Districts of Berlin: Treptow-Köpenick

Learn more about the district of Treptow-Köpenick…

As the Berlin district with the largest area, lowest population density, and comprised of seventy percent water and parkland, Treptow-Köpenick has a unique natural beauty which makes it stand out.

There are fifteen localities which stretch from some of the trendiest parts of the inner-city to the sleepy villages of the southernmost border. With a wide variety of residential areas to choose from, and some of the most competitive rental prices, Treptow-Köpenick is not a district to overlook.

Up-and-coming Alt-Treptow

How to get there:

S Treptower Park: S-Bahn: S8, S9, S41, S42, S85 Bus: 104, 194, N65, N94

Remarkable places: Treptower Park, Sowjetisches Ehrenmal, Arena Berlin, Glashaus, Badeschiff, MS Hoppetosse, White Trash Fast Food

The area of Alt-Treptow has been the site of human occupation for thousands of years, and was the location of a settlement of Slavs from the 6th or 7th century. The name Treptow comes from the Slavic name for the river “Trebow”, whose name likely originates from the word “Drewo” which means hardwood.

When the Germans took over the area in the 13th century, the area was predominantly used for fishing and beekeeping. Over time it expanded into a village, and in the 19th century became a popular daytrip location for Berliners due to its large number of cafes and beer gardens. In the late-19th century, Treptow became an important industrial area and during the world wars was important for developing armaments. Following World War II, Alt-Treptow became part of East Berlin and was the place of two important border crossings as it bordered the West Berlin districts of Kreuzberg and Neukölln.

Recent years has seen Alt-Treptow rising in popularity due to its nearness to the trendy districts of Kreuzberg, Neukölln, and Friedrichshain. Rents have risen considerably recently due to this. It is a small district and about half of the area is comprised of parkland. The area is known for its bars and clubs and is considered rather alternative in nature, although there are quiet and more expensive areas such as the villa colony off of Puschkinallee.

On the banks of the Spree: Plänterwald

How to get there:

S Plänterwald: S-Bahn: S8, S9, S42, S85 Bus: 165, 277, 377, N79

Remarkable places: Eierhäuschen, Spreepark

Although it only became a district in its own right in 1997, Plänterwald, which derives its name from the German word for “timber forest”, was used as recreational area since the 19th century. It was also the location of the East German amusement park, the Spreepark, which opened in 1969 and had about 1.7 million visitors a year. Following the reunification it faced financial difficulties and closed in 2001, and is now restricted to the public.

Only the western parts of the locality are inhabited, with the Plänterwald Park bordering the Spree to the east. The populated areas are comprised of small garden allotments and apartment buildings. The northwestern parts border the popular Treptower Park, and while there are no S or U-Bahn stops within the locality, there are multiple S-Bahn stations nearby.

Botanical Baumschulenweg

How to get there:

S Baumschulenweg: S-Bahn: S8, S9, S45, S46, S47, S85 Bus: 170, 265, N70

Remarkable places: Baumschule Späth, Kirche Zum Vaterhaus

Initially part of the community of Treptow, Baumschulenweg was a sparsely populated rural area for much of its history. It was deforested from 1829 to 1840, and throughout the mid-19th century was developed by farmers. Due to the General German Agricultural Exhibition (Allgemeine Deutsche Landwirtschafliche Wanderausstellung) of 1894 and the Berlin Trade Fair (Berliner Gewerbeausstellung) or 1896, Treptow and surrounding areas were further developed, leading to several yellow and red brick houses which are now under monument protection. The world renowned Späth nursery also had a hand in developing the hamlet at that time.

Following World War II, the locality came under the control of the Soviets, damaged properties were fixed and the nursery became the property of the state and became a center of botany. When Germany was reunified, several areas were developed for residential housing.

With its nearness to the trendy district of Neukölln, Baumschulenweg can be a good choice for those searching for more rental options. The northeast of the locality is where the majority of the apartment blocks are located, and they are well connected to the S-Bahn with bus lines. The rest of the locality is mainly made up of small garden allotments (Kleingartenanlagen) and a small community of single-family homes.

While the nightlife options are not nearly as vast as in nearby neighborhoods, along Baumschulenstraße are a number of shops providing all of the necessities and it is only a few short stops away from several more trendy areas.

