This tiny and absolutely beautiful bar in Friedrichshain opened in January 2015 just across the road from the Märchenbrunnen (Fountain of Fairy Tales) in Volkspark. Cocktail guru and Berlin legend, Mike Meinke has devised a concept and menu that delivers cocktail dreams to discerning drinkers with various nods to Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass. Staff wear full face paint and fairytale costumes, the mirror in the toilet turns your eyes square, "Drink Me" potions tempt you in, and the stunning menu card comes in an old pop-up fairytale book, from which its contents will literally jump out and surprise you. Not just the best bar in Berlin, but also one of the best bars we have ever been to. Non smoking too. Black celebrity beard styles.
Opened in February 2014 and hidden behind black curtains next to a florists on Oranienstraße in the cool Kreuzberg district, this real 1920s tiny speakeasy and Burlesque show bar is accessed by pressing a door bell. Behind the long bar, you'll find suited-up or corseted bar staff mixing excellent cocktails - the short menu contains drinks named after famous Burlesque dancers. The show starts at 11pm on Thursdays.
If the 5 star Ritz-Carlton Hotel's main Curtain Club bar (see below) is not enough to amaze cocktail connoisseurs, the brand new concept bar in the back room, takes it to another level. Opened in June 2014, it is the first bar in the world dedicated to the art of cocktails in combination with the world of perfume. Hand-picked fragrances from Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent and Guerlain are the inspiration for the unique drinks created by legendary bar manager Arnd Heissen. Follow your senses and be enchanted with the outstanding drinks which are based on the exclusive aromas together with your personal memories and presented in stunning artistic fashion. There's also a Perfume Cocktail Tasting package available for groups of 7 or more. Non-smoking.
CLOSED UNTIL DECEMBER 2017 DUE TO CONSTRUCTION ~ This popular cocktail bar from legendary Paris Bar and Rum Trader star barman Gregor Scholl is located in the huge cellar of the former Bötzow Brewery on Prenzlauer Allee in the East Berlin part of Mitte. It's named after the two Berlin City Zoo crocodiles that were supposedly housed in here at the end of WWII. Together with plenty of old brewery equipment, pipework and memorabilia which help preserve the history of the beautiful building, there's also stuffed animals, including a life-size crocodile, and the bar itself is housed in a tiny garden shed-like kiosk. Whilst the emphasis is on cocktails rather than the ale which was once made here, this is still Berlin at it's very best - a truely unique bar from a truely unique bartender.
Opened in May 2015, the terrace bar on the 4th floor of the plush Hotel de Rome simply offers the best views in Berlin, together with some fantastic drinks. The State Opera House on Unter den Linden, St. Hedwigs Cathedral, Berlin Cathedral, the Television Tower and other city landmarks all appear to be in touching distance. Open daily in the spring and summer from 12:00 to 22:00, weather permitting. The hotel's ground floor bar, La Banca, is also celebrated for offering some of the best drinks in town and can be visited all year round, serving up amazing cocktails in the plush surroundings of the former Dresdner Bank headquarters.
This amazing 1930s inspired cocktail bar and Michelin-star restaurant is located in the former Jüdische Mädchenschule (Jewish Girls' School) in Mitte, which dates back to 1928 and was taken over by the Nazis in 1930. The large courtyard at the back was used for deportations until 1941 but now offers a delightful place to sip cocktails in the summer. From the same team behind King Size Bar, the drinks are fantastic and the decor is absolutely stunning, transporting you back to a more happier pre-Nazi time Berlin, with its brown leathers, green walls and high ceilings.
100 years old in the summer of 2013, this amazing club offers the chance to experience Berlin nightlife of a different era. Expect to see people aged from 18 to 81 hitting the two ballroom dancefloors to quick step, waltz or foxtrot to the sound of live music. Split over two floors, the larger dance hall on the ground floor boasts a big disco ball and is surrounded by wooden tables whilst upstairs is a breath-taking 1920s hall with chandeliers, cracked mirrors and high ceilings. Truely historic Berlin.
