Where to Stay in Berlin

Top Tips

Berlinceparedonda from Pixabay

Our detailed guide to Berlin’s neighbourhoods is designed to answer the question “Where should I stay in Berlin?” We’ve included lots of details about the most popular neighbourhoods for visitors, the ones with the most impressive landmarks, the best accommodation, or the best restaurants and bars, or best transport links. We’ve got recommendations for visitors looking for great value, a romantic bolthole, or a neighbourhood to suit their family.

Neighbourhood Guide to Berlin

Berlin Neighbourhood GuideTUBS, CC0, via Wikimedia Commo

Berlin is huge historically, culturally, creatively, and geographically. Its footprint is about five times the size of Paris, and it has hundreds of different neighbourhood, districts and mini-centres that make it up. And they’re all really different, ranging from ancient, grand and glamorous, to gritty and urban, or colourfully multicultural, or even brand new and open to interpretation. As well as having their own atmosphere and architecture, many of the different neighbourhoods and centres also have their own major sights, but the majority of headliner sights are in the centre of town, zones A and B of the public transport network. Berlin’s public transport system is excellent; there’s an underground, trams, buses, trains and taxis, but because this city is so big it can still be difficult to get around without a map. Berlin’s most famous bus route is the 100 (or 200), which runs between Zoo Station: Berlin Zoologischer Garten, and Alexanderplatz, passing many of the city's headline sights, so taking this ride is a good way to orient yourself.


MitteNikolaus Bader from Pixabay

‘Mitte’, which means middle, is, unsurprisingly the middle of Berlin, and where you’ll find major landmarks like Potsdamer Platz, Alexanderplatz, the wonderfully contemporary Reichstag, and wonderfully neoclassical Brandenburg Gate. Museumsinsel, or Museum Island, is also within this area, as is the Holocaust Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie. Within Mitte are several neighbourhoods, some of them so packed with attractions there’s nowhere to stay, but some offer the opportunity to stay within a very short walk, or journey, of some of Berlin’s major sights. Spandauer Vorstadt is the heart of the district, and where you’ll find many of the Berlin’s big name hotel brands, and some of its most desirable boutique and independent hotels. Nikolaiviertel is close to Alexanderplatz and similar to the old town in style, but was actually built by the DDR regime. Hip Wedding and Gesundbrunnen are to the north of Mitte’s boundaries, and it’s here you’re able to visit remnants of the Berlin Wall and the Berlin Wall Memorial. Fredrichstadt sits across the southern border of Mitte and neighbouring district Fredrichshain-Kreuzberg. It’s an historic neighbourhood arranged around a central plaza called the Gendarmenmarkt, which is today considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful squares. And it’s also where you’ll find part of the Fredrichstraße, one of Berlin’s fanciest shopping streets. Tiergarten is the rather elegant area surrounding the Tiergarten park, including the Reichstag and Potsdamer Platz.

If you’re in the market for some art Auguststraße, Linienstraße, Torstraße, Brunnenstraße and Zimmerstraße are all streets to visit, each of them has a dozen or so galleries. Mitte also has numerous theatres.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: central, major sights, huge choice of restaurants and bars
  • Cons: can be busy and expensive
  • Ideal For: sight-seers, first time visitors, couples

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Berlin, Mitte.

Fredrichstadt and Gendarmenmarkt

GendarmenmarktBernd Petrikat from Pixabay

You can’t stay on Museumsinsel, but the two great squares of Fredrichstadt and Gendarmenmarkt are just to the south, and around these beautiful landmarks an historic neighbourhood has grown. This area is also close to the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Cathedral, the once off-limits Pariser Platz, and the shopping district around Unter den Linden. Gendarmenmarkt is regularly referred to as the most beautiful square in Berlin, with two churches, the Konzerthaus or concert hall, and a regularly spectacular Christmas Market.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: central, elegant historic, major sights, great shopping, traditional restaurants and bars
  • Cons: busy
  • Ideal For: sight-seers, history-buffs, shoppers, first time visitors, couples

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Fredrichstadt and Gendarmenmarkt.

Spandauer Vorstadt

Spandauer VorstadtTilgnerpictures from Pixabay

Spandauer Vorstadt is one of the most chicly cosmopolitan parts of Berlin. Before the war this part of town was the entertainment district, and its main road, Fredrichstraße, has been revived and is again a lively place to be, and one of Berlin’s fanciest shopping and dining streets (this is a good place for foodies looking for Michelin-starred restaurants). Oranienburger Straße is another local landmark, where you’ll find the synagogue and other historic buildings, and at the southern side of the neighbourhood is the Hackescher Markt. The buildings and offices around this area are popular with gallery owners, architects and designers of all sorts, and there’s a big cultural hub with restaurants, boutiques, theatres and music venues etc..

