Traveling to Berlin and you do not know where to stay? With over 4 million people staying within the city limits and an additional 3 million just outside of the city, Berlin is not only the biggest city in Germany but it’s one of the biggest in Europe. Post-war Berlin was reconstructed to fit a modern ideal and the old heritage buildings and structures were either replaced or rebuilt in order to fit the mold. While Berlin is also pretty old, it has essentially always had a youthful atmosphere. The city was almost always known as a place where you could have a good time and party, and even into the modern era, the city has always been a hub of nightlife and exuberance.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the symbolic end to the cold war, Berlin experienced a growth of buildings and hotels being put up. This, in addition to the city having plenty of students and young travelers, means that accommodations are relatively cheap and easy to find. Mostly due to historic reasons a lot of hotels (especially the nicer ones) are located in the Western part of the city and getting a spot in the Berlin-Mitte area around Friedrichstraße means a lot of landmarks are easily accessible by foot or public transit. No matter what your budget is or where you want to stay, there’s somewhere for you in Berlin. So, check out some of these best spots to stay in the city.
Industriepalast Hostel Berlin: For the thrifty traveler looking for a cozy and affordable place to stay, the Industriepalast Hostel Berlin is a centrally located hotel in the heart of the city. The hostel gives off a youthful vibe, perfect for backpackers but if you’re looking for something a bit more “private” during your stay, they offer private rooms with single beds or double occupancy as well.
Simplicity is what you’ll find here, with basic amenities covered such as WiFi access and bathrooms but the decor and ambiance are a little basic and leans into an “industrial chic” motif. Hang out with fellow guests and make some new friends on the garden terrace or rent a bike from the on-site bike rental service and explore the city.
Eastern Comfort Hostel Boat: Sitting on the Spree River in Berlin’s most unique hostel experience, the Eastern Comfort Hostel Boat. The property consists of two moored boats with the areas of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain between them. The hostel is a cool place and considering it is a boat, there are still some great amenities included here. Guests can lounge on the decks in the summertime or by the communal fireplace in the winter. Three different terraces offer lovely views of the river and the city, while some of Berlin’s hottest clubs are within walking distance.
For the more low-key traveler, they host weekly “language parties” where guests can come pick up some new phrases or words in a different language, and for a small fee, guests can even enjoy a daily buffet breakfast. Guest rooms are surprisingly spacious (for a boat that is) and even have their own shower and toilet, while cheaper communal rooms are shared.
Michelberger: Some might describe Michelberger as “Berlin in a nutshell”. It’s weird, kind of artsy in an ironic way, and lots of fun. The boutique hotel has a lot of different vibes going on which all somehow come together to make it feel seamless. The space is almost always buzzing with people and the clientele are definitely young creatives looking to stay somewhere hip. The hotel is not necessarily as tidy and spotless as other hotels, but that’s what adds to its charm. It feels like a hangout with friends you haven’t met yet, rather than a stuffy hotel crammed with business executives.
The cheaper rooms feel basic while the more expensive ones are decked out in an almost tongue-in-cheek decadence. Some rooms are thematic, offering an atmosphere like a mountain resort or roaring 20s. Deep sunken bathtubs and projectors make the rooms feel unique and fun and if you’re looking to head out, a U-Bahn station is right across the street.
Circus Hostel: For people already familiar with hostel living, you’ll know how important it is to get the most bang for your buck. Luckily, Circus Hostel offers plenty of that. Circus Hostel is essentially the standard for which hostels should operate, and because it’s so popular, it’s almost always booked out. So make sure to plan ahead. The hostel is warm and inviting and packed with amazing things to do.
The staff is laid back and veritable experts on what is cool and happening in the city. They can get you discount tickets to whatever it is you’re looking for or point you in the direction of the nearest bar if you’re looking to grab a drink or two. If you don’t want to head out, simply head downstairs and check out the quiet bar on-site serving homemade brews and occasional live shows and poetry readings. Laptops are available to rent as well as Segways and scooters. Daily breakfast options are bountiful with vegan and health-conscious options at the ready.
Lekkerurlaub: Lekkerurlaub is a little bed and breakfast accommodation that offers the quaintness of a B&B with the ease and price of a hostel. Located in the fun and vibrant Kreuzberg district, the hostel is cool and chic and with its carefully curated atmosphere, it will make you feel like you’re staying at a friend’s house, rather than a hostel. Rooms are small but simple and equipped with modern, utilitarian furniture. Free WiFi is available and a generous breakfast is offered every morning, though there are tons of other options for cafes around as well.
Sir Savigny Hotel: Located in the upscale and posh neighborhood of Charlottenburg, the Sir Savigny Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel with modern comfort and amenities. The cobblestone streets outside add to the atmosphere of the hotel’s surroundings while landmarks such as the Savignyplatz make it feel alive and buzzing with people coming in and out.
