A storied city that’s constantly in flux, Berlin is a multicultural capital with a thriving tech industry and an ever-evolving food scene. After the end of World War II, Germany was divided into two separate states: the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR), also known as East Germany; and the capitalist Federal Republic of Germany, also known as West Germany. Despite its location deep in the country’s east, Berlin, as the former capital, was also divided—with part of the city ruled by the GDR and the other by the Federal Republic. Between 1961 and 1989, the Berlin Wall brutally divided the city, and even today remnants of the two distinct socio-economic systems remain evident in its architecture, urban planning, and public transit—as well as its many museums and cultural institutions.
Berlin became the capital of a reunified Germany in 1990, and the city has since gone from strength to strength. In the last 15 years or so it has transformed into one of Europe’s most desirable destinations for digital nomads, with countless coworking spaces, international restaurants, and a famously buzzing nightlife.
Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is a district divided by the mighty River Spree that spans two formerly separate neighborhoods: Kreuzberg in the former west and Friedrichshain in the former east. Graffiti-lined streets and hip dive bars sit alongside artisan cafes, atmospheric restaurants, and some of Berlin’s best coworking spaces.
Just north of the river lies the East Side Gallery: the longest surviving stretch of the Berlin Wall, covered in murals that commemorate the city’s reunification. At the nearby Michelberger Hotel, you can set up your workstation in the cafe, enjoy a drink in the bar, or book a table for an unforgettable dinner crafted with regional and seasonal ingredients.
Most corners of Kreuzberg are exceptionally well-connected in terms of public transport, with regular bus and U-Bahn (metro) services. Over in Friedrichshain, you can also hop on the trams—a distinguishing feature of former GDR districts.
In terms of coworking spaces, you’re spoilt for choice. Head to Mindspace for chic, boutique vibes amid book-lined walls and vintage furniture. From there, you can pop along the road to Burgermeister for a well-earned lunch or slap-up burger dinner, or browse the local produce at Markthalle Neun, a renovated 19th-century market hall. Factory is a coworking space set in a soaring former warehouse next to bustling Görlitzer Park, where you can mingle with the city’s tech community, creatives, and entrepreneurs, then reward yourself with a glass of wine served with a smile at nearby Glasweise. Well located on the border with Mitte, Betahaus has a long-established community and a great roster of events. And just across the road, you’ll find Tim Raue, a spectacular two-Michelin-starred restaurant run by one of Berlin’s most famous chefs.
Nestled in the dynamic Gleisdreieck Park, which was once dilapidated no man’s land, B-Part focuses on emerging business models and the circular economy and is conveniently located near the atmospheric BRLO BRWHOUSE bar and kitchen. Lastly, Denizen’s courtyard lounge in Friedrichshain is perfect for quiet, focused work and is close to the ever-popular Vietnamese tapas restaurant, 1990 Vegan Living.
Working in cafes is a popular pastime in Berlin, so you won’t be out of place with your laptop in tow. In Friedrichshain, soak up the literary vibes in Shakespeare & Sons bookshop and cafe, or set up shop with fellow digital nomads at KleinMein Coffee & Coworking. In Kreuzberg, you could bask in the natural light and vaulted ceilings of Hallesches Haus, or enjoy some fantastic coffee at Bonanza.
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The former center of East Berlin, Mitte is today one of the chicest and most sought-after districts in the city, and home to an endless selection of amazing restaurants and bars. Cleaner and more grown-up than most of its neighbors, this district is where you’ll find lots of the best museums and cultural attractions, including the iconic Brandenburg Gate, the moving Holocaust Memorial, and Museum Island.
Two of the city’s most beloved coworking spaces, Factory and Mindspace both have venues here. Ahoy!, located around the corner from Factory, features a vast open office space along with smaller, light-filled meeting rooms. Sankt Oberholz is a local institution, with a coworking cafe called St. Rosenthaler that also provides meeting rooms and a podcasting studio. Down the road, you’ll find Soho House and The Store Kitchen, a multifunctional cafe and concept store that’s also ideal for some casual coworking. Meanwhile, Machwerk is a lovely, impact-driven space set within the historical Alte Münze, or Old Mint, and donates proceeds to various social projects across the city.
Mitte’s best coworking cafes include westberlin, a stylish hidden gem just a few steps from Checkpoint Charlie; Urban Loft, a hip hotel near Hauptbahnhof (Central Station); and Microsoft Digital Eatery, a welcoming cafe and tech hub set in the Microsoft Atrium just off Unter den Linden, the famous tree-lined avenue leading to the Brandenburg Gate.
Bars and restaurants abound in Mitte, including firm local favorites like Bar Milano for a stunning negroni or espresso martini; Mein Haus am See for after-work drinks and dancing; Katz Orange for casual yet upscale dining; and Cocolo for exceptional ramen.
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This former eastern district, often shortened to P-Berg, was among the first to gentrify following the fall of the Berlin Wall, and today it’s the residential area of choice for young professionals and families. With wide avenues lined with stylish cafes and boutiques, plenty of parks and green space, and beautifully-restored architecture dating back to the 1800s, the neighborhood has a bohemian, almost Parisian feel.
Every Sunday, locals and visitors alike flock to the sprawling flea market at Mauerpark to browse the selection of vintage clothes, accessories, furniture, and other unexpected treasures. Public transport provides good connections to Mitte and the rest of the city, though it can sometimes feel like a trek to get to P-Berg from Kreuzberg and other, more southerly districts.
Coworking spaces are slightly sparser here than in other districts, but it does boast two unique offerings. Wonder is a women-only venue that features a library of books authored by women, as well as daily yoga and other cool community events. Reflecting P-Berg’s family-oriented population, JuggleHUB provides a drop-in childcare service and hosts a good mix of parents and child-free coworkers.
There are plenty of laptop-friendly cafes. At Kraft Café, you have an authentic local atmosphere; at Kaffee Käthe, you’re steps from buzzing Kollwitzplatz, which hosts a craft market on Saturdays; and at Haferkater, you’ll be right in the heart of the action on vibrant Eberswalder Straße. Here, you’ll also find Coffee Fellows, which offers a dedicated coworking space for customers.
Likewise, brilliant bars and restaurants are in no short supply. Make a beeline for Bryk Bar for sophisticated after-work drinks and dinner, and don’t miss a meal at Mrs Robinson’s, often cited as one of Berlin’s best places to eat. Make sure to try Osmans Töchter, if you want to experience the city’s rich Turkish influence with small plates and mezze in an elegant setting.
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Wedding is an up-and-coming district that benefits from a lower cost of living with good connections to Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg. A multicultural magnet for artists and creatives, it’s home to a growing number of stylish bars and acclaimed restaurants, as well as a couple of great coworking spaces like PulsRaum, which bills itself as a sustainable option, uniting people who are committed to social and environmental impact, and offering the opportunity to collaborate in new ways. Meanwhile, Tuechtig provides a fully accessible venue for people with and without disabilities from all over the world. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out Cafe Pförtner, which serves delicious meals in a quirky converted bus.
Wedding is also home to some of the most interesting coworking cafes in town, including Coffee Circle, which boasts an in-house roastery; Mars, which is set in an atmospheric former crematorium; Aequa, an intersectional community center and cafe that hosts coworking on weekdays; and NoLe, a cute and cozy neighborhood haunt.
During summer, take the afternoon off and stroll over to Plötzensee, a bathing lake with a beach amid Wedding’s urban landscape. For after-work cocktails it has to be Basalt; for traditional Turkish street food try Örnek Lahmacun; and for next-level Chinese dumplings head to Han West.
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