Berlin, oh Berlin!

Let me tell you, this city is the epitome of unpretentious coolness. It’s a place where acceptance and openness reign supreme, and you can’t help but feel a warm welcome as soon as you step foot in this vibrant metropolis. Once a city overshadowed by its war-torn past, Berlin has emerged as a hub of art, tolerance, and progress.

I must admit, Berlin holds a special place in my heart and easily ranks as one of my favorite cities worldwide. The people here are refreshingly open-minded, the art scene is awe-inspiring, the culture is rich, and the music scene is nothing short of legendary.

But here’s the thing: Berlin is huge. I’m talking about being roughly five times larger than the geographical size of Paris. And let me tell you, its layout can be a bit complicated to navigate. So, figuring out where to stay in Berlin is no walk in the park. The city is divided into multiple “mini-centers,” each with its distinctive vibe and unique districts scattered throughout.

But..I got your back (as always..). I have crafted this insider guide to help you find the perfect place to answer everything about where to stay in Berlin during your adventure. Whether you’re seeking a bohemian hideaway, a bustling cultural hub, or a trendy neighborhood bursting with creativity, I’ve got you covered. So sit back, relax, and find that ideal spot to immerse yourself in the wonders of Berlin.

“Ick bin bereit”

“Currywurst, baby”

Let’s go.

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Where is the Best Place to Stay in Berlin?

Looking for the best place to stay in Berlin? Or are you embarking on an even bigger journey across Germany? Anyway, I’ve rated the top three picks for accommodation in Berlin below!

Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz | Best Hotel in Berlin

Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz, Berlin
My pick for the best hotel in Berlin

This centrally located boutique hotel has a comfy and colorful lounge area where you can relax and mingle, a business center and meeting facilities, an elevator, ticketing services, a fitness center, 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. The modern rooms are filled with light.

Grand Hostel Berlin | Best Hostel in Berlin

Pub crawls and good times at the Grand Hostel Berlin
My pick for the best hostel in Berlin

The best overall hostel in Berlin, perfect for mission-driven backpackers seeking a clean and social atmosphere. This award-winning hostel in Berlin Mitte offers historical charm with high ceilings and original furnishings. Enjoy pub crawls, free tours, on-site bicycle rentals, and a vibrant library bar. With dorms starting at €16, private rooms available, and a range of amenities, the Grand Hostel should be worth to consider.

If the Grand Hostel isn’t available, then there are plenty more great hostels in Berlin worth checking out!

Unique Tiny Garden Townhouse | Best Airbnb in Berlin

BerlinCityHouse Unique Tiny Garden Townhouse Berlin
My pick for the best Airbnb in Berlin

Not the biggest space, but that doesn’t make this Airbnb less valuable. In a top location, this tiny home is the ideal spot for young hipsters that want to explore the cool neighborhood. The newly renovated 19th-century house has a small garden ideal for relaxing in after a busy day exploring the city.

Berlin Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Berlin

FIRST TIME IN GERMANY
berlin mitte aerial view
FIRST TIME IN GERMANY

Mitte

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.

ON A BUDGET
Friedrichshain, Berlin
ON A BUDGET

Friedrichshain

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.

NIGHTLIFE
Kreuzberg, Berlin
NIGHTLIFE

Kreuzberg

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.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Prenzlauer Berg

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.

FOR FAMILIES
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, berlin
FOR FAMILIES

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

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 neighborhoods. 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, boutique shops 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.

Pankow’s Prenzlauer Berg has a hip and youthful vibe, with many health-food shops, cool bars, art galleries, boutique shops, 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 neighborhoods in this amazing city.

Kreuzberg and neighboring 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 multicultural 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.

Berlin’s Five Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

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 neighborhoods to stay in when you visit Berlin below.

1. Mitte – Where to Stay in Berlin for First-Timers

One of the most important neighborhoods of the former East Berlin, Mitte is home to many of Berlin’s “must-see” tourist attractions, so if you’re searching what to visit in Berlin for sightseeing, this is the neighborhood for where to stay in Berlin for the first time.

Ariel view of Berlin Mitte
If you don’t know where to go, Berlin Mitte is a good start

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 traveling around the area, and great leisure activities make Mitte my pick for the best Berlin neighborhood for first-time visitors, who want to be close to the museums and attractions.

Melia Berlin | 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. Landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate are only 1km away. 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.

Circus Hostel | 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. With the U Bahn station close by, it’s ideally located for exploring the city.

Super Cute Studio in Great Location | 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 to 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.

