Districts of Berlin: Reinickendorf

Learn more about the district of Reinickendorf…

One of the northernmost districts (Bezirk) of Berlin, Reinickendorf is made up of eleven localities (Ortsteile). While some of the localities have their origin as rural villages founded in the 13th century, the majority of the district’s history began in the 19th century as it was developed as industrial powerhouse for the city. Despite these industrial beginnings, it is a green district with much of the western part comprised of the Tegel Forest (Tegeler Forst) and Lake Tegel (Tegeler See). Due to the large amount of green space, Reinickendorf has the third-lowest population of all of the districts of Berlin. Today, it is perhaps best known for being the location of Tegel Airport, one of Berlin’s two airports.

Urban Reinickendorf

How to get there:
  • Residenzstraße: U-Bahn: U8 Bus: 122, 125, 327, N8
Remarkable places: Dorfkirche Reinickendorf, Schäfersee

Founded around 1230, the locality (and district) takes its name apparently from one of the original settlers named “Reinhard”. It was first mentioned as “Renekendorf” in 1344. By the end of the 14th century, the village belonged to the council of the city of Berlin, and remained this way for much of its history. In the mid-19th century, the village expanded due to industrialization and with the completion of several railway lines, it became a developed suburb of Berlin and became incorporated to the city in the Greater Berlin Act of 1920. While Reinickendorf is quite far north of the city center, it has excellent access to public transport lines S-Bahn, U-Bahn, and Buses. It is a densely settled area of mostly apartment blocks, although there are some limited single-family homes and small garden allotments (Kleingartenanlagen). The western part of the locality borders the runway of Tegel Airport, one of the two airports of the city of Berlin and this may result in significant air traffic. Architecturally and culturally similar to its southern neighbor Wedding, Reinickendorf is similarly inexpensive and becoming more popular.

A center for international travel: Tegel

How to get there:
  • U Alt-Tegel: U-Bahn: U6 Bus: 124, 125, 133, 220, 222, N6, N22, N24, N25, N33
Remarkable places: Schloss Tegel, Gorkistrasse, Dicke Marie, Greenwich Promenade

First mentioned in 1322 as Tygel, the village was likely originally founded in the mid-13th century. Tygel is a Slavic influenced, translated as “appendage” and likely referring to how the nearby Lake Tegel (Tegeler See) is a branch of the Havel River. In 1361, the area was purchased by the convent of Benedictine nuns at Spandau and following the protestant reformation, it came under the jurisdiction of city of Spandau until 1872. In 1558, a mansion was built for the Friedrich Wilhelm the Elector of Brandenburg to be used as a hunting lodge and it later became the seat of the influential Humboldt family. In the late 19th century, Tegel became connected to the city of Berlin via S-Bahn and it soon became a popular recreational area, and it remains so to this day. Tegel is a large locality, but is comprised mostly of forest (Tegeler Forst) in the west which stretches from the south to the north. In the south there is also Tegel Airport, which is one of the two airports of Berlin. The residential area of Tegel is to the north of the airport and is mostly apartment blocks, small garden allotments, and industrial buildings. It is the location of one of Berlin’s largest shopping malls (Borsighallen) and so has an excellent mix of both natural and urban entertainment.

Remote Konradshöhe

How to get there:
  • Falkenplatz: Bus: 222, 324, N22
Remarkable places: Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Falkenplatz, Jörsfelder Segel-Club

Konradshöhe’s history begins in 1865 when a coppersmith named Rohmann from Berlin purchased a large tract of land from a farmer from Heiligensee. Rohmann built a coppersmith workshop and home here, and in 1868 named the settlement “Conrad’s Höh” (Conrad’s Heights) after his eldest son. Later, Rohmann built a restaurant and began to sell plots of land. Due to the natural beauty of the area, it soon became a favorite location for wealthy Berliners to build their villas. In 1902, Rohmann passed away, and his wife later sold the property for 75,000 Marks. A small locality bordered to the west by the Havel River and to the east by the Tegel Forest (Tegeler Forst), Konradshöhe is a beautiful area with plenty of natural beauty to recommend it. However, it is rather remote and is only connected to the rest of the city via ferry and bus and can therefore be difficult to access the center of Berlin without access to a car. Most of the residential property is comprised of single-family homes, which can make finding affordable rental properties a struggle. Konradshöhe is known as a beautiful village with plenty of opportunities for outdoor acitivities: there are many walking trails nearby in the Tegel Forest (Tegeler Forst) and boating is a popular pastime.

