Of all the challenges in planning a trip to Germany’s capital, none is greater than figuring out where to stay in Berlin.
Home to over 3.5 million people, Berlin sprawls out over 890 square kilometres. It’s not really surprising that narrowing your choice to just a handful of the best hotels in Berlin is hardly a walk in the park.
If you’ve become overwhelmed searching for your Berlin accommodations, let me help you with this complete guide to the city’s best areas, neighbourhoods, districts and the best places to stay in Berlin…
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Where to stay in Berlin: The best areas & neighbourhoods
Berlin is a canvas of unique neighbourhoods. From the gutsiness of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain to the more upscale Mitte and Charlottenburg, your choice of where to stay in Berlin affects the experience. Every district shows off a completely different face of the city.
The price of accommodations in Berlin is hardly bargain basement, nor unreasonable. On the whole, you’ll find the prices in Berlin in line with the region. It’s even cheaper than other Central European cities like Munich or Vienna, and certainly more so than other popular European destinations like Barcelona, Paris or Rome!
The best areas to stay in Berlin include:
- Mitte: The best choice for where to stay in Berlin for first-time visitors. This area is home to many of Berlin’s top attractions.
- Kreuzberg: The best area to stay in Berlin for a glimpse at the city’s alternative culture without venturing too far outside of the touristic centre.
- Friedrichshain: Another cool neighbourhood that’s the best place to stay in Berlin for experiencing nightlife.
- Charlottenburg: Located to the west of Mitte, this area is a top choice district for shopping and attending cultural events.
- Prenzlauer Berg: A popular area in former East Berlin that’s one of the best places to stay in Berlin for families and foodies.
✓ Best area to stay for first-time visitors & sightseeing
Mitte occupies mostly what was, in the height of the Cold War, the historic city centre of East Berlin. Many of the city’s most famous landmarks, best museums and finest architecture lie along the streets of Mitte.
The walking distance between most attractions in Mitte is reasonable, making it a great choice when you want to be close to all the action. Convenient public transportation links also make Mitte a good base for exploring the fringes or embarking on some awesome day trips from Berlin.
For the convenience there’s a trade-off. As the most central district, Mitte tends to be more expensive than other neighbourhoods in Berlin. It’s not impossible to find good rooms at a reasonable price, but those on a tight travel budget might want to consider nearby Friedrichshain or Kreuzberg instead.
Attractions in Mitte: Alexanderplatz, Berliner Dom, Brandenburg Gate, DDR Museum, Nikolaiviertel, Museuminsel
Recommended hotels in Mitte
The quality of accommodations in Mitte is generally quite good. Wherever you choose to stay in Mitte, you’ll be close to restaurants, bars, and a never-ending selection of things to do.
- Generator Berlin Mitte: A stylish hotel in northern Mitte with bright, modern rooms. Superb location near plenty of restaurants and nightlife.
- art’otel berlin mitte: Modern design hotel with classic touches. The hotel is a short walk away from Nikolaiviertel, Alexanderplatz, and even Kreuzberg to the south.
- Grimm’s Hotel am Potsdamer Platz: A quirky hotel located at the southwestern fringes of Mitte close to Potsdamer Platz. Hotel offers excellent city views from most rooms.
- Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin: Berlin’s most legendary 5-star luxury hotel, located steps away from Brandenburg Gate. There’s a classic grand hotel vibe that will make you feel more like royalty than a traveller. So famous, you’ve probably see it in at least half a dozen movies.
✓ Top area to stay for an alternative vibe in a central neighbourhood
When choosing where to stay in Berlin, don’t just limit your search to Mitte. Kreuzberg, the city’s hippest central district, is one of the best places to stay in Berlin for travellers looking to experience a more “local” vibe.
And it’s not so far away.
Located just south of Mitte—even hanging on to a handful of some of the city’s best attractions to boot—Kreuzberg is the next-best alternative district to base yourself in while visiting Berlin.
Kreuzberg doesn’t quite have the glamour of Mitte or Charlottenburg. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. At least in parts. Whereas there’s little distinction between West Kreuzberg and the rest of West Berlin, East Kreuzberg has a true lived-in feel.
The area’s changed over the years (for the better) and is now one of the hottest residential spots for young Berliners. An ever-changing resident profile gave way to vintage shops, hip restaurants, clubs, and some of Berlin’s coolest street art.
While mature travellers might feel more at home in Mitte or Charlottenburg, younger travellers should seriously consider staying in Kreuzberg; it’s easily among Berlin’s best places to eat, drink and let loose.
