Oderberger – A sleek, boutique hotel in an unforgettable building.
There is nowhere else quite like the Oderberger: a boutique hotel built in an enormous and grand old public bathhouse attached to a language school campus. It’s an odd mix but somehow it works. The 1902 building itself was designed as a place for Berliners to have a good wash, both in the twenty-meter pool as well as the private bathrooms (now bedrooms). But the renovation, too, is magnificent to behold as so much of the old character has been kept: original bathhouse doors have been used for en-suite bathrooms, before and after photos punctuate the corridors, and the original dials, fixtures, and fittings are used as features. Be sure to explore the old building during your stay as there are so many nooks and crannies (including a soaring tower), and don’t miss the GLS language school campus out the back – it’s a little city oasis and a way to cut through, via Restaurant Die Schule, to Kastanienallee. There is much to recommend this place, but the hotel’s crowning glory must be its original pool with its church-like vaulted ceiling.
Oderberger – Location
- Address: Oderberger Strasse 57, Berlin.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: Eberswalder Strasse U-Bahn station is a 5-minute walk (0.3 mile) from the hotel. From there, you can catch the U2 line, as well as trams and buses from the street.
- Area: The hotel is in the former East Berlin neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, one of the city’s loveliest. Oderberger Strasse is one of the coolest streets in the area, but Kollwitzplatz and Kastanienallee also have several chic stores and restaurants. While it has been heavily gentrified since the city’s reunification, there are still hints of Soviet shabbiness to be found wandering its streets. The nearby Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) is one of the city’s highlights, as is the Mauerpark Flea Market.
- How to Get There: From Berlin Central Station, it’s 10-15 minutes (2.5 miles) via taxi or 20 minutes if you take the tram. From Brandenburg Airport, it’s 40 minutes (16 miles) by taxi or about 50 minutes via public transport.
- Private Transfer: We use and recommend Welcome Pickups car service. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more than a taxi – about €49 from Brandenburg Airport – but can be worth it to avoid the long taxi queue and for the convenience of paying ahead.
- Handy To: Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, Mauerpark Flohmarkt (Mauerpark flea market).
Oderberger – The Basics
- Ages: All ages welcome.
- View: Some rooms on higher floors have panoramic city views.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: Same-day laundry services can be requested via the hotel’s online portal (additional charge).
- Parking: The hotel has limited parking available (€25/day), so it’s advisable to book ahead. There are public garages nearby for €20/day.
- Extras: Free bottle of mineral water, discount at the pool and sauna, hotel shop, spacious common areas and gardens.
- When to Book: Sometimes, there is last-minute availability, but it’s best to book at least 1-2 months ahead to get the room you prefer.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +49 30 7800 89760
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: hotel-oderberger.berlin
Oderberger – Amenities
- Pool: The Oderberger’s beautifully restored 20m pool is stunning. There’s also a modern Finnish-style sauna (90°F, ice fountain, sun beds, and a rest area). It is open to the public, but hotel guests pay a discounted price of €4 for the pool/€12 for pool and sauna. The pool is open 7am-10pm and the sauna opens from noon, 5 days a week (days vary depending on private events), and closes every August for maintenance.
- Spa: No spa but there is a Finnish sauna as part of the pool (see above).
- Fitness Center: No fitness center.
- For Disabled Guests: Everywhere except the Tower is accessible by elevator. There are 3 rooms that are barrier-free for guests with accessibility needs.
- For Families: DVDs, games, and special menus for kids are available. Baby cots can be provided.
- Activities: The concierge can help arrange any activities, e.g. bike tours, walking tours, or bicycle rental (additional charge). There is also weekly live music, sporadic exhibitions, and pop-up food options.
Oderberger – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: There are 2 restaurants on-site. In the main building, Restaurant Oderberger serves excellent seasonal German cuisine in the former power station of the historic baths. The rich-colored furniture pops against the bare brick and cement walls adorned with original dials and gauges. Open Tuesday-Saturday 6pm-midnight. $$-$$$. ● Through the courtyard in the language school, half of the site (a former GDR-era school-turned private language school) is Restaurant Die Schule, which offers modern German sharing plates, as well as grown-up versions of school classics like fish sticks and burgers. Excellent value weekday lunch menu and pleasant terrace on Kastanienallee. Open Monday-Friday for lunch and daily for dinner, 4pm-midnight. $-$$$.
