It’s not easy to talk about the capital of Germany, and it’s definitely very hard to give an answer to the question: what are the best places to stay in Berlin?
That being said, we have to at least try to tell the story of this magnificent and tormented city, enumerate and explain its most famous monuments, and point out some of its best restaurants and accommodations.
The Best Places to Stay in Berlin
Since the city is huge, a selection of five basic areas will not do the trick, but we’ll try to cover the must-visits anyway so that you experience the true beauty and glory of the capital of Germany.
Our top picks for the best places to stay in Berlin include:
- Mitte: The absolute center of the city is the perfect choice for first-time visitors and the place where you’ll find Berlin’s most famous monuments and buildings.
- Kreuzberg: Less than a mile away from Mitte, full of clubs and excitement, it is the perfect place for young people and those who are looking for vibrant nightlife.
- Charlottenburg: To the west of Mitte, Charlottenburg is an elegant and upscale neighborhood, full of beautiful buildings, fancy shops, and historical buildings.
- Friedrichshain: The cheapest area in our guide, perfect for younger people and budget travelers and the home of the famous Berghain club.
- Prenzlauer Berg: A versatile neighborhood located to the northeast of Mitte and a famous residential location for painters, musicians, actors, and poets.
Where to Stay in Berlin: Best Areas & Hotels
Berlin is a major European hub and the 11th most-visited city in Europe. It’s crowded with tourists, students, and young people in almost every part of the year. It’s no surprise then that almost every area offers a number of accommodations of all types and sizes.
Speaking plainly, you can find a budget or a cheaper mid-range option in every area on our list — from the centrally positioned Mitte to the western Charlotestburg and the northeastern Prenzlauer Berg.
But the devil’s in the details, and there are some things you have to remember.
Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg are the cheapest and favored by younger tourists, but Mitte and Charlottenburg are where you’ll find the fanciest five-star and four-star hotels. Prenzlauer Berg is somewhere in between, providing a pretty balanced offer.
1. Best Area for First-Time Visitors: Mitte
Berlin’s central area Mitte simply has a plethora of attractions that you just have to visit. There’s so much to see!
Starting from the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building to the huge and crowded public squares and the innumerable museums — Mitte is the definite urban, cultural, and historic center of Berlin.
With that in mind, consider this segment as a sketch and not as a fully complete picture, which is impossible to paint.
The Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe), and the Memorial of the Berlin Wall are probably the three most visited attractions in Berlin.
You simply can’t miss them, mostly because of their sheer size and magnitude.
Next come the public squares: Alexanderplatz, which is an experiment in socialist aesthetics, and looks a bit futuristic, and Potsdamer Platz, which is the symbol of Berlin’s renovation after World War II.
An attraction of a similar type is the legendary Unter den Linden, which is definitely the most famous street in Berlin.
If you’re a fan of museums, you should definitely start with Museum Island and its cluster of museums: the Neues Museum, the Altes Museum, the Pergamon Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, and the Bode-Museum.
All of them are worth visiting, but they’re just the beginning. Berlin is similar to Paris, London, or Madrid, as it is packed with museums of all types and sizes, and you’ll need at least a couple of weeks if you want to visit them all.
Mitte is very suitable for tourists, and that’s why it’s probably your best choice if you’ve arrived in Berlin for the first time.
There are all kinds of accommodation options here — from very cheap two-star hotels and hostels to some of the most luxurious, old, and expensive five-star hotels.
Mitte Budget Hotels
- Amstel House Hostel is a very cheap two-star hostel located in the center of Berlin. It doesn’t offer that much, but it provides free Wi-Fi throughout the premises, has a terrace and a bar, and offers a nice breakfast every morning.
- a&o Berlin Mitte is another centrally located, very cheap two-star hostel. It has private parking, offers free Wi-Fi, has a terrace and a bar on the premises, as well as a 24-hour front desk.
Mitte Mid-Range Hotels
- MEININGER Hotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof is a three-star hotel with a decent price that can be comfortably classified (according to the price but not the quality) as a budget option. The rooms are rather spacious. There’s also free Wi-Fi and a bar on the premises.
- Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz is a more upscale three-star hotel with a higher price that still belongs to the mid-range category. Neatly located in the very center of Berlin, it offers free Wi-Fi, a tasty breakfast, daily housekeeping, and a cool bar.
Mitte Luxury Hotels
- The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin is as good and as luxurious as it gets. A five-star mega upscale hotel it, offers an indoor swimming pool, an unforgettable decorated interior and exterior, large rooms, a restaurant, and a bar on the premises.
- Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is a legendary five-star hotel located just next to the Brandenburg gate. It has basically everything, from an indoor pool and a spa and wellness center to a restaurant and bar, as well as a superbly prepared breakfast.
2. Best Area for Nightlife: Kreuzberg
Less than a mile from Mitte but still in the general downtown area of Berlin lies the hip and alternative district called Kreuzberg.
You’ll meet and see mostly young people here since Kreuzberg is their prime residential neighborhood. In comparison to the sublime beauty of Mitte and its statues, Kreuzberg is more avant-garde and weird and is also one of the top nightlife locations in Berlin.
If you’re visiting Berlin because it is one of the party capitals of Europe, then staying in Kreuzberg would be a good idea.
There are an uncountable number of cafes, clubs, pubs, and bars where you can have a crazy night out. Here are some of the best, listed in no particular order:
Bars and clubs are an obvious choice during the night, but what can you do during the day? First, you can visit the most famous crossing point in history, Checkpoint Charlie (and the museum), which once provided transit between East and West Berlin.
Then there’s the Friedrichstraße, one of Berlin’s most beautiful and frequented strolling and commercial streets. Since Kreuzberg is still the general center of the city, it offers a lot of museums, just like Mitte.
However, they’re mostly about Germany’s Nazi past:
- Topography of Terror: on the location of the SS’s headquarters (and selected as the 2022 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best).
- Berlin Story Bunker: is all about Nazism and how Hitler came to power.
- Jewish Museum Berlin: one of the leading museums about Jewish history and culture in the world.
Kreuzberg is great for tourists and young people, mostly because of its vibe and rich nightlife but also because it offers a lot of affordable accommodations.
It’s not a budget area per se — it has a lot of luxurious and mid-range hotels too — but it’s quite suitable for younger people who want to spend their money on partying and not on hotels.
Kreuzberg Budget Hotels
- City Hotel Gotland is a decent two-star hotel located in an interesting 19th-century building. It has comfortable rooms equipped with private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and desks. It also offers an airport shuttle, free Wi-Fi, free parking, and breakfast.
- ibis Berlin Ostbahnhof is another cheap two-star hotel, located around a mile away from Alexanderplatz. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, private parking, family rooms, and a bar on the premises. It also has facilities for disabled people and prepares a nice breakfast.
Kreuzberg Mid-Range Hotels
- Schulz Hotel Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery is a new three-star hotel that opened quite recently, in 2018. Located near the East Side Gallery, it offers a bar and a terrace where you can sip a drink after a hard day of walking. It also has facilities for disabled people.
- Hampton By Hilton Berlin City East Side Gallery is another decent three-star hotel, but this time, part of the famous Hilton chain of hotels. Famous for its superb breakfast, it also offers free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning and a bar on the premises of the hotel.
Kreuzberg Luxury Hotels
- Orania.Berlin is both a luxurious five-star hotel and a historical artifact. Staying strong in the business for around 110 years, it has a great restaurant that offers an international and diverse kitchen, makes one hell of a breakfast, and has a nice fitness center on the premises.
- Precise Tale Berlin Potsdamer Platz is a four-star hotel located in one of the most favorite and multicultural parts of Berlin, and it’s a particularly suitable choice for couples. It offers a nice terrace, a garden, and a restaurant that serves tasty Mediterranean food with lots of vegan options.
3. Best Area for Families: Charlottenburg
Located to the west of the city center, Charlottenburg was once an independent city before being integrated into Berlin in the 1920s. Unlike the ultra-modern and hip Kreuzberg, this part of Berlin offers a slightly different and more classical picture.
Charlottenburg is a very safe, family-friendly, and very convenient area for spending your hard earned money since it is full of shops and boutiques, especially around the famous Kurfürstendamm shopping street.
Definitely the biggest attraction in this area, as well as one of the most beautiful buildings in Berlin, is the Schloss Charlottenburg (or the Charlottenburg Palace).
Built at the end of the 17th century and greatly enlarged and beautified in the 18th century, it’s a lasting monument to the intricate designs and flamboyance of the Baroque and Rococo movements in art and architecture.
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is the second most visited tourist attraction in this part of Berlin. Built at the end of the 19th century, it was badly damaged during World War II.
Today it serves both as a protestant church and as a lasting memorial to the horrors of war. If Berlin had its own Champ-Elysees, then Kurfürstendamm would be its name. We are talking about the most beautiful street in the city and the place where you can do most of your shopping.