Rich aviation history: Johannisthal

How to get there:

Sterndamm/Königsheideweg: Tram: 60 Bus: 160, 265, M11 Remarkable places: Landschaftspark Johannisthal/Adlershof, Altes Rathaus Johannisthal, Kirche Johannisthal Founded by colonists from the Palatinate in the mid-18th century, Johannisthal was a small community until a station of the Berlin-Görlitz railway was opened in 1880. In 1909, Germany’s first airfield was opened in Johannisthal and neighboring Adlershof, and many aviation pioneers began their careers there. Following World War I, as part of the Treaty of Versailles, the construction of aircraft in Germany was limited and a film studio was built in the factory halls of the airfield and it became one of the most successful film studios in Germany. Johannisthal became part of Berlin in 1920, and following World War II it became part of the Soviet controlled East Berlin. In 1995, the airfield was closed and it became a park open to the public. Since the closing of the airfield, there has been much new development in the locality, with a large community of single-family homes built on part of the vacated land. Apartment buildings line Sterndamm, and range from high-rises to early-20th century buildings. In general, the apartment buildings tend to be lower than in the inner-city, typically not exceeding three stories. Prices tend to be a little higher than in some of the other neighboring localities, but are still competitive compared to that of the inner-city. While there are no S-Bahn stations within the locality, there are several on the eastern edge which are easily accessible by tram or bus.

Industrial Niederschöneweide

How to get there:

Berlin-Schöneweide: S-Bahn: S8, S9, S45, S46, S47, S85 Tram: 21, 37, 60, 67, M17 Bus: 165, N65, N67

Remarkable places: Stubenrauchbrücke, Alte Feuerwache, Michael-Brückner-Haus

Originally called Schöneweide (Beautiful Pasture), Niederschöneweide was first mentioned in 1598. It was a small rural community, and by 1800 there were only 42 residents. This quickly changed as a wide variety of different businesses developed along the Spree throughout the 19th century, and towards the end of the century several beer gardens and restaurants also emerged making it a popular entertainment destination. These areas disappeared as industrialization of the locality increased and several tenement houses were built to accommodate the influx of workers to the area.

During World War II, the area was important for the armaments industry in Germany and was the location of a forced labor camp. Following the war the locality became part of Soviet controlled East Berlin, and the factories were nationalized. With reunification, this process was reversed and many of the factories were closed leading to an economic downturn in the area.

Today, Niederschöneweide is a small locality with an industrial flair. Many of the apartment buildings were built at the turn of the 20th century and have a similar style to those found in the inner-city, but tend to not exceed three stories in height. Industrial buildings can be found along the northern banks of the Spree, but to the south the locality is far more residential and includes a small community of single-family homes.

Rental prices are rather average for the district, but it is possible to find good deals. The real strength of Niederschöneweide is its plethora of public transport options and ease of access to a number of popular areas in the eastern reaches of Berlin, both urban and rural. This can make it ideal for those searching for the best of both worlds.

Inexpensive Altglienicke

How to get there:

Altglienicke Kirche: Bus: 160, 163, 260, N60 S Altglienicke: S-Bahn: S9, S45 Bus: 160

Remarkable places: Pfarrkirche Altglienicke, Wasserwerk Altglienicke, Evangelischer Friedhof Altglienicke

Altglienicke was founded around 1230 as a German street village (Straßendorf). First mentioned in 1375, it was originally called Glinik, which originates from the Slavic word for clay. It was a small village and often had new owners until it was bought by the Brandenburg Elector Frederick, who made it into an outlying estate of the city of Köpenick. By 1920 there were more than 5,000 inhabitants, and the village was incorporated into the city of Berlin. Throughout the 20th century there were several new developments which eventually raised the population up to around 26,000 people.

A suburban locality close to the Schönefeld Airport, Altglienicke is an inexpensive option for those seeking cheap rents with good public transport connections. It is densely populated with single-family homes and attached houses, but there are also several areas of modern apartment buildings (Neubau) available in the southern reaches of the locality.

As it is close to the airport, there is a significant chance for flyover noise. It is a sleepy suburb without many nightlife or shopping options, but with the S-Bahn it is relatively simple to reach areas with more options.