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: luxurious, elegant, central, great restaurants and bars, entertainment options, major sights
  • Cons: expensive
  • Ideal For: sight-seers, foodies, treating yourself

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Spandauer Vorstadt, Berlin.


Nikolaiviertelandre_berlin from Pixabay

The Nikolaiviertel neighbourhood is just to the west of Alexanderplatz, on the Spree Island, and it looks medieval, with cobbled streets, and low-rise buildings dominated by churches. Some of it is medieval: the elegant, Gothic Nikolaikirche is the oldest building in Berlin, but a lot of it was rebuilt in the 1980s, with key buildings from all over the city being relocated and rebuilt here, in a sort of living open-air museum. This is a small neighbourhood, but it’s packed with cafes, pubs and restaurants, and many of them follow the architectural style and serve fairly traditional fare. There are also a number of key museums, and of course you’re close to Alexanderplatz, with its famous television tower, the Red Town Hall, the Neptune Fountain, and a collection of excellent shops and cafes.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: historic, central, major sights, charming, traditional cafes and restaurants
  • Cons: small
  • Ideal For: history-buffs, sight-seers, romantics, couples

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Nikolaiviertel, Berlin.

Wedding and Gesundbrunnen

GesundbrunnenThomas Ulrich from Pixabay

The adjacent neighbourhoods of Wedding and Gesundbrunnen, located around Gesundbrunnen Station, are a hip, multicultural, spot with great shopping opportunities. Gesundbrunnen Station has a huge centre around it, but there’s also a regular market in Leopoldplatz. Wedding is where you’ll find the northern end of Fredrichstraße, which was cut by the Berlin Wall, and while this end isn’t as polished as the Spandauer Vorstadt end, it’s still got a fantastic collection of boutiques and cafes. Mitte and Wedding were separated by the wall, and this neighbourhood became a transfer station with rows of shops and exchange offices, so this is a good place to see relics of that period, including the Berlin Wall Memorial, and fragments of wall.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: historic, hip, great shopping, central, transport links
  • Cons: busy, residential
  • Ideal For: history-buffs, hip-shoppers, sight-seers, value-seekers

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Wedding and Gesundbrunnen.


TiergartenCaro Sodar from Pixabay

The Tiergarten district spills out of Berlin’s huge central park of the same name, and surrounds the Reichstag and Potsdamer Platz, which are quite elegant and well known to visitors. But it also includes Moabit and Hansaviertel, which is a neighbourhood known for its fantastic post-war modern architecture. As well as the vast Tiergarten park, this district is on the Spree, so it feels very green, despite being in the centre of Berlin, and the central areas, around Tiergarten and Potsdamer Platz, especially, are very elegant (expect to see a lot of embassies). When it comes to major landmarks Tiergarten has the Victory Column, the New National Gallery, the State Library, the Philharmonie and the Cultural Forum, as well as a slew of monuments and statues within the huge park itself.

The most affordable part of Tiergarten is Moabit, with Hansaviertel offering a fantastic modernist vibe, but with not a lot of hotel accommodation. As well as having two S-Bahn lines, an underground line passing through, and plenty of bus routes, Tiergarten is also where you’ll find Hauptbahnhof, one of Berlin’s largest long-distance train stations.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: green spaces, elegant, central, luxurious, major sights
  • Cons: expensive
  • Ideal For: families, sight-seers, garden-lovers

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Berlin’s Tiergarten District.


Friedrichshain11066063 from Pixabay

Friedrichshain is one of the most gentrified parts of former East Germany, with a liberal, slightly edgy vibe that makes it popular with creative types and hipsters. This Spree-side suburb radiating outwards from Boxhagener Platz is where you’ll find the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery and the Mercedes Benz Arena. It’s also crammed with great places to eat and drink, several independent breweries, indie cinemas, skate parks, and lots of places to be merry late into the evening. Boxhagener Platz also hosts one of Berlin’s most popular Sunday flea markets, and there are some great independent boutiques to browse near by. 

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: lively atmosphere, central, great entertainment, hip, historic, great shopping, great nightlife
  • Cons: gritty in places
  • Ideal For: hipsters, value-seekers

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Friendrichshain, Berlin.

