Where to Stay in Berlin for First Timers: Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Berlin for first-timers are the neighborhoods of Mitte, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Schöneberg, Prenzlauer Berg, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Neukolln, and Tiergarten. These districts are very popular with tourist, and they offer a wide variety of tourist attractions and amenities. In this guide, I will help you to decide where to stay in Berlin for family, couples, singles, one night, Christmas markets, as well as the safest places to stay in Berlin.

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.

The Germany’s capital, Berlin is a huge city five times the size of Paris and made up of twelve unique boroughs. Each neighborhood has a distinct character and history, and there is something for every kind of traveler in this vibrant city, from seasoned backpacker to first-time visitor.

Mitte is the best area to stay in Berlin for first time tourist because it has the most central location and it offers a wide range of accommodation for all budget travelers. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of action, within walking distance to famous tourist attractions, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

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 districts to stay in Berlin for tourist.

To book hotel, I recommend to spend at least 3 to 5 days in Berlin to explore the city. This time will allow to see the most famous landmarks, taste some local food, and get the sense of the local culture and history. You can always visit the capital of Germany again and explore more next time!

💖 Best Area for First-Timers:Mitte
💎 Best luxury hotel:Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:NH Collection Berlin Mitte Friedrichstrasse
💰 Best budget hotel:Motel One Berlin-Spittelmarkt

Best areas to stay in Berlin for tourist

1. Mitte, where to stay in Berlin for the first-time visitors

Mitte, best place to stay in Berlin for first time visitors
Mitte

Mittle is the best place to stay in Berlin for first-time travelers due to its close proximity to Berlin’s top tourist attractions such as Alexanderplatz, Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, and East Berlin wall. If stay here, you will be located in the middle of action, within walking distance to the most famous historical sites and museums, as well as many shopping, dining, and nightlife venues.

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 is the most visited museum in Berlin. The Alte Nationalgalerie, or Old National Gallery, is a 19th-century art museum. Bode Museum displays an interesting collection of statues, coins and Byzantine art. Altes Museum, or Old Museum was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, home to a collection of classic antiques. 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 (Berliner Dom) is an imposing landmark on Museum Island.

Another most famous historical site in berlin is the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor). 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 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.

Nearby, the Holocaust Memorial, or Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe 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. The square is a great place to taste German beer, and try traditional German cuisine like apple strudel and roast knuckle of pork. You can also admire surrounded historic buildings like Konzerthaus, French Cathedral, and German Cathedral.

For retail therapy and shopping, visit the lively Hackescher Höfe, Mall of Berlin, and Friedrichstraße. Friedrichstraße is 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.

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

Mitte is a safe neighborhood for visitors during day and in night, but as in any famous tourist destination, 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 busses stops around the district. It is home to Berlin’s main station, Friedrichstraße Bahnhof, which is just one stop to Central Railway Station. You can easy access to Brandenburg airport, and using the TXL, express bus to the Tegel airport.

If you stay in Berlin for 1-3 days, then Mittle is the best choice because all Berlin’s top attractions are within the walking distance.

Mittle has all types of accommodations ranging from backpacker hostels to high-end hotels. Due to its central location, acommodations in Mitte is more expensive than in other neighborhoods, 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 this is your first visit; you want to stay close to historial and cultural sights of Berlin; you’re looking for places to stay in Berlin for Christmas Markets, New Year’s Eve;

Best Places to stay in Berlin in Mitte:

luxury ($$$): Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin This 5-star hotel is located in Mitte, within easy walk from the Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and Pariser Platz. All guest rooms come with antique furnishings, marble bathrooms. You can relax at its neoclassical indoor pool, gym and a spa.

mid-range ($$): NH Collection Berlin Mitte Friedrichstrasse This 4-star hotel is set in a prime location, next to Friedrichstrasse Train Station and only a short walk from the Brandenburg Gate and Unten den Linden, Berlin’s historic tree-lined boulevard. There is Underground parking and spacious rooms.

budget ($): Motel One Berlin-Spittelmarkt This 3-star hotel is set within easy walk from Spittelmarkt Underground Station where you can take the train to to Alexanderplatz Square and Potsdamer Platz Square. The famous Gendarmenmarkt Square and the Friedrichstraße shopping street are also nearby.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN MITTE

2. Alexanderplatz, good place to stay in Berlin

Located in the famous Mittle district, Alexanderplatz, also known as Alex by Berliners, is 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. With so many tourist attractions are located within walking distance, Alexanderplatz is also a good place to stay in Berlin for sightseeing and shopping.