Connecting important landmarks and buildings (like the Kaiser Church, the famous Café Kranzler, the Breitscheidplatz, etc.) and lined with trees, it’s really a pleasure to stroll its concrete.
There are many more things to see in Charlottenburg, like the Berlin ZOO and the numerous museums, as well as artistic institutions like opera houses and theaters — all of them are worth your time.
Charlottenburg has its special rich charm, and what’s more interesting is that the accommodations aren’t that expensive. You can find many cheap two-star hotels and numerous three-star options around the area.
Charlottenburg Budget Hotels
- B&B Hotel Berlin-Tiergarten is a very cheap two-star hotel that serves a nice breakfast every morning, and it’s located less than a mile from the Berlin ZOO. It also boasts free Wi-Fi, private parking, and facilities for disabled people.
- Hotel-Pension Cortina is another very cheap two-star hotel located in close proximity to the Berlin Zoo. Especially suitable for couples, it offers free Wi-Fi, nicely furnished family rooms, and a restaurant on the premises that serves Mediterranean food.
Charlottenburg Mid-Range Hotels
- Leonardo Hotel Berlin is a decent but not very expensive three-star hotel located between the Kurfürstendamm shopping street and Berlin’s Exhibition Centre. It offers on-site parking, free Wi-Fi, and a nice bar on the premises.
- Landmark am Kracauerplatz is a three-star hotel located just five minutes away from the Kurfürstendamm shopping street. It has a nice restaurant and a terrace on the premises of the hotel, and regular housekeeping.
Charlottenburg Luxury Hotels
- Hotel Zoo Berlin is a very luxurious five-star hotel located in a historic building that’s been a place of enjoyment and relaxation for many famous people — from Grace Kelly to Sophia Loren. It offers room service, a restaurant, and a bar on the premises.
- Waldorf Astoria Berlin is definitely the most elite and luxurious hotel in this part of Berlin, which offers everything and anything. It has an outdoor pool, a spa and wellness center, a restaurant and a bar on its pet-friendly premises.
4. Most Budget-Friendly Area: Friedrichshain
Let’s now turn our attention from West Berlin to the other side, to the area called Friedrichshain, which was historically an important East Berlin neighborhood.
Today, it is one of the coolest and most diverse places in Berlin and a real magnet for hipsters and young people from all around the world. When you think about contemporary Berlin, the picture of Friedrichshain definitely pops up in your mind’s eye.
It is quite similar in its offers to Kreuzberg — which it neighbors — but with one significant difference: Friedrichshain is definitely the most budget-friendly place in our guide and one of the cheapest districts in Berlin.
Aside from that, it is an attractive nightlife hub and the place where you’ll find some of the most popular clubs in the city, starting with the cult Berghain, one of the most famous nightclubs in the world.
Friedrichshain is not like Mitte or Charlottesburg, and it isn’t full of majestic old buildings and famous museums. But its gritty and rough exterior has a particular beauty of its own, which really makes it one of a kind.
The East Side Gallery is the most representative in that sense: a mile-long part of the Berlin wall, painted with amazing street art all along the way.
Concerning other things that are worth the visit, the offers are quite diverse: there’s the first gaming and computer museums in the world, Computerspielemuseum; the multifunctional Mercedes-Benz Arena Berlin; the Sunday flea market at Boxhagener Platz; and the relaxing Volkspark Friedrichshain.
In the spirit of Friedrichshain: do as you please! Plainly speaking, there aren’t any cheap accommodations anywhere near the center like the ones found in Friedrichshain.
The list of two-star hotels and hostels is very long, but also the mid-range and the luxurious options are quite cheap. You can book a pretty nice four-star hotel for a significantly lower sum. But, if you’re looking for real luxury, you had better turn to some other district.
Friedrichshain Budget Hotels
- a&o Berlin Friedrichshain is a very cheap two-star hostel that’s particularly suitable for young people who love making friends and parties. It offers free Wi-Fi and free parking but also has a bar on the premises and serves a tasty breakfast.
- Sunflower Hostel Berlin is another very cheap hostel suitable for younger people that offers either private or shared rooms, depending on your preferences. It has free Wi-Fi throughout the premises, on-site parking, a terrace, and a bar.
Friedrichshain Mid-Range Hotels
- Schulz Hotel Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery is another new three-star hotel that’s particularly suitable for younger people. There’s an on-site bakery offering fresh bagels, a bar, garden, a terrace, and a designated area for smoking.
- Nu Wave Hotel Berlin is a three-star hotel that’s, again, very attractive to younger people because it is relatively cheap and located in close proximity to a lot of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. It has a bar on the premises and offers a hell of a breakfast.
