Where is the best place to stay in Berlin, Germany? This guide will help you decide where you should stay depending on the purpose of your trip (sightseeing, nightlife, Christmas markets).
Berlin, the capital city of Germany, is a cultural and food hub. Once divided in two by the Wall, nowadays the city is a modern multicultural metropolis.
Located on the banks of the Rivers Spree, Berlin is the largest city in Germany. In fact, it’s nine times bigger than Paris! So, choosing the best area to stay in Berlin, could be a challenging task. Especially, if this is your first-time visit to the city.
Luckily, Berlin has an excellent public transport system. The metro system consists of U-Bahn (underground trains) and S-Bahn (suburban trains). They allow you to reach easily every part of the city. Yet, if you don’t want to spend too much time on public transport, I recommend you choose a more central place to stay. Or at least book a hotel near a metro station.
The German capital is divided into 12 districts (Bezirk). Each district is further divided into smaller neighbourhoods. The separation of the city into the capitalist West and communist East during the Cold War led to its incredible diversity. Each borough has a unique vibe and personality.
To help you decide where to stay when visiting Berlin, I’ve outlined the best places for sightseeing, nightlife, shopping and Christmas markets. In addition, you can find recommended hotels and apartments for each area.
Where to stay in Berlin first time
- Mitte (southern part) – for tourists
- Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg (eastern part) – for nightlife
- Mitte (Checkpoint Charlie) – for Christmas markets
- Alexanderplatz and Breitscheidplatz – for shopping
- Friedrichstraße Bahnhof – for one night
I’ve visited Berlin a few times, staying in a different area each time. So far, my favourite location is Alexanderplatz. It’s super convenient for transport links (for both airports and the S-Bahn for Potsdam). Plus, the major attractions are within walking distance and there are plenty of nice restaurants and cafés close by.
If you look for an area that is great for sightseeing, transport links and shopping, look no further than Alexanderplatz.
Most popular hotel in Berlin
Looking for the best hotel to stay in the heart of Berlin?
Then check out NH Collection Mitte – it’s the most popular hotel near Checkpoint Charlie.
This hotel is the perfect place for tourists because of its strategic location next to Checkpoint Charlie. This is the hotel for you if you want to be at a walking distance to everything. Plus, it offers an excellent spa centre, a modern restaurant and public parking.
Mitte – the best area to stay in Berlin
Where to stay in Berlin as a tourist? It’s important to choose a good location unless you want to spend most of your time commuting. Find a map of the best areas here.
The best place to stay in Berlin for sightseeing is the Mitte district (the southern part). Mitte is the city’s oldest district and its historical centre. During the Cold War, this was the centre of the communist East.
Mitte is the most central place to stay in Berlin. It’s the best choice for tourists or if you’re visiting the city for the first time. The area is home to the most iconic landmarks, like Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate, Berlin TV Tower. Plus, everything you need is just around the corner.
Choose Mitte district
If you look for a central location, within reach to the historic sights.
- Potsdamer Platz, Friedrichstraße Bahnhof, Alexanderplatz – three of the city’s major transportation hubs are within the area.
- Convenient access to the Central railway station and Schönefeld Airport using the S-Bahn and U-Bahn.
- A large portion of the tourist attractions is here. You can easily explore the city walking (the distance between the sights is reasonable).
- Take a stroll on the city’s most famous boulevard Unter den Linden.
- Spend a day in the world-renowned museums on Museum Island. You can buy a Museum Pass that includes all the museums on Museum Island (plus, you’ll skip some of the lines).
- See the iconic Brandenburg Gate illuminated at night.
- Enjoy a unique panorama of the city from the viewing platform of the TV Tower. Don’t forget to buy tickets for the tower in advance (the lines are huge).
- See Checkpoint Charlie – the famous crossing point between the East and West Berlin.
- Explore Hackescher Markt, an area 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.
The best hotels in Berlin city centre (Mitte)
Hotels in Mitte (Best for families)
This is the most popular family hotel near Checkpoint Charlie. The location is strategic for exploring the city on foot (right in the heart of Berlin). The hotel features soundproofed rooms, excellent spa facilities and restaurant on-site.
Location: 350m from Checkpoint Charlie Facilities: wellness centre, public parking Guests love: excellent breakfast
Situated right next to Museum Island, this hotel is the perfect base for sightseeing. Quiet area with a metro station just around the corner. The spacious rooms feature a modern design inspired by the New York Stock Exchange.
Location: 100m from Museum Island Facilities: WiFi, public parking nearby Guests love: comfy beds
Hotels in Mitte (Best for couples)
This is the most popular hotel in the heart of Berlin and for a reason. You can’t find a better location. The hotel is in a very walkable part of the city, right next to the Museum Island. The rooms are spacious and feature a modern design.
