Friedrichshain, a neighborhood in former East Berlin, is a street art wonderland, especially if you’re into stencils, posters and paste ups/cut outs. Like a few other districts in Berlin, Friedrichshain is subject to rapid change and street art disappears quickly. One word: hurry.
I’ve collected a few locations in Friedrichshain that can be easily visited and offer clusters of noteworthy street art. Please keep in mind that there’s much, much more to see. This collection is neither complete nor fair – it’s basically a list of my favorite places. Do not hesitate to shout at @fabianmohr if you miss great street art locations in this list.
If you want to visit every location I recommend coming with a bike. You can pick only a few locations and walk, of course. Best entry points: S-Bahn Warschauer Straße or U-Bahn Samariterstraße.
This guide should work just fine on your smartphone, so take it with you. Have a very old phone? Try the basic map to navigate. If you prefer to play with KML instead (Google Earth comes to mind), you’ll find all locations bundled in this KML-File.
Have more questions? There’s a very brief FAQ.
1 ┊ Rigaer/Samariterstraße
Heading north from U-Bahn Samariterstraße, keep your eyes open near the corner of Samariterstraße and Rigaer Straße – a few nice artworks greeting along the way.
Turn right into Rigaer Straße and walk a few steps until you reach a Lidl supermarket. The building across the street has some interesting street art on the frontside but even more stuff is waiting in the backyard.
2 ┊ Rigaer/Liebigstraße
Turn west and walk down Rigaer Straße until you reach a big school building (Heinrich-Hertz-Gymnasium) plastered with stencils and other stuff.
Walk on to the corner of Rigaer and Liebigstraße – you will find lots of different mural artworks.
By now you’ll have noticed you’re in a former squat hotspot – most of the houses were occupied in the early 90s and have been evicted since then.
3 ┊ Scharnweberstraße
Coming from U-Bahn Samariterstraße it’s only a minute down Mainzer Straße to Scharnweberstraße.
Right at the corner is a once beautiful, now run down house with many pieces of street art on both sides.
Most cut outs and stencils are in a state of decay due to weather and being buried under posters countless times. (Update: As of March 2015, this house is in reconstruction mode. Most street art pieces have been removed.)
Follow Scharnweberstraße to a squat at the corner of Colbestraße (great cut out with a guy holding a baseball bat) and further down the road to the corner of Kinzigstraße – that house is worth a look, too.
Don’t miss the two boys a few meters into Kinzigstraße on the left side.
4 ┊ Niederbarnimstraße
“Intimes” cinema at the corner of Niederbarnimstraße (northbound extension of Simon-Dach-Straße) and Boxhagener Straße has a fascinating wall packed with street art.
I check this place at least once a week and it’s always fun to discover new pieces.
5 ┊ Dirschauer Straße
Worth a stopover: Houses at the corner of Simplonstraße and Dirschauer Straße have some beautiful stencils and paste ups.
Walk down Dirschauer Straße southbound on the left side and check the archways for more lovely stuff.
There’s lots of tagging, too, so be sure to take a closer look.
6 ┊ RAW area
RAW area near S-Bahn Warschauer Straße is by far the biggest cluster of street art in all of Friedrichshain – a must see.
You’ll find huge murals next to beautiful stencils and a few lovely cut outs.
Make sure you take your time to explore RAW area (a former railway repair facility) in its entirety.
Check Urban Spree Galerie for exhibitions.
7 ┊ Revaler Straße
Don’t overlook nearby Revaler Straße when you’re exploring RAW.
This street has terrific artworks on display – most of it on the north side between cafes and restaurants.
The former RAW administration building across the street from Libauer Straße is plastered with cut outs as well.
8 ┊ Wiesenweg
Not the location you’ll likely stumble upon when visiting Friedrichshain for the first time.
A ten minute walk from Ostkreuz, Wiesenweg is a quiet street in a commercial zone near Lichtenberg.
The first building to the right (at the corner of Gürtelstraße and Wiesenweg) has some amazing stencils.
Be sure to walk on to the corner of Tasdorfer Straße. Lots of classic graffiti here. Don’t miss the two men with gas masks – hidden behind souterrain window bars at the Subland building.
Q: I can’t find the street art you’ve mentioned. Why?
A: Many cut outs and stencils aren’t big and can be overseen between posters and other graffiti. Look closely and don’t forget the archways. Moreover, street art is subject to weather and vandalism as well as unwanted destruction – great stuff can be in a state of decay or may have disappeared completely. Please keep in mind this guide was written in October 2013 (aka “the past”).
Q: Why don’t you cover other neighborhoods in Berlin? They have great street art, too.
A: I bet they do. I started in Friedrichshain and I’m still not finished here.
Q: May I use your street art photography in my blog, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest?
Q: Which software was used for creating the photo collages?
A: Diptic for Mac. There are also versions for iOS and Android.
A: Open Street Map.
Q: Are there any online resources about street art in Berlin?
A: Yes. Try Google.