Is living at Potsdamer Platz that bad?

34 posts in this topic

My bf and I have been apartment hunting for weeks. I prefer Mitte and surrounded by historical cultural stuff. But apartments in Mitte are so expensive and difficult to find. My bf loves the commerical/banking atmosphere. And we finally found an apartment at Potsdamer Platz. It is central, closed to subway station and in the side street, so there is not so much traffic. The rent is reasonable, even a bit low, to our surprise. So I asked my European colleagues to see if I miss any information.

 

The German colleague is not at all familiar with the neighborhood and does not have any friends living in that area, even though she is a Berliner. My French colleague hates Potsdamer Platz and said she would rather live in Wedding instead. She hates cuz “she does not want to go back home everyday surrounded by tourists and stupid people who go to the cinima”.

 

So here is my question, is the neighborhood really that bad? If so, why? Thanks.

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With one or possibly two exceptions, the restaurants on Potsdamer Platz suck across the board, and yes, you will always be surrounded by tourists and (other) stupid people. But the latter is true of many parts of Berlin nowadays and you can always hop on the U/S-Bahn to go elsewhere to eat.

 

I'd suggest that you spend a couple of evenings wandering around the area and its surroundings and see how you like it.

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I find the area around Potsdamer Platz quite nice actually, there is quite a flair to it (and it's really beautiful to sit out there on a warm summer evening when all is lit up) Now this is all from a "visitor" point of view, I am in and around Potsdamer Platz every day, but only to change from the S-Bahn to the U-Bahn, living there could be quite different, but it is quite central and It all boils down to personal opinion, but it's definitely not the worst place you could chose to live in in Berlin

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Good buddies of us lived in the area for several years so we are quite familiar with the surroundings, they lived literally next door from the Arkaden. I find the area quite OK for living, it is really central and you have sbahn, ubahn and buses. Tons of places for shopping. As El Jeffo mentioned, the restaurants in the area suck, and this is no exaggeration, they really suck. But you are a couple of stations from areas with better choices, so it is not that bad. If you drive, finding parking place is a nightmare, but I guess you don't.

 

P.S., The area is a big party place for the Sylvester Party.

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The Berliners I know are pretty well all more or less contemptuous of Potsdamer Platz or else just not interested in the place, saying things like: it's not for us, it's just for tourists, I've never any need to go there, etc.

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thirded on the restaurants. I actually do think, yes, Potsdamer Platz is one of the worst places you could live in Berlin unless you specifically needed to live close to there for logistical purposes. There are so many prettier, quieter/more exciting places to live in Berlin, and I think the fact that there was literally nothing there for thirty years plays a big part in why it is so soulless and cold at the moment. A lot of Berlin neighborhoods are full of life and character; IMO there are even forests of Plattenbauten that are more appealing than Potsdamer Platz.

 

In the end though, I think what would get me the most is what you get for your money. Never scouted an apartment in that area, but I can imagine that for the money, you could get a much bigger apartment in a much more resident-friendly area for the same money or less. The part about 95% of the people on the streets of your "neighborhood" being in no way shape or form your neighbors would bother me a lot, but then again I am weird like that.

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I would second dessa's comment. I'm surprised to hear that anyone lives on Potsdamer Platz at all. I would not do it, on account of constant noise, too many tourists, the place's ugly commercial soullessness etc. From a traffic point of view I consider it to be one of the most stressful places in Berlin, especially on the bike. You have the U2 line there, but it is one of the slowest and most crowded of the U bahn lines.

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Thank you all for your thoughts. Really appreciate it.

 

The block of the apartment is super quiet as there is hardly any traffic. So noise shall not be a problem.

 

As El Jeffo suggested, I will def visit the place in the evening to see if I am okay with what it offers.

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I stayed in the Potsdamer Platz area when I was a tourist here and it was ok.

 

I'm not sure why anyone moving to Berlin would want to live there though, as you won't have a "living in Berlin" experience. It would be kind of like going to Burning Man and staying in a nearby Holiday Inn.

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I think that people are being a bit insane here. Is it a typical Berlin neighborhood? No. Is it full of tourists? Yes. Do the restaurants suck? Yes. Is it worse than the "forests of Plattenbauten"? Fuck no.

