One of Europe’s surefire capitals of cool, Berlin is the kind of city where lovers of the urban life will want to stay forever. From giant beer halls to old local dives, Berlin is full to the brim with excellent watering holes – but you’ll do well to remember that the German capital is not only made of beer! With such an exciting array of places to quench your thirst in style, here we offer you the chance to break away from “Ein bier, bitte”, as we bring you our choice of the best bars that Berlin has to offer – from the grungy to the cosmopolitan. So, as they say in Germany, prost! Cheers!
Green Door: The best kept secret in Berlin
Everyone knows that some of the best bars in the world are the ones that you have to hunt to find. Berlin’s Green Door is no exception: a cocktail den hidden behind a small neon sign with a doorbell to ring for entry. Inside, you’ll be hit by the kitschy 70s décor – think patterned wallpaper, random ornaments and a glowing dog lamp. The impressive cocktail list can be pricey, but happy hour runs between 6pm and 9pm when all the drinks are nearly half their normal price. But be warned, because the strong concoctions, lack of bar snacks and secretive feeling may soon cause you to forget your morals!
Green Door, Winterfeldtstraße 50 10781 Berlin, Germany greendoor.de
Prater Garten: If heaven was a beer garden…
Dating all the way back to 1837, the Prater Garten holds the impressive crown of being the oldest beer garden in the whole of Berlin. With a myriad of picnic tables surrounded by chestnut trees, this idyllically sprawling space always proves popular with locals and tourists alike – overcrowding isn’t a worry though because there’s room for more than 600 people! Prater Pils is the deliciously home brewed beer of choice, but there’s a whole host of dark and traditional beers on offer, as well as hearty German fare to soak it all up with. Perfect for the last of the summer sun.
Prater Garten, Kastanienallee 7–9, Prenzlauer Berlin, Germany pratergarten.de
Bar 3: A mecca for creative types
Attracting artists, actors, writers and musicians alike, Bar 3 (don’t forget to pronounce it Bar drei) plays host to the creative types of the ever cool streets of Mitte. Its horseshoe shaped bar and lack of tables (leading to a mostly standing clientele) encourages zealous conversation between similarly cultural and impassioned drinkers, all well lubricated with the confidence of alcohol. Don’t worry about standing out among these artistes, the atmosphere here is warm and open, with newcomers welcomed with typical bohemian intrigue rather than assumed dislike.
Bar 3, Weydingerstraße 20, 10178, Berlin, Germany
Stagger Lee: Wild West sophistication
Named after the American murderer made infamous through folklore fame, Stagger Lee offers an unusual mix of a Wild West saloon with an upmarket twist. All vintage wallpaper and deep leather furniture, Stagger Lee is certainly heavy on the swagger – imagine a menu of deep and sophisticated whiskey mixers, cocktails and an impressive array of bourbon. Visit on the right night and even the bartenders will get in on the achingly cool nonchalance of this speakeasy-esque underworld, playing their characters to a tee and enveloping you in a sense of suavity.
Stagger Lee, Nollendorfstraße 27, 10777 Berlin, Germany staggerlee.de
Bei Schlawinchen: 24-Hour Party People
If you’re on the hunt for an iconic dive bar that’s open 24 hours a day, Bei Schlawinchen is surely your winner. Looking a bit more like a chaotic circus of antiques than simply a bar, every available corner is crammed with an impressively bizarre array of vintage kitsch – from rocking horses and elephant statues to a motorcycle and a gramophone, all thrown together with casual grandeur. The 24-hour license means that you’ll come across people from all walks of life, from those quietly nursing a beer in the corner to those getting the party started for another night.
Schönleinstraße 34, 10967 Berlin, Germany
So there you have it, a small dip into the underworld of Germany’s top city. Have you got any insider tips on your own favourite bars in Berlin?