Where to stay in Berlin for sightseeing or nightlife? What is the most central place to stay in Berlin?
Berlin is a really huge city. It is nine times bigger than Paris! Thus choosing the best location for your vacation can be a little bit tricky.
The separation of the city into East and West Berlin during the Cold War led to the incredible diversity of Berlin. Each borough has a unique personality. Your whole experience will depend on the area you’ll choose. So follow my guide to find out the best district to stay in Berlin for nightlife or sightseeing.
Where to stay in Berlin for sightseeing
The best place to stay in Berlin for tourists is the historical city centre, Mitte. Most of the landmarks are in this area. Yet, you’ll have to use the public transport to reach Charlottenburg Palace or the Zoo.
Berlin has a well-connected public transport. Thus, even if you don’t book a central hotel, you can easily reach almost every part of the city. Just keep in mind to choose a hotel near a metro station.
The best area to stay in Berlin for nightlife
The best place to stay in Berlin for bars is Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The area is vibrant with a hipster charm. It’s a home of the most popular bars and clubs in Berlin.
The best neighbourhood to stay in Berlin for the Christmas Markets
Berlin is known as the capital city of the German Christmas markets. More than 60 markets stocked with mulled wine, delicious sausages and beautiful tree ornaments are waiting for you. Most of the markets are in Mitte and Tiergarten districts. Thus if you’re visiting the city for Christmas, better book a hotel in any of these two neighbourhoods.
Where I stayed
For my trip to Berlin, I chose Mitte. For me, this is the best location to stay in Berlin, especially if you’re a tourist. I stayed at Monbijou Hotel. It is a lovely boutique hotel, conveniently located to an S-Bahn station. Also, it’s close to Alexanderplatz where the airport buses stop.
The best area to stay in Berlin, Germany – map
There are twelve boroughs (Bezirke) in Berlin. Each of them has a number of smaller neighbourhoods (Ortsteil).
The public transport in Berlin is perfect. It consists of U-Bahn (metro), S-Bahn (city train), regular trams and buses. There are also many bike lanes. You can hire a bike and easily explore the city.
All districts listed below are well connected to each other and to both airports (Tegel and Schönefeld) as well. Even if you decide to stay far from the city centre, you will be able to reach it in less than 15 minutes.
Mitte (means “middle”) is the historical centre of Berlin. During the Cold War, it was the city centre of the former East Berlin, too. This is the place where the city was born in the 12th century.
Mitte is the most central place to stay in Berlin. It is the best choice if you are visiting the city for the first time. Almost all major tourist attractions are here. You can easily explore the city walking or use the subway for 1-2 stops. Mitte is also the most expensive area to stay in Berlin.
If you want to be in the centre of the action, close to all tourist sites or you are short on time.
- Alexanderplatz – the airports’ buses for both Tegel and Schönefeld airports stop here.
- Hackescher Markt – the area is full of small designer shops. There is also a weekly market on Thursdays and Saturdays from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM. There you can find homemade products, antiques and unique items.
- Unter den Linden – take a stroll on the most famous boulevard in Berlin.
- All the must-see sites are here: Museum Island, TV Tower and Berlin Cathedral.
- Zeit für Brot – my favourite place for breakfast in Berlin.
- Princess Cheesecake – if you love cheesecakes, don’t miss it.
- Ritter Sport Bunte Schokowelt – a huge Ritter shop.
- Sophieneck – try the Schnitzel with mushroom sauce.
Where to stay in Berlin Mitte
Luxury & boutique hotels
This district is named after Tiergarten, a huge park located within the area. Tiergarten is one of Berlin’s green lungs. The district is centrally located, but calmer than Mitte. The huge park offers great opportunities for long walks and picnics.
If you want to be close to the main attractions, but search for a calmer and greener place.
- Tourist sites not to miss: Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Victory Column, Berlin Zoo and Aquarium.
- Beer gardens – you’ll find a lot of beer gardens in the area. Order your favourite beer and enjoy the sunny weather.
- Potsdamer Platz – a well-connected transportation hub.
Where to stay in Berlin, Tiergarten
Luxury & boutique hotels
Kreuzberg is one of the hippest and most colourful districts in Berlin. It is the heart of alternative Berlin. The place is a home to a lot of immigrants and has a large Turkish community.
Kreuzberg is packed with vintage shops, canalside food markets and hipster bars. If you search for nightlife, indie vibe and international atmosphere – don’t stay anywhere else. This is the place for you.
If you look for a colourful district with great nightlife.
- Tourist sites to see – Checkpoint Charlie, Jewish Museum, Topography of Terror.
- Victoria Park – you can enjoy awesome views over Berlin from here.
- The Turkish Market – a great place for oriental specialities, fresh fruits and cheap food. It takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 AM to 06:30 PM.
- Oranienstraße and Bergmannstraße – colourful streets full of shops, small cafes and restaurants.
- Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebab – one of the best döner kebabs in Berlin.
- Burgermeister – one of the best places for burgers in Berlin.
- Markthalle Neun – a food market, famous for its “Street Food Thursday” event. It takes place every Thursday evening 05:00 PM – 10:00 PM.
Where to stay in Kreuzberg
Luxury & boutique hotels
Friedrichshain is a vibrant and colourful neighbourhood. The atmosphere here is close to the one in Kreuzberg. Friedrichshain is one of the most popular areas for bar-hopping and clubbing. Like in Kreuzberg, here you will find a lot of boutique and vintage shops.
There is no lack of history in Friedrichshain, too. The largest remains of the Berlin Wall are here.
If you search for a vibrant neighbourhood with awesome bar and clubs.
- East Side Gallery – an open-air gallery, painted on the remains of the former Berlin Wall.
- Oberbaumbrücke – the most beautiful bridge in Berlin. It connects Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg.
- RAW-Gelände – a former train station covered in graffiti. This is also the place where some of the best nightclubs in Friedrichshain are.
Where to stay in Friedrichshain
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Things to do in Berlin
Visit the Berlin TV Tower and enjoy the breathtaking views over the city.
Take a Trabi Safari and discover the German capital city while driving in the official car of the DDR.
Take a day tour and explore the dark history of the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in a guided tour.
I recommend these tours
How to get from Berlin airport to the city centre
There are two airports: Berlin Tegel Airport and Berlin Schönefeld Airport.
Berlin Tegel Airport is the main airport for international carriers. It is located in the north-west part of the city. See how to get there using the public transport.
Berlin Schönefeld Airport is a base for low-cost airlines. It is situated 18 km south-east of the city centre. You can reach it by bus and S-Bahn railway.
Have you been to Berlin? What is the best area to stay in Berlin for you?
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About the author
|I'm a travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places and cultures. I want to show you how easy it is to organize your vacation all by yourself.|
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