I love living in Berlin, but that doesn't mean I love every part of it. One part that I especially avoid is the area in Kreuzberg, between Kotbusser Tor and Görlitzer Bahnhof stations. The latter especially is a disgusting place. I take the metro every day to go to work, and my train passes by these two stations daily. As long as you don't get out then things are fine, but if you want to get out then there are reasons to be vigilant.
Görlitzer Bahnhof especially is problematic. There's only one entrance and exit at the station. You have to go to one end of the platform and descend a flight of decrepit looking stairs. At the staircase are people hanging out, selling drugs. They would want to make eye contact to you. And sometimes, they just act annoying: the other day when I had to get out there someone started following me and was just saying "Japan? China? Korea? Mongolia? Uzbekistan? Kyrgyzstan?"
Kotbusser Tor is slightly better, but it is still not a nice place. There's still the drug dealers, the drunk homeless people, the types of people you typically wouldn't want to mingle with. The other day, a colleague invited me to a house party one evening during the weekend, and she happens to live in the area. The neighbourhood is disgusting, I must say, but her flat was fantastic. There was a huge contrast between the outside and the inside. So we got off at Kotbusser Tor, and walked to her flat, and as we were doing so, I remarked to my husband, that we should just take a taxi going home.
I definitely am glad to live in Wilmersdorf.