Old warehouses, new bars: hip, hidden Wedding
The district of Wedding has been touted as the latest hipster hub for so long now that it's hard to know if it's had its moment, or continues to evolve into one of the capital's buzzier locations. (We'd opt, on balance, for the latter).
But in other ways, too, Wedding remains one of Berlin's more elusive quarters, and visitors in search of that artsy vibe may be hard-pushed to find it in the area's often slightly anonymous streets.
We're here to help by pointing out that Wedding's coolest cluster of bar and nightlife options is centred around the western stretch of Gerichtstraße, including several semi-clandestine offerings tucked well off the beaten track.
The first venue you'll encounter is also the most recent - 'The Forsberg' at number 26 doubles as the atelier/showroom of Canadian artist Charles Forsberg, and its sequence of candlelit, art-bedecked rooms make for a beguilingly cosy, salon-like drinking space (above).
Further along Gerichtstraße you'll find the undisputed daddy of Wedding's alternative spaces: 'Stattbad', a 2011 conversion of a disused public swimming facility into a bar, gallery, club and general hub of cutting-edge cultural activity (above).
From performances in the former pools to installations among a tangle of water pipes and boilers, Stattbad consistently hosts a range of innovative events that include some of Berlin's most talked-about dance parties.
*Update, June 2015* Following an alleged breach of safety standards, Stattbad has been forced to close. Check the website for further details.*
Directly opposite the repurposed '60s monolith you'll find the entrance to a very different architectural environment.
Six turn-of-the-20th-century courtyards provide an unexpected link to the area's industrial past, with painted signs for long-vanished businesses still clinging to crumbling walls (above and page top).
This rather magical hidden Berlin enclave is worth visiting for its dilapidated grandeur alone, although here, too, you'll find a couple of Wedding's hipper hangouts.
Hidden up a flight of stairs, bar-cum-art-space 'Anita Berber' occupies a large, loft-like area (above).
It's an impressive-looking venue, and at night, with the lights down low, exudes just a hint of the decadence which its Weimar-era wild-child namesake would certainly have enjoyed.
The same complex of courtyards is home to 'Panke' - a coolly quirky venue that makes great use of repurposed circuit boards in its interior design (above).
Again, this isn't a place solely focussed on boozing: Panke incorporates a gallery and dance space, schedules numerous arty events and serves tasty snacks in its garden space that backs onto (no surprise) the tiny River Panke.
The Forsberg: Gerichtstraße 26, 13347 Berlin (check Facebook page for opening times)
Stattbad: Gerichtstraße 65, 13347 Berlin
Panke: Gerichtstraße 23, Courtyard 5, 13347 Berlin (turn right in the second courtyard, then right again)
Anita Berber: Gerichtstraße 23, Courtyard 3, 13347 Berlin (walk straight through courtyards, entrance to the bar is the last door on the right)