In this post, I will help you to find Where to stay in Berlin for first-time and give you the list of the best areas to stay in Berlin for first-time tourists (with a video and map), best hotels in Berlin for all budgets (including the hotel where I stayed), and safest places.
Berlin was once the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg (part of the Holy Roman Empire); then Prussia; then the German Empire, then the Weimar Republic (the system after their defeat in WWI), and then the Third Reich.
After World War II the city became divided until finally in the 1990s Germany was reunified and took its place as the capital of Germany. With all of this going on it’s no wonder that Berlin is such a melting pot of cultures. It’s become a mix of cultures, politics, media, and science.
Where to stay in Berlin first time?
The best areas to stay in Berlin for first-time tourists are Mitte, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Kreuzberg, and Neukolln. These neighborhoods offers a wide range of hotel options for all budget travelers.
Mitte is the best area to stay in Berlin for first-time visitors due to its central location and proximity to major attractions like the Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate, and Reichstag. Staying here offers easy access to the city’s many important sights, restaurants, bars, and shops.
The former East Berlin is home to Berlin’s top attractions, vibrant nightlife, Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, and Friedrichshain. West Berlin is home to Kreuzberg, Neukölln, and Charlottenburg, providing great shopping, entertainment, and cultural attractions.
Kreuzberg is known for its multicultural atmosphere and vibrant arts scene. It offers a variety of dining options, street art, and a unique atmosphere.
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is a more upscale and quieter neighborhood. It is to the Charlottenburg Palace and upscale shopping on Kurfürstendamm.
Friedrichshain is a trendy and hip neighborhood with a lively nightlife scene. It is close to the East Side Gallery (Berlin Wall), alternative bars, and clubs.
Berlin is overall a safe city to visit but as in any big city, you should use common sense, and be aware of pickpocketing and scams in crowded touristy areas. Mittle, Charlottenburg and Prenzlauer Berg are the safest areas to stay in Berlin for tourist.
Where did I stay in Berlin?
When I first visited Berlin, I stayed for 5 nights at the mid-range Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz. The hotel had a prime location in Mitte, easy access to attractions and public transportation, and a great base for sightseeing. I had a great size room with a comfortable bed.
|💖 Best Area for first-time Tourist:
|💎 Best luxury hotel:
|Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:
|NH Collection Berlin Mitte Friedrichstrasse
|💰 Best budget hotel:
|Motel One Berlin-Spittelmarkt
Map of areas and neighborhoods in Berlin:
Best areas to stay in Berlin for first-time tourists:
Mittle is the best overall place to stay in Berlin for first-time visitors due to central location and proximity to iconic historical sites and museums. The area also offer a widest range of restaurants, bars, shops, and accommodation options for all budget travelers.
Mitte, means middle, is the middle of the city. It is where the city was born in the 13th century. A cultural hub, the former capital of East Germany during GDR times is now home to plentiful art galleries and a dazzling mixture of modern and traditional dining options, a necessary stop on any trip to Berlin, despite its touristy reputation.
One of the most famous sights in Berlin is the Museum Island. Located on the River Spree, Museum Island is UNESCO-listed heritage site that has 5 prestigious museums, built under the Prussian rulers:
- The Pergamon Museum, the most visited museum in Berlin.
- The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), the 19th-century art museum.
- The Bode Museum displays an interesting collection of statues, coins and Byzantine art.
- The Altes Museum (Old Museum), built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, home to a collection of classic antiques.
- The Neues Museum was almost destroyed during the WWII, with some restoration, now houses the archaeological collections.
To access all five museums over three consecutive days, you can save some money by buying a Berlin WelcomeCard. The 19th century Berlin Cathedral is an imposing landmark on Museum Island.
Another most famous historical site in Berlin is the Brandenburg Gate. It is the only surviving city gate of Berlin, a national symbol of peace and unity. Nearby are the important institutions of the German government, the Bundestag, and many embassies and ministries.
Reichstag is seat of the German parliament, Bundestag, since 1990. It has a spectacular 800-ton steel and glass dome with an observation deck that gives you a sweeping view of Berlin.
The 1.5 km long Unter den Linden avenue nearby boasts restaurants, cafés and shops, and important landmarks such as the Schlossbrücke, the new Humboldt Forum, Humboldt University, the Staatsoper, the Neue Wache, and the Zeughaus.
With walking distance from Unter den Linden, you can find the Holocaust Memorial (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe), which has 2,711 gray concrete slabs or stelae. It is a massive Holocaust memorial designed by the New York architect Peter Eisenman.
If you head east from Holocaust Memorial, you can see the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt Square, which is surrounded historic buildings like the Konzerthaus, French Cathedral, and German Cathedral. You can try German beer, and traditional German cuisine like apple strudel and roast knuckle of pork.
Fans of street art should visit Haus Schwarzenberg Street Art Alley, which is located next to the Cafe Cinema on Rosenthaler Strasse. It has is a small passage full of street art, graffitis, and non-pretentious galleries.
In addition to sightseeing, Mitte offers plenty of shopping experiences, include many malls and shopping streets, such as:
- Friedrichstraße, the prime shopping street with international shop brands and high-end retailers. It also has the biggest theatres, music halls, fine dining options, and big brands hotels like Eurostars and Meliá.
- Mall of Berlin, a huge shopping center at Leipziger Platz, with 300 shops, snack bars, cafes, and restaurants.
- Hackesche Höfe and Hackescher Markt, with lots of restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops
Mitte is a safe neighborhood for visitors during day and in night, but as in any famous touristy area, there is pickpocketing. You should be aware of surrounding, practice common sense, and avoid walking alone at night in a poorly-lit area.