Location: 100m from Museum Island Facilities: restaurant and bar on-site Guests love: superb location
If you look for both comfort and superb location at an affordable price, this is the best place. It’s only 5min from Checkpoint Charlie and 3min from a metro station. Modern big rooms, perfect for a rest after a whole day of sightseeing.
Location: 200m from Checkpoint Charlie Facilities: private parking, bicycle rental Guests love: attentive personal
Best luxury hotels in Mitte
The Westin Grand offers airy and bright rooms with fantastic amenities. The location is ideal, 2min walk from the famous Unter den Linden Boulevard and near the tourist attractions. The hotel features a great restaurant and a spa centre with a swimming pool. It’s a perfect place for a luxurious stay.
Location: 100m from Unter den Linden Boulevard Facilities: wellness centre, garden Guests love: superb beds
For a luxury city break at an affordable price, stay at Titanic Gendarmenmarkt. It is right next to Gendarmenmarkt Square, close to key museums. Plus, the hop-on-hop-off buses stop just around the corner. The hotel features a grill restaurant with a show kitchen and a spa centre with an authentic Turkish steam bath.
Location: next to Gendarmenmarkt Facilities: grill restaurant, wellness centre Guests love: wide selection at breakfast
Best apartments in Mitte
This aparthotel offers big apartments with full kitchen and laundry. And if you don’t want to eat out, there is a grocery store on the next street. Yet, the best part is that you can enjoy a spa treatment after a long day of sightseeing.
Location: 500m from Checkpoint Charlie Facilities: spa with indoor pool, tapas restaurant Guests love: excellent amenities
Modern stylish apartments with a kitchenette. Great location, with access to two train stations and next to Friedrichstraße shopping street. The area is quiet and safe.
Location: 100m from Unter den Linden Boulevard Facilities: underground garage, Italian restaurant Guests love: easy check-in
Friedrichshain – Where to stay in Berlin for nightlife
Where to stay in Berlin to party? If clubbing is your thing, then stay in Friedrichshain or eastern part of Kreuzberg. This area features the best bars and clubs in the city. It’s the heart and the soul of the city’s nightlife scene.
Friedrichshain is a colourful and vibrant neighbourhood. If you look for nightlife, indie vibe and international atmosphere – don’t stay anywhere else. This is the place for you.
Located east of Mitte district, the area is still central and well-connected to the historical city centre of Berlin. You can reach it within 15-20min using the metro.
Kreuzberg is a large district south of the Spree River. It’s a multicultural neighbourhood. Kreuzberg is packed with vintage shops, canalside food markets and hipster bars.
Yet, if you’re in Berlin to party, stay in the eastern side. The areas of Wranglerkiez and Köttbusser Tor are quite popular for nightlife. Plus, you’ll be just a short walk from the clubs in Friedrichshain.
Choose Friedrichshain district
If you look for a vibrant neighbourhood with great bars and clubs.
- Easy access to the historic centre – only a couple stops away (from Ostbahnhof and Warschauer Straße stations).
- Take an East Side boat cruise along the River Spree.
- East Side Gallery – an open-air gallery, painted on the remains of the former Wall (don’t miss this Street Art Tour and Workshop).
- Oberbaumbrücke – the most beautiful bridge in the city. It connects Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg.
- Berghain – a world-famous techno club (and known as the toughest one to get into).
- RAW-Gelände – a former train station covered in graffiti. This is also the place where some of the best nightclubs in Friedrichshain are.
- Boxhagener Kiez – a small park, home to plenty of quirky bars and cafes
This is the most popular hotel to stay in East Berlin. It features a modern design with a city vibe. The hotel is next to the Berlin Wall, in an area with plenty of nice bars and cafés. Ostbahnhof train station is just outside the hotel, so travelling to Mitte and the airport is easy as can be.
Location: next to East Side Gallery Facilities: WiFi, beer garden Guests love: vegetarian options for breakfast
This is the best place to stay in Berlin for nightlife. The hotel is just a short walk from the main nightlife areas – RAW-Gelände and Boxhagener Kiez. Moreover, there is a mall and a lot of trendy restaurants nearby. Great transport links, including metro and a ferry stop for river cruises.
Location: next to East Side Gallery Facilities: bar and restaurant Guests love: best location to party
The best place to stay in Berlin for Christmas markets
Wondering where to stay in Berlin for Christmas markets? If you’re visiting the city in December to explore the Christmas markets, Mitte is the place to be. Almost all of the main markets are within the historic city centre of Berlin.
