Before we all buckle up for this little joyride, let me start with a disclaimer: the selection of places below is a very subjective one, intending to highlight the wide range of leisure options available around Warschauer Strasse, but even more so to convey some of its unique spirit and direct your attention at a few lesser-known spots. Therefore, I am going to include some of the more or less immediate vicinity, fully aware of the fact that Schlesi is in Kreuzberg, and leave off some distinguished venues like Berghain, since they’re doing a great job speaking (raving?) for themselves.
If the following narration leaves you yearning for more Friedrichshain, just head to our district guide right here. And as always, feel free to let us know your favorites in the comments! Thank you for the attention, now just sit back and relax while I’m launching our imaginary rocket to Berlin’s self-proclaimed Wonderland.
Warschauer Strasse is technically a street beginning at Frankfurter Tor to the North and spanning 1.6km South to the intersection of the Oberbaumbrücke, Mühlenstraße and Stralauer Allee. Actually, though, the excitement one feels approaching this area with the U1 can begin as early as on Kottbusser Tor, so for the sake of this handy guide, we are starting south at the U-Bahn Station Schlesisches Tor, which is the last station before Warschauer Strasse, just around the corner from the Oberbaumbrücke.
Sometimes referred to as the Berlin club purgatory for all the suffering souls who did not make it to Berghain and therefore seek solace at Watergate, Schlesi is actually a really cosy Kreuzberg corner that’s worth being explored for its own sake. Schlesiche Strasse is known for the Badeschiff, a place to enjoy the river Spree and the breathtaking sunsets over it in the summer. Kopenicker Strasse may look slightly less fun, but dare to take a walk over there and you’ll be surprised.
Salumeria Lamuri, the Italian restaurant that’s still very close to the station, not only serves great food but also is a real interior gem. You’ll fall in love with the meticulously crafted tiles adorning their walls. On your way to the restaurant, you’ll notice imaginative illustrations from Zoes Zirkus, a charming little tattoo place.
Following this prelude, only the Oberbaumbrücke divides us from the destination. You can choose to cross it on foot, which definitely allows for some nice photo opportunities and an immediate access to the East Side Gallery, a point of interest that may sound mainstream, but should not be omitted on any Berlin tour. Alternatively, you can get on the U1, which I would personally recommend. During the final moments on the train, the Spree seen through the extraordinary towers of the Oberbaumbrücke and the sudden presence of the parallel rails make the experience a genuine joy ride – as if you were in an amusement park rather than in the middle of the city commute.
Once you’ve been there once, Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke seems like an inseperable part of the Warschauer U-Bahn. Located directly at the exit from the station, it may not look particularly promising in the daylight, but, like so many of us, it magically transforms for the night. The best karaoke out there, cozy booths, all-round funtime!
The Warschauer Brucke is not as pretty as the Oberbaumbrücke, but it does provide access to the S-Bahn, beer kiosks and probably one of the best views of Berlin skyline. Right where Warschauer Strasse crosses with Marchlewskistr, take a turn right to get to one of the most typical areas of Berlin bliss. Old industrial walls now decorated with graffitis, random stickers, strange masks, direction signs, love declarations and all sorts of further embellishments make up for a unique playground with some really chill bars and clubs, like Crack Bellmer, Astra, or Urban Spree. Being also a paradise for skaters and climbing enthusiasts (check out the Kegel!), this area can get you all tired and hungry.
And that’s alright, because, apart from the kebabs all over the place, you can get some decent food in Warschauer Strasse, even (or maybe especially) if you’re vegan! The Bowl located at Warschauer Strasse 33 is a great restaurant specialising in clean eating. Just below it you can find Veganz, a supermarket with exclusively vegan products.
For those of you who have not been yet inspired to reinvent themselves vegan style, we can suggest Santa Cantina, a Mexican restaurant at Simon-Dach-Straße 22, with a varied menu featuring different sorts of meat, cocktails and crafted beer.
Thank you for reading and I hope you all have a great time at Warschauer Strasse – whether it’s going to be a tourist trip featuring East Side Gallery, a fun afternoon at the Kegel, or a black celebration at Suicide Circus. Enjoy!
photos: Alicia Kassebohm