Mitte has a very well-connected public transport system. There are many U-bahn, S-Bhan, tram and bus stops around the district. It is home to Berlin’s main station, Friedrichstraße Bahnhof, which is just one stop to Central Railway Station.
Mitte’s location offers easy access from Berlin Brandenburg airport by road and rail network. There are Airport Express and regional trains, as well as S-Bahns S9 and S45, connecting the airport to Berlin Central Station and the city center.
Being located in a central area, all Berlin’s top attractions are located within walking distance, making Mittle the best base to stay in Berlin for a short time from 1 to 3 days.
Mittle has all types of accommodations ranging from backpacker hostels to high-end hotels. Hotels here is more expensive than in other areas, but it’s worth paying because it is the most convenient location and you can save money on taxis and transport.
Stay in Mitte if you are a first-time traveler; you are on a short trip; you’re looking for places to stay in Berlin for Christmas Markets, New Year’s Eve;
Best Places to stay in Berlin in Mitte for first-time visitors:
luxury ($$$): Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin, 5-star hotel in Mitte, right next to the Brandenburg Gate. Featuring a Michelin-star restaurant and spacious rooms, Adlon is one of the best places to stay in Berlin for families and couples both young and old. It offers easy access to Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and Pariser Platz.
mid-range ($$): NH Collection Berlin Mitte Friedrichstrasse, 4-star family-friendly hotel located in a prime location on Friedrichstrasse in central Berlin. It is next to Friedrichstrasse Train Station and a short walk from the iconic Brandenburg Gate and Unten den Linden.
budget ($): Motel One Berlin-Spittelmarkt, great Sustainable hotel, located only a few steps from Spittelmarkt Underground Station, offering trains to Alexanderplatz and Potsdamer Platz. Feeaturing 24-hour bar, underground parking. Also a short walk from Gendarmenmarkt Square and the Friedrichstraße shopping street.🔍MORE HOTEL DEALS IN MITTE
You can continue reading the the detail of each area, or if you are visiting Berlin during Christmas, you can check this article: Best areas to Stay in Berlin for Christmas Markets.
Alexanderplatz is a section of Mittle district (a huge area). Due to its central location and well-connected to public transport, Alexanderplatz is a good place to in Berlin for tourists for shopping and sightseeing.
Also known as Alex by Berliners, it is the Berlin’s eastern center and the biggest public square in Germany. It is named after Tsar Alexander I who visited the Prussian capital in 1805.
Alexanderplatz is an important transport hub for the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, regional trains, trams and buses. However, like any big busy transport hub, it’s best to be aware of pickpocketing and avoid walking alone at night, because it can be a bit dangerous at that time.
Alexanderplatz is home to popular landmarks such as:
- The Weltzeituhr (World Time Clock) with the 24 time zones, a popular meeting place for Berliners and tourists in the East.
- The Berliner Fernsehturm,, a 368-meter-high television tower, Germany’s tallest building, built in Communist East Germany (DDR). You can go up to the top of the tower and enjoy the views over the city.
- The Neptune Fountain.
- The House of Teachers.
- The Fountain of Friendship Between Peoples, all added in 1969 to showcase the DDR aesthetic.
- The St. Mary’s Church, Berlin’s oldest church.
- the Red Town Hall which is home to the mayor and government of Berlin Senate.
- The Nikolai Quarter.
A little further lies the Berlin Cathedral, which is the gateway to the Museum Island. From there you can easily reach the famous avenue Unter den Linden or take bus 100 to the Brandenburg Gate.
Alexanderplatz is also the starting point of the two large avenues designed during the communist including Karl-Marx-Allee, a large avenue with Soviet-style buildings.
Alexanderplatz hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year including the street performer festival called Berlin Lacht, Oktoberfest, Easter Market, and the Christmas Market with food, mulled wine, and gift stalls.
Alexanderplatz offers good shopping opportunities with department stores and specialty shops. You will find huge shopping malls such as:
- the Galeria Kaufhof, 6 floors German department store chain
- ALEXA Berlin shopping center, with a food court and children’s play centre.
- The Saturn electric store, located just a few steps from the train station.
- Scheunenviertel (Barn Quarter), lots of shopping strips such as Alte Schönhauser Strasse, Neue Schönhauser Strasse, and Münzstrasse.
- Hackescher Markt, a popular shopping area outside the S-Bahn station Hackescher Markt.
- Hackesche Höfe is a famous courtyard contains a labyrinth of eight courtyards, with many shops, cafes, and restaurants.
- there are Rosenhöfe and Rosenthaler Höfe nearby.
On the Scheunenviertel, you can see Jewish renaissance through The Neue Synagogue (New Synagogue) and the Alter Jüdischer Friedhof, Berlin’s oldest Jewish cemetery.
You can take a break from sightseeing and shopping at the riverside Monbijoupark, where you can enjoy a cold beer or a cup of coffee at the Strandbar Mitte.
There are also plenty of things to do at night with many bars and clubs. You can have look at the M-Bia Berlin, Dirksenstraße, Bohannon soul club.
Alexanderplatz has a wide range of accommodation options, more affordable than other parts of Mitte. The area around Hackescher Markt is a great place to book a hotel because it is close to both Alexanderplatz and the river with its attractions.