Peaceful Heiligensee

How to get there:
  • Alt-Heiligensee: Bus: 124, 133, 324, N22
  • S Heiligensee: S-Bahn: S25 Bus: 124, N24
Remarkable places: Dorfkirche Heiligensee, Kirche St. Marien, Heiligenseer Feld

The area which is now Heiligensee has a long history of settlement, likely beginning around 2000 BC with the Germanic tribe the Semnones. Around 700 AD the area was taken over by Slavic tribes who were later displaced by modern German settlers around 1230 which is when the village of Heiligensee (then known as Hyelegense) was developed. It remained a small, rural village until the 20th century when it began to grow to include settlements for the workers of the nearby Borsig Factory (Borsigwerke). Heiligensee is a suburban community on the edge of the Berlin-Brandenburg border and like the neighboring Konradshöhe is surrounded by the Havel River and Tegel Forest (Tegeler Forst). It is densely settled by mostly single-family homes and small garden allotments (Kleingartenanlagen) and on average has higher rental prices than nearby areas. Despite its distance from the city center, it is well connected to public transport with two S-Bahn stations and many bus connections. While it is surrounded by forest and river, it is also only one S-Bahn stop away from the town of Hennigsdorf in Brandenburg, which is just across the river, which provides the locality with easy access to a wider variety of suburban entertainment.

Suburban Frohnau

How to get there:
  • Berlin-Frohnau: S-Bahn: S1 Bus: 125, 220, N20
Remarkable places: Casinoturm, Wasserturm, Hubertussee, Das Buddhistische Haus

Unlike many of the suburban areas of Berlin, Frohnau was developed in the early 20th century as planned community using the theories of the Garden City. Garden Cities were areas which were created to be self-contained communities with appropriate areas of agriculture, industry, and residences. They first broke ground in 1910, but with the quick arrival of First World War, building in the area was slow to begin in earnest. Most of the area was built in the interwar years, and the area in the north-eastern part was never realized and is now part of the Waldgelände Frohnau. In the woods it is still possible to find the cobbled streets and sidewalks originally created for the never-developed settlement. In 1920, Frohnau officially became part of the state of Berlin. Following World War II, Frohnau was a part of French sector and due to its closeness to the Soviet controlled Brandenburg and only limited streets leading to West Berlin the locality became rather isolated. As the whole locality was carefully planned, Frohnau is a green, spacious area with single-family homes. There are limited rental options in the area, and what exists tends to be rather expensive despite its distance to the city center. Frohnau is well connected with buses and at its center is the S-Bahn station S Frohnau.

Quiet Hermsdorf

How to get there:
  • Berlin-Hermsdorf: S-Bahn: S1 Bus: 107, 326, 806, 809, N25
Remarkable places: Dorfkirche Hermsdorf, Heimatmuseum Hermsdorf, Hermsdorfer See

In the late 11th century, the area that would become Hermsdorf was occupied by Slavic settlers. Around 1230, German settlers arrived and took over the village although they kept the farming techniques of the Slavs, something which is noted in 1349 when the village was first documented as Hermanstorp. The village remained small and agriculturally based until the development of a station of the Berlin Northern Railway (Berliner Nordbahn) in 1877. These tracks were later replaced and the modern Bahnhof Hermsdorf was inaugurated in 1913. Hermsdorf is an area of single-family homes with plenty of green space and several small lakes. The locality is split in two by the S-Bahn tracks which run through its center. It is well connected by public transport with both S-Bahn and Bus options. Rental prices are slightly lower than in more central parts of the city, but are more expensive than other suburban localities. There are not many shopping options and it is a quiet residential area which is perhaps best enjoyed by those with access to a car. Hermsdorf borders the Tegel Forest (Tegeler Forst) to the west, and there are also several small lakes which enhance the locality’s natural beauty.

Inexpensive Waidmannslust

How to get there:
  • Berlin-Waidmannslust: S-Bahn: S1, S85 Bus: 222, 322, N22
Remarkable places: Königin-Luise-Kirche, Steinbergpark

In the late 19th century as the city of Berlin began to expand, villa colonies began to pop up in formerly rural areas outside of the city. Waidmannslust began its history as one of these areas, and was first founded in 1875 when the land was acquired by the forester and innkeeper Ernst Bondick. In 1884, the Berlin Northern Railway (Berliner Nordbahn) opened a station in the locality which later became the S-Bahn station Waidmannslust. In 1913, the Queen Louise Church (Königin-Luise-Kirche) was built and it remains the landmark of the locality. Waidmannslust is a narrow locality split in two by the S-Bahn tracks. To the west of the tracks are mostly single or dual-family residences. To the east there are also similar sized residencies, as well as shopping along Oraniendamm, and Plattenbau (prefabricated highrises). Rental prices are reasonable in comparison to surrounding localities, and can be quite affordable depending on the type of residence chosen. Waidmannslust borders the charming rural village of Lübars with its many agricultural delights, and is a short ride away from the expansive Tegel Forest (Tegeler Forst).