The hotel features a modern yet homey ambiance with 44 rooms and 3 suites. Of course, your choice of room is available, each offering something different from the cozy “sir petite” rooms to the more lavish “Sir Suites”, complete with city views and freestanding tubs. The dark wood accents, rich leathers, and vintage rugs give the space a very professional and mature feeling, though if you prefer to mingle with fellow guests the on-site is also pretty chic. Large communal tables attract both the digital nomad types along with local artists and professionals.
Provocateur Hotel: Step into a world from years gone by. The Provocateur Hotel is modeled off of the glamorous style of 1920s Paris. Every inch of the hotel is steeped in decor and panache straight from the Jazz Age from the facade to the guestrooms. The awning of the hotel is brightly lit with lights and the red rope guiding you through the front door leads way from the bustle of the modern world to the glitz and glam of the 20s. The drawing room-style lobby has plush velvety tones and dark walls which add to the atmosphere while you check-in. Once you’re all set, hop on the vintage 1911 gold-clad elevator to your floor where you’ll find your room equally decked out.
With 58 rooms available and plenty of choices in room selection, every accommodation at the Provocateur Hotel delivers an experience. Rich deep reds and royal blue hues adorn the walls and decor while light draperies curtains pull it all together. Let the chandelier fill the room with mood lighting or flip the secret switch next to the bed for “Provocateur Mode”. This setting instantly dims the lights and reveals risqué artwork for a taste of Berlin’s debauched days of the 1920s. Despite the old-world aesthetic of the hotel, you won’t be far from modern luxuries. Each room here is equipped with WiFi access, smart TV, a Nespresso machine, and a minibar
25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin: Despite what the name might say, this hotel has very little to do with bikinis. The hotel is sandwiched between the Berlin Zoo and the trendy Bikini Berlin mall which is seemingly where it gets its name from. The building in which the hotel is located was built in the 1950s but the hotel has lovingly renovated it to be one of the city’s more interesting places to stay. 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin has an ongoing jungle theme throughout it. The hotel is trendy and fun and is a healthy mix of business professionals and travelers simply looking for somewhere cool to stay. The third-floor reception and café are known as “Bikini Island” and you can chill out on a hammock amongst the tropical plants and check out the zoo’s monkey and birdcages below. In the lounge next door, guests can hang out and play a few games of pinball or spin some vinyl and chill with other guests on the modular couches.
For your dining convenience, there is a rooftop restaurant, modeled from a greenhouse complete with hanging plants and glass walls. Unsurprisingly, the best seats are the ones overlooking the zoo. 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is also home to the hip and fun Monkey Bar. Serving delicious cocktails, panoramic views of the city, and the zoo below, Monkey Bar is a hotspot for nightlife. Guests of the hotel get exclusive elevator access to the bar.
Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin: If there’s any luxury hotel that exemplifies Berlin it’s the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin. Situated right on the Under den Linder and a literal stone’s throw away from the Brandenburg Gate, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is a city landmark.
Seeing that other major European cities had lavish hotels and social spaces, restaurateur Lorenz Adlon convinced the Kaiser in 1905 to build something similar for Berlin. When the hotel opened in 1907, it instantly became a hit with the city’s aristocracy as well as international royalty hosting people such as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. During the “Golden Twenties” period, the hotel continued to be a hotspot and became one of the most famous hotels in Europe. Stars like Charlie Chaplin and Louise Brooks stayed here, while other notable luminaries like Albert Einstein, Franklin Roosevelt, and Josephine Baker also stayed here.
The hotel to this day remains a luxurious stay. The opulent lobby with its arched ceilings and mix of cold gray and velvety gold trimming give a modern and new feel while simultaneously keeping the luxury feeling intact. Grab a seat by the enormous elephant fountain, which has been there since the 30s, and admire the surroundings. Several dining options are available on-site from classic German to Thai-Japanese fusion. If you have time, make sure to squeeze in a stay at the hotel’s legendary spa. Offering three different levels, there are various pools, massage treatments, and more customizable to you.
The Ritz-Carlton: Taking inspiration from the glam of the Golden Twenties, The Ritz-Carlton is the name in luxury hotels. In 2019, the hotel underwent a massive renovation keeping modern and seamless design along with some timeless glam. Subtle Art-Deco-inspired decor in the patterned rugs and accents mingle with the curvaceous couches and high-tech gadgets that control everything from the blinds to the temperature. Marble bathrooms, heated floors, oversized tubs, and luxury toiletries make bathing yourself an indulgent experience.
Fragrances, the on-site cocktail bar offers experimental drinks based on perfumes, resulting in a masterful creation of scent and taste. Reservations are essential and the experience is definitely one of a kind.
Our Final Word
Berlin is a wonderful European city filled with incredible museums, delicious food and warm and inviting people. Any student of the 20th Century will appreciate the history that has occurred in Berlin. But Berlin does not look backwards, as it is a modern, vibrant town with wonderful shops and interesting places to visit. We have gone many times (Kati having grown up close to Berlin) and look forward to going again. We hope to see you there.