Best places to stay in Alexanderplatz for first-time visitors:
luxury ($$$): Radisson Collection Hotel, Berlin, 5-star hotel, centrally located opposite Berlin Cathedral, next to the River Spree, 5-minute walk from Museum Island, Humboldt Forum, Hackescher Markt’s trendy shops and restaurants. It has family rooms, a restaurant, and paid private parking.
mid-range ($$): Lux 11 Berlin-Mitte, family-friendly accommodation that has stylish rooms and apartments with kitchenettes, within easy walk from Alexanderplatz. Lux 11 is a great base for exploring the trendy nightlife areas of Hackescher Markt and Rosa-Luxemburg Platz.
budget ($): Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz, 3-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Berlin on a budget, located close to major landmarks such as Berlin Cathedral, Berlin TV Tower, German Historical Museum, and Alexanderplatz Underground Station.🔍MORE HOTEL DEALS IN ALEXANDERPLATZ
Friedrichshain along with Kreuzberg is the best area to stay in Berlin for nightlife. Friedrichshain is the a quarter located within Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough, inside the former East Berlin.
Friedrichshain is a popular place to stay for young travelers with affordable prices, a youthful vibe, and an artsy population. For the party animals, Friedrichshain is the colorful district to be in! If you prefer quieter, head to the Lichtenberg district nearby.
These areas can be quite tourist-heavy as they are home to the techno clubs! Along Ostbahnhof, Revaler Straße, Simon-Dach-Straße area, you will find myriad clubs and bars that will impress even the most avid club-goer.
Berghain, one of the most famous nightclubs in Berlin, is located near the border between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. Essentially, this is the area to stay if you are a night owl.
Many clubs will be open from night until the morning all days of the week. So, if you want to spend your holiday sleeping during the day and exploring at night, then this is your area!
Friedrichshain was a working-class, industrial district during the GDR, and now become one of the trendiest and most attractive residential areas in Berlin with more families and creative people moving in.
Friedrichshain is well connected to the rest of the city by public transportation with the main train station, Ostbahnhof station. It links to metro (U1, U3, U5), trams, buses, and s-bahn. There are trams, trains to Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, and a short subway ride to Alexanderplatz.
Friedrichshain is also the only place in Berlin that still has a section of the Berlin Wall standing. Many tourists take the opportunity to walk along the remaining stretch of the wall, seeing what the artists in the area have created from it.
The 1.3km long with 105 paintings East Side Gallery is one of the most historical landmarks in Berlin and the world’s largest open-air mural gallery. East Side Gallery is the longest continuous section of the Berlin Wall still in existence.
Around the East Side Gallery, you can find the Oberbaumbrücke bridge, the most beautiful of all Berlin bridges, connecting Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. The brick Gothic style architecture makes the structure one of the most vivid places in Berlin.
To hang out and enjoy the alternative atmosphere of Berlin, visit Holzmarkt 25 on the banks of the river Spree, with several bars and restaurants, cultural events, and flea markets.
RAW Tempel is a unique cultural project in the area of the RAW-Gelände. You can stroll around this former train repair station, explore graffiti and murals, exhibition of contemporary art at the Urban Spree Gallery, drink on the terrace of a Biergarten.
The RAW-Gelände home to RAW-Gelände Flea Market, and the Cassiopeia which is an eclectic bar club with a beer garden.
You cannot miss the main boulevard of Friedrichshain, 2 kilometers long Karl-Marx-Allee with its Stalinist-era architecture. Stop by Computer Games Museum to learn more about the evolution of computer games.
If you want to take break from art and nighlife, head to the green oasis of Volkspark Friedrichshain. It is Berlin’s oldest public park, that is home to sports grounds, playgrounds, outdoor cafés, as well as Märchenbrunnen fountain of fairy tales, two artificial mountains which was made of demolished WWII bunkers.
The trendiest and coolest part of Friedrichshain is Boxhagener Kiez. It’s filled with small shops and boutiques, cafes, bars, and restaurants in between Warschauer Strasse, Frankfurter Allee, and railway lines.
Friedrichshain is overall a safe area, but you should avoid walking alone at night in the Warschauer Strasse Station and the former RAW-Gelände industrial area.
Accommodations here include hostels, guesthouses & hotels for all budget travelers. Many properties offer comfy and clean rooms, and within walking distance from tourist attractions and train stations.
Stay in Friedrichshain if you are first-timers; you want vibrant nightlife with best clubs in Berlin; you want to get a sense of what the city was like during the Cold War; you’ want to stay in former East Berlin; you are art lovers;
Best places to stay in Berlin in Friedrichshain for first time tourists:
- luxury ($$$): Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof, 5-star stylish hotel close to Ostbahnhof train station, just 2 city rail stops from Alexanderplatz. Featuring family rooms, it a great base for families to explore central Berlin, and the hip going-out areas in Friedrichhain and Kreuzberg.
- mid-range ($$): Holiday Inn Berlin City East Side, an IHG Hotel, 4-star hotel located in the trendy Friedrichshain neighbourhood, within easy walk from popular East Side Gallery.
- budget ($): Hampton By Hilton Berlin City East Side Gallery, 3-star hotel located in the popular Friedrichshain district, right between the Mercedes Benz Arena and the East Side Gallery. Close to Warschauer Straße Train Station, offering direct S-Bahn to Schönefeld Airport and Berlin Main Station.
Kreuzberg along with Friedrichshain is one of the coolest neighborhood in Berlin with vibrant nightlife, graffiti-covered streets, and bohemian vibe.
Located to the south of Mitte, Kreuzberg is similar to Friedrichshain in many ways but it was the part of West Berlin. Kreuzberg is considered the center of hip Berlin.
This is the most colorful of all districts! So if you’re an artistic soul then this is the area for you. The streets are filled with art and there are myriad restaurants, bars, and pubs to check out, especially on Oranienstraße and Bergmannstraße.
Warning: some describe this area as the ‘punk’ area of Berlin. Sometimes it can get a little ‘dodgy’, but the grungy punk vibe is part of the appeal really!
