Welcome to the world’s greatest 24-hour city. You can forget London, New York City and Paris; Berlin is a curious nocturnal creature all of its own. A city steeped in history, Berlin wears its battle scars with humility and grace.
At the cutting edge of everything – music, food, architecture and more, Berlin is a city that spawns subcultures and new cult movements. From the intensity of the dance floors to the serenity of Tiergarten Park, Berlin has something to suit your every mood.
Away from the tourist hotspots of Mitte and Kreuzberg, Berlin has a whole other personality to explore. The beauty of Berlin is that nestled within what appear to be purely residential neighborhoods, are some of the city’s best-kept secrets – from cafes to classic architecture, from new underground music venues to fashion designers waiting for their big break.
As an ever-evolving, truly versatile city, Berlin has a neighborhood for every kind of traveler, from the budget backpacker all the way up to the 5-star suites. Let’s take a look at where to stay in Berlin so you can start crafting your Berlin bucket list and discover a neighborhood to be your home away from home.
Mitte is the bustling heart of Berlin. Home to the most popular tourist attractions and facilities if you are a whistle-stop traveler – or not feeling all that adventurous this time around – Mitte is the neighborhood for you.
Mitte perfectly captures the essence of Berlin. Despite its tourist-orientated nature nowadays, Mitte still features the cultural collective feeling that put this city on the map. Within this neighborhood you will find heritage sites such as the Berlin Palace and museums like the Natural History Museum.
Many travelers come to Berlin specifically to visit the Berlin Wall Memorial. You will find the Memorial Park and Cemetery to the north-east of the neighborhood. This iconic Cold War landmark once served as a barrier between East Germany and West Berlin.
For a moment of calm, visitors staying in Mitte often head to Monbijou Park: an inner city oasis with a swimming pool and playground for children.
Good For: Whistle Stop Travelers, Culture Vultures, Budding Historians, First Time Travelers, Backpackers, Couples: All Kinds of Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Monbijou Park, Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum de Charité, Natural History Museum, Pergamon Museum, German Historical Museum, Berlin Dungeon, Altes Museum, Reichstag Building
- Mikon Eastgate Hotel – The rooftop terrace and amazing city views make Mikon Eastgate Hotel a real winner. Rooms are simple, but comfortable and cozy. Most importantly, they are warm in winter. Guests have a complimentary buffet breakfast included in their room rate and free WiFi. One-minute walk from Natural History Museum.
- CLUB Lodges – An ultra-modern concept in the heart of Mitte, CLUB Lodges are affordable and cozy – ideal for travelers who want basic accommodation without staying in a hostel. Features private ‘lodge’ bedroom and shared bathrooms. Free WiFi is available in public areas. Guest can use the high ropes course, volleyball court and climbing wall.
- Ibis Hotel – Set in the middle of Mitte, Ibis hotel is open 24-hours, as is the bar and bistro. All rooms have air-conditioning and heating as well as ensuite bathrooms and free WiFi. Breakfast is an additional cost but the hotel is close to some great local breakfast spots.
Kreuzberg is another of Berlin’s central neighborhoods that has strong touristic appeal. Kreuzberg has a wealth of historical gems to explore, but perhaps the most iconic of all is Checkpoint Charlie. This is the nickname given to the most famous Berlin Wall crossing. To this day, Checkpoint Charlie is a symbol of the Cold War years and Berlin’s separation.
Urbanites will be excited to explore the graffiti and street art smattered around Kreuzberg, and all of Berlin, to be fair. There are works from new, up and coming street artists, and more renowned artists like El Boho and Victor Ash.
The Turkish Market is a super cool place to visit in Kreuzberg, and is one of the largest of its kind in Western Europe. Feast on traditional Turkish delight, stock up on exotic teas, and perhaps even treat yourself to some gems and jewels. Haggling is acceptable and practically encouraged.
Good For: Art Enthusiasts, Backpackers, Budding Historians, Culture Vultures, Whistle Stop Travelers, Shopaholics: All Kinds of Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Checkpoint Charlie, Turkish Market, East Side Gallery, The Jewish Museum Berlin, Berlinische Galerie, State Park, St Agnes, Topography of Terror, Martin-Gropius-Bau, German Spy Museum Berlin, German Currywurst Museum Berlin
- REWARI Hotel – With quiet and cozy rooms that each have private ensuite bathrooms, breakfast is included in the room rate, as is WiFi. The rooms are affordable and basic. REWARI hotel is ideal for travelers who want to get out, explore, and crash at the end of the day. Close to public transport hubs.
