Berlin is an unpretentiously cool, accepting, and welcoming city; once centered around war, it is now a city centered around art, tolerance, and progression.
I can honestly say Berlin is one of my favorite cities in the world, thanks to its open-minded people, art, culture, and music scene.
But Berlin is huge – roughly 5-times bigger than the geographical size of Paris – and its layout is somewhat complicated. So deciding where to stay in Berlin is not an easy task. There are multiple “mini-centers” and extremely unique districts scattered around the city.
Since every neighborhood in Berlin has its own vibe, I’ve created this insider guide on how to find the perfect place to stay for you during your time in Berlin.
Whether you come for nightlife, shopping , sightseeing or even want to live there for a while, I’ve got the right place for you.
Let’s get right to it!
- Top 3 Recommendations For Where to Stay in Berlin
- Berlin Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Areas to Stay in Berlin
- 1. Mitte Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Berlin for First-timers
- 2. Friedrichshain Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Berlin on a Budget
- 3. Kreuzberg Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Berlin for Nightlife
- 4. Prenzlauer Berg – Coolest Neighborhood in Berlin
- 5. Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf: Where to Stay in Berlin for Families
- FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Berlin
- Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Berlin
Looking for the best place to stay in Berlin? I’ve rated the top three picks for accommodation in Berlin below!
Best Airbnb in Berlin: Chic Apartment in Prenzlauer Berg
Not the biggest space, but that doesn’t make this Airbnb less valuable. In a top location, the home is the ideal spot for young hipsters that want to explore the cool neighborhood. The flat is fully equipped and super bright, thanks to the massive windows. You’ve got a great kitchen with a washing machine as well. On top of that, you’ll have one of the best hosts in Berlin – reach out if you need any recommendations on what to see!
Best Hostel in Berlin: PLUS Berlin
Situated in Friedrichshain, the award-winning PLUS Berlin has mixed four and six-bed dorms; four-bed dorms for females only, and private rooms for two and three. The awesome common areas include a swimming pool, a games room with a pool table, Wifi, foosball, a terrace, and a restaurant bar. Laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, a book exchange, luggage storage, and parking make your stay even sweeter.
If PLUS isn’t available, then there are plenty more great hostels in Berlin worth checking out!
Best Hotel in Berlin: Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz
This centrally located hotel has a comfy and colourful lounge area where you can relax and mingle, a business centre and meeting facilities, an elevator, ticketing services, a fitness centre, a sauna, a steam room, a restaurant, laundry services, and more!
It’s pet- and child-friendly, meaning that no member of the family needs to be left out of a trip to Berlin. Wi-Fi is free and some rates include a buffet breakfast. Rooms are cheerful, modern, and filled with light.
Home to many of Berlin’s “must-see” tourist attractions. If you’re searching for where to stay in Berlin for sightseeing, this is the best place to stay in Berlin for you.
It’s one of the best places to stay in Berlin for art lovers and creative souls and the definition of hipster, which means it’s up-and-coming and yet to be gentrified.
Kreuzberg is a lively part of Berlin with a vibrant nightlife, and plenty of cool bars and nightclubs that stay open til the wee hours of the morning.
A former bohemian hangout, it is now home to people from all spectrums of society — flashes of the past combined with the marks of hipster influences.
It has several family-friendly attractions and activities as well as things that will apply to broader groups of travellers. This is one of the places to stay in Berlin for families.
Both a city and a federal state, Berlin is made up of 12 districts. Each district is further split into 96 localities, many of which are sub-divided into even smaller neighbourhoods. There are certainly many different places to consider when planning your Berlin itinerary!
Don’t feel too overwhelmed, though; in practical terms, Berlin city is divided into 12 key areas. Each area offers a unique vibe and the city is full of contrasts. On top of that, Berlin is extremely well connected with an extensive public transport network, so getting from A to B is no issue.
Mitte is at the heart of Berlin. It’s actually one of the biggest districts in the city. It’s where you’ll find many major monuments and sightseeing hotspots. It combines a modern outlook with historic charms. This is also where you can find most tourists and the famous “Museum Island”.
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf on the other hand is one of Berlin’s most exclusive areas, with many top-class restaurants and accommodations. There are several historic sites – one of them is the famous Charlottenburg Palace – and the area has a generally friendly vibe. It’s located west of Mitte and ranks as one of the safest areas in Berlin. On the east side of the district, you can find kid-friendly attractions like the Berlin Zoo.
Pankow’s Prenzlauer Berg has a hip and youthful vibe, with many health-food shops, cool bars, art galleries, boutiques, and a range of family activities. It’s located slightly northeast of Berlin Mitte. Since more open-minded and generally laid-back people have been moving there, Prenzlauer Berg has become one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the city.
