Strausberger Platz is located at the very heart of Berlin, only a stone’s throw from some of the capital’s best restaurants, clubs and tourist attractions. Whether you’re just visiting Berlin or a Strausberger Platz resident, here are a few locations you should check out at least once…although you’ll probably come back again and again!
From historic GDR architecture to iconic sights and tips for a fun night or day out, we’ll bring you everything you’ll need to know to make the most of your time in the Strausberger Platz area.
TEIL 1: Galleries around Strausberger Platz
1. GALERIE IM TURM
A very special gallery awaits visitors at the far end of Karl-Marx-Allee: GALERIE IM TURM. It’s located in the northern tower of Frankfurter Tor, which was designed by Hermann Henselmann, the famous architect also responsible for the design of Strausberger Platz. Founded in 1965, GALERIE IM TURM has been run as a municipal gallery for the district of Friedrichshain since 1990. As such, it plays a vital role in promoting artists who live and work in Berlin. This year, the gallery’s focus is on exhibiting works that reflect the relationship between humans and nature, including Naufus Ramíres-Figueroa’s ‘Third Lung’ (until 11 March 2018), which features sculptures and a performance to recreate bird sounds.
Galerie im Turm
Frankfurter Tor 1
2. GALERIE KUCHLING/Galerie für frische Kunst
Art initiates fresh thinking, inspires debate and creates disruption – that’s the impact Rolf and Robert Kuchling have consistently aimed for since starting their eponymous gallery in 2011. The brothers, who grew up in socialist East Germany, have been very successful at providing a space for art that addresses the tensions and contradictions within contemporary society. GALERIE KUCHLING’s current exhibition ‘Arche & Atlas. Unter der Last der Wirklichkeit’ (until 8 March 2018) features work by Werner Brunner whose atmospheric images capture the dark side of a globalised world.
Image courtesy of Eric Park – unsplash
3. Studio Galerie Berlin
STUDIO GALERIE BERLIN is another gallery located within the immediate vicinity of Strausberger Platz that dates back to socialist East Germany. Founded in 1975, the gallery specialises in contemporary craft and design, including jewellery, pottery and graphic artworks by over 70 artists. The gallery is proud to exhibit pottery work as well as frequent solo shows by Hedwig Bollhagen, probably Germany’s most famous ceramicist.
Studio Galerie Berlin
Frankfurter Allee 36 A
4. Architektur Galerie Berlin
Founded in 1999, ARCHITEKTUR GALERIE BERLIN moved to its current location on Karl-Marx-Allee between Strausberger Platz and Frankfurter Tor in 2006. As the name suggests, the gallery specialises in designs and photographs of buildings by contemporary architects from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The current exhibition (until 3 March) is dedicated to an extension for the Oranienburg Tax Office in the immediate vicinity of the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp, whose design constitutes an attempt to address the difficult history of its location.
Architektur Galerie Berlin
5. CENTRAL BERLIN GALLERY – DDR LIMITED
CENTRAL BERLIN GALLERY’s location directly on Strausberger Platz makes it an absolute must-see for any visitor to the area. CENTRAL BERLIN GALLERY at Strausberger Platz 16-18 shows selected pieces of authentic furniture and lamps from the early years of the GDR, as well as mid-century pieces from the USSR, Germany, France, Italy, the UK and the US. Original design features – a neon sign from the former Aeroflot agency on Unter den Linden, a chandelier by Peter Rockel from the GDR’s Ministry of Construction, parts of Café Moskau’s metal ceiling – add to the gallery’s unique charm and authentic atmosphere.
CENTRAL BERLIN – DDR limited – Gallery
Strausberger Platz 16-18
PART 2: Cafés around Strausberger Platz
1. Saaldeck Café & Bar
Located between Strausberger Platz and the Weberwiese U-Bahn station, Saaldeck Café has been serving homemade cakes and delicious coffee since August 2015. Savoury panini dishes and fine wines are also available. Throughout the summer, the open-air terrace offers great views of Karl-Marx-Allee. The café opens at 10 am and is the perfect spot to start the day.
Saaldeck Café & Bar
2. Café Sibylle
Founded in 1953 and originally named “Milchtrinkhalle”, Café Sibylle is a Berlin original that serves a slice of local history which, like the wonderful homemade cakes, is anything but dry. The café hosts a permanent exhibition documenting the history of Karl-Marx-Allee since the 1940’s .
3. Coffee Profilers
As the name suggests, this is not the place to come for a quick caffeine fix. Coffee Profilers are as dedicated to the hunt for exclusive beans and special taste sensations as any FBI agent is to tracking down criminals. With a constantly changing choice of different beans, various coffee grinders and coffee makers, this is heaven for coffee aficionados. If you still haven’t found a variety that ticks all your boxes, one of their tasting sessions or workshops might be just the thing for you.