- Bar: The sophisticated Kaminbar (Fireplace Bar) is open daily from 5pm with a good range of German-made liquors, wines, and craft beer to enjoy either inside in the plush seating or outside on a fun street-side terrance. There’s weekly live music.
- Breakfast: Excellent hot and cold buffet breakfast served in the restaurant. Inventive vegan and vegetarian options, hot food cooked to order, and smoothie bar. Daily 7-10:30am (until 11am on weekends and public holidays). Breakfast is not included in the apartment room category.
- Room Service: There is room service for drinks and snacks around the clock.
Oderberger – Rooms
- Room Types: Comfort Single ● Comfort Double ● Barrier-free Double ● Premium ● Maisonette ● Junior Suite ● Tower Suite ● Family Room ● Small Apartment ● Large Apartment • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: The Oderberger is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: As the historic building has different wings, rooms vary hugely and the best room will depend on what you’re looking for (e.g. some rooms have balconies, others have shared terraces, and some have neither). For 2 people, the Junior Suite has all the facilities that all rooms share (telephone, tablet, fridge, SKY TV, fan, rain shower, organic toiletries, coffee/tea-making facilities) and is the most spacious and plush, with separate living and sleeping areas. Tower Suites and Apartments benefit from dining areas and kitchenettes/fully-equipped kitchens.
- Family Rooms: The Family Room sleeps up to 4, while one of the apartments sleeps up to 8.
Oderberger – Local Transport
- Walking: Everywhere in Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte is very walkable – you can get everywhere within 30 minutes from the hotel, including the Hackescher Markt, Alexanderplatz, the Fernsehturm, and Museumsinsel.
- Tram/Bus: From Eberswalder Strasse station, a 5-minute walk (0.3 mile) away, there are 2 tram stops only a minute apart. The trams from the U Eberswalder Strasse/Pappelallee stop run north-south (you can catch trams into Mitte, especially the Scheunenviertel/Hackescher Markt neighborhood), while those at the other stop on Eberswalder Strasse itself go east-west between super-trendy Friedrichshein (for the East Side Gallery and Stasi Museum), or west to the Hauptbahnhof (Central Station, near the Bundestag).
- Subway: Eberswalder Strasse station is a 5-minute walk (0.3 mile) from the hotel, from where the handy U2 line goes through central Berlin via Potsdamer Platz and out west via Charlottenburg.
- Taxis, Uber, Lyft: All taxis charge the same amount in Berlin, even Uber, but the company’s growth has been limited by local taxi firms, which have rallied to compete with apps of their own: TaxiApp and taxi.eu app represent a large number of local companies, including Taxi Berlin (+49 30 202020) and FunkTaxi Berlin (+49 30 261026).
Oderberger – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Secret Food Tours – With specialist tours about craft beer, street food, German food, and vegan cuisine, these tours, led by locals, are always illuminating. They start at different places, depending on the tour.
- Berlin on Bike – The meeting point for this tour company, which offers a diverse range of cycling city tours, is a tourist site in itself, Prenzlauer Berg’s Kulturbrauerei, a 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Insider Tour – This company offers a wide range of extremely well-reviewed tours (including Jewish Berlin, Third Reich Berlin, Cold War Berlin, and more) and their meeting point in East Berlin is conveniently located by Hackescher Markt station, 10 minutes via public transport.
- Trabi Safari – One of the quirkier options and a must for any motorheads is to drive around the city in a Trabant, the car of the Soviet Union. You’ll see the multicolored little vehicles around and about, and navigating Berlin’s streets in one will give you more of a sense of real life in the GDR than just about anything else. Tour starts from Zimmerstrasse (opposite the Topographie des Terrors), 30 minutes via public transport.
Best Nearby Restaurants
Many German restaurants are still cash only, so don’t expect to be able to pay by card.
- Hako Ramen – MSG-free authentic Japanese ramen with Sake and Japanese draft beer. Tables out front and back in good weather. $-$$. (100m).
