Schiffbauerdamm area: Riverside drinking
If your idea of an evening out, like ours, is a few drinks and a pleasant meal, and maybe a stroll in between, you could do worse than head to the Schiffbauerdamm near Friedrichstraße station. The riverside setting is nice on a warm evening (though the Spree here is not especially picturesque) and there’s a good choice of bars and restaurants to suit a variety of purses.
And we sampled a few of them! We had pre-dinner drinks on the riverside terrace of the Van Gogh bar, with a great Cosmopolitan for me and a beer for Chris, dinner at the Berliner Republik (see my restaurant tip) and, after a little walk, a post-dinner drink (OK, two!) at the Ständige Vertretung, a very lively pub run by exiles from Cologne, serving one of Chris’s favourite beers, Kölsch, where I had a great raspberry Schnapps (Himbeere).
Dress Code: A couple of the restaurants here are quite smart and you'll feel more comfortable dressed accordingly, but for the most part any regular atire will be fine
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
Scotch & Sofa: A place to chill in Prenzlauer Berg
Of the several (many?!) bars we visited during our stay in Berlin, the Scotch and Sofa stands out for me for a number of reasons. Maybe it was the cool, quirky décor (a mix of old squishy sofas, imaginative lighting and various antiques/junk-shop finds). Maybe it was the excellent schnapps. Or maybe it was simply the fact that it was the last one that we went to, on the last evening of our trip. Whatever the reason it seems that I am not alone, as the bar gets similarly good reviews on Trip Advisor and other review sites. So go check it out if you are in the Prenzlauer Berg area, and let me know if you agree with me.
Dress Code: Casual ~ dressed up ~ either will be fine!
Pfau: . . . more than only a bar
it's the right place after a long day . . . enjoy your "happy hour" cocktail till 9:00 or go out for dinner . . . they offer a very delicious italian cusine for fair prices . . . take a beer at the bar . . . i nice place for the whole day
Dress Code: Hey, it's Kreuzberg - there is no dress code!
- Budget Travel
Club der Visionäre: Open Air Chill Club
sitting at the river . . . you're listening to the music . . . there is a bird landing on the water . . . SUMMER . . . it's SUMMERTIME . . . it's SUMMER in the city . . . take a beer and relax
Dress Code: be yourself . . . wear Jeans and Sneakers . . . it's open air . . .
- Budget Travel
Seven Lounge Cocktail Bar: Seven Lounge Cocktail Bar
"After the long footslog back to the apartment, we quickly ventured out on another mini-odyssey, this time over to Mitte-Berlin, and the Seven Lounge. After many hikes, tram journeys and U-bahn trips, including a brief pause to stare at the fireworks over der Alex, we finally arrived at the 7L cocktail bar. This proved to be as cramped as the entrance to Hanno's apartment, but with plenty more style and character. The four girls who seemed to be running the place were particularly distinctive. First there was the DJ with the goggles reeling off a series of classic lounging tracks from the decks crammed into one side of the confined corridor. Secondly there was the pig-tailed bar maid, frantically serving up complex cocktails for the crowded gangway. Finally, and most strikingly, were the two girls who ran the length of the narrow passage taking orders and delivering drinks. The first was a shaven headed black girl, with taut cheekbones, and the second an Asian girl with huge hair, plucked straight from the 188.8.131.52.'s garage rock band in Kill Bill." - from my travelogue
This is a stylish and very comfortable lounging bar, at least if you can get a seat in the busy and narrow gangway. The place is free to get into, and is open from 8pm until 4am at weekends, and until 2am the rest of the week.
"Roter Salon": The Red Room
"So, less one sleepy Italian, we headed off on the second of our cross-town treks with Hanno. After seemingly endless tram journeys and a quick marathon walk, we arrived at the "Roter Salon" in Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. The club was advertising itself with posters as some kind of Indie Britpop noise session, which sounded worth the six euros the grumpy door staff were charging. However, once inside, we found that we'd been conned. It was not Indie Britpop at all, but DJ Thomas Bohnet with his Tour de France blaring out never-before-heard-by-non-francophone tunes in unfathomable French. Hanno was despondent. I was enthralled. Craig and Martin couldn't care less as long as they had beer in front of them.
Hanno was upset because the place was relatively empty, and wasn't playing the music he'd brought us to listen to. He was unhappy that we weren't being entertained in proper Berlin fashion. I, on the other hand, was enchanted by the idea of Berliners so eclectic in their musical taste that not only would they come along to a Französicher Musik night, but they would also be such regular patrons of the event that they knew all the words to sing along to. I tried to impress this upon Hanno, but he was too far gone. Nothing was going to change his mood while we were in that club. Craig and Martin were staring, goggle-eyed like the train obsessed boy on the ICE to Berlin, at a young couple as they enthusiastically made passionate virtual love to each other on the bar, behind the bar, on the dance floor, on the sofa, before finally disappearing behind a meter high stall." - from my travelogue
This is a happening little club in Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, which seems to have quite an interesting line up of events. The Friday we went it was French night, and the following Saturday was the far more popular Britpop Indie night. You can find out what's on at their website, linked below, although it is invariably Indie, or something very similar.