Attractions in Kreuzberg: Checkpoint Charlie, Jewish Museum Berlin, Tempodrom, German Museum of Technology, Berlinische Gallerie, Topography of Terror, Berlin Wall
Recommended hotels in Kreuzberg
Kreuzberg hasn’t always been a top choice for accommodations in Berlin. The neighbourhood is just beginning to fulfill its potential as one of the city’s best places to stay. Stylish boutique hotels and hip hostels round out much of the selection here.
- Grand Hostel: A hostel/guesthouse occupying a beautiful 19th-century building in Kreuzberg. There’s a selection of both private and shared rooms on offer.
- Motel One Berlin Mitte: A modern hotel featuring stylish rooms in the heart of Kreuzberg. Steps away from excellent restaurants and bars and minutes to most of Berlin’s best attractions by U-bahn.
- Mondrian Suites Berlin am Checkpoint Charlie: An elegant 4-star property offering excellent value modern studios and apartments. Hotel is conveniently located close to Checkpoint Charlie and the Kochstraße U-bahn station. The heart of Berlin Mitte is just a quick walk away.
✓ Best neighbourhood to stay for experiencing Berlin’s nightlife
Along with Kreuzberg to the west, Friedrichshain is one of central Berlin’s most colourful districts. Staying in Friedrichshain won’t be right for everyone. The district has a gritty reputation that even East Kreuzberg can’t quite beat. That’s not to say Friedrichshain is necessarily unsafe. A little rough around the edges? No doubt.
Friedrichshain sits inside the former East Berlin, explaining its not always well-kept physical appearance. The area is, however, central Berlin’s most up-and-coming residential quarter. The youthful vibrance has, like Kreuzberg, filled the streets of Friedrichshain creativity. Boutique shops, vintage second-hand clothing shops, and yummy eateries have blossomed in the shift.
For going a little loco, Friedrichshain might be one of the top places to stay in Berlin. Some of the city’s most famous bars & clubs call the neighbourhood home. Many are conveniently located within stumbling distance of some of the best hotels in Friedrichshain. (If that’s your kind of thing.)
Although not quite as central as Mitte or Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain is well connected to the rest of the city by public transportation. The Berlin Ostbahnhof and Warschauer Straße S-bahn stations are but a couple stops away from the centre of town.
Attractions in Friedrichshain: East Side Gallery, Oberbaumbrücke, Mercedes-Benz Arena Berlin, Volkspark Friedrichshain, Karl-Marx-Allee
Recommended hotels in Friedrichshain
The growing popularity of Friedrichshain has sparked an explosion of new hostels, guesthouses, and hotels. The best hotels in Friedrichshain are surprisingly sophisticated and stylish.
- Industriepalast Hostel & Hotel Berlin: Cool budget design hotel & hostel close to the Warschauer Straße U-bahn. Comfy and clean rooms are complemented by a shared outdoor terrace and a recreation area with a pool and foosball table. A good choice if you want to dig into Berlin’s club scene.
- MOXY Berlin Ostbahnhof: A contemporary budget hotel near the Berlin Ostbahnhof. The cosy rooms and stylish common areas feature trendy designs that create a homey atmosphere. The hotel is within short walking distance of the East Side Gallery and Oberbaumbrücke. Plenty of restaurants & bars in Friedrichshain and across the Spree in Kreuzberg are also nearby. Get the best price guaranteed and earn Marriott Rewards on your stay by booking directly at Marriott.com.
- Michelberger Hotel: Another stylish design hotel in Friedrichshain. Features a hip café and restaurant focusing on healthy, organic food including vegan and vegetarian options. The hotel is a short walk to the East Side Gallery and well connected to Berlin’s most famous tourist attraction by U-bahn. Über-rad Kreuzberg is just across Oberbaumbrücke from the property.
✓ Top neighbourhood to stay for shopping & culture
Firmly in the grips of West Berlin, Charlottenburg had a lot less catching up to do than the eastern districts upon Germany’s reunification. In fact, during the intra-war period Charlottenburg was Berlin’s most modern sector and most important cultural centre.
With the likes of Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, and Friedrichshain beckoning Berliners to swoop in, Charlottenburg isn’t as popular as it once was. It’s still, arguably, the city’s best place to shop. As the home of the upscale boutiques on Kurfürstendamm and Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), continental Europe’s biggest department store, Charlottenburg is Berlin’s premier district from unloading your Euros in style.
Besides shopping, visitors who find themselves in Charlottenburg will be overjoyed by the cultural activities remaining from its heyday. The district still holds sway among devotees of the performing arts. Several theatres celebrating musicals and operas draw crowds from all around the city. One of Berlin’s most beautiful tourist attractions, Schloss Charlottenburg, even lingers in the district’s northern fringes.