Typifying Berlin better than most, this unpretentious project opened in summer 2013, mixing the idea of a bar, live music venue, restaurant and a community garden all on top of the Neukölln Arcaden multi-storey car park, which also happens to offer a great view of Berlin. There's a coffee bar which becomes a cocktail bar at weekends for the adults, alongside sand pits and paddling pools for children, plus sun decking and even Christmas markets. You can expect to queue in the car park as it does get busy, especially on warm summer nights and there's a small entrance fee after 18:00.
One of the most celebrated cocktail bars in Berlin, this popular Kreuzberg speakeasy-style kneipe is accessed by having to knock three times on the black door, smiling and then hoping they'll invite you in. Opened by the magnificently-bearded Atalay Aktas and Yalcin Celik in 2012, the amazing cocktails with their incredible presentation helped win the award for 'Germany's Best Mixologist' in 2013, amongst many other top prizes. The three rooms are elegant yet still Berlin trashy and there’s no menu – drinks are based on whatever is best at the market, located opposite, that day.
Named after a famous 1970s Swiss TV and radio presenter, this beautiful cozy bar in Kreuzberg boasts authentic 1970s wallpaper and furnishings, with a fantastic liquor collection. The cocktails are good and the emphasis on whisky and gin is almost as impressive as the music soundtrack of 1950s, 60s, 70s soul, funk and jazz, which is provided by DJs spinning vinyl LPs on the old 2x6 watt mono record player in the corner.
Without doubt, the first stop for cocktail connoisseurs in Berlin should be the elegant bar of the 5 star Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Postdamer Platz. The interior design resembles the style of a 1920s English Gentlemen's Club with its leather seats, working fireplace and, as you guessed, large curtains. On the stroke of 18:00 every day, the curtains open in a ceremony conducted by a British Beefeater, which seems to attract a crowd. There's live jazz music and a relaxed ambiance but its the creative cocktails, made by celebrity bar man Arnd Heissen and his excellent international team of staff, that will have you coming back for more. Once here, you should also check out the new Fragrances bar (see above) in the back room.
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Berlin in the 1920s in the basement of this very friendly pub and restaurant on the historic Oranienburgerstrasse, where, since 1896, locals and tourists have been meeting to enjoy the locally brewed beers and traditional Berliner cuisine. The imposing beer counter with its impressive back wall cabinet and old cash register is worthy of note and, watching the entrance, you half expect Franz Biberkopf from Alfred Döblin’s legendary novel “Berlin Alexanderplatz”, to walk in and order his favourite “Molle mit Korn” [beer with clear spirit].
This sky bar, cocktail lounge, restaurant and club is located on the 16th and 17th floors of a nondescript office block near Checkpoint Charlie, offering some of the best 360° views of the city. More formal than many Berlin bars and slightly more expensive, it's still well worth visiting, especially to sit on a swinging chair and watch the sunset in the early evening with an innovative cocktail. It's made even cooler by the fact it is so hard to find - through a black door in a run down office block behind the Novotel and Pit-Stop motor mechanics. The glass elevator to the 16th floor, adds to the experience.
Recognised as one of the best cocktail bars in the world, this very hidden speakeasy is so exclusive it only has capacity for 14 customers. Hidden behind a secret door on Brunnenstrasse, opposite Weinbergspark in Mitte, it is celebrated for its fine cocktails and cosy atmosphere. Named after former U.S. president James Buchanan and his vice-president, John Breckinridge, it is dimly lit with all 14 guests sat around the long black bar, which is manned by one bartender.
Open only from May - September, this floating swimming pool and open-air beach bar in the middle of the Spree is one of Berlin 's most vibrant hang-outs. One of the coolest places in town, it offers a great view of the city and is the perfect place to enjoy a cold beer or summer cocktails. The swimming pool also remains open in winter when it is covered with three impressive looking pods, the sunbathing decks making way for two Finnish saunas.