 

This line of thinking completely ignores commuting time and accessibility. It's directly across from the Tiergarten and it's a fucking 20 min walk into Kreuzberg. Centrality is hugely important and I'd rather be there than in Marzahn or Märkisches Viertel or whatever.

 

Now would I rather live in a typical Kiez inside the ring? Yes. But as long as you are aware of the issues with Potsdamer Platz your existence will be just fine.

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quite surprising how anal people are about some people living in Potsdamer Platz. the place is fine and nice and central.

 

no 1 thing on my list is not how good the local restaurants are.

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We live right next to Potsdamer Platz and have done for almost 6 years now. Yes, it can be a bit noisy, especially from midnight to 4am at New Year(!). It's also not particularly residential so if you're after a video store or a local greengrocer then this is not so readily available. Also, you do tend to become tourist information for lost souls... but I rather like helping people anyway. On the plus side it's amazing for public transport, central for the touristy sights for our visitors, there's plenty of shopping at the Arkaden, and the Tiergarten is on our doorstep. There is ALWAYS something going on here, whether on Potsdamer Platz itself, in the Sony Centre, or a short walk away at Brandenburger Tor and down Strasse des 17 Juni. The cinema in the Sony Centre is fab for all the English language films and I really don't mind the restaurants. If we're after something more special food-wise then we can always jump on the u-bahn/s-bahn/bus; there are plenty of good restaurants two stops (or a 15 minute walk) away at Gendarmenmarkt. When we first arrived we were an unmarried couple, now we are married with two children and would really like a nice house with a garden for the kids to run round in. However, we can't quite bring ourselves to move away from all the convenience and activity. I really think it's a matter of personal taste but where's the harm in trying it out for a while? I think people can be a bit too snobbish about where they live. Good luck finding somewhere you enjoy, wherever that happens to be :)

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Thank you so much, Rhianjipanji.

 

It's really good to hear from an "insider". We are also thinking about having a family and your story with your kids are really reassuring. At least I know it is because of personal taste rather than other elements that people dislike the place. B)

 

Thanks again~~

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Bumping this...we are going to check an apartment out very close to Postdamer Platz. Has the area improved a lot in people’s estimations over the last 6 years?

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Bit of a vague question, what information are you looking for? Noise, nightlife, shops, schools, parking, personal safety?

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1 hour ago, justere said:

Bumping this...we are going to check an apartment out very close to Postdamer Platz. Has the area improved a lot in people’s estimations over the last 6 years?

 

No, not really. Apart from the central location, it still feels windswept and artificial, and I would still avoid going to eat there. For a short visit it's probably fine, lots of good transport connections; but still not a Kiez by any stretch of the imagination, whatever the Makler say. Maybe it will have matured in another three decades, but it ain't there yet, sorry.

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I lived down Stresemannstr  for over a year and really liked its proximity to everything Berlin.  K-berg and Mitte and Ku-dam are a nice walk and because of the tourists there was always something happening...movies being filmed,  festivals, street performers.   Kiez is where you make it.

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8 hours ago, hooperski said:

Bit of a vague question, what information are you looking for? Noise, nightlife, shops, schools, parking, personal safety?

Sorry. All of the above, except schools.

 

I will be working from home and travelling a lot (internationally). I plan on selling my car before moving there - from what I've heard parking is a bit of a nightmare. Also - I just don't need it. We're passed the partying age but I think it's a 10 minute cycle from Kreuzberg? Just in case :) 

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I looked at a couple of flats to rent there a few years ago, and we almost pulled the trigger on one (Bernburger Str. I believe). However, the area was a bit desolate and isolated, not very neighborhoody in our opinion. We scoped it out and my wife did not feel comfortable walking from the U-Bahn to where the flat was at night, so we decided against it. It's certainly very centrally located to the main business districts of Berlin, as well as Kreuzberg, Schoeneberg, and Mitte where there is no shortage of things to do, eat, and drink. There was also indeed some good housing stock at a fair price. Just not our cup of tea. Good luck.

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6 hours ago, justere said:

We're passed the partying age but I think it's a 10 minute cycle from Kreuzberg? Just in case :) 

I haven’t been out partying in Kreuzberg in years,so maybe things have changed, but that’s not the part of Kreuzberg where it all goes down. That’s a bit further away.

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