The Oberbaum Brücke
The Oberbaum Bridge connects the two hip districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain and works as an emblem of the district. After the Second World War, a border crossing between the Russian and the American sector was built on this bridge. Later on, in 1961, the Berlin Wall was constructed and made the Oberbaum Bridge completely inaccessible for a while. Only in 1971, was the bridge opened again for “small border traffic”. After the reunification of Germany, the bridge was extensively refurbished and nowadays, it is one of the most beautiful bridges of Berlin. While the Underground Line U1 (Berlins first Underground line!) runs on top of the Oberbaum Bridge, the road traffic operates underneath the bridge. Furthermore, the bridge is famous for the annual crazy “Vegetable Battle” between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain where inhabitants throw water, flour bombs and overripe vegetables at each other. When arriving at our hostel, you’ll see the Oberbaum Bridge just across the street.
The Boxhagener Platz, by Berliners also lovingly called „Boxi“, is a square in the heart of Friedrichshain which became famous throughout Germany because of the novel “Boxhagener Platz”. On weekends, you can experience the hussle and bussle of the big flea market at this square. Even during weekdays, this place is always full of people and life. Just next to the square, you’ll find the popular Simon-Dach-Straße which is packed with bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants. Especially in summer, this street with its somewhat Mediterranean atmosphere attracts lots of international and national visitors. The Boxhagener Platz is situated only 2.0 kilometers from our hostel!
East Side Gallery
After the reunification of Berlin, the Berlin Wall was removed in most parts of Berlin. However, 1316 meters of the Wall were kept between Ostbahnhof and the Oberbaum Bridge – this piece of the Wall in Friedrichshain is now a significant historic site of Berlin. In 1990, 118 artists from 21 countries painted at the wall as a reminder of the numerous graffiti works which decorated the Berlin Wall in the past. Even though the East Side Gallery was declared a historic monument, parts of the Wall were removed in 2006 in order to offer visitors of the newly built O2-Arena a better view of the Spree River. In 2013, thousands of people demonstrated because another piece of the East Side Gallery was removed to make space for new apartment buildings along the Spree bank.
If the Boxhagener Platz gets too crowded, you can always go to the Volkspark in the Northwestern part of Friedrichshain. This park was built in 1846 as the first green space of Berlin and as a local recreation area for the city slikers. One highlight of the park is the famous, landmarked “Märchenbrunnen” (fairy tale fountain) with its beautiful sculptures, well and trick fountains which embody the most legendary German fairy tales. The Volkspark is situated only 5 kilometers from our hostel and can perfectly be discovered by foot.
Next to the many sunbathing lawns and ponds, there are loads of sports facilities at the park like half pipes, basketball and football pitches, a climbing wall, circuits and a beach volleyball field. Here is also an open air pool just next to the park. If you want to get a good view over the city – just walk up the 78 meter high mountain “Bunkerberg”, which is also called “Mont Klamott” by locals.
Water city Stralau
The peninsula „Stralau“ is situated South-East of Friedrichshain in between the Spree River and the Rummelsburger lake and hosts the water city of Stralau. There you’ll find a different face of Berlin: modern apartment buildings, office spaces, schools and kinder gardens to fulfill the needs of wealthy New-Berliners. From our hostel, it’s only 3.1 kilometers to the water city Stralau.
O2 World Berlin
In 2006, the O2 World was built as a multi-functional arena at the Spree Riverbank in Friedrichshain to host up to 17,000 visitors. The O2 World is the home stadium of Berlin’s famous ice hockey team “Eisbären” and the basketball team “Alba”. Also, it hosts huge Pop- and Rock concerts, musicals and other big events all year round. The Arena can easily be reached by foot – it is situated only 1.1 kilometers away from the Industriepalast hostel.