Friedrichstrasse is a unique place in Berlin: Nowadays a centre for business, shopping and culture, it used to be the street that separated East Berlin from West Berlin - the street that split the capital and the country in two. Checkpoint Charlie, the old crossing point, is still there as a witness of that long period that separated families and friends.
Friedrichstrasse was deeply damaged during World War II, but it wasn’t completely restored after it. It wasn’t until the reunification of Germany in 1990 that the plans for its complete reconstruction were stablished, in which participated well-known architects such as Jean Nouvel and Philip Johnson.
Nowadays, Friedrichstrasse is one of the liveliest and busiest streets of Berlin, and a landmark of the city centre. Culture and shopping will be around you as you walk down this street – and the U6 metro line will be running underneath!
Did you know that Friedrichstrasse crosses two of the main districts or boroughs of Berlin? That’s right! It’s starts out in the north of Mitte, crosses the city centre and its most famous and important boulevard, Unter den Linden, and finishes in Kreuzberg, the most cosmopolitan district of Berlin and the most populated by youth and culture nowadays. Inside Mitte, Friedrichstrasse is the heart of the neighbourhood of Friedrichstadt, populated mostly by German professionals and families. Both Friedrichstrasse and the neighbourhood of Friedrichstadt take the name from King Frederick I of Prussia.
Friedrichstrasse itself is nowadays one of the main commercial streets of the city of Berlin. In fact, the many shops located there are an unusual counterpoint to the historical background of the place: It’s uncanny to think about the meaning of Checkpoint Charlie and what it used to be not so long ago, and to see it nowadays surrounded by shops!
In Friedrichstrasse you will find all kinds of shops, where you will be able to buy clothes, shoes, accessories, home décor items, beauty products and culture, such as books, records or films. In the clothes section, you will find affordable brands as well as haute-couture fashion brands.
Finally, in Friedrichstrasse you will also find Galeries Lafayette Berlin, a great luxury department store from the same chain as the famous ones in Paris.
The city of Berlin has an extensive train and metro network, the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn, respectively. There are also buses and trams in the city, but due to the good connections of metro and trains, these two are the preferred transportation option for both locals and tourists. In fact, the metro line U6 runs underneath Friedrichstrasse itself, and it has several stations along the street: Friedrichstrasse, Französische Strasse, Stadtmitte and Checkpoint Charlie. Besides, the apartments near Friedrichstrasse are in what is considered to be the city centre, so you can also walk to many of the monuments, museums and tourist attractions in the area. If you don’t want to walk, remember that there are combined tickets for different transportations, so you can take the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn with the same tickets. You will just have to decide which area of the city you’re visiting, because it’s divided in 3 areas, A, B and C, and you can buy AB or ABC combined tickets.
Friedrichstrasse is a commercial street, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing else to do besides shopping! In fact, Friedrichstrasse has plenty of interesting landmarks around, the main one being Checkpoint Charlie
, the old crossing point between West Berlin and East Berlin that functioned up until the fall of the Berlin Wall
. You can also go to the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt and visit the French Cathedral and the Neue Kirche (also known as the Deutscher Dom), or arrive to the boulevard of Unter den Linden and turn left to visit the Brandenburg Gate
. We also recommend to go south Friedrichstrasse until you arrive to the neighbourhood of Kreuzberg
, full of cafes and little art galleries, and a very different experience from the city centre. And, as you go there, don’t forget to make a stop in the way and take the E.T.A.-Hoffmann-Promenade to visit the Jewish Museum, an astounding collection inspired in the horrors lived by the Jewish during World War II.
Since Friedrichstrasse is nowadays a long, commercial street, you will have plenty of restaurants and places to eat there, as well as cafés. But the best restaurants are in the streets nearby, so you may find some hidden gems around the apartments near Friedrichstrasse! In Gendarmenmarket, the beautiful wide plaza flanked by the French and the German church (The French Cathedral and the Neue Kirche), you will find two great restaurants that offer German and Central European cuisines: The Augustiner am Gendarmenmarkt and the Aigner Gendarmenmarkt, a wonderful option for both lunch and diner. Borchard, located in Französischer Strasse is also a delicious option. If you prefer to try something different and right in Friedrichstrasse, you can have delicious Italian food in Bocca di Bacco, and a satisfying burger in Steak Point Galerie Lafayette.
If you’re looking for a nice place to have a drink, you will find plenty around Friedrichstrasse! Try the classic Newton Bar, elegant and with a big cocktail menu, or the Drayton bar. If you want to have a beer in the afternoon instead of the night, you can try the beer beach Charlie’s Beach, located next to Checkpoint Charlie. Besides, Friedrichstrasse ends in the neighbourhood of Kreuzberg, which is full of interesting and unique bars and pubs with different kinds of music and atmospheres.
If you want to go dancing, we recommend the Asphalt Klub, an eclectic club where you will be able to dance to disco, house and techno in a very international atmosphere.