After some schedule readjustment, we decided to extend our vacation by 9 nights to be added to the itinerary we are already working on. Some time ago we had taken a big-city tour in Europe that took us through many capitals. Since the place we liked most among them was Berlin, we are considering spending these 9 nights (2 weekends + week in between) there. In our previous visit, we've visited the most famous Berlin's sites, so this time we are looking for a more slow-paced, no-more-than-a-waiting-line-per-day time there. Our basic question is: which neighborhood should we look as an option for our stay? Either a serviced flat/suite or a furnished apartment will do the job for us. Preferably we'd like a place that is not very busy, but still accessible by public transportation. We will not have a car while in Berlin. Ideally, we'd spend our time exploring galleries or specific exhibitions, walking around a pleasant area/park/plaza, looking for some good restaurants around for dinner.
A couple of years ago I stayed at Miniloft (www.miniloft.com) which is in a quiet neighbourhood near the former course of the wall, east of the new Hauptbahnhof. The furnished apartments are very nice and the owners are professional architects so should be able to recommend some hot exhibitions. There is a U-Bahn station very close by, and two supermarket branches and a number of interesting restuarants within walking distance. Only two warnings: firstly the beds are futons on wooden stands so if you want a softer mattress it's best avoided. The other potential issue is that there is currently tramway construction work in the nearest main street - I would expect that it would be far enough away not to have severe noise problems but it's always possible.
I think Prenzlauerberg is the perfect neighborhood for this kind of stay. Accessible via public transit, but not touristy, very neighborhood-y. Lots of great restaurants and cafes everywhere, and a ton of apartment rentals in this neighborhood. I'd suggest trying AirBnB to find one.
I rented an apartment from Berlin Habitat for a week last May/June. They were very easy to work with and I posted a long review on tripadvisor and would suggest that you read through the reviews on Berlin Habitat to find out more. The owner has a number of apartments. The apartment I rented was the "Capri" apartment. It was a basic (think Ikea) studio, but well equipped with everything I needed for a vacation stay. They did not require a damage deposit and I was able to pay by credit card. It was located by the Rosenthaler Platz u-bahn and an easy walk to Hackescher Markt and the Museum Insel. I loved the neighborhood as it had lots of small cafes, shops, and overlooked a small park. I'd rent with them again. Here is a link to Berlin Habitat Here are their tripadvisor reviews. My review was the one posted on July 23, 2012.
Thanks for the link, I've checked some of the apartments listed there.