Kreuzberg and neighbouring Friedrichshain both offer plenty of street art, river beaches, and a bohemian vibe. Each has diverse eateries, thanks largely to the large ethnic communities. Kreuzberg, in particular, is also known for its vibrant nightlife and abundant clubs. Friedrichshain also boasts a lively scene and has some of Berlin’s cheapest hostels. Those are the neighborhoods that never sleep.
Neukölln is one of the most multi-cultural parts of the city and features many dive bars and offbeat things to do in Berlin. While a bit out of the way of most tourist attractions, this neighborhood is affordable and definitely up-and-coming. Many locals love spending their weekends here.
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5 Best Areas to Stay in Berlin
There are many interesting experiences to be found all around Berlin, but where should you stay? Each neighborhood has its own vibe. I’ve rated the top neighbourhoods to stay in when you visit Berlin below.
Mitte is home to many of Berlin’s “must-see” tourist attractions, so if you’re searching for where to stay in Berlin for sightseeing, this is the neighbourhood for you. Whether it’s the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, or Museum Island, everything is pretty much within walking distance.
Full of history and culture, Mitte also boasts some of the best restaurants and bars in Berlin, and there’s a good selection of shops.
All in all, the close proximity to major places of interest, ease of travelling around the area, and great leisure activities make Mitte my pick for the best Berlin neighbourhood for first-time visitors, who want to be close to the museums and attractions.
Best Airbnb in Mitte: Super Cute Studio in Great Location
This super cozy studio in Berlin Mitte is the perfect getaway for your first visit in the city. It might not be the biggest space, but you’ll find everything you need – from a comfy bed to a small kitchen and even a patio outside. The home is super bright and decorated with an eye for detail, which gives it a super homely vibe.
Best Hostel in Mitte: Circus Hostel
The award-winning Circus Hostel is a cool place to meet tons of new people when exploring Berlin. There are dorms and private rooms. There’s an onsite bar-cafe with a microbrewery and the hostel arranges a variety of tours, including free daily walking tours. Bike rental is available, Wi-Fi is free, and access is by key card.
Best Hotel in Mitte: Melia Berlin
The four-star Melia Hotel is located in the heart of Berlin’s main shopping street and close to the river. It has a sauna, a gym, and a restaurant. Wi-Fi is free and bicycles are available to rent.
The spacious rooms have a private bathroom, TV, fridge, safe, wardrobe, and other items to make your stay comfortable. Inter-connected rooms are ideal for families.
Top Things to Do in Mitte
- Strike a pose in front of the formidable Brandenberg Gate, one of Berlin’s iconic sights.
- See the Reichstag, Hitler’s former centre of power, and take a tour of the German parliament building.
- Admire the fine architectural details of Berlin Cathedral. Built in the 1800s the magnificent building contains royal tombs and a dome that offers awesome city views.
- Learn more about local life in the times before Germany was reunited at the DDR Museum.
- Marvel at ancient art at the Pergamon Museum.
- Pay your respects at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, an austere site with numerous stone pillars and an underground exhibition.
- Step back in time with a trip to Berlin’s grisly past at the Berlin Dungeon.
- Shop till you drop along the vibrant Friedrichstrasse and discover charming boutiques at Hackescher Markt.
- Take a relaxing cruise along the river.
Located in what was previously East Berlin, Friedrichshain is an edgy neighbourhood with an alternative vibe. Thanks to the happening nightlife scene, Friedrichshain is also where you’ll find a lot of Berlin’s party-centric accommodation.
It’s the best place to stay in Berlin for art lovers and creative souls and the definition of hipster, which means it’s up-and-coming and yet to be gentrified. It might not boast as many attractions as West Berlin, but that makes it one of the more affordable districts. This is a great place for anyone trying to save money in Berlin!
Best Airbnb in Friedrichshain: Flat in Friedrichshain with Private Balcony
Suitable for up to four guests, this modern apartment has a bedroom with a king-sized bed and a sofa bed and floor mattress in the cosy living room.
There’s a kitchen and a bathroom and you can dine al fresco on the compact but charming balcony. It has everything you need to feel at home, including a washing machine, TV, and free Wi-Fi.
Best Hostel in Friedrichshain: Kiez Hostel
Kiez Hostel has a stellar rating for a reason – it’s a STELLAR hostel! Located in a great part of Friedrichshain, Kiev Hostel offers tons of value to its guests, as they have created a comfortable, and cozy vibe.
Best Hotel in Friedrichshain: Hotel Kiez Pension Berlin
Hotel Kiez Pension Berlin is a popular hotel in Friedrichshain, offering stylish double and twin rooms. All rooms are en-suite and have a TV, a hairdryer, and free Wi-Fi. There’s an onsite bar and reception is staffed around the clock.