Alexanderplatz is home to Weltzeituhr, or World Time Clock with the 24 time zones, a popular meeting place for Berliners and tourists in the East. Meanwhile, the 368-meter-high television tower, Berliner Fernsehturm, is Germany’s tallest building. It was built in Communist East Germany (DDR). You can go up to the top of the tower and enjoy the views over the city.

Nearby, you will see the Neptune Fountain, House of Teachers, and Fountain of Friendship Between Peoples, all added in 1969 to showcase the DDR aesthetic.

Other points of interest are the St. Mary’s Church, Berlin’s oldest church; the Red Town Hall which is home to the mayor and government of Berlin Senate, and 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 the 35,000 square meters shopping paradise of Galleria, Alexa shopping center with a food court, children’s play centre. The Saturn for electric stuff and the Independent Fashion Stores are just a few steps from the train station.

For more designer shops, head to the Scheunenviertel, or Hackescher Markt which is the former Jewish quarter. Hackesche Höfe is a famous courtyard contains a labyrinth of eight courtyards, with many shops, cafes, and restaurants. there are also Rosenhöfe and Rosenthaler Höfe nearby.

After spending a day sightseeing and shopping, you will also have plenty 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 4-star Park Inn Hotel is particularly located in a prime retail location looking onto the main square.

Best places to stay in Alexanderplatz:

luxury ($$$): Radisson Collection Hotel, Berlin This 5-star hotel is centrally located opposite Berlin Cathedral, 700 m from Alexanderplatz Square. You can enjoy food and drink at its on-site HEat Restaurant & Bar, as well as a breakfast buffet at the Cathedral Lounge. It’s also within easy walk from River Spree, Museum Island, Humboldt Forum, ans Hackescher Markt.

mid-range ($$): Lux 11 Berlin-Mitte located in Alexanderplatz Square in Berlin’s Mitte district, this hotel offers rooms and apartments with kitchenettes and modern bathrooms. There are many Underground, S-Bahn and regional trains in the neighborhood. You also close to the trendy nightlife venues of Hackescher Markt and Rosa-Luxemburg Platz.

budget ($): Motel One Berlin-Alexanderplatz Located near Alexanderplatz, Pergamon Museum and Gendarmenmarkt, this hotel has non-smoking rooms with air conditioning, a seating area, a flat-screen TV, a safety deposit box. the TV Tower, Neues Museum and German Historical Museum are also nearby.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN ALEXANDERPLATZ

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3. Friedrichshain, where to stay in Berlin for nightlife

Friedrichshain, where to stay in Berlin for nightlife
Berlin wall

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. It 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. You can also use metro (U1, U3, U5), trams and buses, s-bahn to get here.

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 Mercedes Benz Arena and Oberbaumbrücke bridge. Oberbaumbrücke is 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. Betwen Frankfurter Tor and Strausberger Platz, you will find the most impressive buildings. 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. Inside the park, you can find 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 with a shared outdoor terrace, a swimming pool, free wifi, on-site restaurants and bars, and within walking distance from tourist attractions and train stations.

Stay in Friedrichshain if you want vibrant nightlife with best clubs in Berlin; you’re looking for an area to stay for a cultural trip.

