Berlin has a banging bar culture. The streets are lined with them, and their decor, style and drink concepts reflect the city’s creative cool. From craft beers to fine wines and speciality cocktails, the next time you’re looking to order a round, do it at one of these drinking holes. Prost!
A Kreuzberg favourite, with wooden tables and atmospheric candlelight, this small and humble bar has character and charm in spades, making it a preferred drinking hole for many locals and tourists. The epitome of backdoor Berlin, Das Hotel is small, the walls are crumbling, and the toilet is made from an aircraft seat.
Get lost in a fairytale of woodland and forests, soft lighting, and great drinks at this enchanted little bar in Berlin’s epicentre of cool, Kreuzkölln. Open every day from 6pm, the Jungle Bar is decorated with trees, plants, wild animals, and just enough grime to keep it edgy. Apparently, the staff also offer life advice and philosophical musings, just like at any good bar. When you go to the bathroom you can ponder (and Instagram) sentiments such as “Explore your vulnerabilities” and “We will have a generation of idiots when technology surpasses social interaction”, written by punters who found a stroke of genius in the bottom of their beer glass.
Monkey Bar bar has it all – spectacular views over the city, hipster lighting, indoor plants, explosive-looking drinks and cocktails, neon signage and a clever name. It’s located on the 10th floor of the devastatingly cool 25hours Hotel, and offers breathtaking views of Berlin and a terrace ideal for sundowners.
A hip, independent hotel housed in an old warehouse in Friedrichshain, the Michelberger is the preferred choice for creatives visiting the city. You can always find interesting people is their wonderfully designed bar, and their selection of live music and DJs is exemplary. They serve crafted products from selected independent, family-run enterprises. They’ve thrown out big brands and faceless products in favour of excellent quality, and for the great people and stories behind them.
The décor at this plush drinking hole was salvaged from the Palace of The Republic, the parliament of the GDR. As with the best of Berlin bars, The Liberate is chic but never forbidding. Located right in the center of town, and very popular with tourists, it’s an award-winning, high-class haunt that has made its way into every self-respecting lifestyle magazine. Be prepared to flash a pretty penny.
In some areas of Berlin, bars tend to get fairly overcrowded very quickly. That’s not the case in Wedding, where people can still enjoy their personal space and a beer at the same time. Moritz Bar is a fine example of an establishment that really lets punters sink into the night with their cool, comfy lounge furniture. The bar is always candlelit with a laid-back ambiance, and the odd Lindsay Lohan tribute on the wall. The owners take pride in their unique cocktails and even make their own tonic and root beer. Moritz Bar also hosts Wedding’s only weekly Gay Party, featuring 2-for-1 gin and tonics.
This self-proclaimed “bar for common people”, located in a former brothel in Kreuzberg, invites punters to see things a little differently. The décor of Madame Claude is upside down, so you can expect to find a table and all your cutlery hanging from the ceiling. This topsy-turvy venue hosts live music and DJs every day from 7pm, and has great little chill-out areas with forested wallpaper, and a basement downstairs for live shows.
This bar-cum-permaculture garden is undoubtedly Berlin’s best summertime haunt. Klunkerkranich is located on the rooftop of a shopping centre’s parking garage in Neukölln, and boasts incredible views over the city. Having a beer among the quirky, upcycled decor and furniture and plants and watching the sunset is the perfect way to end a day. They also host live concerts and attract some of Berlin’s best DJs. A small donation will usually get you inside. The bar is custom built each season, and only opens from March through December.