Friedrichshain Luxury Hotels
- Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof is a new and very stylish four-star hotel part of the famous and respectable Moxy Hotels chain. It offers free Wi-Fi, private parking, and a bar on the premises, but it also provides a nice city view, and it’s completely pet-friendly.
- Holiday Inn Berlin City East Side, an IHG Hotel is another great four-star hotel, this time part of the well-known Best Western chain of hotels. It has a fitness center, a bar, and a restaurant on the premises. It’s also pet-friendly and well-equipped for receiving people with disabilities.
5. Best Area to See Everything: Prenzlauer Berg
We’ve covered all sides of Berlin except the north, and that’s precisely where you’ll find the area called Prenzlauer Berg. Technically part of the former “East Berlin,” it is usually considered as one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city.
Prenzlauer Berg is more gritty and down-to-earth than the fancy Charlottenburg but not as rough as either Friedrichshain or Kreuzberg.
Basically, it is the perfect option if you prefer something in between. Also, it is quite close to Mitte, which you can reach rather quickly by public transport or on foot in twenty to thirty minutes.
Historically speaking, Prenzlauer Berg was one of the foremost counterculture areas of Berlin, friendly and welcoming towards LGBTQI people and bohemians, being the kernel of the peaceful revolution that brought down the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Today, it experiences express gentrification, becoming an elite and upscale area in its own right. But Prenzlauer Berg is still loyal to its history and full of street art.
Its avant-garde atmosphere makes it a place of residence for many artists, such as Rammstein’s lead singer Till Lindemann, actor Daniel Brühl, and writer Wladimir Kaminer.
Like everywhere in Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg has a lot of museums: Museum in der Kulturbrauerei shows what everyday life in East Germany looked like; Zeiss Grossplanetarium is an interesting planetarium; and Kindermuseum MACHmit! is perfect for children.
There’s also Berlin’s oldest water tower, called Wasserturm Prenzlauer Berg, and the KulturBrauerei — a perfect example of how Berlin’s architecture looked in the 19th century.
Finally, Kollwitzplatz is a beautiful park and historic site where you can relax and take a stroll.
Prenzlauer Berg is very welcoming to tourists, mainly because of two things: it offers some of the best restaurants in the whole of Berlin and has a lot of great budget and mid-range accommodation options. All in all, a well-balanced neighborhood close to the heart of the city.
Prenzlauer Berg Budget Hotels
- Generator Berlin Prenzlauer Berg is a very cheap one-star hostel that doesn’t offer much aside from its extremely cheap price and great location. It has free Wi-Fi and free parking, a nice garden and a pretty terrace.
- Pension Absolut Berlin is another very cheap-two star hotel but ranked on a significantly higher level and located in a beautiful 19th-century building. It offers free Wi-Fi and on-site parking, daily housekeeping, and shared kitchen facilities.
Prenzlauer Berg Mid-Range Hotels
- Pension Freiraum Guesthouse Berlin is a decent and not very expensive three-star hotel that offers rooms with private bathrooms and flat-screen TVs. It also has a nice garden on the premises, free Wi-Fi, private parking, and daily housekeeping.
- Hotel Sedes is another nice three-star hotel that comes at a really low price. It offers free parking and free Wi-Fi, a terrace and a bar on the premises, a fabulous breakfast every morning, and facilities for disabled people.
Prenzlauer Berg Luxury Hotels
- Hotel Oderberger is a great four-star hotel located in a very beautiful historical building. It offers — among other things —- an indoor pool, a terrace and a bar, very good breakfast is served every morning, and tea and coffee makers in every room.
- Holiday Inn Berlin City Center East Prenzlauer Berg, an IHG Hotel is another great four-star hotel, part of the famous Holiday Inn chain of hotels. It has private parking and free Wi-Fi, a fitness center on the premises, and free room service.
So, Where Should You Stay in Berlin?
Reaching the end of our guide, we have to give some kind of a summary, a clear picture of everything that was said. It’s practically impossible to explain and narrate Berlin in a couple of sentences, but let’s have a go at it:
|🏆Best for First-Time Visitors||Mitte|
|🎉 Best Area for Nightlife||Kreuzberg|
|👪 Best for Families||Charlottenburg|
|💰 Most Budget-Friendly||Friedrichshain|
|✅ Best Area to See Everything||Prenzlauer Berg|
As you can see, there’s technically no bad place to stay in Berlin. Each area offers something different and is rich in history and culture. So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!