With winter’s chill setting in and Berlin beginning to freeze over, what better way for the city’s residents and tourists to warm up than with a stiff drink at a cosy bar? As temperatures drop to sub-zero, Berlin’s nightlife heats up, offering the perfect places to escape to. Each neighbourhood has its fair share of pubs and bars, but here are the 10 cosiest to hit up in Berlin this winter.
Cocktail Bar, Beer, German, $$$
Neue Odessa is the dimly-lit, homely boutique bar in the heart of Berlin. With vintage furniture, arty wallpaper and a smoky atmosphere typical to Berlin’s bars, it’s the perfect backdrop for fashion conscious Berliners, Mitte’s startup techies and young creatives to sip cocktails in. With an impressive menu, including classic cocktail favourites and a few house-blends, it also offers some cheaper beer and wine options. This sleek Torstraße venue is packed all weekend long.
Cafe Mano is a quirky and cosy cafe/bar in Kreuzberg. With an assortment of old-school, comfortable chairs and tables arranged over three small rooms, and candle-lit evenings, the atmosphere is warm and inviting. If lucky enough to find their indoor treehouse free, spend the evening playing board games with a nice drink.
This 20s-era cocktail lounge has live music, an impressive list of cocktails and classy bar food. Red-lit, with a Jazz Age charm, Reingold is serious about serving some delicious cocktails and the suspender-clad staff are knowledgable and will mix up a drink to every guests’ tastes. Located on a quiet street in Mitte, this classy bar is a cosy haven from the winter cold.
Embodying Berlin’s open, liberal charm, Die Weinerei is the cosy Mitte wine bar with an infamous honour system. For an initial 2€ fee ($2.37) visitors get a glass and are invited to taste, drink and enjoy a range of different wines, paying as much or as little as they like upon leaving. It’s a unique concept, and while the staff trust visitors not to abuse it, they will also give an estimate of what is fair to pay. This system also only comes into play at night; during the day the bar is also a quaint cafe that serves up homemade cakes, quiches and delicious coffee and, of course, wine.
Holding the reputation as one of Berlin’s best high-end nightlife haunts, Bar Tausend is tucked away beneath the train tracks at Bahnhof Friedrichstraße. The space-age decor, with shiny silver walls, elevated seating and a DJ spinning ambient house music, sets a unique backdrop for visitors to enjoy a cocktail. The bar has an elusive charm and a sleek atmosphere that lends itself well to having some fun during the icy winter.
Stagger Lee is the Schöneberg themed speakeasy with a Prohibition-era vibe. In classic speakeasy style, visitors enter by ringing a doorbell and are met with a dimly-lit, prohibition-style saloon. Featuring decor and replicas of this era, even the staff is dressed to fit the part. Yet the bar pulls off this theme with a sense of style and minimalism that ensures it never feels gimmicky, all the while offering an impressive selection of bourbon, world-class cocktails and all the other trimmings that landed this bar on the World’s 50 Best Bars list.
Beer lovers flock to Danish brewery Mikkeller‘s Berlin bar on bustling Torstraße. Brightly lit with a sleek white interior, it’s not your typical Berlin bar. However, this place specialises in all things beer and has an impressive menu to prove it. It’s a light, tasty place to escape the snowy streets of Mitte and enjoy some seriously good brew.
Nestled on the residential Weserstraße, the red-lit, smoky TiER bar is a local favourite and cosy haunt in Neukölln. Often packed with people all weekend, this bar serves up a range of classic cocktails, a huge selection of beer and some wine. The low lighting, smoke-filled atmosphere and cheap beer make this cosy joint a true Berliner style bar.
Bar Marqués is an underground haven amongst the vibrant neighbourhood of Kreuzberg. With all the charm of a 20s era Parisian jazz club, the interior and bar menu have a vintage feel. Offering an extensive spirit collection, an impressive cocktail menu and talented resident mixologists, this is the perfect winter haunt for some truly amazing cocktails.
Hidden among the tourist traps and kitschy bars in Friedrichshain, Primativ Baris an intimate bar on Simon-Dach-Straße. This bar offers affordable drinks in an effortlessly cool, minimalist atmosphere where a DJ spins tracks all night, so stop by, relax, and see why it’s a local gem in bustling Friedrichshain.