Where to Stay

Historic Mitte

For

Close to major sights like Reichstag and Brandenburger Tor; great transport links; mostly high-end hotels; Michelin-starred and other top restaurants; close to theatre, opera and classical concert venues

Against

Touristy, expensive, pretty dead at night

Museumsinsel & Alexanderplatz

For

Supercentral sightseeing quarter; easy transport access; close to blockbuster sights and mainstream shopping; large and new hotels

Against

Noisy, busy and dusty thanks to major construction; hardly any nightlife

Potsdamer Platz & Tiergarten

For

Urban flair in Berlin's only high-rise quarter; cutting-edge architecture; high-end international hotels; top museums, Philharmonie and multiplex cinemas; next to huge Tiergarten city park

Against

Limited eating options; pricey; practically no street life at night

Scheunenviertel

For

Hipster quarter; trendy, historic, central; brims with boutique and designer hotels; superb indie and trendy chain shopping; international eats and strong cafe scene; top galleries and plenty of street art

Against

Pricey, busy in daytime, noisy, no parking, touristy

City West & Charlottenburg

For

The former heart of ‘West Berlin’; great shopping at KaDeWe and on Kurfürstendamm; stylish lounges, ‘Old Berlin’ bars and quality restaurants; best range of good-value lodging; historic B&Bs

Against

Sedate; far from key sights and happening nightlife

Kreuzberg & Neukölln

For

Vibrant arty, underground and multicultural party quarter; best for bar-hopping and clubbing; high-vibe; great foodie scene; excellent street art

Against

Gritty, noisy and busy; U-Bahn ride(s) away from major sights

Friedrichshain

For

Student and young family quarter; bubbling nightlife; superb Cold War–era sights

Against

Limited sleeping options; not so central for sightseeing; transport difficult in some areas

Prenzlauer Berg

For

Well-heeled, clean, charming residential area; lively cafe and restaurant scene; indie boutiques and Mauerpark flea market

Against

Limited late-night action, few essential sights