Best places to stay in Berlin in Friedrichshain:

luxury ($$$): Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof This stylish hotel is set in the Friedrichhain and Kreuzberg districts, close to Berlin’s Ostbahnhof train station. It is a pet-friendly hotel with free high-speed WiFi, non-smoking rooms with air conditioning and a private bathroom.

mid-range ($$): Holiday Inn Berlin City East Side, an IHG Hotel Located in the trendy Friedrichshain neighbourhood, this 4-star hotel is also a 2-minute walk from the popular East Side Gallery. It has a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a bar, as well as full breakfast buffet and classic German specialities for dinner.

budget ($): Hampton By Hilton Berlin City East Side Gallery Located right between the Mercedes Benz Arena and the East Side Gallery in the Friedrichshain district, this 3-star hotel offers a fitness centre, a 24-hour business centre, as well as continental or hot breakfast. With the Warschauer Straße Train Station nearby, you can easy reach Schönefeld Airport and Berlin Main Station.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN FRIEDRICHSHAIN

4. Kreuzberg, coolest neighborhood to stay in Berlin

Kreuzberg, a central neighborhood with good nightlife
Urbanhafen Berlin Kreuzberg

Kreuzberg along with Friedrichshain is one of the coolest neighborhood in Berlin. 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 bars and pubs to check out. 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. You can learn about the local history at The FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum. Meanwhile, The Jewish Museum with the Baroque Kollegienhaus and a Deconstructivist-style will show you more about the culture and history in Germany and Europe.

The Berlinische Galerie is 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. There is a 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.

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;

Best places to stay in Berlin in Kreuzberg:

luxury ($$$): Orania.Berlin Hotel This 5-star hotel is located in the Kreuzberg district famous for its diverse cultural and art scene. There is an on-site restaurant and bar, and 24-hour fitness centre. All rooms have a flat-screen TV, free WiFi, a coffee machine, and free toiletries.

mid-range ($$): Crowne Plaza Berlin This 4-star hotel is located within walking distance from Potsdamer Platz, Anhalter Bahnhof Train Station and Möckernbrücke‎ underground stations. It has contemporary rooms with a flat-screen TVand minibar.

budget ($): Hotel Johann this 3-star hotel is located in lively Kreuzberg district, easy walk from Prinzenstraße Underground Station, historic Jewish Museum and the Berlinische Galerie art museum. Rooms are come with a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN KREUZBERG

5. Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, one of the safest area to stay in Berlin

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, upscale and family-friendly district
Charlottenburg

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 a magnificent baroque gardens. I was originally desinged by Siméon Godeau in the French style but remodeled tp an English-style landscaped park in the 19th century, and then restored to itsoriginal style after WWII. Hightlight places in the park is the the mausoleum, the Belvedere tea house and the Neuer Pavillon.

The Savignyplatz is a beautifu square with many restaurants and cafés. You can enjoy nightlife and coctail at Café Gainsborough. Cour Carée and 12 Apostel, are also popular places for locals and tourists alike.

Other things to do in this area including the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection, Theater des Westens, and Museum Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.

This area is also home to some of the best shopping in Berlin, so if you’re looking for a little retail therapy then this is the spot for you, esppecially, the Kurfürstendamm shopping street which is the prime location for shopping in the capital of Germany. It has 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.

Best places to stay in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf:

Luxury ($$$): Hyperion Hotel Berlin This 5-star hotel is conveniently located in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district. It’s close to Güntzelstraße Underground Station, Kurfürstendamm shopping street, and Berlin Zoo. It offers soundproofed rooms with a satellite TV, safe and minibar. Enjoy food and drink at the on-site Plaza restaurant and Kästner bistro.

Mid-range ($$): Lindner Hotel Am Ku’damm – Berlin this 4-star hotel is centrally located on the Kurfürstendamm shopping street, close to Kurfürstendamm Underground Station and the historic Gedächtniskirche Church. It has spacious soundproofed rooms with a minibar, a safe, a flat-screen TV and free internet.