Top Things to See and Do in Mitte

Front view of the Reichstag in Berlin
The Reichstag is one of the most famous buildings in Berlin
  1. Strike a pose in front of the formidable Brandenberg Gate, one of Berlin’s iconic sights.
  2. See the Reichstag, Hitler’s former center of power before and during World War II, and take a tour of the German parliament building.
  3. 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.
  4. Learn more about local life in the times before Germany was reunited at the DDR Museum.
  5. Marvel at ancient art at the Pergamon Museum.
  6. Pay your respects at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, an austere site with numerous stone pillars and an underground exhibition.
  7. Step back in time with a trip to Berlin’s grisly past at the Berlin Dungeon.
  8. Shop till you drop along the vibrant Friedrichstrasse and discover charming boutique shops at Hackescher Markt.
  9. Take a relaxing cruise along the river.
  10. Don’t forget the Brandenburg Gate
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2. Friedrichshain – Where to Stay in Berlin on a Budget

Located in what was previously East Berlin, Friedrichshain is an edgy neighborhood with an alternative vibe. Perfect for budget travelers and thanks to the happening nightlife scene, Friedrichshain is also where you’ll find a lot of Berlin’s party-centric accommodation.

Alternative artsy house in Friedrichshain, Berlin
Where vibrant creativity meets bohemian charm in the heart of Berlin

It’s the best place to stay in Berlin for art lovers and creative souls and the definition of a hipster thanks to the incredible street art, 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!

Hotel Kiez Pension Berlin | 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. With roughly 50-60 $ / night and person one of the better budget hotels.

Johann’s Apartment in the center of Berlin | Best Airbnb in Friedrichshain

Johann's Apartment in the center of Berlin

Located in Friedrichshain, this ground-floor apartment offers direct access to Schreinerstraße (Metro train). With wooden furniture and plants, it provides a cozy atmosphere. The spacious layout includes a large double bed and a comfortable sofa bed. Nearby, guests can find restaurants and supermarkets. A great choice for a comfortable stay in Berlin’s trendy district.

Kiez Hostel | 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, Kiez Hostel offers tons of value to its guests, as they have created a comfortable, and cozy vibe.

Top Things to See and Do in Friedrichshain

Friedrichshain ttd Berlin
  1. 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.
  2. Feast on diverse cuisine along Simon-Dach-Strasse.
  3. Visit the Wall Museum to learn more about local history.
  4. Appreciate art and photography at Urban Spree.
  5. Go on a trip down memory lane at the Computer Games Museum.
  6. Hunt for quirky souvenirs, vintage finds, and collectibles at the weekly flea market of RAW Flohmarkt. You’ll also find an enticing selection of food.
  7. Visit a former prison at Berlin Hohenschönhausen Memorial and step into the previous headquarters of the secret police at the Stasi Museum.
  8. Challenge yourself and pit your wits against the escape rooms of Hipster Escape Party, Make a Break, and Trap.

3. Kreuzberg – Where to Stay in Berlin for Nightlife

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, there is plenty to enjoy during the day too.

Kreuzberg, Berlin
With endless bars and clubs, Kreuzberg is a paradise for nightlife

From historical attractions, cultural hotspots, and diverse world-class museums, to pretty parks, fantastic eateries, and awesome street art, there’s never a dull moment in Kreuzberg.

It’s located south of Mitte and is one of the smaller districts. In recent years, it’s become a center for artists and the Turkish community.

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, a breakfast buffet, and free towels make this hostel a must-stay if you want to be in Kreuzberg.

Hotel the Yard | 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.

Bright apartment in Kreuzberg’s best area | Best Airbnb in Kreuzberg

Bright apartment in Kreuzbergs 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.

Top Things to See and Do in Kreuzberg

Flutgraben in Kreuzberg, B
A melting pot of cultures, street art, and vibrant nightlife
  1. Stand at the spot of one of Europe’s (if not the world’s) most notorious border crossings from times gone by: Checkpoint Charlie (Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin). Pose for pictures with people dressed up like soldiers from times gone by.
  2. 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.
  3. Check out the fancy restaurants along Bergmannstrasse.
  4. Take kids to Spectrum Science Centre.
  5. See the Soviet War Memorial.
  6. Poke around in the vintage stores and quirky shops of Oranienstrasse.
  7. Admire interesting artwork at the Berlin Gallery.
  8. Learn more about Berlin’s tumultuous history at the Topography of Terror, the Jewish Museum, and the Berlin Story Bunker.
  9. Dance the night away to techno beats in one of the many clubs.
  10. Have a laid-back night out in one of the bars along Kottbusser Tor Ubahn.
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4. Prenzlauer Berg – Coolest Neighborhood in Berlin

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.

