I’m about to check out of Motel One at Moritzplatz (a hotel that is labelled “Motel One Berlin-Mitte” but that is only in the most generous sense anywhere near Mitte); I’ve been here for the last 6 nights and it’s my second stay here (I was here last July as well). I’ve stayed in several neighbourhoods over the years that I’ve been coming to Berlin: Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte and Mitte again and Kreuzberg; while all are pleasant, here at Moritzplatz, on the fringes of Kreuzberg, is by far and away my favourite.
The Motel One is nothing to write home about, but it’s clean, cheap (about 60 EURO a night with breakfast included), has servicable wifi (4 Mbps down, 1Mbps up) and it’s quiet (especially if you request a room at the back). The staff are friendly and there’s a nice lounge on the first floor.
What sets Moritzplatz apart as a Berlin base, though, is everything that surrounds:
- The Moritzplatz U-Bahn stop is steps from the door of the hotel, and the U8 that stops there can take you quickly up to Mitte or down into Neukölln and, with a connection, you can be almost anywhere you need to go in central Berlin in 30 minutes or less.
- Betahaus, with its coworking desks, café, bandwidth and workshops, is just around the corner. And it’s open on Saturdays now.
- Modulor is right on Moritzplatz. It is, I think, the greatest store on earth: you can buy pens, paper, notebooks, architectural supplies, magnets, books, clay, rope, table saws, masking tape, suction cups… everything. And it’s all expertly organized.
- There’s a Deutsche Post office on Ritterstrasse, about 5 minutes walk away, and they’re skilled at helping English-speakers send letters, postcards and parcels home.
- Prinzessinnengarten is right on Moritzplatz: it’s a peaceful oasis in the city, a demonstration garden cum restaurant cum coffee shop. A lovely place to spend a morning or an afternoon.
- There is excellent coffee available nearby at Companion and Concierge.
- An infinite number of restaurants are within easy walking distance.
- The Wäscherei am Moritzplatz will wash, dry and fold your laundry and wrap it all up in a nice paper package for pick-up.
- Tegel Airport is a quick ride up the U8 and then a quick ride over on the 128 bus. Total cost: 2,40 EUR.
There are other neighbourhoods that are more happening, and other hotels that are more luxurious or hip, but for a straight-ahead Berlin experience, with all the services and supports a nomad needs, Moritzplatz can’t be beat.
I’ll be back.