Budget ($): Hotel Brandies an der Messe This hotel is set within a short distance from the ICC trade fair and Kaiserdamm Underground Station. There is a direct underground line from the Olympic Stadium, Zoologischer Garten and Potsdamer Platz.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN CHARLOTTENBURG – WILMERSDORF

6. Tiergarten, Berlin’s most popular park

Tiergarten, relaxing neighborhood, lots of open green spaces
Tiergarten

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 Tiergarten:

Luxury ($$$): Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof this 5-star hotel is centrally located a 5-minute walk from Berlin Zoo, Zoologischer Garten S-Bahn train station, and the Kurfürstendamm shopping street. It offers spacious, modern rooms with a minibar and private bathrooms with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers.

Midrange ($$): Novotel Berlin Am Tiergarten this 4-star hotel is located in Berlin’s Tiergarten district. It close to Tiergarten S-Bahn station with easy access to Zoo Station, Berlin Main Station, and the Ku’damm shopping. It provides modern rooms, a Mediterranean restaurant, a wellness area and a gym.

Budget ($): Hotel Hansablick this 3-star hotel is located within easy walk from Tiergarten Park, Tiergarten S-Bahn Train Station and River Spree. It offers spacious rooms with flat-screen TVs and floor-to-ceiling windows.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN TIERGARTEN

7. Schöneberg, vibrant disitrict with lively nightlife and shopping

Schöneberg, best area to stay in Berlin for shopping
Schöneberg Alper Çuğun

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.

Best places to stay in Schöneberg:

luxury ($$$): Riu Plaza Berlin This hotel is set on Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm boulevard, with a short walk from Kurfürstendamm Underground Station and the world-famous KaDeWe department store. All guest rooms have a flat-screen satellite TV, a safe, fridge, air conditioning and a private bathroom.

mid-range ($$): Hotel Sachsenhof Berlin This 3-star hotel is set on a quiet side street in Berlin’s Schöneberg district, a 2-minute walk from the lively Nollendorfplatz Square and Nollendorfplatz Underground Station. It offers spacious rooms with a cable TV, a seating area and a modern bathroom.

budget ($): ibis Berlin Kurfuerstendamm this 2-star hotel is located within easy stroll from KaDeWe Department Store, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and Berlin Zoo and Aquarium. It offers soundproofed rooms with parquet flooring.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN SCHONEBERG

8. Prenzlauer Berg, best area to stay in Berlin for family

Prenzlauer Berg, best area to stay in Berlin for family
Prenzlauer Berg

Prenzlauer Berg, or known as Prenzlberg by local, 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 a relaxed and chilled out. It has many more green spaces than other neighborhoods in the city with tree-lined boulevards and parks. The Mauerpark, means Wall Park in English, is a former part of the Berlin Wall.

The Mauerpark is popular with family, artists, musicians, and couples of all age with its recreation, entertainment, and graffiti. The park host an amazing flea market every Sunday where you can enjoy music, food, and beer. The Bearpit Karaoke stage also attracts crowds on weekend.

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;

Best places to stay in Berlin in Prenzlauer Berg:

luxury ($$$): Holiday Inn Berlin City Center East Prenzlauer Berg, an IHG Hotel This 4-star hotel is located in lively Prenzlauer Berg district, within easy walk from The Erich-Weinert-Straße tram stop and Prenzlauer Allee S-Bahn Train Station. It provides air-conditioned rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and free wifi.

mid-range ($$): limehome Berlin Prenzlauer Allee This accommodation is centrallt located in Berlin’s Prenzlauerberg district. Easy walk from Senefelderplatz Underground Station and nearby cafes, shops, restaurants, and bars. All rooms have modern furnishings , a coffee machine, and private bathroom.

budget ($): Schoenhouse Berlin by limehome This self-catering apartments is on the edge of the lively Prenzlauer Berg district, only from Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz Underground Station. Rooms are spacious with a kitchen, a dining table.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN PRENZLAUER BERG

