Spandau is separated from the rest of Berlin by the Havel River. This results in a very special kind of atmosphere and a distinct local patriotism: the people of Spandau are very proud to their district and prefer to call themselves Spandauers rather than Berliners. This attitude is justified: the nucleus of Spandau's old town, called Kolk, is older than Berlin itself.
The lively old town of Spandau is characterized by small shops, department stores, and restaurants. There are areas with cobblestone steets and historic buildings. The shopping street is the largest pedestrian zone in Berlin.
An important monument of the district is the Spandau Citadel, one of the oldest buildings in Berlin that attracts many tourists. In the summer, the citadel becomes an open-air concert location that has hosted some musical greats of the past and present: Stevie Wonder, Rammstein, the Beach Boys, Patti Smith, Eddie Vedder, Iggy Pop, and Lionel Richie are just some of the many artists who have played here.
With the local district of Siemensstadt, Spandau also contains the largest industrial location in Berlin. The neighborhoods Neu-Staaken and Falkenhagener Feld have an urban flair, while other parts of Spandau have a more a small-town atmosphere. In Gatow and Kladow, two neighborhoods consisting of detached houses and villas, the district feels almost village-like. Local recreation is also abundantly provided for: twenty-five percent of Spandau is covered by forest and water.
The district of Spandau is divided into the smaller districts of Spandau, Staaken, Haselhorst, Siemensstadt, Gatow, Kladow, Falkenhagener Feld, Hakenfelde, and Wilhelmstadt.