Not only great nightlife, Kreuzberg is also home to many historic and cultural attractions, museums, art galleries, parks, incredible dining, and good shopping opportunities.
The Checkpoint Charlie was the gate separating the American sector of West Berlin and East Berlin during the Cold War. The House of Checkpoint Charlie museum is also nearby.
Kreuzberg has numerous museums and art galleries for history buffs and art lovers:
- The FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum, to learn more about local history
- The Jewish Museum with the Baroque Kollegienhaus and a Deconstructivist-style will show you more about the culture and history in Germany and Europe.
- Topography of Terror, located next to the Gropius Bau
- The Berlinische Galerie, a modern art gallery
- Willy-Brandt-Haus, Martin-Gropius-Bau are also worth a visit.
- Tempelhof Airport hosts festivals and exhibitions.
Kreuzberg is multicultural hub with two distince parts, East Kreuzberg (SO36) and West Kreuzberg (SW 61):
- SO36 is home to a large Turkish population, with the famous street food of Markthalle Neun and the Turkish Markets.
- SW 61 is more upmarket with many cafés, shops, and markets.
The pretty iconic stretch of water, Landwehr Canal, is a popular place for cyclists, joggers, tourists, lovers and families. This leafy banks is filled with shops, cafés and restaurants. In autum, you can watch buskers play at the corner of Maybachufer and Schinkestraße.
You can experience local daily life at the lively Turkish Market in Maybachufer on Fridays and Tuesdays, as well as the Nowkölln Flowmarkt on every third Sunday of the month.
Nearby, Kottbusser Tor, formerly the ancient southern gates, is a lively neighborhood with strong Turkish population. It had a bad reputation at night but it is slowly transformed in to a bohemian area. There are lots of art galleries, markets, Middle East restaurants.
Kreuzberg is packed with parks and green spaces. There are Victoriapark, Görlitzer Park, and the Tempelhofer Feld, which are great place to relax and hangout with friends.
For a hotel with a history, have look at Regenbogenfabrik (rainbow factory). It was scheduled for demolition in the ’80s but the citizens refused to allow it. There may have been a squatter or two living there for many years before it was renovated.
Accommodation in Kreuzberg can be described as functional or semi-industrial as opposed to luxurious.
Stay in Kreuzberg if you want some great nightlife, you want an alternative vibe in the central neighborhood; you are visiting Berlin for the first time;
Best places to stay in Kreuzberg for first-timers:
- luxury ($$$): Orania.Berlin Hotel, a historic hotel, located in Kreuzberg which is known for its diverse cultural and art scene. It features family rooms, free wifi, and paid airport shuttle.
- mid-range ($$): Crowne Plaza Berlin, 4-star hotel, in central Berlin, located a 10 minutes’ walk from Potsdamer Platz and Möckernbrücke underground stations, and in front of Anhalter Bahnhof Train Station. It has family rooms, 24-hour front desk, and an on-site restaurant.
- budget ($): Hotel Johann, 3-star hotel, in the lively Kreuzberg district, within walking distance from Prinzenstraße Underground Station, and Bergmannstraß with its trendy bars and restaurants.
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf along with Mittle and Prenzlauer Berg is one of the safest place to stay in Berlin. Charlottenburg is an upmarket neighbourhood in the former West Berlin.
Charlottenburg is an equally lovely spot to stay in Berlin for families or a glamorous cultural trip; the area is filled with family-friendly attractions such as museums, and also with opportunities to dress up and soak up the culture, such as the Deutsche Oper.
Charlottenburg is home to Schloss Charlottenburg, the largest and most magnificent palace in Berlin. It was the royal summer residence for the first Queen consort in Prussia, Sophie Charlotte. When Sophie Charlotte died, the area around was named Charlottenburg after her.
You can visit the Old Palace (Altes Schloss) and Neuer Flügel (New Wing). In the New Wing, you can see the State Dining Room, rococo ballroom known as the Goldene Galerie.
The Porcelain Cabinet in the Old Palace has a collection of the finest blue-and-white porcelain decorating the whole room.
Charlottenburg Palace Park has magnificent baroque gardens. It was originally designed by Siméon Godeau in the French style but remodeled to an English-style landscaped park in the 19th century, and then restored to its original style after WWII. Highlight places in the park are the mausoleum, the Belvedere tea house and the Neuer Pavillon.
The Savignyplatz is a beautiful square with many restaurants and cafés. You can enjoy nightlife and cocktails at Café Gainsborough. Cour Carée and 12 Apostel, are also popular places for locals and tourists alike.
Other things to do in this area include the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection, Theater des Westens, and Museum Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
If you love shopping, you must visit the Kurfürstendamm shopping street, known as Ku’damm by local, is a Berlin’s prime shopping location that is home to big hotel chains, fancy restaurants, luxury shopping retailers.
Stay in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf if you want to stay in an upmarket, safe, and calm area; you want to visit cultural landmarks; you’re looking for a family holiday; you enjoy shopping; you want good public transport; you are first-timers;
Best places to stay in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf for first-timers:
- Luxury ($$$): Hyperion Hotel Berlin, 5-star family-friendly hotel, located in a quiet area in central Berlin, short walk from Güntzelstraße Underground Station. It has soundproofed rooms with extra-large beds.
- Mid-range ($$): Lindner Hotel Am Ku’damm – Berlin, 4-star hotel, centrally located on the Kurfürstendamm shopping street, within short walk from Kurfürstendamm Underground Station and the historic Gedächtniskirche Church.
- Budget ($): Hotel Brandies an der Messe, 3-star privately run hotel, located within easy walk from the ICC trade fair and Kaiserdamm Underground Station. It is a direct underground ride from the Olympic Stadium, Zoologischer Garten and Potsdamer Platz.