9. Neukolln, cool multicultural area of Berlin

Neukolln, cool multicultural area of Berlin
Britz garden Neukölln Berlin

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 Neukölln:

mid-range ($$): Leonardo Boutique Berlin Hotel this 4-star hotel is located in Berlin’s south-eastern district, a 15-minute drive to Schönefeld Airport. It offers easy access to Johannisthaler Chaussee Underground Station, A100 and A113 city motorways. All guest rooms come with desks and soundproofed windows and blackout curtains.

budget ($): Apartment Schmidt this modern accommodation in Neukölln, within easy stroll frommany bars, cafes, supermakets and restaurants. All rooms have kitchen with an oven and a toaster, a coffee machine and a kettle.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN NEUKOLLN

10. Moabit, budget, central location in Berlin, good public transport

Moabit, budget, central location in Berlin, good public transport

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.

Best places to stay in Moabit:

Luxury ($$$): Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt centrally located beside the German Parliament building, this hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, a bar and an a restaurant, air-conditioned rooms, and free wifi.

Mid-range ($$): IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof  this 4-star hotel is located 200 m from Berlin Main Train Station. All rooms are well-equipped with a satellite TV, seating area and private bathroom.

Budget ($): Hotel AMANO Grand Central conveniently located a 3-minute walk from Berlin Main Station with direct buses to Tegel Airport and direct trains to Schönefeld Airport. It has a bistro restaurant, on-site shops, rooftop terrace, and a stylish bar.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN MOABIT

11. Bergmannkiez, where to stay in Berlin for local vibe

Bergmannkiez, the best area to stay in Berlin for local vibe
Victoria Park

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.

Best place to stay in Bergmannkiez: GINN City & Lounge Yorck Berlin Hotel This hotel offers guest rooms with air conditioning, a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a safety deposit box and a private bathroom with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries.

12. Wedding, budget friendly area with hippy feel

Wedding, budget friendly area with hippy feel

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 Wedding:

budget ($): Hotel Axel Springer this B&B is located 4 km from Natural History Museum and 5 km from Brandenburg Gate. It has guest rooms with flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a hairdryer, free toiletries and shower.

budget ($): Downtown Apartments Mitte-Wedding Located in peace and quiet area of Wedding district and close to center, this apartment has units with a kitchen, a safety deposit box, a satellite flat-screen TV, and a seating area.

🔍MORE HOTELS IN WEDDING

13. Berlin Brandenburg Airport, where to stay in Berlin to catch flights

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 late arrival or early departure, staying near Berlin airport is a smart choice. I recommend to stay in the best places to stay in Berlin Brandenburg Airport (Berlin Schönefeld Airport):

luxury ($$$): Steigenberger Airport Hotel Berlin This 4-star hotel is located in Schönefeld, only 200 m from Berlin Brandenburg Airport. It has an on-site restaurant, fitness centre, bar, a spa and wellness centre. There is a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange.

mid-range ($$): IntercityHotel Berlin Brandenburg Airport this hotel is set only 400 m from BER Airport Terminal 5 and 6,6 km from Terminal 1 and 2. It has soundproofed rooms, bistro, lounge bar, and summer terrace.

mid-range ($$): Holiday Inn Berlin Airport – Conference Centre, an IHG Hotel Located 15 minutes drive by taxi to the airport, this hotel offers spacious, soundproofed rooms, an on-site restaurant, the To Go Café, and a roof terrace.

Check out my virtual tour of the best places to stay in Berlin in this video:

Where should I to stay in Berlin for the first time?

Mitte is the best 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. With its excellent transport, you can easily travel to other parts of the city.

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!

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Overall, Mitte is the best area to stay in Berlin for the first time because it is the most convenient location. If you stay in this area, you will be located in the middle of action, within walking distance to many famous tourist attractions and tourist amenities. It also offers the widest range of hotels, bars, restaurants, and shops.

Once you picked the best neighborhood to stay, you need to book a hotel and decide How many days is enough in Berlin? Well, if this is your first visit, I recommend to spend at least 3-5 days in Berlin to explore the city. This amount of time is enough to see the most famous attractions, enjoy the food and wine, as well as get the sense of the city. You can always come back next time and explore more!

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