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What's the best neighborhood in Berlin for a first time visitor?

I've never been to Berlin and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the hotel options. I'd like to stay in a hotel that is central and gives me good sense of what Berlin is like. I'd love to know where locals tell their friends to stay when they visit, and why those areas and hotels are special. thanks!

7 Answers

top answer by
Ros from Berlin

Hi Katie

Berlin is a funny city because of its unique history, and unlike a lot of other capitals, the centre isn't necessarily the best place to stay. 

Because it is so easy and quick to get around (public transport is excellent), I normally suggest to my visitors that they look for accommodation in one of the surrounding neighbourhoods, such as Prenzlauer Berg or Kreuzberg. Both those districts are packed with bars, restaurants, parks and things to do - while still having really good transport connections. 

It really depends the sort of trip you're wanting - if you plan to go out a lot in the evenings then I would definitely recommend Kreuzberg. 

If you are set on staying very centrally though, anywhere around the Gendarmenmarkt or Museum Island areas will put you right at the heart of the city, within easy walking distance to many of the famous sites.

Hope this helps, and enjoy your trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Prenzlauer Berg (neighborhood)
  2. Kreuzberg (region)
  3. Gendarmenmarkt (attraction)
  4. Museum Island (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Jared from Sydney

Hey Katie, 

I stayed on Kreuzberg on Friedrichstraße and found it fair central for most things. Public transport is great in Berlin though, so you can get to most places pretty easily.

Make sure to check out the Topography of Terror, the East Side Gallery and take a walk through the Tiergarten!

Have a great trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kreuzberg (region)
  2. Friedrichstraße (attraction)
  3. Topography of Terror (attraction)
  4. East Side Gallery (attraction)
  5. Tiergarten (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Soph from England

I stayed in Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz in Alexanderplatz

The location was great (v close to tv tower etc) and everywhere was walkable but I regretted using a hotel and not a hostel like the one down the street I passed each day. It seemed so social and there was free walking tours every day. The Hostels name was one80º Hostel Berlin if you would like to look it up

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz (restaurant)
  2. Alexanderplatz (attraction)
  3. one80º Hostel Berlin (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
stephie from Berlin

Yes, I would say Mitte.  Around Hackescher Markt is nice, because it is central, close to main sites such as Museum Island, but also quaint.  North close to Torstraße is very nice.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mitte (neighborhood)
  2. Hackescher Markt (attraction)
  3. Museum Island (attraction)
  4. Torstraße (neighborhood)
2 thanks

answered by
Regan from Brooklyn

I second Prenzlauer Berg. It's adorable, filled with shopping, nightlife and good transportation. Most of the hotels are in Mitte, also nice, if much more crowded, and centrally located. I stayed in Kreuzberg and although it had good nightlife and restaurants--it was def hip--it was a little grungy compared to the flower and tree-covered streets of Prenzlauer Berg.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Prenzlauer Berg (attraction)
  2. Mitte (neighborhood)
  3. Kreuzberg (region)
2 thanks

answered by

KreuzbergFriedrichshainMittePrenzlauer Berg, all good and accessible.

Avoid Wedding MoabitSchönebergCharlottenburg (not bad but a bit cut out from the center). 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kreuzberg (region)
  2. Friedrichshain (attraction)
  3. Mitte (neighborhood)
  4. Prenzlauer Berg (neighborhood)
  5. Wedding (attraction)
  6. Moabit (attraction)
  7. Schöneberg (neighborhood)
  8. Charlottenburg (neighborhood)
1 thanks

answered by
Christoph from Berlin

As Jared said, Friedrichstraße is the perfect location.
I personally live in Schöneberg, but I am in Friedrichstraße in less then 20 minutes. So it does not matter that much where exactly you stay. Just make sure, that you are in the near of good train station. :-)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Friedrichstraße (attraction)
  2. Schöneberg (neighborhood)
1 thanks

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