Berlin’s most tranquil neighborhood, Tiergarten is the ideal destination for those who want to stay away from the noise of nightclubs and bars. Filled with leafy, treelined streets and old-world coffee shops, this is the most relaxing neighborhood to enjoy a slower pace of life.
New York has Central Park, London has Hyde Park and Berlin has the popular Tiergarten Park. This 160 hectares of beautiful parkland around the historic palace Schloss Friedrichsfelde provides a complete retreat from the city, attracting joggers, skaters, cyclists and walkers, family picnics, and ball games.
Tiergarten Park is also home to many interesting memorials such as the Global Stone peace project and the Soviet war memorial. You can also find cultural sights like the arts and exhibition centre Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
Tea House, Café am neuen See, beer garden Schleusenkrug, Rousseau Island, and the English Gardens are also peaceful places in the park. There are also the 230 feet high monument commemorates Prussia’s victory over France in 1871, Victory Column, known as Siegessäule which has stunning views of the city; the Office of the Federal President and Bellevue Palace nearby;
Families and kids will want to spend a fun day out at the Zoological Garden and Aquarium Berlin. The zoo is home to around 20,000 animals from more than 1,000 species while the aquarium is home to 13,000 animals.
Tiergarten Park is home to Berlin’s most famous landmarks, including Memorial to the Sinti and Roma, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism.
Tiergarten neighborhood encompassed the Regierungsviertel, Potsdamer Platz and the Kulturforum, and Diplomatenviertel.
Potsdamer Platz is home to the German Cinema Museum and Berlin Mall, the tallest office tower, and the largest shopping center in Berlin. Accommodation nearby big brand hotels like Marriott or Hyatt.
Tiergarten is ideal for older travelers, those looking for a relaxing break, or families wanting to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city nightlife.
Stay in Tiergarten if You’re looking for peace and quiet; You want to soak up some history; You enjoy walks in nature; Looking for a place to stay in December.
Best places to stay in Berlin in Tiergarten:
- Luxury ($$$): Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof, 5-star modern hotel, located only a 5-minute walk from Berlin Zoo and the Kurfürstendamm shopping street. Set within walking distance from Zoologischer Garten S-Bahn station, Schweizerhof is a central base to explore Berlin.
- Mid-range ($$): Novotel Berlin Am Tiergarten, 4-star family-friendly hotel, located in Tiergarten, offering family rooms, children’s playroom and children’s menus. It has easy access to Tiergarten S-Bahn station, which is 1 stop from Zoo Station and 2 stops from Berlin Main Station.
- Budget ($): Hotel Hansablick, 3-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Berlin on a budget, easy access the Tiergarten S-Bahn Train Station, and the River Spree, which is ideal for jogging and cycling.
Schoeneberg is a vibrant LGBT district with lots of bars, cafes, restaurants, and art galleries and street celebrations. Schöneberg is one of the safest areas to stay in Berlin. Schöneberg is a quiet residential neighrborhood with plenty of of green spaces and lively nightlife scene.
This area has an eclectic mix of old and new architecture. The major draw in this area is the high-end shopping and the beautiful townhouses. Areas such as Goltzstrasse and Akazienstrasse are very grand indeed.
If you Google this district, you’ll find lists and lists of cafés to check out; many offering sweet treats and gluten-free options!
If shopping is your thing then you should also check out KaDeWe at Wittenbergplatz, the second largest department store in Erouplt. it has 180,000 shoppers pass through its doors every day! It was opened in 1907, the store offers a mixture of upmarket and luxury goods. The gourmet department on the sixth floor is very popular.
Just like other areas of Berlin, there are museums to see. The Museum of Unheard Things is worth a visit. You can view a collection of artistic, scientific and technical objects from the past and a public exhibition space for them. Meanwhile, art lovers can visit Urban Nation, a museum for street art, graffiti and urban contemporary art.
Schöneberg is home to a beautiful Nature Park Schoneberg to wander through! Built on the Berlin Tempelhof marshalling yard, this 18-hectare urban park is a mix of well-maintained old steam train ruins, modern sculptures, and the fauna and flora.
Schöneberg is also the area with the most prominent LBGTIQ community, located in an area of the district called Nollendorfplatz. It is packed with live music venues, bars, quaint buildings, cafes, and is well connected to Kreuzberg. The well-known bars David Bowie and Nick Cave are here.
West Berlin’s former city hall, Rathaus Schöneberg, is also located in this district. This is the place where the former US-president, John F. Kennedy had his famous speech, I am a Berliner, in 1963.
For a local experience, head to the flea market, Flohmarkt Schoeneberg, in front of Schöneberg town hall. You can brow the 70+ stalls to find vintage fashions, vinyl records, and second hand items for a bargain. The market opens very Saturday and Sunday.
Schöneberg is home to beautiful public swimming pool, Stadtbad Schöneberg – Hans Rosenthal. The is an outside pool, 53 meter water slide, a saltwater pool and a children’s pool. There are facilities for non-swimmers, small children, disabled people.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants in Schöneberg. The Green Door has been open since 1995, this bar has a list of fresh, exciting cocktails. Prinzknecht is big, brick-walled gay cruise and fetish bar with affordable drinks.
Stay in Schöneberg if you are looking for gay, LBGTIQ community areas; you want good shopping; you want a central and convenient location, and you love to stay in the green area; you are a first-time traveler;
Best places to stay in Berlin in Schöneberg:
- luxury ($$$): Riu Plaza Berlin, great base for both families and couples, located on the Kurfürstendamm boulevard, a 5-minute walk from Kurfürstendamm Underground Station and the world-famous KaDeWe department store.