Karl-Marx Allee 136
PART 3: Bars around Strausberger Platz
1. Radio Bar
This bar combines so many of the things that Berlin is famous for: great drinks, great music and truly extravagant fashion design. Here you can order a drink, buy a quirky piece by an up-and-coming fashion designer and listen to the latest release by the in-house record label. The owners have created a one-of-a-kind venue in the immediate vicinity of Strausberger Platz.
Frankfurter Allee 23
Situated in what used to be the offices of the eponymous Czech airline, ČSA-Bar is one of the most stylish and beguiling places to go for a drink on and around Strausberger Platz. The bar is also available for hire for private events.
3. Café Alberts
The former Mocca-Milchbar is another highlight for GDR history buffs . Before the fall of the Wall, this was a place where young people gathered in droves to get away from the strictures of living in a socialist society (although they were unable to escape Stasi surveillance even here). Summer dances at this location were as popular then as they are today.
Under its new name and ownership, the venue is a café and restaurant by day that turns into a bar at night time – and well worth a visit at any time of day or night.
PART 4: Theatres around Strausberger Platz
1. Volksbühne Berlin
Located at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz only a few minutes from Strausberger Platz and Alexanderplatz, the Volksbühne is steeped in history. The theatre was founded in 1890 and is famous for its rich tradition of avant-garde productions and cutting-edge social critique. Today the Volksbühne hosts concerts and readings as well as theatrical performances.
Volksbühne Berlin, source: Pixabay
Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
2. Theater im Nikolaiviertel
Not far from the Volksbühne, the Theater im Nikolaiviertel is located at the heart of Berlin’s historic centre. One of its most successful plays is Zille sein Milljöh, a theatrical tour de force through 19th century Berlin. If you want to experience Berlin at its most authentic and typical, this is a must-see.
Theater im Nikolaiviertel zu Gast in der:
3. Kriminal Theater
The Berliner Kriminal Theater is located in the immediate vicinity of Strausberger Platz. True to its name, this theatre exclusively stages (murder) mysteries. From classic whodunnits to more recent additions to the genre, there are plenty of tasty treats for those who prefer their theatrical fare with a side order of red herring.
BERLINER KRIMINAL THEATER
Umspannwerk Ost – Palisadenstr. 48
Image courtesy of unsplash
4. Theater der kleinen Form
The Theater der kleinen Form is a children’s theatre, though grown-ups are more than welcome to join in the fun! As well as theatrical performances of contemporary fairy tales and other stories, the programme includes theatre, dance and music workshops for children from the age of 3.
Theater der kleinen Form
Gubener Str. 45
PART 5: Museums around Strausberger Platz
The first of its kind in Europe, the Computerspielemuseum (Museum of Computer Games) on Frankfurter Allee attracts children and adults, locals and tourists alike. From classic games dating back to the last millennium to brand-new 3D games, the museum is a haven for anybody who loves computer games.
Computerspielemuseum, source: This picture shows an artwork (or its modification) by Matthias Zimmermann (media artist), Switzerland. Contact: www.matthias-zimmermann.ch [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2. Menschen Museum
The Menschen Museum (MeMu for short) is the permanent home of Gunther von Hagens’ (in)famous “Body Worlds” exhibition. Situated directly below the TV Tower on Alexanderplatz, the museum offers exciting and educative glimpses into the human body. Definitely worth a visit!
Menschen Museum, source: © Menschen Museum
MeMu Menschen Museum
The Museum Island is an architectural masterpiece combining 5 major museums. Probably the most famous and popular among them is the Pergamon Museum, which shows archaeological treasures from antiquity. Highlights include the Pergamon Altar and a bust of Nofretete that dates back to Ancient Egypt in 1340 BCE.
Museumsinsel, source: Pixabay
PART 6: Parks around Strausberger Platz
1. Volkspark Friedrichshain
Only a few hundred metres north of Strausberger Platz, Volkspark Friedrichshain with its clean and large grassy areas is a perfect place to sunbathe and relax away from the city’s hustle and bustle for a bit. Completed in 1846, the park also comprises a small lake, two beer gardens and an open-air cinema.
2. GleisBeet – Urban Gardening at a Former Train Station
Starting in 2012, what used to be the tracks of the Wriezener Bahnhof between Warschauer Straße and Ostbahnhof has been converted into an urban gardening project. After decades of neglect, volunteers from the GleisBeet e.V. association have started reclaiming the site for ecological usage by planting vegetable plots and creating a functioning eco system shared by animals, plants and humans. Anybody can join the organisation and take part in designing the gardens – a perfect alternative if you don’t have a garden at home.
Helsingforser Str. 29
3. Leise Park
Close to Volkspark Friedrichshain, and just around the corner from Strausberger Platz, “Leise Park” opened in 2012 on the grounds of a former cemetery in Prenzlauer Berg. Nowhere near as ghoulish as it sounds, this is in fact a lovely, slightly overgrown space that resembles an enchanted forest from a fairy tale rather than the location of a horror movie. Frolicking, rollicking children are strictly permitted!
