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Where to stay in Berlin For First Time Visitors

A comprehensive guide on finding the best accommodation in Berlin

Where to stay in Berlin

Going to visit the German's capital city and wondering where to stay in Berlin? Berlin is one of those enticing capital cities that many people dream of visiting, and continues to be the top pick for travellers year after year. There’s a lot to offer, from fascinating history to outstanding architecture and arty districts that are bursting with creativity The city overflows with delicious street food and artisanal cafes and restaurants. Officially made up of twelve districts, the list of things to see and do here is endless and, more than most places, there’s something and someplace to suit every kind of traveller. Here is our guide with the pros and cons of various neighbourhoods in Berlin, including accommodation options to suit your needs.

Where to stay in Berlin For First Time Visitors - Contents

Where to stay in Berlin

Choosing where to stay in Berlin can be a tough choice; every neighbour is so unique and diverse with plenty to offer. Many people underestimate how big Berlin is (it’s actually nine times bigger than Paris) so choosing the right area for what you want to see is key if you don’t want to spend too much time riding public transport. Luckily, Berlin’s transport system is vast with the U-Bahn (metro), the S-Bahn (city train), the trams, and the buses which also operate at night and the weekends. Staying in the centre will mean you can walk to the various major attractions but you’ll find a very different (and budget-friendly) experience in the eastern parts of the city.

Where to stay in Berlin

Mitte – Upmarket centre of Berlin

Why stay in Mitte

Perfect for those looking for an upmarket stay in the centre of Berlin, this part of the city is far more commercial than other parts and offers a diverse range of dining options and boutique hotels to choose from. You’ll have easy access to many of Berlin’s most historic sites and it’s ideal if you like exploring museums as you can walk to Museum Island, visit the Reichstag, and take a stroll along the iconic Unter Den Liden to Brandenburg Gate. It’s a chic area that showcases upmarket Berlin.

Why avoid Mitte

If you’re on a budget then this part of the city may get pricey; there’s not much budget accommodation and the restaurants, bars, and shops are on the more expensive end. It’s a traveller hub so it’s geared towards tourism in many ways, particularly in the summer. Loud guided tours and crowds tend to congregate near most attractions so it’s not one of those places where you’ll catch a lot of authentic Berlin life in action.

Where to stay in Mitte

Where to stay in Berlin MitteCheck Maritim Hotel Berlin on Booking.com

Maritim Hotel Berlin

Rooms at the Maritim Hotel Berlin are elegantly furnished and feature a marble bathroom. Every room includes air conditioning, a minibar and satellite TV with news and sports channels. Guests staying in the Superior categories enjoy complimentary access to the Superior Lounge. The 350 m² spa at the Maritim Berlin features an indoor pool, a sauna, a steam room and a modern fitness centre. 

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Motel One Berlin-Spittelmarkt

Just 150 yards from Spittelmarkt Underground Station, this non-smoking, design hotel in the Mitte district of Berlin offers air-conditioned rooms, a 24-hour bar, underground parking and free Wi-Fi. The rooms at the Motel One Berlin-Spittelmarkt all include a flat-screen TV. The bathrooms feature a rain shower and stylish mosaics.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hotel Berlin Mitte managed by Meliá

This 4-star hotel in Berlin’s Mitte district is just a 5-minute walk from the area's fashionable galleries and clothing stores. The air-conditioned rooms at the Hotel Berlin Mitte managed by Meliá are elegantly decorated and have soundproofed windows. They are equipped with a minibar, work desk and hairdryer, as well as bathroom products.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

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Where to stay in Berlin For First Time Visitors

Where to stay in Berlin For First Time Visitors

Tiergarten – Open green spaces and lots to do

Why stay in Tiergarten

Heard of the Berlin Zoo? Then you’ll know it’s one of the biggest in the world, and the impressive aquarium is not far off. The name Tiergarten itself means zoo in German, and apart from the obvious link, it does very much feel like a zoo for people due to the vast green spaces you’ll find in this area - particularly the enormous Tiergarten Park. If you’re a visitor who likes a more relaxed pace of life, open areas, and perhaps space to go jogging or picnicking then Tiergarten is ideal. Boasting its own sites like the Congress Hall, Victory Column, and the Schloss Bellevue it also benefits by being connected to Mitte. If you’re looking to enjoy the historical side of Berlin and indulge in fine dining in both areas without the crowds, then this is for you.

