Germany in December, hotels in Berlin & Munich

This trip is for me & the hubby -- trying to set up a trip to Germany & Austria over the christmas holidays. Thinking of about 2 wks, maybe Berlin, drive to Munich, then Salzburg & end w/ a few wks in the alps.
Haven't decided if that should be Bavaria or Austria. We aren't skiers but would like to take sleigh rides, cross country ski, toboggan, etc. Plus some fun nightlife-sing along bars & casual dancing places kind of thing. Any suggestions?
Any recommendations on hotels in Munich & Berlin (Munich especially since it's very expensive).
Munich is expensive, I see. And how many days would you advise for Munich? It seems to be a good base for some day trips.
And Berlin -- so many choices, not sure what area is best to stay in to see things. Want to be centrally located so we don't waste time traveling to see things.
Have never been to either of those places & I've been doing much reading but as far as where to stay ...? Doesn't have to be luxury but I'm not gonna stay in a hostel either. So, I guess a moderate budget. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Also-any suggestions on what a tourist might do on Christmas and New Year's eve while there?

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22568 posts

You'll have to check with the hotels to find out whether they're even open over the holidays, but a couple you could look at......

  • Berlin - Pension Peters (in the former western section, between Bahnhof Zoo and Savignyplatz stations - I believe there's a car park nearby).
  • Munich - have a look at Hotel Uhland (in a quiet residential area, and they do provide some parking on-site - about a 15 minute walk from the main station).

I don't know what activities will be available at that time of year as I never travel then. However, I'm sure one of our resident posters from Germany will be able to offer lots of good tips.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5541 posts

I am a Motel One fan, no matter what city I am located in. Good locations, no frills, great prices, friendly, helpful staff.

Munich should not be any more expensive than any other city over Christmas.

Berlin is the place to be for New Years Eve. Huge party, though pretty much anywhere you are in Germany there will be excessive fireworks going off.

Christmas is tough. Most of the markets will close on the 22nd or 23rd with a very, very few open on the 24th or afterwards. The 24th, though not an official holiday still means that all the restaurants close completely or at 14:00, as do all of the stores. Make dinner reservations at a nice hotel. Church services offer lots of concerts though on all 3 days. The 25th and 26th are official holidays (all stores closed) and though lots of restaurants just shut down over this time period, many will also do a booming business. Check individual websites for the museums or other tourist attractions. Alternative is to be at one of the ski resort places, though those will probably already be booked up. Here you will find more entertainment, sledding, torch light parades down mountains, and more of a village feel over Christmas.

Posted by Karen (Leigh)
460 posts

I would second Ken's idea of Hotel Uhland in Munich. Lovely hotel with a great breakfast and great staff. It is in a pretty, more residential area that might be nice at that time of year, but still convenient enough to the main attractions. Your trip sounds fantastic. Have fun!

Posted by Dawn
Denver, CO
458 posts

We really liked Pension Lindner in Munich. Large, clean room with private bath, and Marion's breakfasts were wonderful! It's located about 3 minutes from Marienplatz, so it's very convenient. The pension is listed in Rick's books - so if you email Marion, ask if there's a cash and Rick Steve's discount. In November last year we paid €90. If you share a bathroom it's even less.

Posted by Charles
Oakland, CA, USA
4 posts

I would not sneer at the idea of a Hostel. Some are rather nice. I can recommend the Hotel Nymphenburg, which is part of the Hostel group. A double room, en suite, runs about $60 with breakfast (the last time I was there) It has a lift, parking and a varied bunch of travelers. The UBahn is about 5 minutes away. It is located at the Rotkreuz stop.

Posted by jojoblais86
11 posts

Thanks for the advice, all. Especially about things being closed over Christmas. I must look into that. And someone else somewhere recommended the Uhland, so I will check that.

Posted by Jill
Boulder, USA
659 posts

I'm going to go out on a limb and advise something totally not RS philosophy:) We are doing a similar trip all over Germany to see Christmas markets this year. For Berlin and Munich I reserved via Priceline bidding. In both cities I ended up with 4 star hotels for $88 USD a night. They both have really good ratings / reviews on trip advisor, but don't include breakfast. We have been to Germany several times in the past and when staying in the smaller towns I usually go with RS recommendations as I enjoy the small family run, centrally located B & B's. But in the larger cities with good public transportation I feel I get a lot more for my money by going through priceline.

Posted by Robert
Happy Valley, PA
271 posts

In Berlin - Hotel Ibis Berlin Potsdamer Platz - we stayed there in March this year. Ibis is a bare-bones but clean and comfortable business hotel chain. Very moderately priced and a good breakfast offered. This particular hotel is located on Anhalterstrasse, literally on the street behind the 'Topography of Terror' (despite the name, the hotel is not on Potsdamer Platz). Very walkable from there to many of the sites in Mitte. Note: There is also an "Ibis Budget" hotel two doors down - we stayed at the "regular" Ibis (not the budget version).