This bar is located on the 17th floor of a seventies apartment complex in Berlin. To get there you need to take a glass elevator which is on the outside of the building! At the top is a classy bar with panoramic views across this city. They take their music seriously and regularly host top international DJs. They also make the best martinis ever, a few of those should give you the courage to take the elevator back down again.
Set back from the main road, at night if you look hard enough you will spot a orange glowing thing mysteriously sliding to the sky - Solar - a bar/restaurant with fantastic views with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides. Relaxed atmosphere, but a bit pricey (don't buy spirits/mixers, stick to beer if you're on a budget, though cocktails are good). Choice of comfy leather seating in various layouts so good for large or small groups, and there's a swing large enough for multiple people!
On the 14th floor of a recently built hotel, you can drink and eat, and gaze at two thirds of Berlin. Favoured seats are along the west facing windows for sunset. Stunning!
There are a few gems from medieval Berlin if you're up to searching for them. Not much is left after the bombs and the DDR but enough for the city to be taken very seriously. This is old Berlin - the two settlements of Berlin and Colln.
Go west and south of the Fernsehturm, across the busy Muhlendamm/Grunerstrasse road from Nikolaivertel's reconstructed old squares (and the magnificent Nikolaikirsche, the oldest church in the city), you seem to be in a characterless quarter with nothing to recommend it. But search out Klostersrasse, then Waisenstrasse and you find Zur Letzen Instanz, an old, much repaired bar/eatery in a narrow leafy street, built in 1621 and with a fine reputation for German cuisine and a history of serving Napoleon and Beethoven among many others. Some say it's the oldest restaurant in Berlin. There's a small beer garden to the side and just beyond that a genuine stretch of old Berlin wall from the 13th Century. A bit further past two bronze sculptures to the left there's the magnificent Gothic ruin of a Francescan monastery from the 14th century set in trees, but not far from the roaring traffic where you'll find a number of circular exhibition spots celebrating the city's 775th anniversary, with detailed info on the Berlin beneath your feet (English translation). Great to find such quiet gems amid so much noise and ugliness, just across a six lane highway from Alexanderplatz.
With the demise of Gainsbourg (it's been turned into a supermarket) there's only Zwiebelfisch and Diener flying the flag for old Berlin in this chic square between the K'Damm and Kantstrasse. Once a hotbed of revolutionary chatter, it's now a very laidback joint that seems totally at ease with itself. Papered in thousands of posters and old photos, it's got a chilled-out vibe thanks in no small measure to the genial owner, a veteran of West Berlin's pre-1989 counter culture. Zwiebelfisch, incidentally, is an old printing expression meaning a letter printed in the wrong font.
Great little cellar bar in Oranienburger Strasse. Go down the steps and be greeted by the bowler-hatted Ian Dury-esque owner/designer of this DIY retro establishment. Homemade artworks and paraphenalia adorn the brick walls, candles drip wax over their holders, smoke-filled ambience and Rolling Stones grooves. Relax on a big-armed sofa and discuss the Tachelles art collective (just along the road) over a Berliner Weisse green or red. A real taste of creative, underground Berlin.
Oranienburger Str. 40
Google map: bit.ly/gf10hf
In a city that can revel a tad too self-consciously in industrial chic, this is a glorious throwback to an older era. Behind an unprepossessing door at the top of Münzstr in Mitte is a dark, wood-panelled kneipe which whisks you back to Weimar. The draught beer is fine and there's a very pleasant back room normally frequented by undemonstrative, bo-ho types.
Münzstrasse 23, Mitte, 10178 Berlin
+49 30 2819687
Google map: bit.ly/eViCba
Bar/restaurant in heart of Kreuzberg since mid 19th century.
It became famous for its confectionery, so much so that cakes were sent to New York in the 1920s via the Hindenburg airship.
It is now a bar and restaurant with German/ international food.