- Three Little Pigs Hostel – Private doubles are available with private ensuites, as well as dorms with shared bathrooms. This hostel is modern, sociable and fun. The spaces are clean and spacious, and feature a pool table, common room and outdoor terrace. The hostel bar hosts nightly events and drinks deals.
- Grand Hostel Berlin Classic – This is a modern hostel with private rooms available as well as dorms, and shared bathrooms for all. Set in a beautiful 19th-century building in the heart of Kreuzberg, breakfast is not included, but for $10 you can enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet. There is a bar onsite and free WiFi throughout.
Bergmannkiez is probably one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in all of Berlin. Did you know that ‘kiez’ means ‘neighborhood’ in German? This is an area ideal for travelers who want tick off all of Berlin’s must-visit tourist sights and landmarks, while having the option to retreat and take it slow.
The cobbled streets of Bergmannkiez may remind you of Paris, or even a rural English village, but you are very much in Berlin. This is confirmed by the weird and wonderful sculptures and street art that pop up in the most peculiar of places.
Shopaholics will be delighted to learn about Marheinekeplatz Flea Market. Every Sunday Bergmannkiez market square comes alive, with hundreds of stalls selling all sorts of quirky keepsakes.
Viktoriapark is a must visit and is easily one of the most photogenic landscapes in Berlin. Many backpackers and young locals head to Viktoriapark for a beer at sunset.
Good For: Art Lovers, Backpackers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Like a Local Travelers, Relaxed Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Marheinekeplatz Flea Market, Viktoriapark, Quirky Street Art, Boutique Shops (lots of bookshops), Passionskirche, Friesenstraße, Mehringhof Theatre, Junction Bar
- Hotel Sarotti-Höfe – Set in a former chocolate factory, Hotel Sarotti-Höfe features a quiet, inner-facing courtyard. All rooms have a flat-screen TV and seating area. Some premium rooms have a private terrace and coffee machine. The hotel has its own trendy cafe serving up an amazing breakfast each morning.
- Hotel Transit – Three-minutes from Bergmannkiez main street, the Hotel Transit’s rooms are bright and spacious, all equipped with proper duvets and towels. Ideal for families or groups of friends, private triple and quadruple rooms are available. A good breakfast is included in the room rate as well as free WiFi. Staff are always keen to help.
- Traumberg Flats – These self-catering apartments in the heart of Bergmannkiez are modern and minimalist – the premium apartments all have a fully equipped kitchen and private bathroom. All apartments have central heating. Just a five-minute walk to Viktoriapark and the neighborhood’s hottest bars. Airport shuttle is available on request.
In many guidebooks, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg are bundled together as one neighborhood, with Bergmannkiez getting a passing comment. In reality, all three are distinct neighborhoods with personalities of their own – as such, deserving of individualized attention.
A little more artsy and indie than Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain could be described as the grungy young brother. Tourists who stay in Friedrichshain often fall for its urban charms and incredible artistic setup. Urban Spree is a phenomenal art space-come-event space that regularly exhibits some of Berlin’s hottest talent. East Side Gallery is a preserved section of the Berlin Wall that is now a free-for-all graffiti canvas.
In terms of nightlife, this is where Friedrichshain really comes into its own. Any self-respecting dance music fan will have heard of Berghain – the world’s greatest techno club. If you have the stamina, get queueing early and party well into tomorrow.
Good For: Art Enthusiasts, Backpackers, Culture Vultures, Party Animals, Young Travelers, Groups of Friends, Young Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Oberbaum Bridge, Urban Spree, East Side Gallery, RAW-Gelände, Postbahnhof, SO 36, The Wall Museum, Computer Game Museum, Volkspark Friedrichshain, Graffiti CORNER, YAAM Night Club, Märkisches Museum
- U inn Berlin Hostel – This classic Berlin hostel has a great selection of private rooms and communal dorms. Guests have access to free security lockers, a fully equipped kitchen, and lounge room complete with books and DVDs. Open 24-hours and no curfew or lockout, there is a social and respectful atmosphere, and a guaranteed good night’s sleep for all.