A Berlin institution since 1902, this authentic Grade II listed Old Berlin wirtshaus (inn), named after Wilhelm Busch's 1865 children's book, is one of the busiest bars and restaurants in Kreuzberg. The tardis like interior boasts many finely painted blue-green wall tiles, stained glass windows, and many Art Nouveau details transporting you back 100 years. A back room houses live music and cabaret, giving you a real feeling of the pre-Nazi Berlin described in Christopher Isherwood's famous novels which inspired the Broadway musical, Cabaret, as well as Breakfast At Tiffany's. Upstairs is a library and a private dining room whilst the fayre is traditional German. A particular specialty of the house is the "Kreuzberg Molle," a naturally cloudy beer, which is brewed specifically for the bar, as well as the Westphalia import, Barre Brau Pilsener, unique in Berlin.
Opened in 2015 and located in the government quarter next to the imposing Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Ministry) building, this delightful bar from Oliver and Cristina Ebert, the celebrated mixologists behind Becketts Kopf (below), takes you on a journey back in time. Press the doorbell and enter the dark L-shaped room for a friendly no-smoking bar inspired by the infamous 1800's London street, which was home to brothels, cheap coffeehouses and punch bars. Expect large bowls of punch made using locally distilled liquor, a short cocktail list, German destillates and Berlin ales. A good enough reason to head to this area of town for late night drinks.
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Hidden in the basement of this popular artist's hang out in Wedding is an original 1950's two-lane Kegeln (German ninepin bowling alley), which varies slightly from the more familiar version, in that the balls are smaller and have no finger holes, whilst the lanes are narrower and funnelled. Away from this antique attraction, the venue itself offers regular art exhibitions, weekly live music events and DJ sets.
On the first floor of Cafe Einstein in the more upmarket West Berlin area of Schöneberg, you'll find the multi-award winning bar in which Quentin Tarantino filmed "Inglorious Basterds“. This oak-paneled high-class cocktail bar, with its subtly lit drink cabinets and comfy chairs, boasts over 600 kinds of rum (supposedly the largest open collection in Europe), 450 whiskies, 200 kinds of gin and many other quality liquors, all available by the glass with flights representing each also available. Paying homage to the roaring Twenties, when the place was an illegal gambling casino for Berlin 's haute-volée, it's simply one of the best bars in Europe. Smokers are welcome and there's an outside terrace in the summer.
This hidden away speakeasy in Prenzlauer Berg is accessed by pressing the buzzer on a door to a building which is only highlighted by the photograph of Irish novelist Samuel Beckett in the window. Reservations are recommended as the two tiny rooms are strictly no standing. The bar area itself is small but inviting and the non-smoking room in the back is decorated with elegant Chesterfield sofas. The cocktail menu is the highlight, small but impressive, whilst the ice is actually hand cut.
Probably the most famous nightclub in the world, this 1500 capacity techno heaven is located in an abandoned power plant on the edge of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain (its name is a composite of the two). As famed for it's 'almost impossible to get in' door policy, stern bouncers and non-stop parties which last from Friday night until well into Monday morning, this really is the place to go if, like most Berliners, very loud techno music is your thing. The main dance floor is a gigantic cavenous industrial room but for those who prefer more relaxed house music, head up the stairs to Panorama Bar with its huge windows and views of East Berlin. Strictly no cameras or VIP access, don't be surprised to see people getting rather intimate with each other in the darker areas of the club, which are reserved for such hedonism. But be warned though, it's not unknown to queue for three hours and still be turned away for no apparent reason, so get their early (it normally gets busy after 4am), don't turn up in groups, do not dress to impress and keep your phone firmly in your pocket, be yourself but try not to be seen having fun in the queue and it also helps if you talk fluent German and have an actual interest in the DJ that is playing. And, if after all that, you still don't get in, expect to queue again for taxis with fellow rejects.
"Kitty" has been a Berlin institution since it was opened by two Austrian pornographic film makers in 1994 and is possibly the most famous sex club in the world. Named after the infamous venue in the Broadway musical, Cabaret, which was inspired by Christopher Insherwood's Berlin diaries, it is not for the prudish. Best described as a fetish and electronic music nightclub, it allows clubbers to engage in sexual intercourse openly on the three dancefloors and the outdoor swimming pool area. Open Friday, Saturday and Sundays and popular with hetrosexual, gay and transgender clubbers, a strict dress code requires guests to dress kinky in fetish, latex, leather, transvestite, goth, uniform, extravagant, high style or glamourous costumes. Unlike other Berlin clubs, the bouncers are friendly but expect to leave your clothes in the cloakroom if you don't look the part.