This small and cosy bar serves a large choice of cocktails, wine and spirits. For those who get hungry I recomend the tapas - and for those who want to smoke the choice of cigars.
+49 30 28 03 44 00
U-Bahn: U7 | station: Südstern
One of the best coffee shops I've ever been to! Those guys sure enough know their business. The food was delicious, the place was cozy and the coffee was amazing - definitely worth a visit.
A no-strings attached gem, the Weinerei offers unlimited wine, juice, and a meal for a one Euro fee (plus a donation on exit) in central Berlin.
The cafe itself is small, packed with locals and the wine isn't bad either!
A must-visit for budget travellers with a penchant for good wine, conversation and value.
It's a nice and interesting bar serving a very tasty and un-pasteurized tap beer from a small and independent Czech brewery called Svijany, playing Balkan and Gypsie music. There one can find people from everywhere (many Italians, Spaniards, French, American, from the Balkans and of course Germans), all this in an up-and-coming area of north Neukölln. And, by the way, sometimes they serve free Grasovka vodka for everyone.
Mama bar. Hobrechtstr. 61, Berlin. Tel. 01577 1944916. Nearest station U-8 Schönleinstr., U-7, U-8 Hermannplatz.
Berlin in a nutshell. Peculiar mix of people - 70 year-old ladies in old-fashioned evening dresses and gentlemen in suits, urban bummers in Hugo Boss as well as crazy hipsters are to be seen in this old ballroom (existed since 1913) in the centre of Berlin.
Situated in a scraped building surrounded by numerous art galleries, the place was visited by Tom Cruise during his search for old-fashioned shooting locations for the film 'Valkyrie'. Good food and delicious home-made cakes. Music changes depending on the day (cha cha, swing, waltz and tango). In the summer, the garden is an additional attraction.
If you walk down the Auguststr (Berlin Mitte), you'll spot an enchanting garden and the scraped building behind it.
Clärchens Ballhaus, Auguststraße 24, Berlin Mitte.
This Friedrichshain bar has great atmosphere. Relax in the shabby chic surroundings (standard lamps, rugs, armchairs and wine-coloured walls) and enjoy whittling away the hours listening to the eclectic soundtrack, sipping beer for under two euros. Friendly staff and chilled out clientele. Look out for the wooden bowls of tea (bit odd and bitter).
Boxhanger Platz, Friedrichshain
For those into something a little alternative (dub, indie, electronica etc), numerous small clubs around the Warschauer Strasse metro stop such as Cassiopeia and Rosis Bar are highly recommended. Relatively inexpensive with a great crowd and good music.
What any five-star cocktail bar should be like - very friendly ambience, excellent and friendly, yet reserved, barmen. Best whiskey sour I've had.
Best cocktail bar in Europe.
Potsdamer Straße 102 • 10785 Berlin
Telefon +49.30.2575 9977
It's a great example of an urban artists' collective, situated in an old crumbling department store from the turn of the century in the middle of the up-and-coming mitte district.
It houses many artists' galleries and workspaces where the public are free to wander and these are often turned into venues for impromptu parties.
There is a great outside space dotted with sculptures and beer served from an old VW van in the back and there's a cafe inside serving food from breakfasts to supper and coffees and hot chocolates and also a venue for live music. A wonderful space just to hang out.
Oranienburger Str. 54
It's a sort of lounge/nightclub. I think it is a restaurant during the day. I was stumbling around Zoologischer Garten on a Thursday night and some kid handed me a flyer which (out of character for me) I took and it said there was live music playing. So I went over there and when I went in I was really surprised. There was a great band doing covers of soul classics and some other things i didnt recognise with an amazing piano player (who looked like Pat from Saturday Night Live) who took solo after solo and did not disappoint. Not to mention that the place was very stylish, chic but not expensive. Most people were sitting down and listening to the music but another group was dancing. I had a great time there and went back twice during that stay. I heartily reccomend it.
west on kantstrasse from the Zoo Station in Charlottenburg.
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