- Kiez Hostel Berlin – Kiez is a modern and minimalist hostel in the heart of Friedrichshain with a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Private double rooms are available complete with tea and coffee maker and sofa, some even have a hammock. Ideal for party animals, it is open 24-hours with no curfew. Despite the party crowd, it’s quiet during the night.
- Sunflower Hostel Berlin – This popular hostel in central Friedrichshain offers communal dorms and a range of affordable private rooms too. Guests have access to the hostel’s laundry facilities, community kitchen and lounge area. All guest are welcome to join the free city tour and make use of the free WiFi.
For travelers looking for a more relaxed place to stay in central Berlin, Tiergarten may be just the place. Away from the pumping nightclubs and bustling bars is the tranquil Tiergarten neighborhood, with tree-lined streets and quaint coffee shops. A neighborhood perhaps suited to the more esteemed traveler who takes new experiences in their stride and enjoys a little sit down after all the excitement.
As you would expect, the highlight of the Tiergarten neighborhood is Tiergarten Park itself. Spanning over 210-hectares, it is possible to forget you are strolling in the heart of one of Europe’s most densely populated cities.
More family friendly than grungy Friedrichshain, Tiergarten is home to Zoo Berlin and Aquarium Berlin. Other iconic landmarks in Tiergarten include Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz. To the eastern edge of Tiergarten Park lies the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – one of the most moving monuments in Berlin.
Good For: Budding Historians, Culture Vultures, Nature Lovers, Families, Older Travelers, Slower Paced Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Brandenburg Gate, Tiergarten Park, Bauhaus Archive, Zoo Berlin, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Schwules Museum, Pariser Platz, Bellevue Palace
- Sheraton Berlin Grand Hotel Esplanade – This smart and modern hotel features elegant design elements and outstanding service. Just 600-meters from the entrance to Tiergarten Park, all rooms offer panoramic views of Berlin’s cityscape, a flat screen TV, and minibar. The ensuite bathrooms are spacious and luxurious, featuring fluffy towels and complimentary toiletries. Excellent breakfast is included.
- Hotel Bristol Berlin – Chic and stylish Hotel Bristol Berlin is an up-market hotel in the center of Tiergarten on iconic Kurfürstendamm Boulevard. All rooms have air-conditioning and heating, much needed in winter. The rooms are spacious and offer unrivalled levels of comfort. There is a spa and wellness center on site.
- Hotel Savoy Berlin – Bright and boutique with a subtle sense of class, all rooms have a city view, either overlooking the Delphi Film Theatre or the hotel’s inner courtyard. Complimentary mineral water is offered on arrival. The breakfast is one of the best in Berlin and the coffee is divine.
Providing a home for hipster expats and a seemingly never-ending flurry of digital nomads, Neukölln is one of Berlin’s best indie neighborhoods. For travelers seeking a traditional city mini-break in Berlin, look elsewhere. But if you are seeking to scrape beneath the service and experience Berlin at its most gritty and raw, Neukölln is for you.
Awash with some of the most indie, alternative cafes and bars in the world, just take a moment to people watch in Neukölln. You’ll leave with a whole heap of new travel stories to tell. There are some really interesting people in Neukölln – some who have come to soak up the creative air, others who have turned this neighborhood into their home – the whole world.
Ideal for travelers who have been on the road long-term and want to get a sense of community back in their life. Mitte is just 40-minutes away on the metro, so you’re not too far from the action.
Good For: Art Lovers, Sub-Culture Vultures, Expats, Digital Nomads, Like a Like Travelers, Long Term Travelers, Off-the-Beaten-Track Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: State Park, Griessmühle Night Club, Pequod Bookstore, Bars on Weserstraße Street, Comenius Garden
- Mercure Hotel Berlin Tempelhof – Offering the same high standards travelers experience at every Mercure Hotel across the world, Mercure Berlin Tempelhof is a solid choice. The rooms are modern in design, incredibly comfortable, and feature a work desk and tea station. Guests are welcome to use the hotel’s spa facilities for free.
- Hotel Estrel Berlin – With contemporary design and ultra-cool lighting throughout the hotel, Hotel Estrel is a great option when staying in Neukölln. The rooms are spacious and subtle in their design. The beds are exceptionally comfortable and each room has a cozy seating area and city view.