If it's old school German you are looking for, then this wine bar is the place to go. The dark wood decor is filled with hundreds of German and Austrian wines, many available to drink by the glass, whilst there is an impressive traditional German food menu to help soak up that booze.
The oldest cocktail bar in Berlin and largely unchanged from when it opened in 1976, the "Institut für Fortgeschrittenes Trinken" (Institue for Advanced Drinking) is accessed by pressing a buzzer on the door. This tiny venue in West Berlin from eccentric bartender Gregor Scholl (previously of the legendary Paris Bar Berlin), only has room for around 30 people. Liquor cabinets grace the walls and the cocktails are fantastic, served in vintage glasses and made bespoke to suit your preferences by bartenders in waistcoats and bow ties. As you would expect, the drinks are largely rum based however there's also a decent gin collection.
Opened in May 2014, this craft ale bar in Kreuzberg, which translates as "Hoppy", offers 14 beers on tap alongside 30 or so bottles, including local brews like Potsdamer Stange, Heidenpeters, Spent Collective, Rollberg and Hops &, Barley as well as international craft beers. There's popular weekly tasting sessions and a small selection of Berlin made gins, vodkas and kräuterlikörs.
When the guys from the neighbouring Amano Hotel (see below) announced they were going to open a speakeasy in late 2013, you just knew it would be the best in town and a lot more upmarket than most of the bars in this hip part of town. Hidden underneath a mural of Albert Einstein on Rosenthaler Straße in Mitte, just across the street from the hotel, you'll need to press the doorbell and impress the doorstaff to get in, where you'll find a stylish cocktail lounge with a tiny dance floor. Going against Berlin 's electronic and trance addiction, they opt for wonderful funk, soul and hip hop alongside live modern jazz and soul bands. The menu is seasonal, using fresh ingredients, premium spirits and infusions that contatin handmade syrups and jams, with servings in beautiful glassware and even teapots.
Located in the run down shabby 1970s concrete pref-fab above Kaiser's supermarket opposite Kotbusser Tor station, you will be very surprised to find this stylish cocktail bar, which opened in 2014 - especially if you are familiar with the other three bars in the same venue. Look for the door which is covered in stickers, to the right of the supermarket and to the left of the kebab shop (there's a tiny "Fahimi" sign if you can spot it). Then take the scary-looking graffitied stairs up to the first floor. Eclectic DJs play each night and there's a Berlin quiz on Sundays. If you're more into Berlin 's alternative scene, head up one more flight of the scary stairs to find the grungy West Germany club, a great no-frills indie music venue and gallery set in the ruined shell of a former dental surgery. The same ugly concrete block also houses two more secret hipster/student friendly cheap venues, the kitsch Paloma electro bar (top of the stairs, turn left to the nondescript metal door) and the larger Monarch bar, which also boasts live music and danceable tunes (behind the sticker-covered door under the 'Turkische Gemeinde zu Berlin' sign, and up to the first floor).
This celebrated cocktail bar named after Charles H. Baker Jr.'s 1930s travelogue of Prohibition bars opened during June 2015 in the trendy Friedrichshain area of East Berlin by English barman Tony Galea (formerly of the now closed Antlered Bunny) and Frenchman Yannick Marty (from Stagger Lee). As you'd expect from the two top mixologists, the drinks are some of the best in Berlin made with unusual ingredients like bacon gin, chestnut liquor and torched cheddar. The speakeasy venue is dark, intimate and non-smoking.
This arty "ranch" is another great example of Berlin 's alternative scene. Located next to Ostkreuz station, and with plenty of GDR relics, there is a cinema bar, a theatre, art gallery, jazz bar, heavy metal venue, and of course, the microbrewery which serves unfiltered, cloudy light beer in what is perhaps the prettiest beer garden in Berlin. Underneath the trees, you can relax on a deckchair and enjoy the open air cinema whilst drinking the homebrews in the sun.
This popular hipster bar on Torstrasse in Mitte is designed like a 1920s speakeasy and identified only by a canopy of lightbulbs above the door. The cocktails are some of the best in Berlin whilst the beautiful unisex toilets are also a talking point.
