Where to stay during the Berlin International Film Festival

Headed to the Berlinale? Our experts have compiled the top accommodations for every budget, so no matter your means, you can stay in style.

January 4, 2017

by Maria Milkova

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One of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, Berlinale is a major annual event that draws a fascinating crowd of A-list stars, movie makers, and film lovers from all over the world.
If you’re searching for the perfect place to stay during the festival, take a look at our expert picks for the best luxury, mid-range, and budget accommodations. All nine locations are within walking distance, or are just a short taxi ride away, from Berlinale headquarters at Potsdamer Platz.

The best luxury hotels near Berlinale

Historic luxury and megawatt movie stars

The grande dame of Berlin hotels, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski re-opened in 1997 after being destroyed in World War II. Its deluxe interiors pay homage to its storied past, striking a lovely balance between romantic nostalgia and modern elegance. A Michelin-starred restaurant, an indoor pool, and stunning views of Brandenburg Gate make it a perennial favorite with movie stars like Angelina Jolie and Penelope Cruz. From here, it’s a half-mile walk, or a 5-minute taxi ride, to Potsdamer Platz.

Swanky, modern, and next to Potsdamer Platz

Just steps from Potsdamer Platz, the Grand Hyatt Berlin is a modern sandstone hotel by the famed Spanish architect José Rafael Moneo. Thoughtful design touches, from the Bauhaus photos to the minimalist furnishings, attract fashion-forward guests and luminaries like Madonna. Don’t miss the views from the rooftop spa, or the Michelin-starred food at Vox, their top-rated restaurant.

Contemporary outside, lavish inside

Overlooking Potsdamer Platz, the Ritz-Carlton may look like a modern-day skyscraper on the outside, but the interiors in this splendid, 303-room hotel ooze traditional glamor and 19th-century sophistication. Luxurious decor, from the cherry wood closets to the gold-leaf fixtures, along with fantastic service and a decadent in-house restaurant, help make this one of Berlin’s most lavish hotels.

The top mid-range hotels near Berlinale

Ultra-hip rooms in the city center

A fashionable, 65-room boutique property in one of Berlin’s trendiest neighborhoods, The Circus Hotel attracts a youngish crowd with an eye for style. Each of the bright, modern rooms features its own unique décor, but all of them boast comfortable beds, rich oak floors, and smart design details. Just ten minutes by car from Potsdamer Platz, the hotel is next to an U-Bahn subway station and is surrounded by popular cafes and restaurants.

Relaxed elegance near the park

Located about a mile from Potsdamer Platz, between a picturesque canal and Tiergarten park, the Grand Hotel Esplanade exudes modern luxury. Beautifully furnished rooms come with feather beds and views of the canal or of the park. A sleek cocktail bar, three restaurants, and a private yacht make it an ideal place to unwind after a day of movie-binging.  

A design-lover’s dream

Nestled among the upmarket art galleries, fashionable shops, and flashy restaurants in the Mitte district, Lux 11 is a hip hotel featuring tastefully decorated minimalist apartments. One of the former homes of the East German secret police, the property is now part of the Design Hotels group. Created by noted design duo Claudio Silvestrin and his wife, Giuliana Salmaso, the hotel also boasts a lovely rooftop terrace and an Aveda spa on the ground floor. A taxi ride to Potsdamer Platz takes about 10 minutes from here.

The best budget stays near Berlinale

Originality on a budget

Set in a neoclassical building near the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate, The Arte Luise Kunsthotel started off as an art studio in 2008. Today, it’s a home away from home for artists and media types, where each of the 30 rooms was designed by a different Berlin artist. If Alice in Wonderland murals and hot-pink velvet sheets aren’t your taste, they also have plain rooms with shared baths on the top floor. The hotel is 10 minutes via subway, or 5 minutes via taxi, from Potsdamer Platz.

Simple but stylish – and easy on the wallet

In a city brimming with sub-par hostels, The Circus Hostel sets itself apart from the rest: clean, stylish, and friendly, it’s the cheaper sibling of the popular Circus Hotel on the same street. Knowledgeable staff and a prime location near bars, restaurants, interesting shops, and public transportation make it a favorite with young travelers. From here, it’s a 10-minute taxi ride, or a 20-minute subway ride, to Potsdamer Platz.

Communist-era kitsch you can afford

A two-star hotel in Friedrichshain with rooms outfitted in true Eastern-bloc style, Ostel – GDR The Hostel is further afield than the rest of our Berlinale-friendly hotels: it’s a 15-minute taxi ride (or a 20-minute subway ride) from the film festival’s headquarters at Potsdamer Platz. If you have a thing for communist-era design, this place is worth the added travel time. Choose from simple, dormitory-style beds or check into the Stasi suite, where the bugging devices don’t work but the décor will take you straight back to 1970s East Germany.