- mid-range ($$): Hotel Sachsenhof Berlin, 3-star hotel in a quiet side street in Schöneberg district, a 2-minute walk from the lively Nollendorfplatz Square. It has rooms for singles, young adults, couples, and families with kids.
- budget ($): ibis Berlin Kurfuerstendamm, 3-star hotel, featuring soundproofed rooms, within easy walk to many shops around Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, as well as Wittenbergplatz Underground Station, Berlin Zoo and Aquarium.
8. Prenzlauer Berg
Prenzlauer Berg, or known as Prenzlberg by local, is a former East-Berlin district. It is one of the best places in Berlin for accessing all the main attractions because it is conveniently located close to Mitte, Friedrichshain, Alexanderplatz and with great access to the U-Bahn.
Prenzlauer Berg is the residential neighborhood and former hipster quarter of Berlin. it is filled with boutique shops, wine bars, restaurants, and cobbled streets is a great place to stay – mostly because of its fantastic location.
It’s also one of the trendiest places to stay, seamlessly mixing history with modern touches. The areas around Helmholtzplatz and Kollwitzplatz are especially popular with cafes, bars, and restaurants.
Prenzlauer Berg is a great choice for families who want to relax and chill out. It has many more green spaces than other neighborhoods in the city with tree-lined boulevards and parks. The Mauerpark, which means Wall Park in English, is a former part of the Berlin Wall..
The Mauerpark is popular with families, artists, musicians, and couples of all age with its recreation, entertainment, and graffiti. The park hosts an amazing flea market every Sunday where you can enjoy music, food, and beer. The Bearpit Karaoke stage also attracts crowds on weekends.
There are several historical and cultural sights in Prenzlauer Berg. Jewish cemetery was built in 1827, the final resting place for many renowned Jewish people.
The Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße will show you the history of this region, the original fortifications that historically divide east and West Berlin.
This little street, Husemannstraße was built during the Socialist era with the purpose of it becoming a museum to Old Berlin. Visit one of Berlin’s hippest streets, Kastanienallee with hip fashion stores, shops, and restaurants.
Another popular street for tourists and Berliners is Oderberger Strasse. This is a picturesque street with lots of cafes, vinyl record stores, vintage clothes shops, hip bars,and restaurants lined by some of Berlin’s prettiest architecture.
You can also find rectangular, leafy square, Kollwitzplatz, in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg. It hosts Saturday weekly market, Thursday organic farmers market, and a Christmas market on Sundays in December. The Water Tower nearby was built in 1877, and is the oldest water tower in Berlin.
If you head to Knaackstraße nearby, you will find Kulturbrauerei. Formerly old Schultheiss brewery, it has building complex for cultural events, bars, cafés, markets, cinema, a nightclub and regular events.
Other places of interest are the Rykestrasse Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Germany; Water Tower, Gethsemane Church, MACHmit! Museum for Children.
Along with Charlottenburg, Prenzlauer Berg is one the safest neighborhoods in Berlin with very low crime rate. This district also offers a variety of accommodation ranging from luxury hotel to a simple B&B.
Stay in Prenzlauer Berg if You want to balance sightseeing with peace and quiet; You want to stay in a safe, family-friendly area with easy access to the city center, You enjoy mixing with the locals; you are a first-time tourist;
Best places to stay in Berlin in Prenzlauer Berg for first-time visitors:
- luxury ($$$): Holiday Inn, 4-star hotel, in the lively Prenzlauer Berg district, featuring soundproofed family rooms and private car parking. Easy access to Erich-Weinert-Straße tram stop and Prenzlauer Allee S-Bahn Train Station.
- mid-range ($$): limehome Berlin Prenzlauer Allee, 4-star hotel, sentrally located in Prenzlauerberg district, a 15-minute walk from Alexanderplatz Square and 5 minutes from Senefelderplatz Underground Station.
- budget ($): Schoenhouse Berlin by limehome, self-catering apartments in central Mitte district, on the edge of the lively Prenzlauer Berg, few steps from Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz Underground Station and one stop from Alexanderplatz.
Located in South Berlin, Neukolln is a residential neighborhood with many residents of non-native Germans, and not very popular with tourists. If you want to explore the local life, Neukolln is a good choice. It is quickly gentrifying as students, ex-pats, and artists move into the district.
If you head to the South of Neukölln, you can find Schloss Britz and the Gutspark, which is known as the pearl of Neukölln. Britz Manor is the original mansion of the historic Rittergut and the village of Britz. Gutshof Manor Home grounds is home to the Neukölln Museum.
Located right next to Schloss Britz is Hufeisensiedlung (Horseshoe estate), a UNESCO world heritage site. It was built 1925-1933, and it is one of the six social housing buildings designed in the modernist style of along with Gartenstadt Falkenberg, Schillerpark-Siedlung, Wohnstadt Carl Legien, Weiße Stadt, and Großsiedlung Siemensstadt.
You can step back in time in the charming old village of Rixdorf. Built in the 18th century, the village is packed with historical houses, cobbled streets, and winding lanes. Head to the center of Rixdorf in Richardplatz, grab or meal or drink at one of its nearby restaurants and cafes.
Along with Richardplatz, Schillerkiez also home to some of the best cafe in Neukolln. Other highlight attractions are Tempelhof Field, a weekly Saturday market at Schillermarkt, as well as the sprawling rooftop bar – Klunkerkranich.
There are several green spaces in Neukölln. Britzer Garten is one of the most beautiful recreational spaces in Berlin, with a lake, generous, gently sloping meadows, copses of trees, colourful flower beds and meandering paths past little streams. It is a 90 hectare landscaped gardens with lakes, playgrounds, a permanent animals and plants exhibition.