Why avoid Tiergarten

Much like Mitte, this is not a budget-friendly area. There are plenty of attractions, although few to suit those on a budget, and because it’s desirable area even the higher end accommodation can book up fast. It can also get quite quiet after dark when the parks empty and everyone goes elsewhere in the city to enjoy the nightlife so if you’d like to be busy in the evening then you may find yourself travelling a lot.

Where to stay in Tiergarten

Where to stay in Berlin TiergartenCheck InterContinental Berlin on Booking.com

InterContinental Berlin

This high-class hotel in the Tiergarten district of central Berlin features an award-winning spa with a hot tub, sauna area and a swimming pool. Its Michelin-star restaurant, Hugos, offers panoramic views from the 14th floor. The InterContinental Berlin provides 100% non-smoking rooms with international satellite TV, an iPod docking station and tea/coffee facilities. The bathrooms have heated floors as well as a bath and shower. Free basic WiFi is provided in all areas.

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Sheraton Berlin Grand Hotel Esplanade

This lifestyle hotel offers elegant accommodation and a modern spa with indoor pool. The spacious rooms and suites of the non-smoking Sheraton Grand Hotel Esplanade Berlin feature a modern design and panoramic windows. They include a flat-screen TV, minibar, large bathroom and free WiFi.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Grand Hyatt Berlin

This 5-star hotel has a large rooftop spa and pool with spectacular views of Berlin. Grand Hyatt Berlin’s elegant rooms and suites feature the latest B&O TVs and hot drinks facilities. The marble bathrooms include flat-screen TVs, and free WiFi. All guests receive a free bottle of mineral water.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Friedrichshain – Arty hub with great nightlife

Why stay in Friedrichshain

If you’re interested in exploring East Berlin and the communist history there, like the East Side Gallery, and would like to stay somewhere with a very different vibe, then Friedrichshain is for you. There’s a real youthful and arty atmosphere here which is amplified by its reputation for being the location of Berlin’s best clubs and nightlife. It’s a perfect base if you like to party. The alternative culture permeates every aspect of the decaying buildings, coffee houses, and expressive street art. The people are generally very liberal, LGBTQ friendly, and like to have fun. There’s fantastic food here due to the prominent Turkish population and there’s no better place to try it then the canal and street food markets. There’s a lot going on so you’ll never be bored.

Why avoid Friedrichshain

The main reason to avoid Friedrichshain is if you don’t enjoy grungy aesthetics, concrete buildings, and graffiti. It’s very hipster and isn’t an area where you’ll find high-end hotels or dining so if you’re used to more polished holidays this might not suit your tastes. It’s definitely more suited to the budget traveller.

Where to stay in Friedrichshain

Where to stay in Berlin FriedrichshainCheck Hotel Indigo Berlin - East Side Gallery on Booking.com

Hotel Indigo Berlin - East Side Gallery

Rooms at Hotel Indigo Dresden - Wettiner Platz are individually furnished. Each room is air-conditioned and includes a flat-screen TV, a desk, kettle and a private bathroom with shower. A continental breakfast is available each morning. The Gallery restaurant serves a range of local cuisine for lunch and dinner, and also offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options

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Upstalsboom Hotel Friedrichshain

All rooms at the Upstalsboom Hotel Friedrichshain include satellite TV and a minibar. The hotel also offers apartments with a fully equipped kitchen. Free WiFi is available throughout. The wellness area features a sauna and infra-red cabin. After a workout in the gym, guests can take a rest in the relaxation area.

