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What area to stay in?

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New York City, New...
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What area to stay in?

I'm making my first trip to Berlin in June, and am having a hard time deciding what hotel -- or even what district -- to stay in!

Berlin seems almost like Los Angeles in terms of being very spread out and having a lot of different areas that all have their own selling points... not like NYC, where you can pretty much tell tourists to stick to midtown manhattan! :-)

So far, I've found some nice possibilities in Prenzlauer Berg (near Schoenhauser Allee) and Mitte in the East, and Tiergarten and Schoeneberg in the West...

So here's what matters to me: I don't like spending a ton of money, and I don't like staying in chain hotels/tourist areas when I'm traveling on vacation. I like to get out and get a feel for the city, eat in local cafes, and explore a lot on foot.

I'm still in my 20's, and very much into art, music, and nightlife -- so as you can imagine, I'm pretty excited about visiting Berlin. I tend to go out to gay bars/clubs, but usually the ones catering to my age range and interests, and not just cruisy hook-up places.

I don't really care about being near shopping -- during the day I can always take the u-bahn to someplace for that! :-)

So, where would be the best area for me to stay to get a feel for the city, be able to walk to a lot of interesting areas, have good access to transit, AND be able to crawl home in the morning after going out to some of Berlin's legendary parties? I eagerly await your advice, fellow TA'ers! :-)

berlin
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1. Re: What area to stay in?

Mitte, especially around Rosenthaler Platz, Hackescher Markt, Oranienburger Strasse, etc; or the southern outskirts of Prenzlauer Berg or the western parts of Friedrichshain and the northern parts of Kreuzberg.

Just beware: due to administrative reform, two former independent districts that are not that attractive belong now to Mitte: Wedding and Tiergarten. The Holiday Inn Mitte, for example, is located in the most disagreeable place (check its review, even if you don't want chain hotels, to understand that some Wedding hotels market themselves as being in Mitte)

New York City, New...
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2. Re: What area to stay in?

So would, for instance, Schoenhouse Apartments (Schoenhauser Allee and Torstrasse) be a good location?

How about Motel One - Alexanderplatz (Rosa Luxemburg and Dircksenstrasse)

Those are the two that most caught my eye so far, and got good reviews...

berlin
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3. Re: What area to stay in?

Both have good location and reviews (although personally I know only people who stayed in Motel One). However, they are a bit different - apartments are different from hotel rooms (despite the name, Motel One is not a motel). Just don't take breakfast into consideration unless it is part of the deal and really inexpensive. Not because the Motel One breakfast is bad (it is actually good according to those who stayed there and ate it), but because there are about a million cafes and bakeries serving breakfast in the area.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: What area to stay in?

thanks so much lylou!

I guess the only question left is whether I take the chance on a place that doesn't have air conditioning in late june! Sometimes I forget that in Europe, they don't always have that (we'll see how long that lasts, with global warming! :-()

5. Re: What area to stay in?

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Removed on: 11 November 2008, 16:38
Berlin, Germany
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6. Re: What area to stay in?

If you don't like the tourist areas you should in my opinion stay away from some parts in Mitte, e.g. Hackescher Markt/Oranienburger str. You'll find locals there as well but it is quite touristy. There are nice bars and restaurants in that area, but very often I'll find them either posh, overpriced for what is offered or that they service is bit. I can't really help with clubs as I hardly go clubbing anymore.

I would recommend other nightlife areas like Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg (around Kastanienallee, Helmholtzplatz, Kollwitzplatz), Schöneberg (Winterfeldplatz, Goltzstr - there you'll find quite a few gay bars but I'm not sure what kind of people go there), Kreuzberg (Oranienstr., Bergmannstr.).

7. Re: What area to stay in?

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Removed on: 26 September 2009, 04:18