What’s the deal with Wedding?
Berlin is a city that’s expanding quickly and forever changing: recent influxes of venture funding and start-up money have given the once-grubby capital a cosmopolitan facelift, complete with cookie-cutter housing complexes and urban excess. In Wedding, however, old habits die hard – stroll up Müllerstrasse and down Seestrasse and you can see the city’s history spelled out in cheap rent, cheaper eats, and local hotspots all too often overlooked in favour of the bright lights and tourist traps of Kreuzberg or Neukölln.
This neighbourhood in north-west Berlin feels warm and inviting, with street markets and sprawling public parks frequented by young families and long-time residents alike. Striking Weimar-era architecture contrasts with the harsh lines of former factories – a hangover from Wedding’s history as a working-class district in West Berlin. The area remains largely residential, far removed from the fast-paced developments of Silicon Allee, and therein lies its charm: real and rustic, Wedding is a reminder of why so many have flocked to Berlin since the fall of the Wall.
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Photograph: Doris Antony
Head to the Berlin Modernism Housing Estates for a first-hand look at Bauhaus buildings designed by some of the movement’s top architects. Built between 1919 and 1934, these social housing complexes survived the Second World War and were listed as a Unesco world heritage site in 2008.
Soak up the sun
Berlin’s many parks come alive in spring and summer, but Wedding’s Plötzensee bathing lake is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Despite its central location, it’s a lesser-known perch for those looking to chill out on the sand. Grab some beers from a local Spätkauf (corner shop) and settle in for the afternoon.
Hide from the rain
If it’s less nice out, head to one of the many excellent art spaces in the area: SAVVY Contemporary, gr_und, and VOODOO55 are among the city’s most cutting-edge platforms for visual and performance art.
Mars. Photograph: Katha Mau
Wedding brings together immigrant communities from all around the world, and that’s reflected in its plethora of first-rate global restaurants. Müllerstrasse abounds with Lebanese, Syrian and Turkish addresses: Risa Chicken serves hot chilli wings and juicy rotisserie chicken fresh from the roasting rack, while Imren Grill’s lamb-filled dürüm are a classic start – or end – to any night out.
Elsewhere, MARS offers a pared-down menu of comfort food with a light German influence in a renovated crematorium (yes, really). And if you’re looking for another only-in-Berlin dining experience, head to Café Pförtner, where you can tuck into a more refined meal – this time in a refurbished public bus from the ’70s.
There’s no shortage of breweries in Berlin, and in Wedding both Vagabund and Eschenbräu are stocked with a rotating cast of top-notch local brews. Be sure to try a sour beer in Vagabund’s taproom: excellent fruity notes and lactic acid have turned these brews into cult favourites both at home and abroad.
For a cosy cocktail or a quiet glass of wine, head to one of Wedding’s many Kneipen: Freya Fuchs always overflows with a trendy, young Berliner crowd, and if darts or football are on your mind, Offside offers both (alongside an extensive whisky menu).
How to get to Wedding
The U6 U-Bahn line runs through Wedding’s main stretch from Leopoldplatz to Kurt-Schumacher-Platz. S+U Bahnhof Wedding is also easily accessible from Mitte.
What else is nearby?
Neighbouring Prenzlauer Berg brims with small boutiques and cute cafés. A favoured hangout of expats and young families, this up-and-coming district is well worth a day’s mooching.
Discover the best things to do in Berlin
Long weekend spent getting lost among the Museum Island hordes, or marathon shape-throwing sesh at a 24-hour club? Gastronomic odyssey down Neukölln’s Sonnenallee, or chilling tour of the city’s Cold War architecture? Take your pick with our guide to the best attractions in Berlin.