Opened in February 2014, on the the top floor of the new hip 25 Hours Hotel Berlin in the listed Bikini-Haus building, this trendy cocktail bar serves great cocktails with a fantastic panoramic view and perfect 360° rooftop terrace, offering first-class views of the city and the famous Tiergarten park and Berlin Zoo with its monkey enclosure, from which the bar takes its name. An international choice of drinks and fine wine alongside regular DJ line ups and live music events make it one of the hottest places in town. A direct express lift takes you up from street level.
Berlin has always had hidden secret bars, long before the Prohibition themed speakeasys started to spring up all across Europe. This swanky cocktail bar and nightclub is one of the originals however, with DJs and live bands that appeal to a very mixed glamorous crowd of all ages - locals, tourists, gays, hipsters and business types alike. To enter it, you'll need to find the bare iron door in the railway viaduct underneath Friedrichstrasse station (it's on the North side of the Spree). Ring the door bell and a very choosy bouncer will decide if you're worthy enough to gain admission to the narrow arch venue. Inside it's all very futuristic with a beautiful huge 'O' shaped light display and large mirrors.
Located in a converted Friedrichshain apartment block close to Treptower Park and spread over many apartments with three main dance floors, this wild underground techno and house nightclub boasts theatrical nights, a large summer courtyard and even a labyrinth. It represents underground Berlin better than most with its kitsch decor and popular themed party nights with most clubbers getting dressed up for the occasion whether it be a circus night, Alice In Wonderland or Transvestite party. Like all Berlin clubs, go there expecting to queue and then be turned away by unfriendly bouncers for no apparent reason.
This historic brewery, bar and gardens on Kastanienallee in Prenzlauer Berg dates back to 1837 making it Berlin 's oldest beer garden. Also used as a theatre and entertainment space since its creation, it was taken over by the Soviets following WWII and, after the collapse of The Wall, was given government-protected status for its historic contribution to the city, with the council renovating and redesigning it as late as 1996 to become the popular place it is now. Its 600 capacity is often tested to the limit in summer with the chestnut trees offering protection from the heat of the sun. The beautiful old bar and restaurant on site serves homemade Berlin cuisine all year round to complement the homebrew Prater Pils and Prater Lager Schwarz. The beer garden outside is open from April - September and if you're wondering what the bright red or green drinks are that you'll see people drinking through a straw, it is "Berliner Weisse mit Schuss" wheat beer with Waldmeister (woodruff) or Himbeere (raspberry) syrup added to make it sweeter.
Down in a basement in the hip area of Kreuzberg you will find this very popular upside down bar. Located in a former brothel, it hosts live music and open mic concerts, DJs and music quiz nights every night from 19:00 till late. Very much in need of a paint job and structural repairs, it's a friendly drinking den that sums up Kreuzberg better than most, with the furniture hanging upside down from the ceiling adding a quirky surreal touch, alongside ping pong and table football.
One of the world's most historic clubs, this legendary trance and techno mecca opened on Leipziger Straße in 1991, with young people from both sides of the recently reunited city dancing to hard industrial music, surrounded on all sides by hundreds of old, walled deposit boxes. Most of the world's best known DJs have performed there however it is the influence of Detroit’s musical groundbreakers which grounded the famous and enduring "Tresor sound" that has since influenced the likes of Berghain and other clubs in Berlin. The club finally closed in 2005, eventually resurfacing two years later in an abandoned heating plant on Köpenicker Straße in the heart of Berlin Mitte. Concrete passages maze into basement vaults and industrial halls. Within this factory labyrinth there are three separate but connected floors, one offering house music, another experimental electronic music and, of course, the vault which carries the famous "Tresor sound".
Named after the influential Serge Gainsbourg 1971 concept album, "Histoire de Melody Nelson", this cool cocktail bar just off Torstrasse was once a former East German bar for Stasi members and whilst it has changed significantly with its dim lighting, concrete walls and great cocktails, you still get the sense that you're being spied on with a large picture of "Melody Nelson", Gainsbourg's sexy English actress girlfriend Jane Birkin, watching over.
