Why Should You Explore Berlin’s Artistic Squats?

Are you visiting Berlin and are interested in discovering the vibrant artistic scene that the city has to offer? Look no further than Berlin’s artistic squats! In this blog post, we will take you on a virtual walking tour and explore the fascinating world of Berlin’s artistic squats.

What Are Artistic Squats?

Artistic squats, also known as Wohnprojekte in German, are abandoned buildings or unused spaces that have been transformed by artists and creatives into communal living spaces, cultural centers, and art galleries. These squats serve as a platform for alternative forms of expression, where artists can freely showcase their work and challenge societal norms.

Understanding Berlin’s Squatting Culture

Before we start our walking tour, it’s important to understand the historical and cultural context of Berlin’s squatting culture. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 led to an abundance of vacant buildings in the city. During this time, artists and activists took advantage of the situation and occupied these spaces, creating a unique artistic and social movement.

The Kreuzberg District

Our walking tour begins in the lively Kreuzberg district, home to some of Berlin’s most iconic squats. Start your journey at the Bethanien House, a former hospital turned cultural center. Here, you can explore contemporary art exhibitions, attend workshops, or relax in the picturesque courtyard.

Next, head to Tacheles, one of Berlin’s most famous squats. This massive building, adorned with vibrant street art, was once a department store. Now it’s home to art studios, a cinema, a theater, and a club. Take a moment to admire the impressive murals outside and immerse yourself in the creative atmosphere.

Just a short walk away, you’ll find Gӧrlitzer Park, where you can visit a cluster of squats known as Köpi. This alternative community has its own theater, café, and concert venue. It’s a great place to mingle with locals and get a taste of Berlin’s subculture.

The Friedrichshain District

Now, let’s venture into the Friedrichshain district, another vibrant neighborhood full of artistic squats. Start your exploration at RAW-Gelände, a former train repair yard turned cultural hotspot. Here, you’ll find clubs, bars, art installations, and even a skate park. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and uncover the hidden gems within the complex.

Next, head to Rigaer Strasse, a street known for its rich history of squatting. Walk along the graffiti-covered walls and explore the various squats and social centers along the way. Keep in mind that some of the buildings may have restricted access, but you can still admire the unique architecture and vibrant street art outside.

Tips for Exploring Artistic Squats Safely

While exploring Berlin’s artistic squats can be an exciting adventure, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Respect the space and the people who live there. Remember that you are entering someone’s home or creative space, so be mindful of your actions.
  • Take note of any rules or regulations posted at the entrance of the squats.
  • Be open-minded and embrace the alternative and diverse atmosphere you’ll encounter.
  • Avoid taking photographs without permission, as some residents may value their privacy.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings and be cautious, especially when exploring at night or in less crowded areas.


Exploring Berlin’s artistic squats offers a unique glimpse into the city’s vibrant art scene and alternative culture. From cultural centers to street art, these squats are a testament to the creativity and resilience of Berlin’s artists. So, put on your walking shoes, immerse yourself in the artistic spirit, and experience the thriving world of Berlin’s squats.





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