Berlin is the scene of frequent international trade fairs, conferences, and festivals, and during these times, vacancies in the city will be hard to find. The greatest concentration of hotels, from the cheapest digs to the most expensive, lies in the center near the Kurfürstendamm (Ku'Damm), the main boulevard of western Berlin. Most good-value pensions and small hotels are in the western part of the city; note that many such accommodations are in older buildings where plumbing is rarely state-of-the-art.
The business convention crowd still anchors primarily in the west, as do the hordes of summer visitors on whirlwind tours of Europe. Eastern Berlin often attracts Germans from other parts of the country who want a glimpse of the Berlin that was shut away behind the Wall for so long. The eastern sector still doesn't have the visitor structure and facilities of the west, although several first-class and deluxe hotels have opened there, notably the Grand, Adlon, and Hilton.
Travelers can also head for hotels in Grunewald, close to nature in the Grunewald Forest, or Charlottenburg, near Olympic Park. If you like biking, jogging, and breathing fresh air and don't mind the commute into central Berlin for shopping and attractions, you'll enjoy both these areas.
Finding a hotel room in Berlin is easy, as prices are lower than in other major European cities. But, you’ll save precious time by booking a hotel before you arrive, and you’ll usually save money, too, by going through a web discounter. Note The prices listed in this chapter are undiscounted rack rates; unless a big event is happening in town, you’ll likely be able to get lower prices than those listed here.
If you arrive in Berlin without a hotel room, you can go to the BERLIN infostore at Hauptbahnhof, Tegel Airport, or Kranzler Eck, where the staff will help you find a hotel room in your price range. You can also book hotels by calling tel. 030/25-00-25 or by going online at www.visitberlin.de.
Tegel Airport is only 20 minutes from Berlin by taxi, but if you have a very early departure or late arrival, and want the added security of an airport hotel, you can check into Mercure Airport Hotel Berlin Tegel, Kurt-Schumacher-Damm 202, 13405 Orsteil-Reinickendorf (www.mercure.com; tel. 030/41060; fax 030/4106700). Doubles are medium size and furnished in standard motel-chain format. There's also a restaurant on-site, plus a free shuttle service that runs back and forth between the hotel and the airport. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted.
Check out www.all-berlin-apartments.com, www.ferienwohnungberlin.com, www.apartmentsapart.com, www.roomorama.com, airbnb.com and vrbo.com for short-term apartment rentals in Berlin that are sometimes remarkably inexpensive.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.