As home to one of the fastest courses in the world, the vibrant city of Berlin attracts over 30,000 runners from all corners of the globe, who come to participate in its renowned marathon. 

The race draws in around one million spectators, creating an electric atmosphere of support and excitement throughout the city.

This highlights the importance of booking your hotel well in advance, sometimes even up to a year ahead. 

But when it comes to choosing the right hotel, it should not just be about comfort and luxury; it should also be about how close it is to the race route and the ease of access to public transportation. 

Some of the best places are the Grand Hyatt, The Mandala Hotel, and the Hotel Adlon Kempinski which is located just a minute away from the Brandenburg Gate, allowing you to save your energy for the race itself. 

So, I have hand-picked some of the best hotels to stay in Berlin for the marathon. 

But before we look into that, you have to first understand how you get to the start line…

How To Get To The Start Line Of The Berlin Marathon

The start line is positioned between Straße des 17. Juni, situated between Brandenburg Gate and “Kleiner Stern.”

To get to the start line, I strongly advise using the public transportation system.

You will receive a 4-day public transport ticket for fare zones A, B, and C, which will be valid throughout race week. More details about its usage will be provided along with the start card mailing a few weeks prior to the race day.

The nearest public transportation stops include:

  • U-Barn: Friedrichstraße (U6) – 12 minutes walk, Potsdamer Platz (U2) – 8 minutes walk. 
  • S-Bahn: Hauptbahnhof (S5, S7, S75, S9)- 9 mins walk, Potsdamer Platz (S1, S2, S25) – 6 mins walk, Friedrichstraße (S1, S2, S25, S5, S7, S75, S9) – 5 mins walk. 
  • Regional trains: Hauptbahnhof (RE1, RE2, RE7, RB14), Potsdamer Platz (RE4, RE5) – approximately 10-15 minutes walking distance

To familiarize yourself with the S-Bahn and U-Bahn systems, take a look at this article where I explain how both of them work: “Berlin Marathon Expo 2023: Getting There, Times, and Parking.”

If you’re staying near the start line, walking is also a good option. However, remember the following:

  • The start and finish areas are only accessible to participants with an official bib number and athlete’s wristband.
  • The area opens at 7:00 a.m.
  • You won’t be able to bring friends or relatives with you.
  • Dogs and bicycles are not permitted in the area.

What If I Prefer Driving To The Start Line?

Bringing your car is not recommended, as there’s no available parking space for the event. Please use public transportation instead.

Now that you’re familiar with how to navigate to the start line, let’s take a look at my top picks for your stay during the Berlin Marathon.

What Are The Best Hotels Near The Berlin Marathon

Below are some of the best hotels within walking distance of both the start and finish lines of the Berlin Marathon, in no particular order:

  1.  Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
  2. JW Marriott Hotel Berlin
  3.  Motel One Berlin-Potsdamer Platz 
  4.  Motel One Berlin-Bellevue

Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin

The Adlon is a renowned 5-star hotel situated in Berlin’s Mitte, conveniently near the Brandenburg Gate. 

This luxury establishment offers exquisite accommodations, including a double Michelin-starred restaurant and a shopping arcade, ensuring a lavish stay.

The hotel is very close to the start/finish line, with just a 10-15 minute walk to the Brandenburg Gate.

To get to the Expo, simply head to the nearest U-Bahn station from the hotel, which takes approx 8 minutes. Hop on the U-Bahn U2 Line and get off at U-Bahn U6 Platz der Luftbrücke Station. 

Follow the signs to Flughafen Tempelhof, and within a 5-minute stroll, you’ll arrive at the marathon expo venue. 

JW Marriott Hotel Berlin

Just 15 minutes away from the start/finish lines, the JW Marriott Hotel is in a convenient location. 

You can start your day with a delicious breakfast buffet located only 2 minutes away, providing a wide range of regional and international dishes.