Scientific Adlershof

How to get there:

S Adlershof: S-Bahn: S45, S46, S8, S85, S9 Tram: 61, 63 Bus: 162, 163, 164, 260, N60

Remarkable places: Anna-Seghers-Gedenkstätte, Verklärungskirche, Aerodynamischer Park

Unlike most of the surrounding villages which developed as rural farming estates, Adlershof began as a cottage colony whose population worked as day laborers in nearby villages in towns. As the town of Köpenick grew, so too did Adlershof. Over the years Adlershof became a village in its own right and fertile farming lands on the outskirts were developed. In the mid-19th century, a stop on the Berlin-Görlitz railway was built in Adlershof which made it a prime location for industrial development.

The population increased exponentially by the early 20th century, and in 1909 with the opening of the Johannisthal Air Field (Flugplatz Johannisthal), Adlershof became internationally known as the center of Germany’s aviation and aerospace development. Following World War II, Adlershof became part of the Soviet controlled East Berlin, and was the location of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR (Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR) and the East German National Television.

The locality remains to this day an important center of scientific research in Germany. Most of the southern part of the locality is industrial in nature, with the majority of the residential areas located on either side of Dörpfeldstraße.

The rental prices are in line with the other suburban areas outside of the ring of the inner-city of Berlin. Adlershof is well connected to the city with tram, bus, and S-Bahn, and is a short hop to the forests and lakes of the nearby locality of Grünau.

Residential Bohnsdorf

How to get there:

S Köpenick: S-Bahn: S3 Tram: 62, 63, 68 Bus: 164, 269, N69, N90, X69 S Altglienicke: S-Bahn: S9, S45 Bus: 160

Remarkable places: Dorfkirche Bohnsdorf

Likely the result of the combination of an old Slavic village with German settlers in the 13 th century, Bohnsdorf nonetheless has a long history as a rural community. During the Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648) around three-quarters of the population were killed and the medieval church was severely damaged. It was repaired, but in 1755 was replaced by a new brick church built on the town square. When settlers arrived from Southwestern Germany in the mid-18th century, a new settlement was established under the name Neu-Bohnsdorf. These two communities later joined in 1865. Bohnsdorf joined Berlin in 1920 and following World War II, the locality became a part of East Germany.

Bohnsdorf is a densely settled suburban community very close to the Brandenburg airport of Schönefeld. It is mainly comprised of single-family homes, although there are some multi-family residences and apartment buildings.

While there are many S-Bahn stations on the outskirts of the locality, the majority of the locality is served by bus and the highway 117 divides the historic town center from the majority of the residential districts. Bohnsdorf borders the beautiful locality of Grünau, and the forests and rivers are only a short distance away making it a good choice for those seeking easy access to nature.

Historic working class neighborhood: Oberschöneweide

How to get there:

Firlstraße: Tram: 27, 60, 67 Bus: N67

Remarkable places: Christuskirche, Funkhaus Nalepastraße, Volkspark Wuhlheide

A small farming estate for much of its history, Oberschöneweide remained underdeveloped until the late 19th century. This was primarily the result of its isolation from train stations, something that did not change until a chain ferry was built across the Spree, later followed by a wooden bridge in 1889. Around this time, several factories opened along the banks of the Spree. During World War I, it became a center of the armaments industry, leading to it developing into a large working class neighborhood.

It was incorporated into Berlin in 1920, and during the Nazi era, it was stronghold of resistance against Nazism. It was heavily bombed during World War II, and following the war became a part of East Berlin. Following the reunification, many of the factories were closed or privatized which brought an end to much of the traditional industry in the area.

Like its neighbor Niederschöneweide, Oberschöneweide is populated primarily along the banks of the Spree. With historic industrial buildings line the river, with a mixture of three-story apartment buildings spreading out to the west. To the north of the industrial area, still along the banks of the Spree, is a large community of small garden allotments (Kleingartenanlagen) and to the west is the large Wuhlheide Park (Volkspark Wuhlheide).

The area is known for its rush hour traffic which can cause significant noise. Rental prices in this locality can be significantly lower than in neighboring localities of Treptow-Köpenick. While there are no S-Bahn stops within Oberschöneweide, it is only a short distance from other stations with tram and bus.

