Known for its nightlife and gritty, free-spirited vibe, the Kreuzberg district of central Berlin has begun to attract a more grown-up crowd, thanks to of a clutch of chic stores, hotels, and restaurants. Today, you’ll find an infectious blend of old-Berlin energy and modern style that’s well worth planning a trip around. Here, Jemima Sissons picks the best spots to visit.
This private museum, housed in a World War II bunker reimagined by architect John Pawson, is known for its collection of imperial Chinese artifacts and works by contemporary artists such as Anish Kapoor and Zeng Fanzhi. Its newly converted Incense Room is a meditative, slate-gray space where visitors are invited to participate in an ancient Chinese incense ceremony. thefeuerlecollection.org; the Incense Room is open by appointment only.
This concept store stocks an array of accessories, jewelry, and housewares, with an emphasis on local brands. Pick up a recycled cardboard speaker shaped like a boom box, or a cardamom-and-sandalwood-scented candle by Coudre Berlin. ofberlin.com.
Hotel the Yard
With a garden by Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea at its center, this hotel was designed as a refuge from Kreuzberg’s busy streets. The soon-to-be-opened wellness center will include a Finnish sauna and a spacious indoor pool. hotel-theyard.berlin.com; doubles from $126.
From the brains behind iconic Bavarian spa retreat Schloss Elmau, Kreuzberg’s first upmarket property has jazz nights, a slick fitness center, and a superb restaurant. Chef Philip Vogel’s menu is a trove of inventive dishes, such as smoked duck with plums and leeks in rice paper. orania.berlin; doubles from $232; entrées $22–$60.
Join fashionable locals at this recently opened gastropub on Graefestraße to dine on dishes such as kohlrabi with pecorino, hazelnut, and mint and sample the strong selection of old-style German beers and natural wines. stbartpub.com; entrées $19–$27.
Kumpel & Keule Speisewirtschaft
Best known as purveyors of meat to the area’s most stylish residents, Kumpel & Keule has brought its haute-rustic sensibility to this new restaurant, where displays of dry-aged beef hang in glass cabinets. Standout dishes include the ox cheek with celeriac, brussels sprouts, and salted lemon. kumpelundkeule.de; entrées $8–$16.
Dandy Horse Berlin
Vintage shopping is big in Kreuzberg, and this well-curated store is one of the best places to do it. Potential finds include Bauhaus lamps, 1980s Batavus road bikes, and 90s Versace and Moschino clothing. dandyhorseberlin.com.