"Skyline" view of Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
Prenzlauer Berg is super hip and super cool!

Spend your Sundays roaming around one of Berlin’s largest flea markets on Mauernpark, or visit the other neighboring districts for even more art galleries, cozy cafes, and other hidden gems. Since Prenzlauer Berg is located just northeast of Berlin Mitte, you’ve got great access to the city center as well.

And whether you’re looking for a cozy dorm room, a charming B&B, or a secluded private apartment, you’re garanteed to have a perfect stay here!

Myer’s Hotel Berlin | Best Hotel in Prenzlauer Berg

Myers 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. One of the best luxury hotels in Berlin with a unique design.

Pfefferbett Hostel | Best Hostel in Prenzlauer Berg

One of the best digital nomad Hostels in Berlin - Pfefferbett

Located in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg, Pfefferbett Hostel offers a unique experience in a former brewery. With great internet and workspace, it’s perfect for digital nomads.

The hostel boasts mid-nineteenth century architecture, gardens, and an open fireplace. Enjoy the cool design, daily bike rentals, and a free city tour.

Previous guests rave about the comfy beds and the bright, homely atmosphere. Conveniently explore Berlin with bike rentals and excellent travel connections.

Unique Tiny Garden Townhouse | Best Airbnb in Prenzlauer Berg

BerlinCityHouse Unique Tiny Garden Townhouse Berlin

Not the biggest space, but that doesn’t make this Airbnb less valuable. In a top location, this tiny home is the ideal spot for young hipsters that want to explore the cool neighborhood. The newly renovated 19th-century house has a small garden ideal for relaxing in after a busy day exploring the city.

Top Things to See and Do in Prenzlauer Berg

One of the flea markets of Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
The open-air flea market in Mauer Park is a must
  1. 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.
  2. Sip an ice-cold beer in Prater Garten, one of the oldest beer gardens in Berlin.
  3. Dive into the urban culture at Kulturbrauerei.
  4. Wander around the Sunday food market of Kollowitzplatz.
  5. Pick up unusual gifts and souvenirs in the offbeat stores along Sredzkistrasse and Oderbergerstrasse.
  6. Stroll around and admire the elegant old buildings that survived the effects of WWII.
  7. See the sombre Berlin Wall Memorial.
  8. Walk through Kollwitzplatz.

5. Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf – Where to Stay in Berlin for Families

One of the best neighborhoods in Berlin for families. Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf situated in (formerly) West Berlin, 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 neighborhood one of the safest in Berlin.

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, berlin
Families will love the sights of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

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 travelers. You can stroll through the palace or hop on the tram for fast access to all other Berlin neighborhoods.

Best Western Plus Amedia Berlin Kurfürstendamm | Best Hotel in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

Best Western Plus Amedia Berlin Kurfurstendamm

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.

Meininger Berlin Tiergarten | 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. A perfect choice when visiting Berlin!

Massive Designer Apartment | Best Airbnb in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

Massive Designer Apartment

Sleeping up to five people, this cozy 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.

Top Things to See and Do in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

Charlottenburg: A fusion of sophistication and tranquility, with lush parks, upscale boutiques, and iconic landmarks
  1. Buy tickets for a stunning performance at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
  2. Learn more about the area’s history and culture at the child-friendly Museum Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
  3. Visiting during Christmas? Charlottenburg boasts one of the most popular Christmas markets in Berlin.
  4. Browse and buy along the well-known Kurfürstendamm shopping street.
  5. Snap a picture of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
  6. Visit the Memorial to the German Resistance.
  7. Descend into an old underground bunker to learn more about Berlin’s history at the Story of Berlin.
  8. Gaze in interest at the architectural beauty that is Ludwig Erhard Haus.
  9. Spend time exploring Tiergarten, the oldest public park in Berlin.
  10. Tip: not quite in the neighborhood, but situated between Charlottenburg and Berlin Mitte. The Berlin Zoo is a must-see.
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FAQs about Finding a Place to Stay in Berlin

Here’s what people usually ask about the areas of Berlin and where to stay.

What To Pack For Berlin

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

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Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
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Sea To Summit Micro Towel

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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Berlin

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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 is 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 neighborhood for hipsters and night owls.

And as for my top accommodation picks? Pfefferbett Hostel is my favorite hostel. Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz is my top pick hotel, especially for families.

Looking for more info on travelling to Berlin and Germany?