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During my last visit to Berlin, I decided to stay in a hostel instead of with friends, simply because I had a lot of work to catch up on and wanted to make sure I’d have some time to myself. Whenever I stay with friends, I end up staying up all night, catching up over a bottle of wine (or two).. Work? Not so much.
When I was searching for a hostel, I knew that I didn’t want it to be a huge party hostel like Generator or Plus, I was looking for something smaller and quieter.Choosing a hostel in Berlin can be pretty overwhelming, considering how many hostels there are in this city. Which one is good, which one is in a good location?
My search led me to The Cat’s Pajamas Hostel in Kreuzkölln, the area of Berlin where the two hippest neighborhoods, Kreuzberg and Neukölln, meet, and which happens to be my favorite neighborhood in the city. I didn’t even look any further, I reserved a room right away.I arrived in Berlin on a rainy day and was lucky to discover that the hostel was located only a short 3-minute walk from the Hermannplatz subway station.
Inside it was cozy and warm, and all the staff were enthusiastic and welcoming. The lobby was designed in a way that made you want to linger, and the kitchen right behind was spacious and spotless, a place where you actually feel like cooking or preparing a meal, unlike many other hostel kitchens I’ve come across on my travels. The hostel, which was opened in 2012, and is now in its third year, seemed actually much newer than it actually is, and just show how much attention is paid to cleanliness and upkeep.In the mornings, a breakfast buffet is set up in the kitchen, which you can get for only €4.50.Rooms are located on the upper floors, and my 2-bed room still felt so new and shiny and yet comfortable and livable that I didn’t mind being trapped in there for a few hours during a rain storm. In fact, there was even a desk, facing the window, which got quite a bit of use during my time in Berlin.Another feature I really appreciated was that every bed had a reading light and every bed had power outlets. And not only were there large lockers in the room for my valuables, but also storage space for clothes and other things you might want to unpack – most hostels don’t have any room to put something, unless you lock it up. So this was definitely well thought-out design feature. The room was also big enough to do yoga or a workout on the floor.You usually see how well a hostel is kept up when you use the bathroom, but the shared one that belonged to my room and two other rooms was absolutely spotless at all times. A giant bathroom with shower and toilet and room to hang your stuff – also something that most hostels still can’t get right, especially the ones that only have shower stalls and you have to figure out where you put your shower utensils, change of clothes, the clothes you’re wearing and your towel. Here, I had enough space to dry myself after my shower, put lotion and makeup on, all while not jot necessarily having to get dressed yet. Perfect!The other bathroom on the floor where my room was located even had a hairdryer and make up mirrors – another standout feature and something I’ve never seen in a hostel before!The hostel had the perfect level of privacy and mingling that I was looking for: if I wanted to chat and meet other travelers, the kitchen was a melting pot of cultures but I could retreat to the privacy of my room when I needed to work.
The location was an absolute highlight for me, but I know that first time visitors who are looking to see Berlin’s historic sights prefer to stay in Mitte.
If you’re looking to experience some of the coolest neighborhoods in the city and just get a feel for how Berlin ticks, it’s the perfect location. Plus: Mitte is only a few subway stops away, and you’re likely to buy a transportation day pass anyway.The cat’s pajama hostel is in walking distance to the trendy Schillerkiez and the airport-turned-park former airport Tempelhof, the Turkish market at Maybachufer (every Tuesday and Friday), some of the best (and cheapest) Lebanese food right down the road on Sonnenallee, Volskpark Hasenheide Park, the Landwehr Canal (a popular hangout spot in the summer) and countless cafes, bars and eateries.
Room for improvement
The wi-fi was spotty at times, and I saw in some reviews that other travelers had trouble connecting sometimes, as well, so I guess wi-fi could use an upgrade. Other than that, I didn’t find a single thing to complain about!
Location: Urbanstraße 84, 10967 Berlin Germany
Price: €16 for a 4-bed or 6-bed dorm, €15 for a 8-bed dorm, twin room €27.50, single room €39, double room €60
LGBT Friendly: Yes
Digital Nomad Friendly: Yes
Amenities: Free wifi, breakfast available (€4.50), single sex dorms available, laundry service, terrace, lounge, kitchen, information desk, bicycle rental
Website: TheCatspajamashostel.com or follow The Cat’s Pajamas Hostel on Facebook