Neukölln has been named Berlin’s coolest neighbourhood

The south-eastern area came 11th in our annual ranking of the world’s best districts

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London
Foto: Jonas Hara /

A few cities nearly always make our annual ranking of world’s coolest neighbourhoods. The likes of New York, Amsterdam, London and Tokyo are obvious shouts. And so too is Berlin. So, how on earth do you decide what’s cool in a city like that? You do a survey, that’s what. A huge survey.

This year, the Time Out Index poll quizzed 27,000 city-dwellers across the globe about their neighbourhoods, covering everything from food to culture, sustainability to community spirit. Their insights were then combined with the opinions of our global network of Time Out editors and contributors. Our panel of experts then ranked the lot.

And the coolest area in Berlin in 2021? Neukölln! In the German capital’s south-east, Neukölln sums up everything that’s exhilarating about modern Berlin. Buzzing with a vast array of restaurants, bars and museums, the neighbourhood is a thriving embodiment of multiculturalism. And with its leafy parks and beautiful canals, it’s visually sumptuous, too.

Coming in at 11th in the overall ranking, Neukölln has also become a focal point for the wider Berlin community. As Nathan Ma, Time Out’s Berlin expert, wrote: ‘The streets truly come alive when the community rallies around social causes: Neukölln is an epicentre for protests and demonstrations, which often start at Hermannplatz or the district’s Rathaus (town hall) and run up and down the major streets as participants holler in favour of racial justice and affordable housing.’ 

As everyone knows, there’s nothing cooler than social justice. Not only is Neukölln a roaring culinary and cultural hotspot with tons of green space, it’s also a hub of community-based action. So next time you’re in Berlin and looking for the coolest spot in a very, very cool town? We guess you better head on down.

Want to know whether your area made the cut? These are our coolest neighbourhoods in the world for 2021.

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