However, the most convenient place is around Checkpoint Charlie (near metro line U2). You’ll be at a walking distance from the most popular Christmas market, Gendarmenmarkt. This is the place to stay for New Year’s Eve, as there is a big DJ party with fireworks at Gendarmenmarkt.
In addition, the handy metro line U2 will take you in no time to the markets at Alexanderplatz, Potsdamer Platz, Tiergarten and Charlottenburg Palace.
NH Collection Mitte is the best place to stay in Berlin for Christmas markets. The hotel is at a walking distance from 3 of the Christmas markets. And to visit the rest of them just take metro line U2 from Stadtmitte station. The soundproof rooms feature an elegant design.
Location: close to 3 markets Facilities: wellness centre, public parking Guests love: amazing breakfast
For a truly special Christmas, there is only one place to stay – Hotel Regent. It’s ideally located on Gendarmenmarkt Square, where the best Christmas market is. The rooms combine classical design with iconic Biedermeier furniture and modern amenities.
Location: next to Gendarmenmarkt market Facilities: spa centre, airport shuttle Guests love: superior service
If you prefer an apartment for your winter break, this is the best option. Located next to Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market, this aparthotel features modern suites. The spacious apartments are airy and quiet with a fully equipped kitchenette.
Location: 150m from Gendarmenmarkt market Facilities: spa centre, public parking Guests love: location
Breitscheidplatz – Where to stay in Berlin for shopping
There are two main shopping areas featuring plenty of shopping malls and streets – Alexanderplatz and Breitscheidplatz. Both are well-connected (by S-Bahn and U-Bahn) to each other and the historic centre.
Alexanderplatz is a great place to stay for both shopping and sightseeing. There you’ll find a few shopping malls (amongst the biggest ones are Galeria Kaufhof, Alexa and Rathauspassagen). For small designer shops, visit Hackescher Markt.
The location is also great for foodies, featuring hipster cafes and restaurants. And the best part is that you’ll be only 500m away from Museum Island.
H4 Hotel is the best place to stay in Berlin for shopping and sightseeing. It’s just a short walk from 3 major shopping centres. Getting to central Berlin is easy, as Alexanderplatz is a major transport hub. The modern rooms feature comfy beds and free Sky satellite channels.
Location: 200m from Galeria Kaufhof Facilities: Sky satellite channels, public parking Guests love: perfect location
Breitscheidplatz is home to Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), the second-largest department store in Europe. This is the place to go for high-end shopping. For retailer brands, visit Europe-Center, Bikinihaus and Kranzler Eck. Also, the city’s most famous shopping boulevard, Kurfürstendamm, is here.
Although Breitscheidplatz looks a little bit far from the historic centre, you can reach it in less than 15min by public transport. Plus, the area is full of great little restaurants.
If shopping is your priority, RIU Plaza is the perfect place for you. The hotel is only a 5min walk from the largest department store in Europe. Rooms are modern, functional and feature fantastic city views.
Location: 300m from KaDeWe Facilities: 24-hour front desk, public parking nearby Guests love: city views
For a luxury city break, stay at Pullman. This international hotel offers superb wellness centre with a heated pool and a nice restaurant with creative cuisine. Plus, KaDeWe and Europe-Center are just a short walk away.
Location: 600m from KaDeWe Facilities: spa centre with heated pool Guests love: excellent room service
Friedrichstraße Bahnhof – Where to stay in Berlin for one night
If you have only one night in Berlin, the best place to stay is close to Friedrichstraße Bahnhof. This is also a great area if you look for a place with super convenient transport links.
Friedrichstraße Bahnhof is a major transport hub. You’re just one metro stop away from the Central Railway Station. It’s easy to catch an international train or travel to Tegel Airport (TXL JetExpressBus stops here). Plus, you’ll avoid the not so pleasant area around the Central train station. In addition, you can reach Schönefeld Airport directly by the S-Bahn in less than 30min.
Yet, the best part is that you’re right in the historic city centre, at a walking distance to the major attractions.
If you look for a hotel near a train station, this is the most popular option. The location is perfect for transport links, just opposite the Friedrichstraße train station. And the best part – it’s an easy walk to the major attractions, including Museum Isle and Brandenburg Gate.
Location: next to Friedrichstraße Bahnhof Facilities: 24-hour front desk, WiFi Guests love: convenient location
Meliá is situated on the banks of the River Spree, less than 2min walk to Friedrichstraße train station. It’s a great hotel, perfectly positioned for transport links and restaurants. Safe area, within a walking distance to the main attractions.
Location: 100m from Friedrichstraße Bahnhof Facilities: 24-hour front desk, private parking Guests love: superb breakfast