PART 7: Dancing at Strausberger Platz
1. Avenue Club
The basement of the famous Café Moskaus houses one of Berlin’s trendiest clubs. Avenue Club offers contemporary party atmosphere in a historic setting. From the stylish interior with VIP areas and leather sofas to the tasty drinks and highly danceable mix of hip hop, house and electronic beats, this is serious fun for a grown-up, sophisticated crowd.
This famous jazz club close to Hackescher Markt hosts a weekly programme of live events that attract lovers of blues, funk and rock as well as more traditional jazz audiences. Founded in 1997, the club has made a name for itself as a venue for exclusive gigs and legendary jam sessions, which take place every Wednesday and last until deep into the early hours. An unmissable experience for anybody who appreciates hand-made music!
3. House of Weekend
Boasting views across Berlin that are nothing short of spectacular, “House of Weekend” offers a unique party experience in the throbbing heart of the capital, right on Alexanderplatz. Prominent revellers include celebrities such as Karl Lagerfeld and Lenny Kravitz. With a dancefloor on the 15th and a roof terrace on the 17th floor, there’s no better place to dance the night away to house, techno and electronic beats and be the first to greet the rising sun – as long as you don’t suffer from vertigo!
House of Weekend
No list of Berlin’s best party venues would be complete without what is probably the city’s most (in)famous club. The famous techno club Berghain close to Strausberger Platz was voted “Best Club in the World” by DJ Mag in 2009. Best-known for hosting parties that last all weekend, the club also serves as a venue for live concerts and other cultural events such as exhibitions and theatre performances during the week. If you want to join the party, expect long queues and what is reputed to be Berlin’s strictest door policy.
Berghain Berlin, source: By Yannick (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Am Wriezener Bahnhof
PART 8: Searching for the GDR – 5 Must-See Attractions and Locations
1. The TV Tower
The Berlin TV Tower is one of the capital’s most iconic landmarks. Popularly known as the “world’s largest glitter ball” or the “Telespargel” (for its alleged resemblance to a spear of asparagus), the tower in the centre of Alexanderplatz is Germany’s tallest building at 368m (1,207ft). As well as being a major attraction for tourists and locals alike, it’s still used for broadcasting. However, most people come to enjoy the fantastic views across Berlin from the visitor platform or have a meal in the revolving restaurant inside the giant sphere. As the entrance fee is quite steep, make sure you come on a fine day when the views are most spectacular.
2. Haus des Lehrers
Located directly on Alexanderplatz within easy walking distance of the TV Tower, “Haus des Lehrers” is famous for its ornate mosaic façade. Built in 1961-1964, the centre served as a meeting point for educators before the fall of the Wall. It’s a popular motive for holiday snaps.
3. Kino International
Kino International was the GDR’s most important cinema. This is where state functionaries and other public figures came to attend the premieres of new releases. The gallery on the first floor was very much a place to be seen. Today, Kino International remains a popular venue for screenings during the Berlinale Film Festival, as well as for parties and other events at any time of the year.
4. Café Moskau
Located straight opposite Kino International, Café Moskau used to be a nationality restaurant that seated up to 600 guests. Today it’s a club popular with the in-crowd. The open-plan design combined with lots of glass creates a welcoming atmosphere that continues to attract many visitors. The perfect place to go for a post-cinema drink accompanied by a scene-by-scene dissection of the film you’ve just watched!
5. East Side Gallery
Located right on the Spree, the East Side Gallery is the largest open-air exhibition in the world. After the fall of the Wall in 1989, artists from all over the world came to Berlin to help decorate the longest remaining piece of the Berlin Wall, thus creating a monument that became a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city.
PART 9: Restaurants around Strausberger Platz
1. Haus Berlin
Any overseas visitor to Berlin should try traditional East German delicacies such as Königsberger Klopse, Steak au Four or Solianka at least once. Located directly on Strausberger Platz, Haus Berlin serves a choice of tasty dishes from a weekly changing menu for a lovely evening in a relaxed ambience.
Strausberger Platz 1
2. Fame Restaurant
Fame Restaurant is located directly on the Spree only a short walk away from Strausberger Platz. The restaurant is the latest great idea from the creators of Bar25 and Kater Blau. At their new venture, fine dining meets the trademark rustic style of wood, stone and steel elements. Enjoy sumptuous fusion cooking, dip into a cheese fondue in the Swiss Cottage or sip an aperitif on the Schöne Marie sundeck.
3. Ristorante A Mano
If you want to stay on Strausberger Platz itself and don’t fancy German fare, check out Ristorante A Mano, located opposite Central Berlin Gallery, for delicious Italian dishes and Mediterranean specialties in a relaxed traditional ambience.
Ristorante A Mano
Strausberger Pl. 2