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Berlin: best time to travel, lodging, etc.

Hello!
We are planning a trip to Berlin (and a few other German cities.....just not sure which ones) in 2023 and wanted feedback as to best time to go. Our possibilities are April 14 through 28, May 12 through 26, or October 20 through November 4.
We are in the VERY beginning stage of planning this trip! I just started reading the Rick Steves Germany book.
Which area of Berlin do you suggest for lodging? We prefer apartments/condos (VRBO, and AirBnB) for the kitchen and washer and dryer).
Also, we enjoy hiking, but it seems like these times are not conducive. We are active adults and enjoy exploring on foot! Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance for your help and feedback!
Beth

Posted by
3275 posts

I arrived in Berlin this year towards the end of April and then I was back again for a few days before I left in late May. Both were nice times to be there - good weather and not too crowded.

I stayed at the Adina Apartment Hotel in Hackescher Markt, and really liked it. Because I was traveling by myself, I had a studio with a small kitchen setup, but they also have 1 and 2 bedroom apartments available with kitchen facilities and washer and dryer. The location is wonderful - close to public transportation and also near many major sights like the DDR museum, the Berliner Dom, Museum Island, the Fernsehturm and so on. Lots of good restaurants and cafes nearby and also several nice grocery stores. The staff was pleasant and capable, the rooms were very nice and clean, and I really enjoyed my stay there.

Posted by
275 posts

I know there are others on this forum that have much more experience with Berlin than I, but I've been a few times and it's probably my most favorite city in the world.

All of those dates you listed are good times to go, I think. April might be cold. I was in Berlin the first week of April and everything was in bloom, yet it was in the 30s every day.

As far as areas in which to stay, if this is your first time, stay closer to the center of town. Berlin is very spread out. Their public transit is excellent, but I'm always suprised at how long it can take to get to an attraction.

The last time I went, I stayed in a place called Miniloft Apartment Hotel. They have two locations - one in north Kreuzberg, one in Mitte. I stayed in Kreuzberg. It had a full kitchen and a washer/dryer for use in the building. Very modern, minimalist, spacious for a studio. There was no staff on site in Kreuzberg, but there is in the Mitte location.

I'm going back in December with my son and we're staying in city west at an apartment hotel called Citadines Kurfurstendam. It's part of a Delta Vacations package, so the cost of lodging for a week + airfare for two was less than the cost of just airfare. Otherwise, I probably would not stay in city west - it's a bit far from most of the things we'll want to do. But for the price we'll make it work.

I don't know much about hiking around Berlin. I'm pretty sure there are plenty of urban hiking or walking trails. I didn't do any hiking when I was there last, but I walked miles and miles in the city. There is plenty to explore on foot.

Posted by
180 posts

I agree that Berlin is a fantastic city! With a good guide or RS self-guided walks, you're literally walking through slices of German history. My first visit was before the wall came down, traveling through the East German "corridor" by bus as a college student, so it was especially evocative to see how much Berlin has changed & yet preserved and respected it's history.

  • Not sure why April or May wouldn't be a good time to hike, depending upon the elevation. If you meant a stop-over in Bavaria, perhaps May would be better for hiking, though still not guaranteed sunny weather. We were in Berlin for 5 days in mid April 2019 & the springtime weather was cool, not cold.
  • Looking at German holidays, your April trip would start at the end of the week after Easter, so less crowded than Easter week. October 31st is a holiday, if that matters to you. https://publicholidays.de/brandenburg/2023-dates/
  • We're pretty active & museum island, the Gemäldegalerie art museum which was our absolute favorite (though the cafeteria was mediocre), touring Parliament, and a bike tour were more than enough walking & exercise. We pre-booked Skip the Line with a guide for Museum Island & you need to book ahead to enter the Reichstag. We really enjoyed our Fat Tires bike tour, the guide was working on his Phd in architecture & really brought history alive for us. https://www.fattiretours.com/berlin/. We stayed near Potsdamer Platz, rented bikes at hotel & biked to Charlottenburg castle through parks. Next time we'd really like to take the Potsdam bike tour. https://www.fattiretours.com/berlin/tours/potsdam-tour/
Posted by
1770 posts

I'm going in April but if you want warmer, sunnier weather than May would be better. Most visitors stay in Mitte, the center of Berlin.

And I'm not sure why hiking wouldn't be fine during your trip as Germans go hiking in any season.

Posted by
3489 posts

I've been to Berlin a bunch, including at the times you propose. I would pick May 12-26. April can still be a little chilly. May generally is pretty comfortable and the days are getting longer (which is a plus!). Hiking by then should be good in most of Germany, including the nearby Harz Mountains, the Black Forest, and even Bavaria toward the end of the month. For some flat hiking around Berlin, you could hike a stage of the 66-Seen Wanderweg (66 lake trail).

The stages: https://www.seenweg.de/seenweg.html

A map with pictures: https://www.komoot.com/tour/13417004

Here's an old thread with Berlin resident MarkK's recommendations on neighborhoods: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/germany/which-neighborhood-to-stay-in-berlin

Posted by
8 posts

Wow! I am flabbergasted with the responses and the guidance, including the links. I am so grateful for all of the help! I know I will have more questions as I continue with the itinerary. This is a great start. Again, thanks so much for all of your help!

Posted by
1 posts

I’m in Berlin now. Highly recommend Adina Apartment Hotel Heckscher Mkt… great location near public transportation, restaurants, museums, grocery, pharmacy, etc. My husband and I booked a 1-BR apartment with washer/dryer/kitchenette and it’s terrific. Very clean, safe, comfortable. Daily housekeeping service, etc.
highly recommend the Stasi Museum for an in-depth view of life in East Germany prior to the Wall coming down — it’s easy to reach via the U-barn. Free admission. Ditto the German Resistance Memorial Center, housed at the site of an attempted coup against Hitler in 1944 (the movie “Valkyrie,” a film about this event, starred Tom Cruise). It is also free admission.
Berlin is lovely at this time of year (late Sept-early Oct).

Posted by
3761 posts

I am leaving for Berlin tomorrow night and will be staying until Monday, October 10. The weather forecast looks wonderful with temperatures in the low to mid 60s during the day and upper 40s at night which is absolutely ideal! This will be my second visit to this great city.