Top Things to Do in Friedrichshain
- Walk along the East Side Gallery, a section of the notorious Berlin Wall that has been painted with various social messages and thought-provoking images by a team of international artists.
- Feast on diverse cuisine along Simon-Dach-Strasse.
- Visit the Wall Museum to learn more about local history.
- Appreciate art and photography at Urban Spree.
- Go on a trip down memory lane at the Computer Games Museum.
- Hunt for quirky souvenirs, vintage finds, and collectables at the weekly flea market of RAW Flohmarkt. You’ll also find an enticing selection of food.
- Visit a former prison at Berlin Hohenschönhausen Memorial and step into the previous headquarters of the secret police at the Stasi Museum.
- Challenge yourself and pit your wits against the escape rooms of Hipster Escape Party, Make a Break, and Trap.
Kreuzberg is a lively part of Berlin with a vibrant nightlife, and plenty of cool bars and nightclubs that stay open til the wee hours of the morning (if they close at all). This is the best area to stay if you want to experience one of the best party cities in Europe.
That said, Kreuzberg isn’t just known for its nightlife, and there is plenty to enjoy during the day too.
From historic attractions, cultural hotspots, and diverse museums, to pretty parks, fantastic eateries, and awesome street art, there’s never a dull moment in Kreuzberg.
It’s located south of Berlin Mitte and is one of the smaller districts. In recent years, it’s become a centre for artists and the Turkish community.
Best Airbnb in Kreuzberg: Bright apartment in Kreuzberg’s best area
This bright and airy studio apartment is my pick for the best place to stay in Berlin for a couple. The compact kitchen has all the essentials, including a dishwasher. It’s a super cozy place, with industrial design. The open stone walls and vintage furniture make this loft super edgy and welcoming – it’s like bringing the Berlin city vibe right into your living room. Note that you have to climb up quite a few steps to get to the massive bed.
Best Hostel in Kreuzberg: East Side Gallery
This hostel is WOW. Located just over the river from Kreuzberg, East Side Gallery is a hostel that’s got it going on. Well decorated, good vibes, an on-site restaurant, breakfast buffet and free towels make this hostel a must stay if you want to be in Kreuzberg.
Best Hotel in Kreuzberg: Hotel the Yard
The modern rooms at Hotel the Yard feature quality furnishings and look over an inner courtyard. Each room is en-suite and has a flat-screen TV, telephone, Wi-Fi access, a safety deposit box, and ample storage space.
There’s a lift in the hotel, saving your legs from tackling stairs after a day of sightseeing in Berlin.
Top Things to Do in Kreuzberg
- Stand at the spot of one of Europe’s (if not the world’s) most notorious border crossings from times gone by: Checkpoint Charlie. Pose for pictures with people dressed up like soldiers from times gone by.
- Spend sunny days chilling out in the lovely Görlitzer Park, complete with a small petting zoo, a glow-in-the-dark mini golf course, BBQs, a lake, and play areas.
- Check out the fancy restaurants along Bergmannstrasse.
- Take kids to Spectrum Science Centre.
- See the Soviet War Memorial.
- Poke around in the vintage stores and quirky shops of Oranienstrasse.
- Admire interesting artwork at the Berlin Gallery.
- Learn more about Berlin’s tumultuous history at the Topography of Terror, the Jewish Museum, and the Berlin Story Bunker.
- Dance the night away to techno beats in one of the many clubs.
- Have a laid-back night out in one of the bars along Kottbusser Tor Ubahn.
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To be honest, Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, and even Neukölln could take this slot too! Berlin is just too cool in general.
That said, hip and happening Prenzlauer Berg is rated the coolest place to stay in Berlin for all walks of life. A former bohemian hangout, it is now home to people from all spectrums of society, with flashes of the past combined with the marks of gentrification and hipster influences.
Spend your Sunday’s roaming around one of Berlin’s largest flea markets on Mauernpark or visit the other neighbouring districts for even more art galleries, cosy cafes and other hidden gems. Since Prenzlauer Berg is located just West of Berlin Mitte, you’ve got great access to the city centre as well.
Best Airbnb in Prenzlauer Berg: Chic Apartment in Prenzlauer Berg
Not the biggest space, but that doesn’t make this Airbnb less valuable. In a top loctation, the home is the ideal spot for young hipsters that want to explore the cool neighborhood. The flat is fully equipped and super bright, thanks to the massive windows. You’ve go a great kitchen with a washing machine as well. On top of that, you’ll have one of the best hosts in Berlin – reach out if you need any recommendations on what to see!