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NH Berlin Alexanderplatz

The spacious rooms at the NH Berlin Alexanderplatz feature modern décor. All rooms include cable TV and a modern bathroom. Free Wi-Fi is provided in the whole hotel. International cuisine and German specialities are served in the NH Berlin’s first-floor restaurant, which is furnished with glass panels and leather seating. The classic-style bar has a large drinks menu. Meals and drinks can be enjoyed on the terrace in warmer months.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Kreuzberg Hipster area with lots of museums

Why stay in Kreuzberg

Kreuzberg borders Friedrichshain and shares many similarities with it, like the incredible nightlife, hipster cafes, and interesting shops. It was on the West side of the Berlin Wall so is equally interesting in terms of history and visitors can pay a visit to the Berlin Jewish Museum and Topography of Terror, a fascinating museum that examines Nazi history. The shopping here is extensive so if you’re struggling to choose between here and Friedrichshain and you like shopping then this might be the deal breaker. Two notable shopping streets are Bergmannstraße and Oranienstraße. You’ll also find fantastic Turkish street food here and the area is often dubbed Little Istanbul for the sheer amount of influence.

Why avoid Kreuzberg

For similar reasons you might avoid Friedrichshain, you may want to avoid Kreuzberg. Although it’s becoming more gentrified, this still isn’t a place where you’ll find fine dining establishments or luxury hotels. It can also be very noisy due to the nightlife so not ideal if you’re looking for a peaceful getaway.

Where to stay in Kreuzberg

Where to stay in Berlin KreuzbergCheck Crowne Plaza Berlin - Potsdamer Platz on Booking.com

Crowne Plaza Berlin - Potsdamer Platz

Crowne Plaza Berlin - Potsdamer Platz hotel features contemporary-style rooms. Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, minibar and hot drinks facilities. Breakfast is available each morning in the breakfast restaurant. Mediterranean dishes are served in the Layla by Meir Adoni restaurant, where reservations are recommended.

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Holiday Inn Express Berlin City Centre

This 3-star superior hotel offers air-conditioned rooms and excellent public transport links throughout Berlin. The Potsdamer Platz and Checkpoint Charlie are only a 12-minute walk away. The bright and spacious rooms at the Holiday Inn Express Berlin City Centre feature a flat-screen satellite TV, tea/coffee facilities, a desk and a modern bathroom. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.

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Angleterre Hotel

This classic English-style hotel is located in the heart of Berlin, a 2-minute walk from Checkpoint Charlie. Hotel Angleterre offers a gym, sauna and excellent public transport links. Built in 1891, Hotel Angleterre features a palace façade, stucco ceilings and the original historic staircase. All rooms and suites include a minibar, private bathroom, and satellite TV with free SKY channels.

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Moabit – Central area with amazing transport links

Why stay in Moabit

A central and very popular place to stay due to the proximity to the city’s main train station, ideal if you’re moving on to other destinations after Berlin or hoping to do day trips. There’s a wide range of accommodation, from budget to luxury and most are in walking distance to the station. There are some museums and art galleries in the area like Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart and plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby. There’s a real multicultural vibe here as it’s made up of four neighbourhoods and this is very much reflected in the cuisine options which range from Italian to Turkish and beyond.

Why avoid Moabit

It’s a very busy area due to being so popular and gets particularly packed during commuting hours and on the weekend. You may find yourself travelling to Mittie and Tiergarten a lot to see the sights as there relatively few here but since you’re in the transport hub it shouldn’t be too much trouble.

Where to stay in Moabit

Where to stay in Berlin MoabitCheck Hotel AMANO Grand Central on Booking.com

Hotel AMANO Grand Central

This large hotel is situated in the heart of Berlin, just a 3-minute walk from Berlin Main Station. The Hotel AMANO Grand Central offers free WiFi as well as a green rooftop terrace and a stylish bar. The modern rooms at the AMANO Grand Central Berlin feature a modern and purist design. All rooms include air conditioning, soundproof windows, hardwood floors, a flat-screen TV, safe, minibar and a private bathroom.