But make sure you stick to what you practiced during your training. Because trying new things on race day could negatively affect your performance. 

This hotel’s location grants easy access to renowned attractions like Potsdamer Platz, Sony Center, the Reichstag building, and the tranquil “Tiergarten” park, all within a short walking distance.

To get to the expo, head to the Gedenkstätte Dt. Widerstand (Berlin) bus stop, which is a 6-minute stroll from the hotel. From there, catch a bus to the Kochstraße stop. Then, hop on the U6 U-Bahn line to U Platz der Luftbrücke, and you’re 500 meters away from the expo. 

Motel One Berlin-Potsdamer Platz 

Situated only 200 meters (0.1 miles) from the famous Potsdamer Platz and directly opposite the German Bundesrat (federal council), this budget-friendly accommodation is centrally located in the Mitte district. 

It offers a garden, a terrace, and free WiFi access.

Motel One Berlin-Potsdamer Platz features bright rooms decorated with modern furnishings. Highlights include soundproofed windows, air conditioning, and a flat-screen TV.

Breakfast is served each morning in the motel’s inviting dining room. You will find numerous cafés, bars, and restaurants within a 5-minute walk of Motel One Berlin-Potsdamer Platz.

Nearby attractions include the famous Brandenburg Gate (1 km/0.62 miles), Checkpoint Charlie (950 meters/0.59 miles), and the futuristic Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz (350 meters/0.22 miles).

The start/finish line is only 15 minutes away, within walking distance from the hotel. Alternatively, if you prefer warming up and stretching when you are at Brandenburg Gate, you can take the S-Bahn at Berlin Potsdamer Platz Bahnhof and get off right at the start line at Brandenburger Tor station.

Potsdamer Platz S-Bahn Train Station is less than a 2-minute walk from the hotel.

To get to the Expo, you can take a U-Bahn at Stadtmitte U-Station, which is about 6 minutes away from the hotel. After a few stops, you get off at U Platz der Luftbrücke. Then, the expo will be 400 meters (0.3 miles) away.

Motel One Berlin-Bellevue

This budget-friendly hotel offers air-conditioned rooms, a 24-hour bar, and free Wi-Fi. Bellevue Palace and Tiergarten Park are a 5-minute walk away.

All the stylish rooms at Motel One Berlin-Bellevue feature a flat-screen TV and a sleek granite bathroom with a rainforest shower.

The One Lounge, with its large sofas and modern decor, serves as a lobby, bar, and café. You can find international drinks, coffee specialties, and a variety of snacks here.

The start/finish line is a convenient 15-20 minutes walk from the hotel. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Schloss Bellevue to Reichstag/Bundestag, which is only 4 minutes away from the Brandenburg Gate.

The Schloss Bellevue bus station is 600m (0.4 miles) from the hotel.

If you’re driving, there are some free parking spaces available on the nearby street. Additionally, a limited number of supervised garage parking spaces are available for an extra charge, and these must be reserved directly at the hotel.

To reach the Expo, you can take a bus from Schloss Bellevue station to Unter den Linden and then transfer to U6 to reach U Platz der Luftbrücke.

Make sure you check the official Berlin Marathon Start Access Event Area to be aware of which entrances will be restricted on race day. 

Sustainable Hotels For The BMW Berlin-Marathon (Exclusively For Runners)

The organizers of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON are dedicated to ensuring the events are environmentally friendly. 

As a runner, leading up to the event, you can also play a part in this effort.

Beyond opting for eco-friendly transportation to and from the event, you can minimize your ecological impact by choosing sustainable accommodations.

Certain hotels are committed to environmental responsibility. 

They differentiate themselves by practicing energy conservation, using renewable energy sources, or offering climate-friendly transportation options like in-house bicycle rentals.

Notable eco-friendly hotels include Estrel Berlin, the HENRI Hotel, and Louisa’s Place. For a full list, you can visit the official Berlin Marathon website.

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With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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