Berlin is an old, historic city born again thanks to a torn-down Wall, a reunified country, and an injection of young, trendsetting people from around the world. A mecca for artists and bohemians, here are the photo-perfect bars that reflect the city’s creative cool.
Bar, Pub, Pub Grub
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Madame Claude is known for its topsy-turvy decor | Courtesy of Madame Claude
This self-proclaimed “bar for common people” located in a former brothel in Kreuzberg, invites punters to see this 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. It is reminiscent of the scene in Mary Poppins when the gang laughs themselves into an upside down fit towards the ceiling. This topsy-turvy venue hosts live music and DJs everyday from 7pm and has great little chill areas with forested wallpaper and a basement downstairs for live shows.
Monkey Bar bar has it all – great views over the city, hipster lighting, indoor plants, explosive looking drinks and cocktails, a clever name, and neon signage, making it tick every photo op box. It also happens to be located on the 10th floor of the devastatingly cool 25hours Hotel, and offers breathtaking views of Berlin and a terrace built for sundowners.
This bar-cum-permaculture garden is undoubtedly Berlin’s best summertime bar. Klunkerkranich is located on a rooftop of a shopping center’s parking garage in Neukölln, and boasts incredible views over the city. Having a beer among the quirky, up-cycled decor and furniture and plants is a perfect way to end a day watching the sunset. They also host live concerts and bring in some of Berlin’s best DJs. Usually, a small donation that goes towards their efforts will get you inside. The bar is custom-built each season, and only opens from March through December.
This gem of a bar is housed in the machine room of the old Botzow Brewery Building, making it extremely photogenic! Le Croco Bleu takes its name after a story about two crocodiles who escaped from Berlin Zoo and were kept in the basement. There’s also a life-size bear to pose next to. It has a futuristic factory feel to it, industrial, chic, and beyond cool. Try one of their cocktails infused with absinthe and get as loose as an animal who has found freedom from their zoo. The bar has been undergoing some major construction, and we’re excited to see what happens when it opens its doors again later this year.
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This plush drinking hole is made from décor salvaged from the palace of The Republic, the parliament of the GDR. The furniture and finishings were liberated from the repressive Reds, to become The Liberate, where you can toast the present with a fine cocktail. It’s chic but never forbidding, as with the best of Berlin bars. Located in the touristic center of town, it’s a high-class selfie shoot, if there ever were such a thing.
Got lost in a fairytale of woodland and forests, soft lighting, and good alcohol at this enchanted little bar in the epicenter of cool, Kreuzkölln. Open everyday from 6pm, the bar is decorated with trees, plants, wild animals, and just enough grim to keep it edgy. Apparently it is also good for life advice and philosophical musings – just like 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,” probably written by punters who found a stroke a genius in the bottom of their beer glass. So photograph all you like, but don’t forget to do it with friends!