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Steigenberger Hotel am Kanzleramt

Each of the air-conditioned rooms here at Steigenberger Hotel am Kanzleramt will provide you with a minibar, tea/coffee facilities and a flat-screen TV. Private bathrooms come with bathrobes and slippers. Rooms are decorated in a modern style. At Steigenberger Hotel am Kanzleramt you will find a 24-hour front desk, a bar and a restaurant.

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Mercure Hotel MOA Berlin

All rooms at the Mercure Hotel MOA Berlin feature air conditioning, tea/coffee facilities, and a flat-screen TV. The Mercure Hotel MOA Berlin's large atrium features a light-flooded lobby and garden design. Guests can also relax in the stylish bar with fireplace or in the Mercure Hotel MOA Berlin's spacious restaurant.

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Wedding – Authentic, hipster area with nature

Why stay in Wedding

This under-the-radar spot is very much up and coming and has a lot to offer anyone staying in Berlin. Located in the North West of the city, it provides a very authentic place to stay which matches up to many people’s image of Berlin as being hip and arty. Despite the local atmosphere, you’ll find a pleasant selection of vegan restaurants, artisan cafes, nightclubs in abandoned swimming pools, breakfast inside an old bus, an events space in a tree house. You name it, you’ll find it in this multicultural, hipster area. If you like the sound of amazing street art, well-kept cycle paths, a beautiful swimming lake, and a gothic castle (Brunnenplatz) to explore then this is the neighbourhood for you. You can also explore the historic Berlin Wall Trail.

Why avoid Wedding

It does get very busy in the summer due to the cycle path and lake and doesn’t offer a lot of high-end accommodation or dining choices. You’re also a little far from the main attractions of the city so you may find yourself on public transport a lot.

Where to stay in Wedding

Where to stay in Berlin WeddingCheck RiSo Apartment 2 on Booking.com

RiSo Apartment 2

There is also a kitchen in some of the units equipped with a dishwasher, an oven, and a microwave. Pergamon Museum is 3.7 miles from the apartment, while Reichstag is 3.7 miles from the property. The nearest airport is Berlin Tegel Airport, 3.7 miles from RiSo Apartment 2. Mitte is a great choice for travellers interested in history, museums and architecture.

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Hotel de France - Centre Français de Berlin

The listed Hotel de France is a historic hotel which was built by the French Allied forces just after the Second World War. Come and experience its special French flair and ambience. The hotel restaurant, Les Fous d'en face, serves a buffet or French-style breakfast, as well as a range of French specialities. The breakfast options are available for additional fees.

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Hotel Axel Springer

Offering a garden, Hotel Axel Springer is located in the Mitte district of Berlin, 2.5 miles from Natural History Museum and 3.1 miles from The Brandenburg Gate. Free WiFi is provided. The bed and breakfast offer a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with free toiletries, a hairdryer and a shower.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Prenzlauer Berg – Relaxed spot with lots of markets

Why stay in Prenzlauer Berg

More relaxed than some of the more bohemian areas of Berlin but with a similar vibe, Prenzlauer strikes the balance between the two extremes of Berlin with its tree-lined streets, wine bars, a large variety of restaurants, boutique shops, and street performers. You can rent modern apartments with high ceilings and due to the area's proximity to Mitte, you’ll be close to the main attractions. There are plenty of flea and street markets to enjoy here. It does have some of its own unmissable attractions which will keep you busy like the largest synagogue in Germany, the Jewish cemetery, and Gethsemanekirche – a gorgeous piece of neo-gothic architecture where locals would plot against the East German government. Perfect for history lovers and those who want a more peaceful area to explore.

Why avoid Prenzlauer Berg

Because of its ideal location and relaxing yet bohemian vibe, the apartments book up very early so try to book early if you’d love to stay here. Also, the main square can be very noisy so it’s best if you book in one of the quieter side streets if possible. Despite being close to Mitte, you will have to travel to all major attractions so this may not be ideal if you’d like to keep off public transport as much as possible. It can be a little touristy in Prenzlauer Berg so if you’re looking to get a slice of authentic Berlin life, it may be best to avoid this area.

