Rigaer Straße in Friedrichshain is a street that has long been associated with ultra-left wing residents, squats and the occasional scuffle with riot police. After the Berlin wall fell and residents fled the country, buildings that were once completely inhabited were left in various degrees of abandonment. Of course not everyone left. Many stayed behind and a few found accommodations in the newly abandoned buildings. Many West Berliners also flocked to the East in search of free rent and alternative lifestyle.
Today, you can clearly see a few remaining squats and social collectives. Some have been removed and a few remain, seemingly stronger than ever. It’s important to note that it isn’t just left-wing radicals that live here. It’s a mostly normal neighborhood, just with a higher proportion of dog poop, graffiti and trash. Also, not all of the graffitied buildings are squats, some are self-organized cooperatives.
Be aware: Taking pictures is not advised. While we went out recently and discreetly snapped a few, we would advise against taking photographs of these squats/collectives.
Rigaer Straße Gallery
Wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigaer_Straße (German)
Address: Rigaer Straße, 10243, Berlin (Mitte)
How to get there
U-Bahn: U5 (Frankfurter Tor)
Tram: M10 Bersarinplatz (2 minute walk) or M10 Frankfurter Tor (5 minute walk).
Start at Bersarinplatz roundabout. Most of the squats/collectives are situated around the Liebigstraße intersection although there are several more further down the street.
Within 10 minutes walk