- Hotel Britzer Tor – Ideal for unfussy travelers who are just seeking a place to shower and rest their head, Hotel Britzer has a great selection of rooms available, including six-person apartments complete with patio and kitchen area. The facilities are clean and modern, little luxuries like free toiletries are a plus.
One of Berlin’s more family friendly neighborhoods, Prenzlauer Berg is home to a great selection of parks and playgrounds. Thirty years ago, Prenzlauer Berg was as raw and unrefined as Neukölln. Now it is one of the most affluent and upmarket neighborhoods in Berlin.
This little cultural gem has a lot for you to explore. Mauerpark is a great starting point, followed by Alexanderplatz with its iconic tower. In keeping with the family friendly feel, MACHmit! Museum für Kinder is at the heart of the neighborhood and proves to be the highlight of the trip for many youngsters to Berlin. Prenzl Kasper Puppet Show for kids is a little bit of good, old fashioned fun for all the family.
For the adults, there is a myriad of swanky cocktail bars to enjoy in Prenzlauer Berg once the kids are tucked up in bed. Tomsky Bar is a rustic gem and Nightwalker Bar is well hidden but worth the search.
Good For: Families, Foodies, Culture Vultures, Whistle-Stop Travelers, City Slickers
Neighborhood Highlights: Mauerpark, Velodrom, MACHmit! Museum für Kinder, Brecht-Haus, Weißensee cemetery
- MEININGER Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz – Boutique and affordable, this hotel spans across seven floors. Guests are welcome to take advantage of the free walking tour of the city. Other free amenities include lockers, baggage room, guest kitchen and communal lounge. WiFi is free and unlimited. Spacious private rooms and cozy shared dorms are available.
- Generator Beline Prenzlaur Berg – This is a hostel and hotel with both private rooms and shared dormitories. The hotel has a bar and busy beer garden. Daily events are hosted by the staff and open to all guests. Rooms are colorful and clean, spacious and comfortable, and the staff are happy to help with travel arrangements.
- Hotel Pension Streuhof Berlin – Basic, homely and cozy, Hotel Pension is great for unfussy travelers seeking a place to crash at the end of the day. All rooms have a TV, an ensuite bathroom and towels. Family rooms are available and can sleep up to five people.
Set within the larger Mitte district is the historic neighborhood of Nikolaiviertel. Sitting right on the banks of the Spree, staying here gives you the ultimate culturally immersive experience. With the impressive Ephraim-Palais to the north, the magnificent Mühlendamm bridge in the center, and Märkisches Museum to the south west, there is a lot to keep you busy within these tiny streets.
For travelers who like to stay in more historical areas while travelling, or those who want to stay in the tourist heart of Berlin without the hustle and bustle, Nikolaiviertel is a great idea.
This is one of Berlin’s more affluent neighborhoods, and alas, accommodation around here isn’t all that backpacker friendly. If you enjoy the finer things in life, you will feel right at home in classy Nikolaiviertel.
The cafes and restaurants of Nikolaiviertel are some of the finest in Berlin. You could spend your whole stay cafe-hopping and totally gorge out.
Good For: Budding Historians, Culture Vultures, Foodies, Older Travelers, Couples, Luxury Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas’s Church), Ephraim-Palais, Knoblauchhaus, Mühlendamm bridge, Märkisches Museum
- Hotel Nikolai Residence – Chic and stylish in every way, the Nikolai Residence is an exclusive hotel in the heart of Nikolaiviertel. All rooms have all the amenities you could wish for, including hair dryer, flat screen TV and mini bar. St Nicholas’s Church is just 100-meters away. The staff are very accommodating and friendly.
- Hilton Berlin – Offering classic Hilton charm and class, guests are welcome to make use of the fitness center, indoor pool and steam room. All rooms come with mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities and flat-screen TV. The beautiful ensuite bathrooms feature bathtub with a shower attachment.
- ARCOTEL John F Berlin – One of the most esteemed boutique hotels in all of Berlin, ARCOTEL offers outright luxury and incredible attention to detail. The rooms are stylish and modern and the private ensuite bathrooms feature double sinks, complimentary toiletries and soft towels. A lavish breakfast buffet is served daily in the restaurant.