This is the most westerly and least populous county of Berlin, located right on the western fringes of the city, around the confluence of the Rivers Havel and Spree. This was the site of the notorious Spandau Prison until it was demolished in 1987. The area’s main modern industries include metal working, carpet making and chemicals. The British New Romantic band Spandau Ballet took their name from the area. There is much to recommend Spandau, which has a strong historic core and a vibrant cultural identity that is at once modern and unspoiled.

The old historic centre of Spandau has a number of important historic tourist attractions. The Spandau Citadel is said to be one of the best preserved examples of Renaissance Fortification in Europe. There has been a fort on this site since the 11th Century. The Julius Tower, completed in 1230 is one of the oldest surviving structures in Berlin. Many historic buildings here have been restored and are used for cultural events or have been opened as museums. In the old quarter, attractions include St. Nicholas’ Church, which was the birthplace of the Reformation in this region.

Other attractions in the borough include Fort Hahneberg, once located in no-mans-land right next to the Berlin Wall, and the Airforce Museum in Gatow. Spandau has a vibrant cultural and creative scene too – many musical and performing arts events are held here each year. This place has moved away from its traditional industrial past and is now a centre for retail and recreation, with a booming service industry.

Outside the citadel and other urban pockets, this borough is a verdant and pastoral place. The Havel Basin has a number of fascinating biotopes, farmland, meadows, waters, forests and all threaded through with some delightful hiking and biking trails. So this could be the perfect area of Berlin in which to stay if you want a countryside feel, while still being within relatively easy reach of the attractions of the inner city centre. Here are some of your accommodation options:

Winters Hotel Berlin im Spiegelturm: This hotel has polished rooms with amazing city views, and sophisticated restaurant and other amenities. This is in an upscale building directly opposite an S-bahn station that will take you straight to the main attractions.

Mercure Hotel Berlin City West: Here you will find simple, elegant rooms, a fine restaurant, wine bar and an outdoor pool, all within easy reach of the Tegel airport and city centre.

SensCity Hotel Berlin Spandau: This straightforward hotel is just 2.7km from the old town of Spandau and just a ten or so minute walk from the S-bahn station that will take you to the city centre.

Hotel Ibis Spandau: Integrated into the Spandau Arkaden shopping centre, this hotel is extremely well placed for you to enjoy the attractions of old town Spandau and the surrounding area.

Centrovital: This four star sport and spa hotel housed behind the brick facade of a former brewery offers luxury and comfort for discerning guests and is right beside Lake Spandau.

Hotel Benn: This family run hotel is right at the heart of old Spandau. Perfect for exploring this quaint and historic area and yet also only twenty minutes or so from the centre of Berlin by public transport.

Hotel Herbst Berlin: This is a modern hotel at the heart of Spandau’s old town, with comfortable and spacious rooms and excellent entertainment options and transport links nearby.

Hotel Havel Lodge: Right on the shore of the Havel River, this hotel is a tranquil escape in the countryside and yet has all the city excitement right on the doorstep. This is a charming family run establishment which has an interior redesign in 2014.

Alecsa Hotel am Olympiastadion: This is an affordable, rather basic but comfortable option in a quiet residential area of Berlin with plenty of trees, just five minutes walk or so from the station that will take you to Spandau or the city centre.

Hotel Siemensstadt: This family run hotel has just fourteen rooms. It is relatively close to the airport and it is easy to get from here to see the main attractions of the city.

VCH-Hotel Christophorus: In a relaxing spot in the Spandau forest, this Christian hotel offers a retreat from the noise and rush of the city centre and yet it is easy to get from here into the inner city if you wish. Here you can be in the countryside and in the city at one and the same time.

Hotel Kallmeyer: Found in the heart of historic Spandau, this pension hotel is surrounded by well-preserved historic sights and is close to the station that will take you to the centre of busy Berlin.

Maison Apartments Am Kolk Berlin: Rooms in this hotel are in a building in historic Spandau that was constructed in 1876 in the classical style. This building has been lavishly restored and has many modern elements yet still retains an historic charm.

Landhaus Perle: This lovely hotel is not far from the old town. The rooms are a good size and there is a pleasant courtyard in which to enjoy a relaxing moment or two.

Arcus Hotel: This hotel with fifteen rooms is located in a peaceful and green part of Spandau and yet is well connected with the inner city by public transport links.

Hotel Pension Zelijko: This family guest house hotel is a modern establishment in a leafy location. Double and single rooms are available and breakfast is included.

Hotel Grüner Baum: This delightful guesthouse is located in one of the most charming neighbourhoods, right next to the Havel on the Gatow Heide. There are five double rooms and one single, as well as parking for guests and some lovely outside space including a sunny terrace and beer garden.

Hotel Altstadt Spandau: With a range of rooms from singles and doubles to six bed dorms, this hotel/hostel is picturesquely and conveniently located in the centre of the old town of Spandau.

Spandau offers a lot in its own right, as well as being an area of the city with good transport links into the other parts of Berlin.