Körnerpark is another green place to slow down and relax. It is Neo-baroque style garden with a small park, little canals, cascade, fountains, and orangery. Great place to have a picnic and hangout with friends anf family.
Neukolln is home to several innovative galleries including Cell 63 (Allerstraße 38), or Luisa Catucci Gallery, a platform for international artists and exhibitions on illustration, painting and sculpture. Art lovers can also check out Heimathafen Neukölln and Neuköllner Oper.
A hub for students and artists, the Neukolln district is often referred to as ‘Little Istanbul’ as it is heavily influenced by Turkish and Arabic culture. There is a fabulous Turkish market in the area and you are always sure to find an amazing kebab somewhere! For Germans, visiting Neukölln is like going on a mini-holiday to a new country.
This also is seen as the cool, hip, or bohemian part of the city. It also has good nightlife scene with new cafes, shops, and bars popping up everywhere! There is the 48h Neukölln Festival, a festival for all cultures and age groups where people can show off their artistic talent.
Neukölln is the best place to stay if you are into bohemian; you want to stay in a multi-cultural parts of the city; you are traveling on a budget and looking for affordable accommodation;
Best places to stay in Berlin in Neukölln for first-timers:
- mid-range ($$): Leonardo Boutique Berlin Hotel, 4-star modern hotel is peacefully located in Berlin’s south-eastern Rudow district, a 15-minute drive to Schönefeld Airport. Its location offers easy access to the A100 and A113 city motorways.
- budget ($): Apartment Schmidt, modern accommodation in Berlin’s trendiest neighbourhood – Neukölln. It is within walking distance to a wide variety of bars, cafes, supermakets and restaurants.
Moabit is technically an island, surrounded all side by water of the Spree river, the Berlin-Spandau ship canal, Westhafen canal, and the Charlottenburg junction canal. The district is connected with berlin mainland via 25 bridges connect.
Moabit is quite well connected with good Ring-Bahn (S-Bahn) lines and the U9 subway. Moabit is home to Hauptbahnhof, the largest railway station in Berlin with connections to long-distance to Europe, and the rest of Germany.
Its range of accommodation cheaper than districts like Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte, and Charlottenburg, so if you are looking for budget-friendly area with local experience, then Moabit is a best area to stay in Berlin for you.
It is a multicultural area, and that is reflected in the cuisine that includes both Italian, Turkish, Arabic bakeries along with famous restaurants like Osmanya (upscale Turkish), Hoan Kiem (Vietnamese), Lanninger (regional German), and Lei and Lui that serves Middle Eastern-inspired foods.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants while its attractions include galleries and museums. You will find the former train station Hamburger Bahnhof on Invalidenstraße is now houses the Museum for Contemporary Art.
Moabit boast numerous greean space including Kleine Tiergarten, the Große Tiergarten located south of the Brandenburger Tor, and the kid-friendly Fritz-Schloss-Park with a mini golf range and a public swimming pool.
You will find a beautiful market hall, Arminius Markthalle, which is only a short walk from the Turmstraße U-Bahn station. You can buy good food, beer, fresh produce, and crafts. The Markthalle also hosts films, live music and theatre.
Moabit is historically well-known mainly for the prison that was built in the 1840s, housed some renowned historical prisoners, political activists and Nazi war criminals. You will find a remembrance park surrounded by the walls of the original prison.
Stay in Moabit if You are looking for a central location in Berlin with good transport connections; On a budget, you want accommodation you can afford; You are not affected by crowds; you are first-time visitors;
Best places to stay in Berlin in Moabit:
- Luxury ($$$): Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt, 5-star family-friendly hotel, located directly beside the German Parliament building and Berlin Main Station.
- Mid-range ($$): IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof, 4-star hotel in central Berlin, within easy walk from Berlin Main Train Station and Reichstag Parliament Building.
- Budget ($): Hotel AMANO Grand Central, 3-star hotel located the heart of Berlin, just a 3-minute walk from Berlin Main Station. Its located has direct buses to Tegel Airport and direct trains to Schönefeld Airport.
Offering a more local and authentic experience, the neighborhood of Bergmannkriez just west of Kreuzberg is full of charming independent shops and beautiful architecture. Although the area has become a little more upmarket than it used to be in recent years, it still holds on to its bohemian feel.
It’s also home to the stunning Victoria Park, complete with a waterfall and beer garden. There is also the Marheineke market hall, host to a wonderful organic market at some times, and a flea market at others.
With its cobbled streets reminiscent of Paris or England, this charming little neighborhood is also as lively at night as it is during the day and is a great spot for backpackers, couples, and anyone who wants a laid-back, authentic atmosphere.
Stay in Bergmannkiez if you want to feel like a local; you love exploring markets; you prefer independent shops and dining options; you enjoy unusual street art; you’re looking for a romantic destination; you are first-timers;
Best place to stay in Bergmannkiez: GINN City & Lounge Yorck Berlin Hotel, great hotel, offering air conditioning rooms with a seating area, a flat-screen TV, a safety deposit box, a private bathroom with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries.
Located in northwestern Berlin, Wedding is up-and-coming neighborhood in Berlin. It has a hippy feel, a district where you may even be inspired to paint. Plenty of the locals do, and you can expect to see lots of good street art as you walk around.
From Wedding Station, head to the a gas station on Lynarstrasse, where you will find the mural, Tree Children by Victor Ash. there are more graffiti, murals, stencils, paste-ups, stickers, sculptures around Gerichstrasse 23, Utrechter Strasse 3, and Genter Strasse 61.
