Areas to stay in Berlin

Where to stay in Berlin

Berlin is the epitome of cool, with its gritty urban glamour and epic club culture. It’s a city that packs a punch, and a place that’s got it all. Elegant, tree-lined avenues? Check. Stripped-back bars with bags of character? Check. Sophisticated restaurants and flavourful street food? Check.

  1. Central Mitte
  2. Prenzlaur Berg
  3. City West
  4. Friedrichshain
  5. Kreuzberg
  6. Neukölln

Still a collection of clearly defined districts, the best areas to stay during your holidays to Berlin - to some extent - depend on your tastes. Luckily, everyone is catered for in the city where anything goes. From leafy City West to trendy Neukölln, here’s where to stay in Berlin.

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Rough Guides

1. Central Mitte

In German, Mitte literally means “middle” or “centre” - needless to say, you’ll be in the thick of it if you stay in Mitte. The city’s huge central borough is the best neighbourhood to stay in Berlin for first-timers, given the main cluster of heavyweight sights are found here - including Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate and the green lung of Tiergarten. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to bars and restaurants, as well as some fantastic boutique shopping.

Best for: First-time visitors and dedicated sightseers

While you’re here:: To understand more about the city’s Jewish history, visit Mitte’s Neue Synagoge.

2. Prenzlaur Berg

Less touristy and more residential than Mitte, Prenzlaur Berg is typically the haunt of middle-class families and rich creative types, who - in recent years - have flocked to its handsome streets. Emerging from rapid gentrification, the area’s leafy cobbled streets are home to a fine selection of bars and cafés: you won’t find a better spot for brunch. Search Berlin holidays today to bed down in Prenzlaur Berg.

Best for: Living the good life

While you’re here: If you’re here on a Sunday, be sure to check out the flea market at Mauerpark to pick up a bargain.

3. City West

The heart of West Berlin in its divided days, City West today remains extremely affluent - and has the buildings and hotels to show for it. Expensive boutiques herald designer buys and the area’s fine-dining restaurants are top notch. That said, there’s not much in the way of nightlife here, so City West is one of the best areas to stay in Berlin for visitors after some peace and quiet.

Best for: A quieter Berlin scene

While you’re here: It’s not all urban and gritty in Berlin: shop ‘til you drop in City West’s clutch of designer boutiques.

4. Friedrichshain

Friedrichshain is where ‘too-cool-for-school’ Berlin comes out to play. While other districts in the capital have been subject to intense gentrification, Friedrichshain’s left-leaning residents and students have managed to preserve the area’s character through an active squatter scene and political demonstrations. Today, that means a superlative collection of cutting-edge bars and clubs - some of the best in Europe. Though the minimal techno, epic sound systems and imaginative art installations of the city’s club scene can see you through the night (and right into the next day), it’s not just about partying ‘til dawn: shake off your hangover at world-class sights from the East Side Gallery to Karl-Marx-Allee.

Best for: Night owls and party people

While you’re here:Pack a picnic and while away an afternoon at Volkspark Friedrichshain - which the area is named after.

5. Kreuzberg

Kreuzberg is one of Berlin’s most beloved districts, and has become a fixture on the tourist scene in recent years. Home to thriving LGBTQ, anarchist and Turkish communities, it’s a vibrant and colourful area, with enough trendy independents - bars, clubs, cafés and restaurants - to keep you busy for weeks. Though gentrification has come to Kreuzberg, it’s managed to keep most of its grungy character. Sometimes known as ‘Little Istanbul’, it’s no surprise that there’s a fine Turkish Market in Kreuzberg - come for everything from fresh fruit and veg to Turkish cheese and bargain-bucket electronics.

Best for: Eating out

While you’re here: The Turkish market is up and running on Tuesday and Fridays.

6. Neukölln

Neukölln’s star is rising. As Kreuzberg has become more touristy, things have moved a little further out. Students and artists now help populate multicultural Neukölln, where vegan eateries and Middle Eastern supermarkets sit cheek by jowl with kebab houses and Vietnamese cafés. Known for its international make-up, this is one of the best areas to stay in Berlin for its fantastic street food and sheer diversity.

Best for: International diversity

While you’re here:Spend an evening at the fantastic Neuköllner Oper - which often spices things up with a contemporary twist.

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