Berlin 's oldest craft brewery has been making beer on its site next to Charlottenburg Palace since 1987. A summer terrace overlooks the famous landmark whlst inside, long wooden tables, decorative columns, beautiful old wall paneling and the visible brewing process creates a wonderful traditional place to drink. Fresh, seasonal specialities such as Maibock, Stout, a range of ales, Fest Bock and the popular Lemke Original and Lemke Pilsner make up the beer offerings with traditional German food available to help soak up the booze. There's the option to take a beer flight of four different varities and brewery tours are also available. If you want to try their ale without travelling to Charlottenburg, then head to their more centrally located second venue which is housed in a protected railway arch at Hackescher Markt in Mitte.
Named after the notorious 1920's cabaret dancer and actress who was was the subject of an Otto Dix painting. Having moved to Berlin, aged just 16, her performances broke boundaries with their sexual ambiguity and total nudity, but it was her public appearances that really challenged taboos. Her overt drug and alcohol addiction and bisexuality were matters of public chatter. As well as her addiction to cocaine, opium and morphine, she also mixed chloroform in a bowl, stirring it with a white rose then eating the petals. It's no surprise that she died aged just 29 from an overdose, having already gone through three marriages and various lesbian lovers. Fast forward to September 2013, and hidden on the second floor of an inconspicuous building, accessed by having to walk through several backyards near Wedding station, you'll (eventually) find this beautiful loft styled bar named in her honour. She'd probably approve of its decadent weekend parties, which include DJs, late night dancing and of course, burlesque girls.
Located in a 150 year old mansion in the heart of Kreuzberg, this hipster-popular night club radiates the atmosphere of the 19th century with vintage decorations, including a piano, comfy sofas and an antique bar, set over three floors (although the toilets are to be avoided). Open 7 days a week, there's a stunning romantic garden with a pond and its own outdoor bar. Owned by the same people behind the legendary but defunkt Bar 25, the DJ line-ups include big names from the world of Trance. As with all Berlin clubs, the bouncers can be particularly unfriendly - especially towards tourists - with no explainable door policy. With the popular Club de Visionaere late night club and cool White Trash Fast Food rock club and tattoo parlour both next door, you can easily try your luck there instead if you're on the wrong end of a typical Berlin welcome.
This very popular cocktail bar just off Oranienstrasse in the Kreuzberg district of East Berlin seems to attract people of all ages. Named after the German title for Luis Buñuel’s 1962 Mexican film "El Angel Exterminador", in which the guests at an upper-class dinner party are inexplicably unable to leave and resort to living like animals. The red walls, leather booths and smartly dressed bar staff reflect the film's sophisticated Old World feel. There's a great selection of liquors and also a non-smoking room in the back.
This dark, tiny, living room bar from barman Ricardo Albrecht is accessed via a residential door bell just off Prenzlauer Allee and offers some of the finest cocktails in Berlin. With over 100 bourbons and ryes and 50 gins, plus some rare liquors not available elsewhere in the city, you are unlikely to leave the comfy leather chairs in a hurry, once you've sat down. If you're in the area before 20:00 (when the bar opens), we also recommend poppng two blocks down to Immanuelkirchstrasse, where you will find the Dr. Kochan Schapskultur shop, a haven of artisanal spirits and family-owned liquors, gins, cognacs, grappas, whiskies and rums from around the world, all available to sample in store.
This 1920's style American-style speakeasy from International award-winning barman, David Wiedemann, sits in a residential street in Mitte, offering classic cocktails dating way back to the 18th Century, alongside the current trends from London and New York. To enter, you'll need to ring the door bell on the massive steel door, and once inside you'll be taken aback by the dark but beautiful long bar with its period furnishings, complete with staff wearing 1920s attire. Sadly, the music doesn't always represent the era however it is still excellent, with Motown, swing and soul tracks adding to the ambience. Smoking is still allowed so it can get uncomfortable after a while but the team behind the bar certainly know how to mix drinks - they also run the respected Barschule Berlin (Berlin Bar School). A huge mural of Klaus and Erika Mann, the eldest children of legendary anti-Nazi novelist Thomas Mann sits at the end of the long room. In 1933, whilst travelling in France, Mann heard from his son and daughter that it wasn't safe for him to return to Germany, so he fled to safety in Switzerland. From June 2015, you will find a secret backroom, hidden behind this giant painting and accessed by a code, that if you're lucky to have, will enable you to dance the night away on the other side.
