite among visitors and ranks in the most popular things to do; it's recommended to arrive early to beat the crowds.  

Aside from soaking up the vibe, it's relatively easy to find affordable accommodations here too, and among them are the Eastern & Western Comfort Hostelboat, Backpacker Berlin, and Industriepalast Hostel Berlin. If you're looking for cheap eats, you'll find plenty here. Panda Meister offers eye-popping deals on Chinese dumplings, and burger and schnitzel places abound (of course) but so too do Italian options like Salami Social Club and Pomodorino. Friedrichshain lives by its motto, "FairKiez," the result of an awareness campaign meant to ensure the area stays inclusive and accessible to all.