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.
Two superb places to eat and drink. Wood throughout and lots of brewing equipment on display. Lively atmosphere, very friendly staff, great range of German food at different prices (good quantities) and they brew some of their many beers (the 'Natural' is a really tasty semi-dark one) while having different guest beers each month. They had tasty Oktoberfest brews from Munich in October.
There are two of these in Berlin. We enjoyed one so much we searched out the other which was almost better than the first. One is just off Hackesher Markt up Dirksenstrasse under the S-Bahn. The other is opposite Schloss Charlottenburgh (side on in Luisenplatz)with a superb view. Strongly recommended.
This charming pavilion and beer garden throwback to the GDR days occupies a prime position overlooking the Landwehr Canal as it emerges from the Tiergarten. There's a small, sometimes raucous, bar area and a larger dining section from where you can peer into the water through the vast windows. The beer's good and so's the hearty food although it does get unbearably busy in summer (thanks to the leafy biergarten). There's also the noisy accompaniment while you quaff your ale of the zoo just over the fence.
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.
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
Brilliant cocktails and live jazz radio. Berlin is the only European city with its own 24-hour FM jazz station.
JazzRadio 101.9 broadcasts live every evening from 18.00 - 24.00 from its studio in the Hotel Bar, where you can see (and hear) the show go out live, presented by the station's cool young DJs.
Inge-Beisheim-Platz 1, S-Bahn Potsdamer Platz
One of the best Turkish Döner shops in Berlin, open until 6am.
Extremely reasonable, good quality fast food, including vegetarian options. Compared to kebab in the UK, the version here is way tastier, with lots of crispy salad.
The walls are decorated with technicolour murals of how the Pergamon altar might have originally looked in Turkey, pretty different from how it looks in the nearby museum today. Also serves beer, pizza etc.
Under the bridge at the entrance to Friedrichstr Station.
The best place for a wild party. Open every day all night and very close to my other favourite place the Feuermelder, where you can watch football before starting the party. And on Sunday there is a very beautiful flea market around the corner. It's fantastic and budget-friendly.
Gärtnerstraße/ Friedrichshain. S-Bahn-Station Warschauerstraße or Ostkreuz
If the list of 'stylish yet chic wine bars' listed by my fellow sandal wearing media types on GU scare you as much as it does me, go to Lemke. It's a brew pub. It has beer. It has food. It has everything except DJs, cocktails and anything that could be described as 'charming or eclectic'.
The food is German in quantity and style but really the beer is what marks it out. The dark is very nice, the porter is excellent but the wheat is even better. It's friendly, it's always busy and it's easy to get to, even if the road it's on doesn't look very promising. There is even a beer garden.
The most bizarre drinking experience ever. Red wine in blood transfusion packs, electric shocks from tables, rotating bar stools, a tarantula in a glass case, a flasher at the entrance... and not too expensive either! Has to be seen to be believed.
Leibnitzstrasse 57 (50 metres from Ku'damm); U-Bahn: Adenauerplatz (U7);
tel: 030 32701466;
Prater Garten is a biergarten at Kastanienalle Prenzlauer Berg, the best bier, the best ambient for families and groups. It has great food and location, you must go.
www.pratergarten.de at prenzlauerBerg Berlin in the middle of the funky suburb of Berlin (east)
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