From 20:00 each day, this mega popular winebar from the owners of the Weinerei wine shop, just around the corner, operates a unique "pay what you want" policy. It seems to attract drinkers of all ages and backgrounds, tourists and locals alike. After paying a small cover charge for your glass, you can then sample as much of the selected seasonal wines as you like in the context of a dynamic wine tasting, choosing to pay what you feel it was worth afterwards. There is also a buffet included. During the day, the venue doubles up as a cafe too.
This stunning brewery and restaurant can be found on the banks of the River Spree in the historic Nikolaiviertel quarter. Eight individually designed rooms give you a typical Berlin atmosphere and the home brew ales can be enjoyed in traditional German steins under the beautiful oak tree in the beer garden or on the busy terrace alongside the river, overlooking Museuminsel.
One of the remits when compiling our list of best bars in Berlin, is that each bar should be unique, representing the city in a way that you will not find its type in any other European town. So, you are probably wondering how a British-style sports pub in Wedding makes it onto our shortlist? Well, away from the Bundesliga football screenings, check out the decor in this amazing place and you'll see a Berlin twist, furniture, typewriters, birdcages and railway tracks hanging from the ceiling. Alongside Guinness, Kilkenny, many English ciders, Veltins and Maisel's, the beer list is heavy with local breweries, including Berliner Pilsner and Eschenbräu on draft, plus bottles from Bierfabrik Berlin, Berliner Weisse, Wedding Pale Ale, Rotbier Berliner, Heimat, Schabrackentabier, and Neuzeller Klosterbräu. But it is the whisky collection that is the main attraction here. There's almost 750 varieties to choose from, largely Scottish, with regular tasting sessions and distillery showcases.
This typical Berlin alternative bar in Wedding supports edgy creativity that happens away from mainstream culture, basically anything that needs more exposure than it currently receives. Housing a vegan/vegeterian café and run by a collective of creative people and registered as a non-profit members organisation, it covers everything from live music and DJs to artists, poets and art house cinema.
Bare walls, vintage furniture and uncovered floors maybe typical of many a Berlin bar, however this nice hangout in Neukölln seems to do it better than most. Doubling up as a cafe bar during the day, there is large open space, the furniture is spread out sparsely over the different rooms, an LP player provides the soul music and there's often live music. As for the drinks, there's the local Potsdamer organic beer, a good wine selection and exquisite cocktails, which can also be enjoyed outside too in the summer.
Owned by playwright Fritz Müller-Scherz, this hidden away cocktail bar in Schöneberg, boasts a kitsch 1970s interior and an impressively long cocktail list including the signature "Green Door", a mix of Champagne, lemon, sugar, and mint. A speakeasy given away by the big green neon sign outside, access is by gained by pressing the door bell.
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This vintage bar, hidden in a candle lit basement underneath the Restaurant Marqués tapas restaurant in Kreuzberg offers some of the best cocktails in Berlin, invented using their huge premium spirits collection and homemade syrups and served in stunning crystal glasses. To enter, look for the red neon "The Bar" sign inside the restaurant and a friendly waiter will take you downstairs past a wall of bottles. Reminiscent of the British colonial period, it boasts a low ceiling, a piano and a real fireplace that is actually used in winter. Comfy velvet chairs, green walls, antique furniture and lots of paintings add to the ambience. Although the feel is more 1900s London than modern day Berlin, this is still a bar worth checking out.
Split into two rooms, this attractive art deco speakeasy in Schöneberg is accessed by actually using an old door knocker. Waistcoated barmen make some great cocktails, using homemade ingredients and you can choose to drink in two rooms littered with plush Chesterfield sofas and vintage lights whilst oil paintings hang on the bare brick walls. In the summer months, it has less of a speakeasy feel, with outside seating also available.
