From houseboats to mansions dating back to the 1800s, hostels in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district live up to the neighbourhood’s artistic legacy, with a variety of colourful (and at times eccentric) options to suit every personality.
Home to Berlin’s trendiest cafés and candlelit bars, with quirky boutiques around every corner, it’s easy to see why Kreuzberg is one of the city’s most coveted neighbourhoods to live in and visit. Although gentrification is well underway, some of the district still holds Berlin’s much-loved gritty charm: cheap dining options, edgy squats-turned-bars and an abundance of street art. With extensive transport options and easy access to some of the city’s most vibrant nightlife, Kreuzberg’s best hostels are the ideal base for a trip to Berlin.
Minimal Hostel's small size gives it an intimate feel | Courtesy of Minimal Hostel / Booking.com
Located in Kreuzkölln – the small, trendy district connecting Kreuzberg and Neukölln – Minimal is among Berlin’s best-rated hostels. With space for only 10 guests, Minimal is homely and feels more like staying with a house full of friends than a hostel. While the location, just moments away from the Landwehr Canal, is peaceful – conducive to a good night’s sleep – Minimal is surrounded by cafés, bars and restaurants. Head to Populus Coffee for your caffeine fix, stop by Café Jacques for dinner (try the duck breast with Calvados sauce, and remember to bring cash) and finish off the evening with cocktails at Geist im Glas.
A stone’s throw from the River Spree, Die Fabrik’s ivy-covered facade is classier than the entrance to most hostels. A former factory, the typical Berlin-style brick building was restored and refurbished in 1995, and each room in Die Fabrik now boasts plentiful retro charm: parquet flooring, Persian rugs and pot plants adorn the space. Just a 15-minute walk from the East Side Gallery – the longest standing stretch of the Berlin Wall, adorned with murals – as well as a short stroll to a variety of clubs, bars, restaurants, shops and parks, Die Fabrik is at the heart of the action. Nearby nightlife options include beer and cocktails at relaxed bar Konrad Tönz, and an evening dancing aboard the MS Hoppetosse club boat. Die Fabrik is the place to stay if price and location are your prime concern. What’s more, while staying at the hostel, guests can rest safe in the knowledge that their visit is environmentally friendly, thanks to Die Fabrik’s solar-powered hot water system.
On the western edge of Kreuzberg sits Berlin’s Grand Hostel. This title is no overstatement: directly across from Möckernbrücke station, this conveniently located hostel is housed in an opulent 1870s mansion. The space features a welcoming library bar and lounge, regular live music and DJs, and light and spacious bedrooms with high ceilings and big windows. It’s not difficult to get your sightseeing fix during a stay here, with the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie within walking distance. Particularly good for solo travellers, Grand Hostel organises a range of social events such as pub crawls and walking tours.
Three Little Pigs Hostel is close to Kreuzberg's major sights | Courtesy of Three Little Pigs Hostel / Hostelworld.com
Although technically in Mitte, Three Little Pigs is close to some of Kreuzberg’s biggest attractions: the Jewish Museum; art, photography and architecture at Berlinische Galerie; the Landwehr Canal; and street food at Markthalle Neun. Housed in the back half of a 19th-century convent (the front still belonging to St Clement’s Church), Three Little Pig offers simply decorated but spacious rooms, along with a cavernous communal reception, lounge area and a courtyard perfect for summer socialising. For a unique night out, walk just a couple of minutes to Liquidrom, a pool-spa where techno music plays under the water – you can’t get much more Berlin than that.
For those searching for a hostel that feels like a home away from home, Lekkerurlaub won’t disappoint. The hosts are known for their welcoming and friendly attitude, making sure every guest has everything they need – whether it be directions, recommendations or a hearty breakfast each morning. Rooms are clean and bright – think whitewashed walls and tiling – while the charming communal areas are given a cosy touch by virtue of plentiful greenery. Located on Graefestraße, one of Kreuzberg’s most desirable streets with its relaxed, neighbourly feel, you’ll be moments from Maybachufer’s Turkish markets as well as excellent food and coffee options: try Kaffeebar for coffee and vegan meals, or Cocolo Ramen for some of the city’s best Japanese food.
Fancy the idea of being lulled to sleep by the sound of the river? If so, the Eastern & Western Comfort Hostelboat is the obvious choice. Optimally situated on Berlin’s River Spree between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, the hostel offers easy access to the East Side Gallery, Görlitzer Park, the Landwehr Canal and the impressive Molecule Man monument. Riverside nightclub Watergate – known for its floor-to-ceiling windows and terrace – is just steps away, so getting home after a night out is about as simple as it can get. Accommodation options include private cabins with shared bathrooms, or the chance to sleep in tents on the boat’s terrace. A generous breakfast buffet is provided for an additional fee.
Just moments from the U-Bahn at Kottbusser Tor – affectionately referred to as Kotti by Berliners – is Comebackpackers. Opened by two friends who travelled the world together, Comebackpackers is ideal accommodation for avid travellers looking to meet like-minded people in the laid-back, eclectically furnished common room. The mixed dorm rooms (6- or 16-person) are simple but spacious, and guests can avail themselves of a well-equipped kitchen. The hostel is a short walk from Görlitzer Park – one of Berlin’s liveliest parks, often filled with stylish Berliners sipping Augustiner beers – in addition to bars such as Möbel Olfe, a popular LGBTQ-friendly bar set in a former furniture store.