Those two districts are facing Friederishchain, on the other side of the Spree Kanal. To access, you cross by the Schlesisches Tor, an old brigde in red bricks from the XIX century, with a neo medieval tower at this center. At a certain hour of the day, you can see the sun going to sleep on your right and the moon rising on your left, upon the beautiful canal: to me, this was an epic moment!
Not much things are different from Friederishchain to Kreuzberg, as it is now a bit the same atmosphere! The only thing is that district was on the other side of the wall: West side. It is said that people crossed there from the East, to avoid Military service, and stayed here, so it became a bit of a hippie/friendly district!
I can't speak much about Neukölln, since we did not hanged that much in this district, which is at the South of Kreuzberg; we just hang around the Pannierstrasse, Friedelstrasse, and Reuterplatz; the two district are so intricate, that I heard some people calling it Kreuzköelln. In people mind, they make a whole thing, if you reject the North of Kreuzberg, which is closer from Mitte and its touristic/design atmosphere. Alternative people are mixed with the Turkish community, giving to the this district a very cosmopolitan atmosphere (Berliner's way, which means that contrary to France, it is not a disguised way to say it's totally ethnic). Tags and graffitis are still here, and you can enjoy some beautiful street art: first time I saw this amazing painting on a wall from the subway (who in up on a bridge on this part of the way), I had a little emotional shock!
The atmosphere is really really nice. Schleshishe Street is really touristic, since it was also the border of the wall before, and is full of restaurants and snacks. But if you do mind walking a little, I would recommend you to hang more around the Görlitzer Park. The noise volume is definitely more acceptable, and there are a lot of lovely terraces in Goëtzinger Strasse. To say everything, we were around there nearly every evening, enjoying this typical Berliner way of life, chilling out with a fresh beer, with the sun going down on the park.
A few interesting addresses, then.
You can go straight forward the Edelweiss, who is literraly located in the park! Beers are good, terrace is wonderful and food is cheap and good. We had some traditional white sausages, and Leberkäse, at 22 p.m. And... it was really delicious and cheap (3 or 4 € for a copious plate): mustard is home made, bread is fresh... Nothing to say more!
Check out their concerts and Garden Parties on their website (and have a look at the surroundings, since I did not take any picture, because of the obscurity).
Then we add an amazing dinner at Gipfeltreffen: their outside terrace is really nice, and the food was one of the best we have eaten in our whole stay!
To have a look at the menu, you can check out their cool website.
I had a delicious salad with a goat cheese roasted in a bed of marjoran and rosemary, and pine nuts!
And Mr Nokturnal had some delicious pastas with king shrimps and a lot of refined tomatoes sauce. A bit more expensive than other adress, but definitely cheaper than anything in France for the same quality level.
And a last adress, on the same side of the streets, just the block before: a nice italian pizzeria called De Noantri.
Cheap and delicious! We shared the table with a Berliner couple, who told us it was an institution in this district! What a good intuition we had...
As you understood, we don't really eat German food in Berlin, it is more a mix of a lot of ways of cooking, like in every capital city. But I will repeat myself saying quality is better and cheaper than any other big places of Europe.
This burger institution is located in the old toilets of the train/subway (which is passing by the bridge upstairs), you can always see the sign "manner/damen":
Anyway, let's come back to some more serious visiting.
So, as I said, the North of Kreuzberg, closed to Mitte, is more touristic. It has a few important museums too, and we visited the Jüddishes Museum, equally for the permanent collection, and the contemporary building, an amazing realization by … We were not disappointed at all, and learned plenty of things. We are not totally found of contemporary architecture, but this building definitely has an amazing conception.
The building is the art of Davied Libeskind, and has been built between 1993 and 1998.
First, if you look at it from above, it has the shape of a thunderbolt. But underground, it also has another shape, cutting the floor in three different way: Exil, Holocaust and Suvival, to figure the pain Jewish community had to endure through time.
Cultural center on jewish culture, on the other side of the street:
The exile way lead to this garden, at the top of biaised wall, where you can never reach the trees.
The Holocaust way lead this sort of chapel: a dark chimney of black concrete which only receives light from a tiny hole above. The third way is is survival and lead to the museum, which is based on Jewish culture and tradition through German History.
Plenty of pictures of the museum, sorry!
Even the inside views are fascinating, I think!
This room was about families and persons coming back after the Wall fall:
The restaurant and its forest of stakes:
Food porn again: this is what we ate at the Kantine, into the Markethall of Kreuzberg. My sister visited Berlin two month ago with friends, and it is one of the places she recommended to us.
Here is a delightful fizzy rhubarb juice we tasted with...
The famous curry wurst (curry sausage), which is said to be the traditional plate of Berlin. It is simply a sausage with curry and a delicious tomatoes sauce. This one was tasty and not too strong, but refined. This kantine (= canteen) is definitely a must-go!
Again, everything is organic and freshly prepared. You order a plate, pay, then sit until your number is called. At the end of the meal, don't forget to clear the table of your dishes. The atmosphere is is cool and roots, and I would have love to test the plate the neighbor girl was eating (fresh herbs raviolis who had the size of half an hand, on a bed of fresh rucola).
Surroundings, here is a bulding I liked because it makes me think about a huge piyo :)
And a modern church: