Mitte is arguably the beating heart of Berlin. This diverse neighbourhood is home to the city's biggest museums, fanciest boutiques and many historic attractions. It also has plenty of stylish restaurants, hidden pop-up shops and the underground bars that the German capital is known for. If you're here for the nightlife, you'll be pleased to know the district is very well connected to the rest of the city by public transport, so getting back to your hostel after hours is easy.
As it's the most central part of the city, there are plenty of hostels in Berlin Mitte to choose from. You can stay in a 19th-century building that's survived both World Wars, a stylish design hostel with rooms painted by local artists or in a party hostel above one of Berlin's liveliest bars. Look out for little extras like free breakfast buffets, bicycle hire and super-fast Wi-Fi. Most Berlin Mitte hostels have social spaces, such as beer garden courtyards with deckchairs.
Weinbergsweg, near the Rosenthaler Platz underground station, is one of the best places to start exploring Mitte. It has international restaurants and independent shops, and leads on to Kastanienallee and the cool Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood. Alexanderplatz is Mitte's transport hub, and it's where you'll find high street shops and the iconic viewing deck at the top of the Fernsehturm (TV Tower). Most of the city's walking tours start at the Brandenburg Gate at the top of the Unter den Linden boulevard, as there are lots of important monuments and attractions nearby.
One of the key sights in Mitte is the thought-provoking Holocaust Memorial, made up of uneven monoliths which create an unsettling feeling as you walk through. A sunset trip to the awe-inspiring dome of the Reichstag is a must for its spiral design and city views: just make sure to book your visit in advance. Take some time to wander around the Art Nouveau Hackesche Höfe, eight interconnected courtyards lined with bars, restaurants and small designer boutiques.
Berlin has two airports: Berlin Schönefeld Airport and Berlin Tegel Airport. Both are connected to Alexanderplatz in Mitte by public transport: the TXL Jet Express Bus from Tegel and the train from Schönefeld. Berlin is a cyclist-friendly city with lots of paths and bike lanes, but if you're a bit rusty on two wheels it's easy to get around by public transport. The overground and underground trains run all over the city, and there are buses and trams as well.