Quaint Köpenick

How to get there:

S Köpenick: S-Bahn: S3 Tram: 62, 63, 68 Bus: 164, 269, N69, N90, X69 Rathaus Köpenick: Tram: 27, 61, 62, 63, 67, 68 Bus: 162, 164

Remarkable places: Rathaus Köpenick, Schloß Köpenick

With a long history as a Slavic settlement, Köpenick is the Germanization of the original Slavic name Copnic. It was first mentioned in 1210 as Copenic, and it was the location of a Slavic castle since 800 AD. This castle was conquered in 1245 and since then belonged to the Margraves of Brandenburg. During the Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648), Köpenick was devastated and by the end of the war only twelve residents remained. The Köpenick Castle (Köpenicker Burg) was replaced in 1558 with an elaborate hunting lodge. In the late 18th century, Köpenick became important once again due to its prominent role in the textile and silk trade.

It was developed throughout the late 19th century with modern tenement suburbs and industrial enterprises which contributed to its economic strength. It was incorporated into Berlin in 1920. In April of 1945, Köpenick was taken over by the Red Army and it remained a part of the Soviet controlled East Berlin until the German reunification.

Köpenick is a densely settled suburb of Berlin with good public transport connections and plenty of nearby open space. The southeastern part of the locality is a large forest with walking trails and access to the lake Großer Müggelsee, a popular recreational lake. At the junction where the Spree turns into the lake Müggelspree and the Dahme is the oldest part of Köpenick which is comprised of several old buildings. Of particular importance is the town hall (Rathaus Köpenick) where on 16 October 1906 the unemployed shoemaker Wilhelm Voigt masqueraded as a Prussian military officer, rounded up a number of soldiers under his “command”, and “confiscated” more than 4,000 marks of the town’s treasury. The story of the Hauptmann von Köpenick (The Captain of Köpenick) has later inspired theater plays, movies and musicals.

The surrounding sprawl of Köpenick has a wide range of different residential buildings such as 19th century tenement houses, single-family homes, and modern apartment buildings.

Köpenick is more urban than many of the surrounding localities and has more shopping and nightlife options as a result, but is still significantly quieter than areas closer to the city center of Berlin. Rental prices can be significantly lower than other localities which have led to its increase popularity in recent years.

Artistic Friedrichshagen

How to get there:

Berlin-Friedrichshagen: S-Bahn: S3 Tram: 60, 61, 88 Bus: 61, N67

Remarkable places: Großer Müggelsee, Berliner Bürgerbräu, Christophoruskirche Friedrichshagen, Naturtheater Friedrichshagen

Bohemian and Silesian cotton spinners formed Friedrichshagen in 1753 at the order of Friedrich II of Prussia. They operated a cotton mill and made their living in winter months by being broom makers. It was a small community, and a village church was built only in 1800. In 1849, the station Friedrichshagen was opened on the Niederschlesisch-Märkische Railway which ran from Berlin to Frankfurt (Oder). This helped develop Friedrichshagen into a residential suburb popular for summer tourists who enjoyed the popular lake Müggelsee. In 1888 a larger waterworks was built to provide water to East Berlin.

By 1920, when it was incorporated in Berlin, Friedrichshagen had almost 15,000 residents.

Known as an artist village (Künstlerdorf), Friedrichshagen has a long history of attracting creative types during the summer months. This tradition continues today and there are many galleries promoting the work of artists from all over Europe.

The northern part of the locality is mostly forests with walking trails, and to the south is the lake Großer Müggelsee. There is a wide mix of different residential homes in Friedrichshagen, including many apartment houses. Depending on the location, rental prices can be quite inexpensive, although prices do rise considerably in more trendy areas such as near the water.

Unique Rahnsdorf

How to get there:

S Wilhelmshagen: S-Bahn: S3 Bus: 161, N61, S3

Remarkable places: Woltersdorfer Straßenbahn, Triglaw Brücke, Dorfkirche Rahnsdorf

Originally a Slavic fishing village, Rahnsdorf was taken over by German settlers sometime in the 13th century. Rahnsdorf was first documented in 1375 as Radenstorf. It was controlled by Köpenick Castle (Burg Köpenick) and provided the castle with fish and other resources. It was a very small community and in 1800 it still had only 20 villagers.

In 1872, the village was completely destroyed in a fire and subsequently rebuilt and soon became a villa colony for wealthy Berliners. In 1920, when Rahnsdorf was incorporated into Berlin, there were 2,700 inhabitants. In 1926, a residential and cottage colony called New Venice (Neu-Venedig) was built which was distinct due to the interconnecting canals.

