Vietnamese community of Berlin

Vietnamese community of Berlin
Total population

(12,814 Vietnam-born people with only Vietnamese citizenship,[1] 20,000 with German citizenship or born in Berlin,

unknown number of illegal migrants, total number est. at 40,000 (1,16% of total population)[2])
Regions with significant populations
Lichtenberg, Mitte, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Wedding, Moabit, Neukölln
German · Vietnamese
predominantly Buddhism
Related ethnic groups
Vietnamese people in Germany

Vietnamese people are Berlin's largest East Asian community, comprising 1.16% of the total population. Areas and localities with significant populations are mostly in the former East-Berlin, for instance, Lichtenberg, where people of Vietnamese origin make up 11.8% of the population, 3,800 out of 32,295.[3] Other areas with high amount of Vietnamese are Mitte, Marzahn-Hellersdorf and in the Western Part of Berlin, Neukölln.

As of 2014 the German Federal Foreign Office estimated that Berlin had 20,000 Vietnamese people, the largest group of East Asians in Germany. Many Vietnamese operate Spätkauf (convenience stores in Berlin that operate at late nighttime) in the city.[4]


In the 1980s in most of Berlin, controlled by East Germany, other Vietnamese came to Berlin as temporary contract workers (Vertragsarbeiter),[5] as part of a deal between the East German government and the Communist government of Vietnam.[4] South Vietnamese who fled the Vietnam War instead came to West Germany.[6]

Many Vietnamese remained in Berlin even though they lost their legal residence statuses and jobs after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.[6] The residence permits of other Vietnamese only permitted them to live in East Germany, even after reunification.[5] In the 1990s many Vietnamese who lived in a unified Berlin began establishing small businesses.[4] Vietnamese who lived in other parts of former East Germany, such as Chemnitz, Leipzig, and Rostock, moved to Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall.[6]


As of 2014 many Vietnamese live in Lichtenberg, Marzahn, and other neighborhoods which had housing for Vietnamese contract workers during the East Germany period.[4] As of 2012 10% of the residents of Marzahn-Hellendorf were ethnic Vietnamese.[6] As of 2006 Vietnamese have business operations in adjacent Potsdam.[5]


Dong Xuan Center in Berlin-Lichtenberg

The Vietnamese community isn't a homogenous one, because one quarter of Vietnamese migrants in Berlin and Germany are Hoa. The rest mostly consist of Hmong and Kinh.


As of 2014 Dong Xuan Market in Lichtenberg is the centre of Vietnamese economic activity in the city.[4]

The first major Vietnamese restaurant to offer Pho to open in Berlin was Monsieur Vuong; after its opening Germans began patronizing Vietnamese restaurants. Prior to Monsieur Vuong's opening, Berlin restaurants operated by Vietnamese had fusion cuisine with Thai influences.[4]



  1. "Integrationsbeauftragte". 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Grenier, Elizabeth. "Berlin's little Vietnam reflects a divided city" (Archived 2016-02-11 at WebCite). Deutsche Welle. 27 March 2014. Retrieved on 11 February 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 Furlong, Ray. "Hard times for Vietnamese Germans" (Archived 2016-02-11 at WebCite). BBC. Wednesday 15 February 2006. Retrieved on 11 February 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Anderson, Matthew. "Berlin’s kitschy and flavourful Little Vietnam" (Archived 2016-02-11 at WebCite). BBC. 12 June 2012. Retrieved on 11 February 2016.
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