Where to stay in Prenzlauer Berg

Where to stay in Berlin Prenzlauer BergCheck Victor's Residenz-Hotel Berlin on Booking.com

Victor's Residenz-Hotel Berlin

Enjoying a quiet location between the popular Berlin districts of Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain, this stylish 4-star hotel offers elegant accommodation, only 2 tram stops from Alexanderplatz square. The rooms and studio apartments of Victor's Residenz-Hotel Berlin are tastefully furnished and decorated in warm shades, providing a relaxing base from which to explore Berlin.

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Vienna House Easy Berlin

This 3-star hotel offers free high-speed WiFi internet, a co-working space, meeting facilities and excellent transport links. It is located in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin, offering easy access to Berlin's main sights, including the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz. Newly opening in late-September 2016, Vienna House Easy Berlin features modern rooms with fresh blue, tangy orange and lively yellow-green colour schemes.

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Schoenhouse Apartments

These self-catering apartments offer free Wi-Fi and an on-site café. Schoenhouse Apartments offers a range of spacious accommodation with wooden floors and high ceilings. Each apartment has a living room with an open kitchen, a dining table and a flat-screen TV. Some feature a balcony and lift access.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Neukölln – Arty area with a great Turkish Market

Why stay in Neukölln

A more affordable part the city and, as a result, a hub for students and artists, Neukölln is a smaller neighbourhood within a large district of the same name. There are plenty of food choices, cafes, and shopping here and are all suited to those on a budget. It’s linked by an excellent transport system so it’ll be very quick to get to other parts of Berlin and greater Neukölln. One highlight of the area is the popular Turkish Market where you can explore Turkish culture and excellent cuisine. While there’s an edgy vibe to this area, it’s not as popular with tourists yet due to lack of attractions in the area so it’s far more authentic in many ways. Locals and visitors tend to gather at Tempelhof, a huge park that was once an airport.

Why avoid Neukölln

As mentioned, there aren’t any significant tourist attractions in the area so this can often put people off staying there despite the transport links. There aren’t as many accommodations options in the area and what is there tends to lean towards budget rather than mid-range. Many people treat this area as a day-trip to visit the Turkish market but would rather be closer to the nightlife and bigger attractions otherwise.

Where to stay in Neukölln

Where to stay in Berlin NeuköllnCheck Estrel Berlin on Booking.com

Estrel Berlin

This 4-star-superior hotel in Berlin's Neukölln district is part of a large convention and entertainment centre. It offers live shows, a spa, and a direct bus link to Schönefeld Airport. Free WiFi is available. The spacious rooms at the Estrel Hotel Berlin are decorated in soft, natural colours. Each room is air-conditioned and features soundproofed windows. The stylish bathroom includes a bathtub and hairdryer.

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Mercure Hotel Berlin Tempelhof

All of the bright rooms at the Mercure Hotel Berlin Tempelhof Airport have satellite TV. Some rooms have Wi-Fi internet access. The Mercure Berlin’s Rix breakfast room serves a rich breakfast buffet. Rix Bar and Restaurant serves international and German cuisine, as well as a selection of fine wines.

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Satama

The apartment is in an area where guests can engage in activities such as cycling, hiking and table tennis. The apartment is composed of a living room, a fully equipped kitchenette, and 1 bathroom. A flat-screen TV is offered.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Schöneberg – Classy neighbourhood with lots of history

Why stay in Schöneberg

If you’re in Berlin to walk in the footsteps of some of your favourite celebrities like David Bowie and Nick Cave, then this is the area you’re looking for as they both once lived here. Full of open boulevards, quaint buildings, live music venues, bars, and cafes, this quiet area is just as popular with locals as visitors. It’s close to Kreuzberg so you can enjoy the arty vibes and buzzing atmosphere of that area while having a calmer base. History wise there’s a lot going on too, this is where John F. Kennedy delivered his famous ‘I am a Berliner’ speech in 1963 and was the home of West Berlin’s headquarters.