This lively cocktail bar on the ground floor of the plush Hotel Amano in Mitte, boasts some of the best cocktails in East Berlin. The classy bar decor and its dark lighting create a club-like ambience with the long L-shaped marble bar the highlight. DJs spin funk and house at weekends with a stylish more upmarket crowd adding a different feel to the hipsters which are normally everywhere in this part of town. In summer, the bar's rooftop expansion offers great scenery.
Located in the basement of a shopping centre, this classy cocktail lounge takes you aback with its huge wooden interior, which is famed for housng the longest bar in Berlin. There's live music almost every night, covering everything from psychedelic, progressive and folk to soul, funk and jazz, whilst alongside the modern and classic cocktails there's over 150 kinds of Champagne and 65 whiskies to choose from.
Excellent low-key and very popular 1920's art deco style cocktail bar in the Schöneberg area of West Berlin that could easily be a set from Mad Men. In keeping with the feel, the menu comes as a book whilst period jazz and soul provides the soundtrack. Take advantage of Happy Hour each day (18:30 - 21:30 or all night Sunday) to enjoy cheap cocktails.
This hipster haven in Neukölln is smoky, dark and normally packed. Behind the huge window, the long bar encourages interaction between drinkers and the cocktails are well made, earning it a reputation well beyond its neighbourhood. Popular with expats and locals alike, it's slightly more expensive than some of the other bars which make Weserstraße such a cool place to hang out, but the drinks are worth it, the liquor collection great and, for us, anywhere that plays David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash is worth visiting.
Run by celebrity drag queen Lena Braun, this kitsch gay bar and eccentric queer art space in Kreuzberg is home to the more bourgeois members of Berlin ’s cross-dressing community. The performances are often outrageous and there's even an in-house hairdresser. The decor is 1970's shabby and very pink with a mixed LGBT crowd rubbing shoulders with straight tourists, local students and a fair share of drag queens.
Named after the Nick Cave &, The Bad Seeds song, this tiny Americana themed 19th Century saloon in the upmarket area of Schöneberg is well worth checking out for some great cocktails and its party style atmosphere. The drinks list is heavy with American whiskies and tequila whilst an old piano and the most old-fashioned, ornate cash till in Berlin act as beautiful props. It can get quite smoky.
The former Schultheißbrauerei on Schönhauser Allee is now home to the Kulturbrauerei (Culture Brewery), a complex of theatres, bars, clubs and live music venues. Whilst sadly there is no longer a brewery on site, it remains one of the few well-preserved examples of 1840's industrial architecture in Berlin and is home to this beautiful industrial design bar, restaurant and discoteque, which is dominated by the old architecture of the brewery. Red brick walls, large windows and a terrace overlook the Kulturbrauerei courtyard from the lobby bar whilst the nightclub, popular with a young good-looking crowd, is one of the biggest in Berlin with five floors and a capacity of 1,500. It is known for its variety of music and dance floors, covering R'n'B, dance classics, latest disco, house, salsa and merengue rhythms. Kulturbrauerei is also the perfect place to visit for New Year's Eve or during interntational football tournaments, where a large screen dominates the courtyard just outside Soda.
The old Willner Brauerei Berlin in Pankow is an industrial monument which dates back to 1883, exuding charm for its brick buildings which were left empty from the brewery's closure in 1999 until 2012 when it became an arts space, live music venue, open air cinema, flea market and beer garden. The flourishing GDR era beer garden has been revived as "Emil's Biergarten", one of the coolest places to spend sunny afternoons from April until October and tours of the historic building are offered in the summer months. A pizzeria has been opened on the ground floor of the former customs house and the ImproKDR (Klub der Republik) nightclub has also relocated here offering electro club nights.
Mixing the concept of a bar and a club, this secretive venue is decorated with vintage pieces in a concrete Cold War bunker style environment. Live music and DJs spinning deep house, soul and more are complemented by good cocktails and drinks served only in bottles, beer wrapped in paper bags and spirits delivered in carafes. To find it, look for the unmarked steel door and two large windows alongside Hackescher Markt station and enter to the large red cross that states you are now "Closer to God in Heels". Open Thursday - Sunday from 22:00 until 05:00