These Are the Safest Areas in Berlin to Stay
For the safest areas in Berlin, stick to these tips and you’ll find yourself also in the safest (00’s British slang for coolest) areas in Berlin
OK, so this is a bit of a misnomer. Wait, is that the right word? Well, anyway, Berlin is pretty safe these days, in both senses of the word (we’ve covered this). That said, it’s pretty much the world capital of hipster, which, depending on your world outlook, is either fun and quirky or grating and eugh. Either way, prepare to see all sorts of disreputable looking people. Much like…dinosaurs(?), most of them are more afraid of you than you are of them (hence the graffiti decrying gentrification and tourism all over the place…are they talking about us?). Prepare to see Germans wandering through the parks gulfing down beers at 9am, and spiky-haired bohemians who remind you of times past…yeah, those times. Most are totally harmless, probably. That said, you really don’t wanna be walking your family through a corridor of drug dealers in Görlitzer Park at night.
So, here’s a look at the safes and the safes nots of Berlin. The more exclusive and affluent neighbourhoods and the ones you daren’t cross. It’s the one, the only, the Plum Guide to the safest areas in Berlin to stay…and you’ll find plenty of Plum Guide homes in which to achieve complete security.
This upmarket, exclusive district in West Berlin is characterized by its wide tree-lined promenades, green parks and secluded residential neighbourhoods. You’ll find upscale shopping malls (the Bikini Berlin is all the rage), a zoo and the Landwehr Canal. You’re safer staying in Charlottenburg than in a palace. By the way, there is also a palace here, where you can go and watch opera and the like.
In recent years, Prenzlauer Berg has become the place to beget for young families. It has the trendiness of Kreuzberg with less of the…grimy, cool people. Be prepared to see plenty of families wandering around the shops and cafés…the most dangerous moment will be a confrontation with one of the many screaming babies. On Sundays, the Mauerpark has Karaoke in the park, which creates quite a buzz. Test your vocal chords to see if you measure up to memories of the city’s darling, David Bowie.
Now, depending on the age and…coolness…of your friends, you’ll find they’ll reference Kreuzberg as the place to be. It’s multicultural, it’s lined with hip (hip?) bars and clubs and it has an eclectic cuisine that shows off the city’s Turkish and Arabic mix. Like most of Berlin these days, it’s pretty safe. However, you can expect to find plenty of drug dealers hanging out beneath the Kottbusser Tor metro station. There’s rarely a problem, and the area is cool and edgy, but you might not feel entirely comfortable walking with your young kids at night. Watch out for pickpockets and other shady figures who’ll take advantage of a tourist new to the city.
Neukölln literally means New Colony, or something like that, and, with its range of diverse bars and restaurants, it’s seen as the up-and-coming Kreuzberg. That also means you’re likely to encounter more of those darn drug dealers in the area’s Görlitzer Park. But, just a couple of blocks away is the upmarket Paul-Lincke-Ufer, with plenty of lodging options overlooking the canal.
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The advantage of staying in the Mitte area is that you’re right in the thick of the action. Here be Alexanderplatz, there be the Brandenburg Gate. Wander through the Hackescher Markt and dine at the traditional restaurants. It feels pretty safe at all times, but do be aware of the kinds of tourists traps you’ll get in any major city. Keep your wits about you (god, do I really sound that boring?) and behave as you would in the centre of New York or London.
This residential quarter is a hub for the LGBTQ community, and is one of the safest areas in Berlin to stay. Schöneberg is also where you’ll find the KaDeWe, which is said to be Europe’s largest department store. On the eastern side of the district lies the abandoned airport of Tempelhof and a huge park. Despite appearances of this ghostly transportation hub, it’s all very safe, open and friendly.
The most dangerous part about Friedrichshain is its pronunciation. Think of it as two separate words: Friedrich’s Hain (final vowel rhymes with pie). Pronounce it badly to the cabbie, and it soon becomes Friedrich’s Pain (to rhyme with shame), as you circle the outskirts of Berlin. The area itself is a vibrant labyrinth of cafés and bars that attracts mostly young people. The aforementioned drug people do show up near the station late at night, but aren’t too much bother.
Wander through the Treptower Park and see the Soviet monument. The park and its surroundings are pretty safe and clean, making for an excellent family day out. Come for a picnic, before moving into the even-greener Köpenick area, where you’ll find lakes, restaurants and all sorts of family activities.