While well-connected to Berlin via S-Bahn, Rahnsdorf is a quiet suburban community surrounded by forest on the Berlin-Brandenburg border. It is mostly made up of single-family homes, making rental opportunities limited. That being said, the rental prices are considerably lower than other suburban areas of Berlin. There are many walking trails to be enjoyed in the area and popular beaches on the lake Müggelsee.

Watersport wonderland: Grünau

How to get there:

Berlin-Grünau: S-Bahn: S8, S46, S85 S Grünau:  Bus: 163, 263, 363, N62

Remarkable places: Tribüne der Regattastrecke Grünau, Gesellschaftshaus Grünau, Vergnügungsetablissement "Riviera"

Originally named “Grüne Aue” or Green Meadow, Grünau was founded in the mid-18th century by settlers from Southwestern Germany. The settlement was sparsely populated for much of its early history and in 1800 had only 56 inhabitants. Eventually a boatbuilding trade began, but it was with the opening of the train stop of the Berlin-Görlitz railway that Grünau finally began to see development as Berlin residents came due to the recreational opportunities in the area.

In 1881, the Berliner Regatta-Verein (Berlin Regatta Club) opened and soon many restaurants, boathouses, and rowing clubs came to the area. In the late 19th century, Grünau developed as a villa colony for wealthy Berliners and by 1900 there were 25,000 inhabitants.

In 1920, it was incorporated into the city of Berlin and during the 1936 Olympics the rowing and canoeing events were held here.

Grünau still continues to be a popular location for those interested in boating, canoeing, and rowing with many clubs scattering the shore of the Dahme. It is a quiet community with an extensive forest with walking trails in the southern part of the locality. Most homes are villas or single or multiple family homes. It is well connected to Berlin via S-Bahn, Bus, and Tram, and the rental prices are considerably less expensive than other suburban communities of Berlin.

Off the beaten track: Müggelheim

How to get there:

Müggelheim/Dorf (Berlin): Bus 369, N69, X69

Remarkable places: Gosener Wiesen, Müggelspreewiesen

Settled in 1747 by a group of 20 families from Odernheim am Glan in Southwestern Germany, Müggelheim remained a small village until the 20th century. In 1920, when it was incorporated into Berlin during the Greater Berlin Act, it was the smallest rural community to join the city with only 186 residents.

This population soon expanded as Berliners built weekend homes there taking advantage of the pleasures of the quiet forest and nearby lake. Development continued during World War II when many Berliners whose homes were destroyed by bombings built their homes in the outskirts for safety. By 1955, there were almost 5,000 residents, and over the years it has expanded to more than 6,000.

Müggelheim is a quiet village of single-family homes surrounded by forest. It is far removed from the center of Berlin and is only accessible by bus or car. There are few rental opportunities in the community, but what is available is of average price for Berlin. The great draws of Müggelheim are the surrounding forest with walking trails and the closeness to a number of rivers and lakes.

The Southernmost village: Schmöckwitz

How to get there:

Alt-Schmöckwitz: Tram 68

Remarkable places: Dorfkirche Berlin-Schmöckwitz, Seddinsee, Zeuthener See

The southernmost locality in Berlin, Schmöckwitz was originally a Slavic fishing and beekeeping village. The name likely comes from a Slavic word for a nearby body of water, and it has been suggested it is from the word “smokowic” meaning snake stream, due to the meandering course of the nearby water.

The village came into German possession around 1230, and was used to provide fish and honey for Köpenick Castle (Burg Köpenick). Much of the village was destroyed in a fire during the Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648). It was rebuilt and remained a small village until the 19th century when the first factories (for glue and cotton) were built. In 1920, Schmöckwitz was incorporated into Berlin, and following World War II it was part of East Berlin.

While quite remote from the rest of Berlin, Schmöckwitz is a quaint locality of single-family homes with excellent access to nature. It is comprised of several small communities separated from one another by forest and rivers. It borders Brandenburg and is close neighbors with the suburban community of Eichwalde. Schöckwitz is only directly accessible by tram and bus, but the nearby Eichwalde is connected to the S-Bahn. It is a quiet community, far removed from the hectic urban lifestyle of the center of Berlin.

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