- KYO Grill – Excellent Japanese kushiyaki (grilled skewers). A fun place to go if you’ll be sharing food. $$. (0.1 mile).
- Pizza Pane – Consistently delicious wood-fired pizza in a simple trattoria with an authentic Italian vibe. $. (0.2 mile).
- 26 Shibuya – Truly wonderful sushi and sashimi with a serious wine list in a classy restaurant that aims to conjure up the Shibuya district in Tokyo. (0.2 mile).
- Schiller Burger – Berlin’s mini burger chain famous for their freshly-made buns, ethically sourced meat, and excellent veggie options. $. (0.2 mile).
- Feel Seoul Good – Sublime vegan Korean food in a cozy atmospheric cafe on Kollwitzplatz. $-$$. (0.4 mile).
- W Der Imbiss – Tiki-themed casual restaurant serving (by its own admission) Indo-Mexi-Cal-Ital food. The naan pizzas are outstanding. $. (0.4 mile).
- Dong Do – Vietnamese fusion food with some freshly-made sushi and great value lunches. $. (0.3 mile).
- Schwarze Pumpe – All day shabby-chic cafe-bar-restaurant with great food and drink options and good vibes. $. (0.5 mile).
- Pasternak – Cute retro bistro close to the Kollwitzplatz and in the shade of a beautiful old water tower, serving Eastern European, Russian, Middle Eastern, and Jewish specialties, with good plant-based options. $-$$. (0.5 mile).
- Bar Gagarin – A true neighborhood gem, open all day for excellent-value food and drink (including all-day breakfasts) with a varied menu that changes weekly. $. (0.5 mile).
- Masel Topf – High-quality, seasonal, and modern Israeli food in a candle-lit, homey dining room. $$-$$$. (0.6 mile).
Best Nearby Cafes
- Kaffee Marlene – Good all-day bar-cafe with comfy bohemian mismatched seating, cakes, snacks, and light meals. (0.2 mile).
- Konnopke’s Imbiss – Berlin’s most famous currywurst stand has been serving hungry Berliners and tourists under the elevated U-Bahn tracks since the 1930s, but it’s kept up with the times – there are even vegan options available. (0.2 mile).
- Bonanza Coffee Heroes – These guys are serious about their coffee. They source it, roast it, and serve it with exacting precision. Some of the best in Berlin. (0.3 mile).
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Frannz – Nightclub, cabaret, beer garden, restaurant, dance classes: this place has it all. In the Kulturbrauerei. (150m).
- Prater Biergarten – Berlin’s oldest biergarten, the Prater has been feeding and entertaining Berliners in this gorgeous site since 1837. (0.1 mile).
- An Einem Sonntag im August – Hip all-day cafe-bar, great for breakfasts and burgers during the day, preferably in their cute outside seating, but also fun at night, when the DJ gets on the decks. (0.2 mile).
- Macke Prinz – The term shabby chic may have been invented for this local bar on the delightful Zionskirchplatz with a good atmosphere, outdoor seating, and cheap drinks. (0.5 mile).
- Weinerei Forum – By day, a pleasant cafe (try the baked cheesecake), and by night, it’s a pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth wine tasting bar. (0.5 mile).
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- In Prenzlauer Berg – Try Prenzlauer Strasse, Kastanienallee, Rykestrasse, Oderberger Strasse, and Kollwitzplatz. All are great streets to wander down, packed with cute stores, restaurants, and cafes. Kastanienallee is a particularly trendy place to see and be seen, and to achieve that full Berlin look. The Mauerpark Flohmarkt (flea market, 0.4 mile), from 8 am onward on Sundays, is a favorite Berlin pastime. Especially fun is the afternoon outdoor karaoke in the amphitheater.
- In Mitte – Head for Alexanderplatz (14-minutes via public transport) for big department stores like GALERIA Karstadt Kaufhof, international fast food outlets, and a huge C&A and Primark (cheap fashion). In Scheunenviertel, the Hackescher Markt refers to the shopping area encompassing the eponymous S-Bahn station (11 minutes via public transport), Dircksenstraße in the south, Torstrasse in the north (0.8 mile), Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in the east, and Oranienburger Strasse in the west. It’s most famous for its concentration of independent stores scattered in various courtyards, or Höfe, especially the Hackesche Höfe, which has a warren of yards set amid vine-covered buildings and Jugendstil architecture (0.1 mile from the hotel).