Charmingly rural Lübars

How to get there:
  • Alt-Lübars: Bus: 222, N22
Remarkable places: Dorfkirche Lübars, Tegeler Fließ, Familienfarm Lübars Founded during the German eastward expansion (Ostsiedlung), Lübars was likely founded around 1230. It was originally called Lubars, meaning the place where a man called Lubas was from. Like many of the nearby villages, it was controlled by the Benedictine nuns of Spandau until the Reformation. It became a part of Berlin in 1920 with the Greater Berlin Act, and was part of West Berlin following World War II. During this time, it was something of an anomaly in West Berlin, as it was a rural community within the walled-in urban city. Today, Lübars remains a largely rural locality, with a significant portion of the land still used for farming, particularly along the northern and eastern borders. The locality continues to be known for its rural delights, such as the popular Freizeitpark Lübars and the Familienfarm Lübars, which provide young visitors an insight into agriculture and traditional crafts. The western part of the locality is densely settled with apartment blocks, single-family homes, and small garden allotments (Kleingartenanlagen). Lübars is one of the more remote localities of Berlin, and has limited public transport options.

Historic Wittenau

How to get there:
  • Wittenau (Wilhelmsruher Damm): S-Bahn: S1, S85 U-Bahn: U8 Bus: 122, 124, 221, M21, N8, N24, X21, X33
Remarkable places: Dorfkirche Wittenau, Ernst-Reuter-Saal, Landesarchiv Berlins

Another of the many villages surrounding Berlin which was founded in the 13th century, Wittenau began its history as the village of Dalldorf. It was owned by the convent of Benedictine nuns in Spandau until the Reformation, when in 1558 was administered by the city of Spandau. In 1869, the city of Berlin purchased property in Dalldorf to build a mental hospital then known as the Städtische Irrenanstalt zu Dalldorf (State Mental Asylum of Dalldorf). Dalldorf was primarily known for the asylum and due to the negative connotations this brought, it was decided to rename the locality in 1905 to Wittenau, after the former mayor Peter Witte. Following World War I the area was a hotbed of communist and socialist activity, and many leaders of these movements lived in the area. During the Nazi regime the area was used to build munitions which improved the economic situation of the area, but despite this there was significant resistance against the Nazis. The area was significantly damaged during World War II, and following the end of the war it became a part of the French sector of Berlin. Following the reunification of Germany, Wittenau slowly became a more popular location and the 1990’s saw a large amount of residential development throughout the locality. Today, the area is thickly settled with a wide variety of different residential housing including single-family homes, attached houses, and apartment blocks. The northern part of the locality includes several industrial areas. Wittenau is well-connected to the center of the city with S-Bahn, U-Bahn, and Bus and is also close to the Tegel Forest (Tegeler Forst) and Lake Tegel (Tegeler See). Rental prices can be significantly cheaper than more central localities, but it is important to note that Wittenau tends to have a more suburban than urban feel.

Modern highrises: Märkisches Viertel

How to get there:
  • Märkisches Zentrum: Bus: 124, M21, N8, X21, X33
Remarkable places: Märkischen Zentrum, Seggeluchbecken

As the first large housing development in West Berlin, Märkisches Viertel had a lot of input from politicians and famous architects. It was first planned in the early 1950’s and by the 1960’s over 35 domestic and foreign architects were involved in the planning. The end result was neighborhoods of tall Plattenbau (prefabricated highrises) and a large community of single-family homes. Soon after it was built it gained an unsavory reputation as the population grew faster than the infrastructure and many people were forced to move there due to gentrification in the inner-city leading to the dissolution of neighborhood ties. While the infrastructure of the area has been developed, the bad reputation remains. For this reason, Märkisches Viertel is one of the least expensive areas to rent in Berlin. The locality is accessed primarily by bus, but there is the S-Bahn and U-Bahn station Wittenau just outside of its southwestern border.

Industrial Borsigwalde

How to get there:
  • Schubartstraße/Ernststaße: Bus 125
At the end of the 19th century, the company Borsig, known for their construction of steam locomotives, built a factory in the locality of Tegel. As the amount of workers in the area grew, there came a need for more housing and so the locality of Borsigwalde was developed. Unlike many of the tenement housing built throughout the city of Berlin at this time, the buildings in Borsigwalde have a distinct style of red brick facades and private back gardens. In the early days of the tenements, there was rampant overcrowding and horrific hygienic conditions. Soon the area was further developed to include modern sewage systems which helped control the issue. During the depression, around ninety percent of the residents of Borsigwalde were unemployed, which rapidly changed following the Nazis seized the area in 1933 and brought in the metal and munitions industries. The area was heavily damaged during World War II and many of the factories were dismantled following the war. In the years following there were some new developments, but it wasn’t until the reunification that Borsigwalde once again became a successful industrial park. Due to the heavy damage during World War II, most of the housing available in Borsigwalde is either modern post-war apartment houses or single-family homes. The southeastern part of the locality is a large industrial park and it is near here that most of the apartments are located. It is a densely settled area with little green space although it is only a short distance away from the Tegel Forest (Tegeler Forst). The most available public transport is bus, but there is the S-Bahn stop Berlin Eichborndamm to the south of the industrial park. Rental prices in Borsigwalde are significantly cheaper than other areas of the city.