David Bowie and Iggy Pop once lived in this fascinating Berlin district, which is now the diverse center of Berlin’s gay community.
In the heart of western Berlin, this historic district has been the home of some of the city’s most notable residents. Removed from the bars and nightclubs of neighboring Kreuzberg, Schoeneberg has long exuded a certain coolness. At the center of Berlin’s gay community, Schoeneberg is a tolerant and open-minded precinct. Its cozy neighborhoods feature some of the most beautiful streets in the city. Spend a day exploring its parks, squares and churches or shop in one of Europe’s largest department stores, the luxurious Kaufhaus des Westerns.
Immortalized in Christian Isherwood’s famous novel Goodbye to Berlin, Schoeneberg was once the site of extravagant cabaret parties and 1920s decadence. While the party scene may have moved farther east, the decadence and glamor of 1920s Berlin can still be seen as you wander the streets of Schoeneberg.
Visit the enormous Kaufhaus des Westerns, known to locals as KaDeWe, to experience one of Europe’s leading department stores. KaDeWe is home to many of the world’s most exclusive labels and features an impressive food court on its upper two floors. Sample Parisian croissants, Austrian riesling and Atlantic salmon as you explore the gourmet sixth level. Move upstairs for a seated meal in the Winter Garden restaurant, with sweeping views across Wittenbergplatz.
Visit Rathaus Schoeneberg, located on John-F-Kennedy-Platz, to browse in the weekend flea market in front of the town hall. The square is named after the former American president, as it was here in 1963 that Kennedy made his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) speech. The flea market is known for its affordable prices and large collection of books and framed pictures.
Wander past the apartment that David Bowie and Iggy Pop shared in the late 1970s. Other famous past residents of Schoeneberg include Albert Einstein and the actor Klaus Kinski.
Reach Schoeneberg by train or bus. Stay in one of the hotels around Nollendorfplatz for walking access to many of Berlin’s major attractions.