Wedding population is multicultural and young with many students, artists and immigrant families. There is a strong Turkish community and a good number of local Berliners.
There is a fine collection of restaurants that serves cuisines from all over the world, and in particular the Turkish cuisine. Take breakfast in an old bus or visit a nightclub that was once a swimming pool. Wedding is home to two of Berlin’s best breweriesare including Vagabund Brauerei and Eschenbräu brew on site.
You can find Gesundbrunnen Center, which is traditional shopping center with shops, food court and recreational facilities.
At the weekly flea market on Leopoldplatz you’ll find everything: plates, crockery, shoes, hats, clothes, radios, computer games.
Wedding is home to the Neo-Gothic castle which is located in the quiet and leafy Brunnenplatz park. There are also nice green areas such as the Humboldthain park and the areas along the Panke river.
You can also check out the Silent Green Kulturquartier. it is popular places for festivals, concerts and events. It is also home to MARS café, great places to grab a coffee on its terrace in summer. There is Plötzensee bathing lake where you can swim, while the Berlin Wall Trail and cycle paths are all there to fill in your time.
Wedding is well connected to the centre by U Bahn and S Bahn. It’s also close to Tegel airport. With the Gesundbrunnen railway station in the neighborhood, you can easily travel to regional areas.
The available accommodation ranges from budget to mid-range and in summer, Wedding is getting increasingly busy due to its many attractions.
Best places to stay in Berlin in Wedding:
- budget ($): limehome Berlin Müllerstraßer
- budget ($): Downtown Apartments Mitte-Wedding
- budget ($): BENSIMON apartments Mitte/Wedding
13. Berlin Brandenburg Airport
Berlin Brandenburg Airport is located 27km away from the city centre, it’s around 45 minutes drive by car. There are Airport Express and regional trains from station T1-2 to Berlin Central Station, as well as S-Bahns S9 and S45 from terminal 1 and terminal 2 to Berlin city centre.
If you have a connecting flight, late arrival, or early departure, staying near Berlin airport is a smart choice. Some of the best places to stay in Berlin Brandenburg Airport for first-timers are:
luxury ($$$): Steigenberger Airport Hotel Berlin, excellent hotel in Schönefeld, one of the best places to stay in Berlin near the airport. It is located within walking distance from the airport and train station to Berlin city center. It is close to a super market, and the hotel features restaurant, fitness centre, bar, 24-hour front desk, and currency exchange for guests.
mid-range ($$): IntercityHotel Berlin Brandenburg Airport, great hotel, located a short ride by shuttle bus or train, between Terminal 1 and 2, offering soundproofed rooms with flat-screen TV.
mid-range ($$): Holiday Inn Berlin Airport – Conference Centre, an IHG Hotel, great airport hotel, offering easy access to airport and the Berlin ExpoCenter Airport exhibition ground. It has spacious, soundproofed rooms, on-site restaurant, cafe, and Wundermart-Shop in the lobby.
Where should I to stay in Berlin for the first time?
Mitte is the best overall area to stay in Berlin for first time visitors due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be within walking distance to the Berlin’s top tourist attractions, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops.
What are the best areas to stay in Berlin for tourists?
Mitte, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Kreuzberg, Tiergarten, Schöneberg, Neukolln, Moabit, and Wedding are some of the best areas to stay in Berlin due to its wide variety of attractions and amenities.
Where is the best area Stay In Berlin?
Mitte is the best area to stay in Berlin for tourists, especially for first-timers. It is a central district close to many of Berlin’s major attractions, such as Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, and Alexanderplatz. It’s a great choice if you want to be in the heart of the city’s historical and cultural sites.
Should I stay in East Berlin or West Berlin?
If you want to stay close to Berlin’s top attraction and nightlife, it is better to stay in East Berlin’s neighborhoods like Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain. West Berlin also offers great shopping, entertainment, and cultural attractions.
What are the safest areas to stay in Berlin?
Mittle, Charlottenburg and Prenzlauer Berg are some of the safest areas to stay in Berlin for tourists, but as you travel to any big city, you should always practice common sense and be aware of pickpocketing.
Where not to stay in Berlin?
There are no no-go areas in Berlin, but you should avoid some areas such as Gorlitzer Park, Alexanderplatz at night because it can be dangerous at that time.
Where To Stay In Berlin With Family?
Some of the best areas to stay in Berlin with kids are Prenzlauer Berg, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Alexanderplatz, and Friedrichstraße Bahnhof. These areas offer plenty of family-friendly accommodations and attractions for children of all ages.
Where to stay in Berlin for nightlife?
Friedrichshain is the best place to stay if you want to stay close to the nightlife area. The areas along Ostbahnhof and Revaler Straße / Simon-Dach Strasse has lots of bars and restaurants. If you are a party animal, Friedrichshain is the district to be in!
- 2 Days In Berlin Itinerary
- Best Hotels in Berlin, Germany
- Safest areas to stay in Berlin for first time visitors
- Best placces to Stay in Frankfurt
- Best places to Stay in Hamburg
The Germany’s capital, Berlin is a huge city five times the size of Paris and made up of twelve unique boroughs (Bezirke). Each district has a distinct character and history, and there is something for every kind of traveler from seasoned backpacker to first-time visitor.
In conclusion, Mitte, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Kreuzberg, Tiergarten, Schöneberg, Neukolln, Moabit, and Wedding are the best places to stay in Berlin for tourists. They offer a wide range of accommodations for all budget travelers.
Overall, I recommend Mitte as the best area to stay in Berlin for the first time due to its central location, easy access to public transportation, tourist amenities and attractions. I also suggest spending at least 3-4 days in Berlin to get a good feel for the city.