- Kurfürstendamm – For luxury stores and international chains, bypass grungy Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg and head straight to “Ku’damm,” the biggest shopping street in the city, where you can hit all the world’s major brands at once. Nearby Charlottenburg has several quirky and cute independent stores. 35 minutes via public transport.
- Alexanderplatz, Fernsehturm, & Karl Marx Allee – Alexanderplatz is the busiest place in Berlin and a great landmark to help orientate yourself to the city. Don’t miss the retrofuturistic World Clock, often surrounded by street performers, and make sure to walk east up the bombastic Karl Marx Allee, a perfect example of large-scale Soviet architecture. Another unmissable example of Soviet pretension towers over Alexanderplatz: the Fernsehturm (TV Tower), which was designed to show off the might of the new regime to the West. Now you can ascend for food or drink, or just to look around. It’s open most days until midnight. All can be reached within 15 minutes on public transport.
- Museums – There can be few cities as great for museum-goers as Berlin, mostly because they’re all packed into a compact area, the so-called Museumsinsel, 20 minutes by public transport from the hotel. The island in the Spree features some of the nation’s finest museums: the Alte Nationalgalerie (19th-century art), the Altes Museum (Greeks, Etruscans, Romans), the Bode-Museum (sculpture, coins, medals, and Byzantine art), the Neues Museum (Ancient Egyptians and prehistory), and the Pergamonmuseum (Islamic and Roman architectural set pieces). There are far too many treasures to note, but needless to say, you should plan your time (or go with a guided tour) and buy tickets in advance, especially for the world-famous Pergamon. General opening hours are 10am-6pm (Thursdays until 8pm) and several of the museums are closed on Monday. Also on the island are the Berliner Dom (cathedral) and the Humboldt Forum, which is being built in the former Berlin Palace. Just off the island are the wonderful Deutsches Historisches Museum, which traces German history from the Middle Ages to the fall of the Wall, and the wacky and interactive DDR Museum (see below under Cold War).
- Unter den Linden – West of Museumsinsel is this enormous boulevard that leads past the Staatsoper (National Operahouse) and Humboldt University, via many of the flagship stores for international brands, all the way to the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) and beyond to the Tiergarten and its dramatic Siegessäule (Victory Monument). Just north of the Brandenburg Gate is the Bundestag (aka Reichstag), with its inspiring rotunda where the public can overlook the politicians at work in the main parliament chamber below. It’s free to visit, but book well ahead or risk hours in line. The easiest way to do Unter den Linden is to hop on and off the #100 bus from Alexanderplatz; it goes along the whole street and through the Tiergarten. From the hotel, the U2 subway line goes parallel to Unter den Linden a couple of blocks south.
- Nazi and WWII history – A good place to start is the Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror, 30 minutes via public transport), a center dedicated to understanding how the Nazis came to cause such destruction, and built on the former site of the Gestapo, SS, and security headquarters. There are 2 worthwhile memorials to visit that warn of the horrors of war: the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, 35 minutes via public transport) has been purposefully left in its bombed state, while Käthe Kollwitz’s devastating ‘Mother with her Dead Son’ sculpture at the Neue Wache (New Guardshouse, opposite the Staatsoper, 25 minutes by public transport) is a national monument for all the victims of war and dictatorship. During the air raids that destroyed some 80% of the city center, much of Berlin’s life happened underground. Two ways to get insight into this are: visit the site of the Führerbunker, where information boards explain what cannot be seen below – Hitler’s series of underground rooms and tunnels where he spent his final days, or visit Berliner Unterwelten (18 minutes via public transport), whose tours allow you to explore air raid shelters, and the Myth of Germania exhibition which examines Hitler’s extensive plans for a modernized, Aryan Berlin (and how it would be achieved with widespread forced labor).
