Berlin is a really huge city. It is nine times bigger than Paris! Thus choosing where to stay in Berlin 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 from the area you’ll choose. So follow my guide to find out the best area to stay in Berlin for you.
The best area to stay in Berlin map
Hotel deals in Berlin
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 the both airports (Tegel and Schönefeld) as well. Even if you decide to stay far from the city center, you will be able to reach it in less than 15 minutes.
Where to stay in Berlin for sightseeing
Mitte (means “middle”) is the historical center 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 area to stay in Berlin. It is the best choice if you are visiting the city for a 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.
This is the district I chose to stay during my first trip to Berlin. I stayed at Monbijou Hotel.
If you want to be in the center 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, Berlin Cathedral and Brandenburg Gate.
- 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
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, 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
The best areas to stay in Berlin for hipsters
Kreuzberg is one of the hippest and most colourful districts in Berlin. It is the heart of alternative Berlin. The place is a home of 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 from 11:00 AM to 06:30 PM.
- Oranienstraße and Bergmannstraße – colorful 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
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
Where to stay in Berlin to feel as a local
Prenzlauer Berg (Pankow)
Prenzlauer Berg is ideal if you search for a calm residential area. Its relaxed atmosphere is combined with amazing cafes, restaurants, shops and picturesque buildings. The list of tourists sites in Prenzlauer Berg is not long. Yet, there are few that deserve your attention: Wasserturm (Berlin’s oldest water tower), Jewish Cemetery, Gethsemanekirche.
Choose Prenzlauer Berg
If you want a nice calm residential area close to the historic landmarks.
- Kulturbrauerei – a former brewery turned into a complex with clubs, restaurants and cultural spaces.
- Mauer Park – there is a popular vintage flea market on Sundays.
Where to stay in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg
Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf )
Charlottenburg was the center of former West Berlin. Although not very central, it is my favourite district. The Charlottenburg Palace and the classical style buildings from 19th century give a certain charm to the district. Charlottenburg is one of the best places for high-end shopping, too.
If you want to stay in Berlin in a quiet residential area combined with high-end restaurants, shops and a lot of history.
- Must see tourist sites: Charlottenburg Palace and Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
- Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) and Kurfürstendamm – the best places for high-end shopping.