A friend and neighbour in my housing co-op is planning to travel to Berlin and elsewhere in Germany (perhaps also to Brussels, but he has friends there). Guess this is mostly for rikita, but perhaps others. He's about 50, but not "old"; he has worked a lot in the community/association sector, in tenants' associations, advocacy groups for (unpaid) caregivers/carers etc and when younger, was sort of on the punk scene.
Any ideas about lodging? Not a fancy hotel; but somewhere clean and salubrious. Could be a hostel if there are private rooms, or some kind of small hotel or guesthouse.
He speaks French and a bit of English. His English isn't fluent but he can get by, and is resourceful. He'd be interested in history, art, music etc. He speaks no German; I'll lend him a couple of phrasebooks and indicate websites for easy lessons.
Unfortunately I've never been to Berlin; I've been to Germany but only areas in western Germany closer to France, Belgium or the Netherlands when staying in those countries.
Last time I was in Berlin was in 2010 and I think change pretty quickly there. The time before that was 2008.
If your friend is looking for housing, then google something like "cheap accommodation Berlin" or hostels or even booking.com. I would also suggest posting on the Thorn Tree where there is more information about Berlin.
Yes, Thorn Tree is a good advice. I was in Berlin a few years ago and we stayed in 'Mitte' (neighbourhood) which we found excellent to see all the sights. Berlin has a very good public transit system. I cannot comment on budget hotels ... we found the hotels pretty expensive, maybe due to the holiday period.
i don't know that much accomodation, as i don't really need it, but i had friends stay at the Regenbogenfabrik years ago, i suppose it is relatively simple but cheap, and belongs to an alternative project, in the kreuzberg area which is a traditionally alternative part of berlin, not by the touristy sights, but close to good public transport connections ... another friend stayed at the cat's pyjamas which is very near to where i live, more expensive for single rooms and more of a regular commercial hostel, it is in the kreuzkölln area, so not so near to the sights but near one of the areas for pubs and bars, and close to a u-bahnstation that quickly gets you everywhere ... no idea about cleanliness for either, but i would suppose they are alright, as neither of my friends complained ... i regularly walk by the hüttenpalast - that's a hotel, so more expensive, but interesting concept as far as i can see, never been inside though - again near good transport options ... many years ago i worked at the odyssee hostel - but according to the website they are currently closed, though they give links on their booking site to associated hostels which i suppose are similar okay-priced regular hostels ...