Charlottenburg is perhaps a little too far removed from Mitte to be considered comfortable walking distance. Getting to the centre of Berlin, however, is just a few U-bahn or S-bahn stops away. The close proximity to the city’s top tourist attractions and good selection of hotels makes Charlottenburg one of the best places to stay in Berlin for travellers looking for an elegant and quieter alternative to Mitte.
Attractions in Charlottenburg: Berlin Zoo, Tiergarten, Kurfürstendamm, KaDeWe, Schloss Charlottenburg, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Theater des Westens, Deutsche Opera Berlin, Schillertheater
Recommended hotels in Charlottenburg
The wide selection of sophisticated accommodations in Charlottenburg might just suit you well when pinpointing where to stay in Berlin. The best hotels in Charlottenburg sit steps away from transit connections, excellent restaurants, and cool cafés.
- Leonardo Hotel Berlin: A good value 3-star hotel situated in a quiet neighbourhood of Charlottenburg. Located close to the U-bahn (Bismarkstraße) for easy access to the rest of the city.
- H10 Berlin Ku’damm: An elegant and modern hotel just steps away from the Kurfürstendamm shopping area. The soundproofed rooms are a huge bonus. Easy metro access makes it easy to jet around Berlin.
- H’Otello K’80 Berlin: A charming 4-star boutique hotel with a minimalist touch. Located close to the cafés, restaurants, and shopping areas. The famous KaDeWe department store is a 15-minute walk away.
✓ Best district to stay for foodies & families
Tucked into Berlin’s northeast, Prenzlauer Berg can’t be ignored when choosing where to stay in Berlin. More elegant than Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain with enough grit to keep it interesting, Prenzlauer Berg is now one of the most coveted neighbourhoods for Berliners.
For foodies, selecting Prenzlauer Berg as your Berlin base is almost obligatory. The diverse restaurant selection in Prenzlauer Berg is among the best in the city, especially around Kollwitzplatz, Oderberger Straße, and Kastanienalle.
Prenzlauer Berg is noticeably greener than other districts in central Berlin. The tree-lined boulevards and historic architecture are a boon to any walk around Prenzlauer Berg. Parks and playgrounds are also scattered throughout, making Prenzlauer Berg an excellent choice for families travelling together to Berlin.
Even with all the amenities, at its heart Prenzlauer Berg is a residential neighbourhood. An experience here presents Berlin’s more relaxing side. And just in case you were worried, Prenzlauer Berg is still mere minutes from Mitte via public transportation. The pleasant 20- to 30-minute walk to Mitte from Prenzlauer Berg isn’t so bad either!
Attractions in Prenzlauer Berg: Mauerpark, Kastanienallee, Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg, Velodrom, Prater, Kulturbrauerei, Judischefriedhof (Jewish Cemetery)
Recommended hotels in Prenzlauer Berg
Compared to other districts, Prenzlauer Berg doesn’t have a massive selection of traditional accommodation. What’s offered here, however, is often high quality.
- Old Town Hotel: A no-frills contemporary hotel in the heart of cool Prenzlauer Berg. The clean and bright rooms are an excellent value for Berlin. Hotel is a short walk from some of the city’s best restaurants on Kastanienallee and Oderberger Straße.
- Victor’s Residenz-Hotel Berlin: An elegant 4-star hotel in a quiet neighbourhood of central Berlin. On-site restaurant serves international cuisine including a delicious breakfast buffet (included in the room price). Alexanderplatz is a 20-minute walk or 10-minute tram ride away.
- Myer’s Hotel Berlin: A 4-star boutique hotel with stately classic decor. Brand-new spa area is free for guests, perfect for ending a day of sightseeing with grand relaxation. Via the Senefelderplatz U-bahn station, a 3-minute walk from the hotel, Berlin Mitte is less than 10 minutes away.
Summary: The best places to stay in Berlin
Still can’t choose where to stay in Berlin? Find the perfect place to stay in Berlin with these last-minute accommodations picks…
- Looking to get face-to-face with Berlin’s best attractions? Narrow your search to Mitte. Grimm’s Hotel am Potsdamer Platz is an excellent value in Mitte considering its prime location near Potsdamer Platz and superbly stylish rooms.
- Want to see what makes Berlin tick? Dig into hip Kreuzberg or the even edgier Friedrichshain. The Motel One Berlin Mitte in Kreuzberg and spunky Michelberger Hotel in Friedrichshain are good places to start looking.
- Stomach growling for Berlin’s best food? It’s hard to find a more palate-satisfying neighbourhood than Prenzlauer Berg. The Old Town Hotel is close to the tasty restaurants huddled around Kollwitzplatz and along Kastanienallee.