- Jewish Berlin – Wandering through the large uneven slabs of the Holocaust Memorial (30 minutes via public transport), just south of the Brandenburg Gate, is a deeply moving experience, as is the Jewish Museum (in Kreuzberg, also 30 minutes via public transport), which dives deep into German-Jewish history and culture. The Neue Synagoge in Scheunenviertel (15 minutes via public transport) provides tangible evidence of just how important the pre-war Jewish population was to Berlin’s growth and industry in the second half of the 19th century. It now features a permanent exhibition about Berlin Jewry.
- Cold War – As you walk around the city, look out for the double row of cobblestones, laid as a reminder of the enormous footprint of the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall). There are several segments of the original wall that have been preserved: a section at the Topographie des Terrors (see above); the famous painted section, the East Side Gallery (in Friedrichshain, 40 minutes via public transport); and the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial), which spans a few blocks of Bernauer Strasse, between the Nordbahnhof and Mauerpark (0.3 mile to the corner of Schwedter Strasse, one end of the memorial). It’s an outdoor museum telling the story of the wall and its repercussions, with a full-scale reproduction of the double-walled barrier the Soviets created (viewing platform at the corner with Ackerstrasse, a 20-minute walk or 1 mile from the hotel). The reconstructed Checkpoint Charlie (in Mitte, a block from the Topographie des Terrors), a gateway between the East and West from the American Sector, is an evocative tourist favorite, while the Stasi Museum and Archives (in Friedrichshain, 35 minutes via public transport), housed in the real Stasi headquarters, show the depths the secret police of the German Democratic Republic went to for spying on its citizens. For a social history perspective, the DDR Museum (15 minutes by public transport) is a wonderfully interactive glimpse into what life was like behind the iron curtain in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or German Democratic Republic (GDR).
- Other sights in Mitte – The oldest part of the city can be seen in Nikolaiviertel (20 minutes by public transport), whose tiny alleys and reconstructed medieval church seem a million miles away from the big city, and the heavy-handed GDR-era restoration gives the whole area a sense of Berlin’s layered history. Worth a visit, especially for the open air concerts in summer and the Christmas markets in winter, is the Gendarmenmarkt (20 minutes by public transport), a square often dubbed the most beautiful in Berlin thanks to its perfectly symmetrical neoclassical buildings. The heavily regenerated Potsdamer Platz (25 minutes by public transport) now has much to recommend it, including a walk of stars leading to the Sony Center (0.3 mile from Potsdamer Platz station), and just past that, the Kulturforum (0.3 mile). Designed in the 1960s to show those in the East what they were missing out on in the cultured West, the Kulturforum’s large plaza features the glimmering Philharmonie concert hall, the Gemäldegalerie (13th to 18th-century European paintings), and the soon-to-be-reopened Neue Nationalgalerie (20th-century art), among other cultural hotspots.
- Schloss Charlottenburg – There are many sights worthy of a trip outside central Berlin, but Charlottenburg Palace might be one of the best. It was the plush Prussian dream of Queen Sophie Charlotte, whose golden Rococo ballroom and Porcelain Cabinet are jaw-droppingly lavish. It has beautiful gardens for strolling or picnicking, and opposite are 3 excellent museums, the Bröhan-Museum (arts and crafts), Museum Berggruen (a modern art collection featuring Picasso, Klee, Braque, Cézanne, and Giacometti, among others), and the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg (French Impressionists, the complete print works of Toulouse Lautrec, Dalí, Magritte, Ernst, and Klee, among others). 40 minutes via public transport.
- Alternative Lifestyles – The Acker Stadt Palast (1 mile), Haus Schwarzenberg (12 minutes by public transport), and ACUD (0.6 mile) are all examples of the progressive cultural centers that burgeoned in the aftermath of reunification, when artists took over crumbling buildings in former East Berlin and lived and worked together. It’s places like these that gave Berlin its edgy reputation and have survived the onslaught of gentrification. If you’re into alternative Berlin and especially street art, make sure to check out Friedrichshain’s RAW-Gelände, a hive of various hip activities and businesses run out of renovated train warehouses covered in graffiti (30 minutes via public transport). Although there are no public spaces there any more, the Hirschhof, right by the hotel, gives a sense of what life in East Berlin looked like before everything got cleaned up.