Why avoid Schöneberg

As pleasant as Schöneberg is, there aren’t any major attractions here and can take over half an hour to reach them on the subway which could add up. Also, the area is on the pricier end in general so if you’re on a strict budget it might not be for you.

Where to stay in Schöneberg

Where to stay in Berlin schonebergCheck RIU Plaza Berlin am Kurfürstendamm on Booking.com

RIU Plaza Berlin am Kurfürstendamm

All rooms and suites at the RIU Plaza Berlin am Kurfürstendamm feature luxury furnishings. Each room includes a flat-screen satellite TV, a safe, fridge, air conditioning and a private bathroom. High-speed WiFi is provided free of charge for guests in all areas of the hotel. Use of the hotel fitness room is also complimentary.

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Hotel Sylter Hof Berlin Superior

Offering wonderful views of Berlin from its top floors, this 3-star-superior hotel in central Berlin is 650 yards from the Kurfürstendamm Shopping Street and the famous KaDeWe Department Store. The popular bus number 100 stops outside the hotel. This bus passes many of Berlin's major attractions, including the Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island and Alexanderplatz Square.

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Hotel Sachsenhof

This 3-star hotel is located in a quiet side street in Berlin’s Schöneberg district, a 2-minute walk from the lively Nollendorfplatz Square. Hotel Sachsenhof offers a 24-hour reception and free Wi-Fi. Hotel Sachsenhof is a traditional Berlin residential building. The spacious rooms are simply furnished and feature cable TV, a cosy seating area and a modern bathroom.

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Charlottenburg – Wealthy area with incredible architecture

Why stay in Charlottenburg

This is one of the wealthiest areas of Berlin and the area reflects that with its pristine gardens, impressive architecture, and theatres. With photo opportunities at every corner, the whole neighbourhood is a work of art with the pinnacle being the stunning baroque Charlottenburg Palace which stands proudly in the centre. The famous Kurfürstendamm avenue runs through here and this is where you’ll find the high-end hotels, fine dining, department stores, and boutiques. This is Berlin at its most polished.

Why avoid Charlottenburg

There are few downsides to staying in Charlottenburg except for the fact it does generally cater to tourists and can be quite expensive compared to other areas of Berlin. It’s very busy so can be noisy but, on the flipside, there’s plenty to do nearby in the evenings.

Where to stay in Charlottenburg

Where to stay in Berlin charlottenburgCheck art'otel berlin kudamm on Booking.com

art'otel berlin kudamm

Stylish rooms with satellite TV, an international restaurant and free Wi-Fi are offered at this design hotel in Berlin’s trendy Charlottenburg district. It is just 350 yards from the Kurfürstendamm shopping street with its legendary boutiques and designer stores. The art'otel berlin kudamm is dedicated to Andy Warhol, and the hotel offers a free guided tour to explain his work. The hotel offers air-conditioned rooms and 250 artworks and photographs taken by Christopher Makos, who was Warhol's best friend.

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Hampton by Hilton Berlin City West

Every room at the Hampton by Hilton Berlin City West features a flat-screen TV, tea/coffee facilities, and a bathroom with a glass shower. Many rooms have a terrace overlooking the city. A buffet breakfast is provided each morning at the Hampton Berlin. Hot drinks and light meals are available in the Hampton by Hilton’s 24-hour snack area.

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Leonardo Hotel Berlin

This 3-star-superior hotel is located in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district, between Berlin’s Exhibition Centre and the Kurfürstendamm shopping street. All rooms at Leonardo Hotel are air-conditioned and have a flat-screen TV. Leonardo Hotel Berlin offers spacious, air-conditioned rooms with a 40-inch flat screen TV, hot drinks facilities, a work desk and a private bathroom. Wi-Fi is available in the whole hotel.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

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