If there’s any European city where its worth staying at a hostel, it might be Berlin. The hipster city has grown famous for edgy people and edgier parties. No set of listicles will give you the Berlin party scoop the way you’ll get it from your newfound hostel friends. Check out these five spots for the coolest hostel decor and people in the city.
Tempelhofer Ufer 14, Kreuzberg; 030 20095450
Let’s just say that, if Wes Anderson had known about this place, everyone would be raving about Ralph Fiennes performance in The Grand Kreuzberg Hostel. And there would probably be some chatter about the lovely hostel interiors as well. “There’s no way bedrooms that nice could belong to a hostel,” Peter Travers would write in his Rolling Stone review. And he’d be right. The Grand Hostel, an old nineteenth-century building right across the canal from the Mockenbrucke U-Bahn station, feels way too nice to be a regular hostel. The high-ceilinged rooms are 100% bunk-bed free, and as a result, extremely capacious—a word that we don’t use lightly. What’s more, each room comes equipped with an old nineteenth-century heater, which is as much a functional piece of machinery as it is a steampunk sculpture. But what’s a nice room without any friends? That’s a question you won’t have to ask since the hostel’s nightly events and inviting library/bar area make meeting people an easy and organic experience.
Adalbertstraße 97, Kreuzberg; 030 60057527
Backpackers, come! It’s in the hostel’s freakin’ name, for crying out loud! Located in the nexus of the inexcusably hip Kreuzberg neighborhood, this hostel is perfect for backpackers looking to explore Berlin’s alternative side. Sure, it’s a little gritty, but that’s all part of the laidback charm. The combined lounge and kitchen area is a warm, open space that engenders the hostel’s communal atmosphere, and it leads directly to the expansive rooftop terrace overlooking the hustling and bustling Kottbusser Tor. The hostel is also a stone’s throw away from some incredible cheap eats, and within walking distance of the best clubs in Berlin, and thus the world. The rooms are fairly basic, but when you’re exploring the city all day and partying all night, this is hardly a concern.
Hardenbergstraße 21, Charlottenburg; 030 233214100
As both a hotel and a hostel, Aletto Kudamm gives you the best of both worlds. When it comes to your dorm, you’ll get the affordable prices of a hostel but the housekeeping services of a hotel. In fact, if you arrived wanting to check into the hostel, the lobby’s bar, lounge, pool table and vending machines might lead you think that you’d got the wrong place entirely. Of course, Aletto Kudamm consequently lacks the charm of a smaller hostel, but you’ll be surprised by how trivial such an observation looks when viewed from the hotel’s seven-story high rooftop bar. Its location, a minute walk from the Zoologischer Garten station, is about as central as it gets in the city’s swankiest neighborhood, which is why you’re likely to find the hotel a popular spot for groups of high school kids. But even in the face of German teenagers, the hostel miraculously remains quiet and inviting.
Grunewaldstraße 33, Schöneberg; 030 21003680
In the hostel wasteland that is Schöneberg, Acama is a welcome oasis. Although the hostel’s relative plainness means it’s unlikely to feature on any GoPro vacation reel, the rooms are well-maintained and the heart of Schöneberg is only a short walk away. If Schöneberg doesn’t quite catch your fancy though, the Eisenacher Str. U-bahn station is practically on your doorstep. While dorms are nonexistent, private rooms are available for groups of two or larger at very affordable rates. However, Acama isn’t the kind of place for those looking to mindlessly browse Instagram in bed until they fall asleep, as Wi-Fi is only available in public areas.
Stuttgarter Pl. 17, Kreuzberg; 030 32709072
We try not to judge a book by its cover (we prefer to do it by the author photo on the back), but when the cover is a graffiti-plastered five-story high façade, it’s hard not to. The hostel’s bubbly and fun atmosphere continues in the reception area, which is bustling with travelers and friendly staff. Although the €50 key deposit will send shivers down of the spine of the book you bought written by the handsome author, the quality of the rooms—basic, yet comfortable—will set you at ease. You won’t find any lockers in your room, but you will downstairs near reception. And while the surrounding area doesn’t offer much in the way of excitement beyond a few solid cheap dining options and bars, it at least offers an S-Bahn station that can get you to Potsdamer Platz in around 15 minutes.
Nick Grundlingh is going to spend the summer traveling through Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. He’s looking forward to—Sorry, what was that? What’s Nick wearing? at’s his fanny pack. Anyway, Nick is looking forward to meeting—Look, Nick really doesn’t see what’s so funny about it, unless you think keeping your valuables safe is some sort of joke. Now, where was he? Oh yeah. Nick can’t wait to meet new people and—Seriously, guys. Knock it off. You know, in Europe, people make fun of you if you don’t wear one. At least Nick assumes they do. He hasn’t actually been yet. But it’s probably very similar to how he just described it.