Prenzlauer Berg

Prenzlauer BergKolibri999 from Pixabay

Prenzlauer Berg is one of Berlin’s most elegant residential neighbourhoods, known for its fantastic historic buildings and squares, excellent cafes and restaurants and independent boutiques and galleries. It’s just north of Mitte, so centrally located, and it’s got parks, playgrounds, and a great Sunday flea market as well, so we think it’s one of Berlin’s most family-friendly neighbourhoods. The areas around Kollwitzplatz and Helmholtzplatz are particularly popular. Volkspark is on the edge of Prenzlauer Berg. This charming neighbourhood isn’t without a window onto the past, though, Prenzlauer Berg is where you’ll find the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, a one and a half kilometre long exhibit about the Berlin Wall and how its presence has shaped the neighbourhood and city.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: elegant, central, green, great cafes and facilities
  • Cons: residential
  • Ideal For: families, sight-seers, history-buffs, romantics

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin.


CharlottenburgDavid Mark from Pixabay

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf was the centre of former West Berlin, the glittering heart of glamorous Cold War Berlin, complete with beautiful villas and impressive monuments, but its headliner has always been the Charlottenburg Palace, with its huge gardens and surrounding parkland. Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is also known for its art galleries; it’s home to an impressive collection of Picassos and Matisses at the Museum Berggruen, and Schloss Charlottenburg has an excellent collection as well. This neighbourhood is where you’ll also find the Berlin Zoo and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Today the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf’s Kurfürstendamm is one of the world’s most famous shopping streets, and certainly one of Berlin’s grandest, lined with three and a half kilometres worth of high end boutiques, glittering department stores, and elegant cafes bars and restaurants.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: elegant, central, green and leafy, excellent shopping, great range of places to eat and drink, major sights
  • Cons: expensive
  • Ideal For: families, romantics, couples, sight-seers, treating yourself

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Berlin.


KreuzbergBernd Schray from Pixabay

Kreuzberg is just across the canal from Friedrichshain, and Friedrichshain’s stretch of the Berlin Wall, the longest surviving section, has Kreuzberg on the opposite side, so it belongs to this neighbourhood too, as does the East Side Gallery.  There's a liberal, multicultural vibe here, and an eclectic range of architectural styles, ranging from graceful 19th century apartment buildings to boxy concrete flats from the 1960s and '70s. When it comes to major monuments and landmarks, Kreuzberg has the old Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Jewish Museum, the German Museum of Technology and Science, the Nazi Museum, the Landwehkanal, Viktoriapark and Görlitzer Park. Kreuzberg is a great place for markets, and independent shopping, and there’s plenty of choice when it comes to eating and drinking. The neighbourhood’s multicultural credentials means there’s a huge range of cuisines to try too. Kreuzberg is also where you’ll find one end of Fredrichstraße, but its Bergmannstraße is probably the district’s main road, known for its street cafes and antique and vintage shops. The other address to look up is Chammissoplatz, certainly one of Berlin’s most beautiful squares.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: central, hip, major sights, great places to eat and drink, great shopping
  • Cons:
  • Ideal For: couples, value-seekers, market-lovers, sight-seers, hipsters

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Kreuzberg, Berlin.


NeukollnMustafa Kunst from Pixabay

Neukölln is off-centre and very residential feeling, but architecturally beautiful, and getting cooler all the time. There’s already a great collection of cafes, bars and restaurant in this district, but the neighbourhood Kreuzkölln, within it, and especially the area around Weserstraße, are especially good for this sort of thing. And for shopping too. There’s not a huge range of attractions here, but there is the Britz Castle and Gardens, and there are good public transport links to the centre of town, so it’s not actually inconvenient, unless you want to be able to walk everywhere.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: great value, hip, up-and-coming, interesting architecture, peaceful
  • Cons: residential
  • Ideal For: value-seekers, hipsters

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Neukölln, Berlin.


Alt TreptowThomas Wolter from Pixabay

The northern edge of Alt-Treptow touches the Spree and the Landwehkanal, and Treptower Park, so this is quite a green-feeling neighbourhood. Once very industrial, Alt-Treptow now has more of a residential feel, with some beautiful, grand old apartment buildings from the imperial era. On another border is Neukölln, with its great 1920s buildings, and around Treptower Park there are more contemporary buildings, so this is another architecturally interesting district. The main landmarks are probably the Molecule Man statue, and Treptower Park, which has an observatory, meadows and several very significant war memorials.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros: great value, hip, up-and-coming, interesting architecture, peaceful
  • Cons: residential
  • Ideal For: value-seekers, hipsters

Discover our recommendations for hotels in Alt-Treptow, Berlin.