Best Hostel in Prenzlauer Berg: EastSeven Berlin
Not just a place to sleep, EastSeven Berlin has heaps of amenities and facilities to really make you feel at home. Clean and friendly, the hostel has self-catering facilities, a relaxing common room, and a café.
Other perks include laundry facilities, luggage storage, free Wi-Fi, bike rentals, and hairdryers. There are lockers in the dorms and beds have individual power outlets and reading lights.
Best Hotel in Prenzlauer Berg: Myer’s Hotel Berlin
Housed in a historic building, this boutique hotel is a pleasant base from which to explore the best of Berlin. Fine woodwork, interesting artwork, and high ceilings add to the air of sophistication and the hotel has a lobby bar, conservatory, free-to-use spa area, and tea room.
Rooms are en-suite and all come with a minibar, separate seating area, TV, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer, and phone. Laundry services and bike rentals are available and a filling breakfast is included in the price.
Top Things to Do in Prenzlauer Berg
- Experience the energy of Mauer Park and indulge in some top-notch people-watching. The green spaces are filled with food stalls, BBQs, and street performers, and there’s a big open-air flea market every Sunday. Don’t miss the large wall of graffiti too.
- Sip an ice-cold beer in Prater Garten, one of the oldest beer gardens in Berlin.
- Dive into urban culture at Kulturbrauerei.
- Wander around the Sunday food market of Kollowitzplatz.
- Pick up unusual gifts and souvenirs in the offbeat stores along Sredzkistrasse and Oderbergerstrasse.
- Stroll around and admire the elegant old buildings that survived the effects of WWII.
- See the sombre Berlin Wall Memorial.
- Walk through Kollwitzplatz.
One of the best neighbourhoods in Berlin for families, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf was once its own independent town. It’s known for the massive park around the Charlottenburg Palace, as well as a slightly wealthier community. This makes this neighbourhood one of the safest in Berlin.
It might be a fancier part of the city, but it has several family-friendly attractions and activities as well as things that will apply to broader groups of travellers. You can visit the famous Berlin Zoo, stroll through the palace or hop on the tram for fast access to all other Berlin neighbourhoods.
Best Airbnb in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf: Massive Designer Apartment
Sleeping up to five people, this cosy studio apartment offers enough space for you and your family. The bedroom has three sleeping options while the living room has a super comfy sofa bed which can accommodate another 2 guests. The apartment is sparkling clean and super bright with a very homely and welcoming vibe. You can cook up some home comforts in the kitchen, unwind in front of the TV, and surf the free Wi-Fi.
Best Hostel in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf: Meininger Berlin Tiergarten
Meininger is one of Berlin’s famous hostel chains – and they’re famous for good reason! Enjoy a pretty fancy stay for a very affordable nightly rate. It’s a super modern space with loads of common areas to meet new people. Groups and families can choose from different private rooms that all come with a TV and en-suite bathroom.
Best Hotel in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf: Best Western Plus Amedia Berlin Kurfürstendamm
Located right on the stretching shopping street of Kürfürstendamm, this hotel has single, double, triple, and quadruple rooms. All rooms have a private bathroom, TV, and Wi-Fi, and you have the choice as to whether to include breakfast.
Paid parking, a restaurant, 24-hour reception, bike rentals, an elevator, and a business centre add to the convenience.
Top Things to Do in Charlottenburg-Wilsmersdorf
- Observe an array of interesting creatures at Berlin Zoo.
- Buy tickets for a stunning performance at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
- Learn more about the area’s history and culture at the child-friendly Museum Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
- Browse and buy along the well-known Kurfürstendamm shopping street.
- Snap a picture of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
- Visit the Memorial to the German Resistance.
- Descend into an old underground bunker to learn more about Berlin’s history at the Story of Berlin.
- Gaze in interest at the architectural beauty that is Ludwig Erhard Haus.
- Spend time exploring Tiergarten, the oldest public park in Berlin.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Berlin
Here’s what people usually ask about the areas of Berlin and where to stay.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Berlin
Anyone who loves art, culture, and history will love Berlin. With a dark and turbulent past, the pendulum has swung and Berlin is now the epitome of cool and progressive.
There is so much to do and see in Berlin; plus, Berlin’s techno and warehouse nightclub culture house arguably the best nightlife in Europe, if not the world!
But Berlin is huge and the city layout is complicated. It can be difficult deciding where to stay in Berlin with so many options!
When in doubt, Mitte is the best place to stay in Berlin for anyone who wants to stay central to the museums and main attractions, while Kreuzberg is the best neighbourhood for hipsters and night owls.
We hope this guide for where to stay in Berlin was helpful. Let us know in the comments if we missed anything!
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
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