Hackesche Höfe: Many places at one place
If you are coming to Berlin spend at least one evening at this place!
The painstakingly restored Hackesche Höfe are no doubt one of the most popular destinations for tourists at the present time.
The Hackesche Höfe consists of a web of eight courtyards for living and working, which together forms the largest of its kind in Germany. Like many Berlin courtyards, this complex of buildings, which arose around the turn of the last century, was a mixture of offices, workshops, multi-story factories (particularly in the front courtyards) and apartments. This concept was also adopted and successfully applied during the modernization of the courtyards, which were in serious need of renovation. Hof I (Endellscher Hof), which was designed by the Jugendstil artist and architect August Endell, houses the "Chamäleon" cabaret theatre, a film theatre, and several bars and restaurants; in Hof II (Theaterhof) there is the Hackesche Hof Theatre and a series of architects' offices; the remaining courtyards are occupied by numerous smaller shops and galleries. The area around the Höfe is also thriving: with countless bars, restaurants and clubs; it is one of Berlin nightlife's most talked-about districts.
Dress Code: No dress code at all..
- Family Travel
- Study Abroad
Kulturbrauerei: A Good Starting Point
Kulturbrauerei, the former Schultheiss brewery, today accommodates a couple of clubs - some for dancing, some for live music.
In the close proximity there are numerous bars and restaurants.
On top of that, Kulturbrauerei offers a nice flair on warm summer nights.
The legendary Frannz was probably the best club in East Berlin if not the entire GDR.
Pop, Rock, Funk ...
nbi - Neue Berliner Initiative:
A cosy 2-story club with a beer-garden.
Mixed program, mixed (young) audience.
Pop, Rock, Dance, readings
Really a nice location with a somewhat mediterranean atmosphere.
A big black hall for readings, theater and music.
The smaller, brighter issue of Kesselhaus.
http://www.kesselhaus-berlin.de/ (yes, same URL)
Mostly R'n'B, Soul, Top 20 or 50
Mostly Dance and House, 80style.
The smaller sibling of Soda Club, hence the same URL:
Dress Code: None
- Arts and Culture
- Study Abroad
CSA Bar: Smooth cocktails on Karl-Marx Allee
This is one of the most beautiful martini bars I've ever been in. Located in a former sales office for the Czech State Airline (hence the name), the CSA Bar has a sleek minimalist decor, lighting that flatters, an attentive staff, and broad plate glass windows that look out at traffic whizzing by on what was intended to be East Germany's grandest boulevard. I have to confess this: I experienced a "frisson" of delight sipping my Cosmopolitan and shamelessly engaging in decadent homosexual flirtation while sitting comfortably ensconced on "Karl-Marx Allée". History does have its pleasurable ironies.
Velvet Lounge: Best martini in town
The Velvet lounge is a small stylish cocktail bar connected to the Arcotel Velvet Hotel in the Mitte district. We stayed in the hotel and were keen to try out the bar as it looked really nice.
One evening before dinner we stopped by to sample some of their cocktails. The bar man was incredibly friendly and service was with a smile, though he did give me a lecture at one stage!
Alex had possibly the best martini he has ever had….and he has had a few over the years. I had a vodka and lime concoction which was also good.
The comfy leather seats were a great place to relax and chat about the days events. If we didn't already have dinner reservations that night I think we would have stayed and just had martini's for dinner....is that wrong?!
Dress Code: No official dresscode, but smart casual or better
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
Irish Pub: A part of Ireland ... in Berlin
Advertised as the "Best and largest pub in Berlin".
The clientele is international , the management and servants will look to it
that you enjoy the warm and familiar hospitality of an Irish Guinness hole.
Located under the Europa Platz Shopping Center (Tauentzienstrasse near the memorial church.)
The pub has many entries secured by “Porters” – a lot of smaller speaking corners
and a typical English counter of 36 m long.
All around TV monitoring so you will not miss the english soccer games
Live music every evening around 9PM:
- Hot Stuff etc...
There is a monthly fixed programm available on the net.
Dress Code: Leisure
- Beer Tasting
various: Friedrichshain Nightspots
Friedrichshain is a great place to bar-hop. But don't take my word for it. The Sunday NY Times travel section has just published a piece about Friedrichshain: "The Club Scene, on the Edge." Too bad it wasn't published before my visit!
"Mix Williamsburg with the Lower East Side, add a Teutonic accent and you've got the increasingly hip Berlin neighborhood Friedrichshain. It is home to both students and slackers, as a cracking night life has sprung up in the shadow of the Ostbahnhof, the main train station in the former East Berlin."
If it's in the "New York Times," it must be true!
Among the places recommended by the reviewer:
Habermayer, 6 Gärtnerstr.;
Astro-Bar, 40 Simon-Dach Str.;
and Lee Harvey Oswald Bar, 68 Grünberger Str.
I didn't visit any of the featured places myself on my November 2004 trip; maybe next time.
Pub Crawl...: PubCrawl...
A good Night life Tip in Berlin is taking part of the pub Crawl.
You can find the information about the pub Crawl in almost every hostel. Or just go to the
The Pub Crawl has moved locations! It's now starts at S-Bahn Oranienburgerstr, in the heart of the going out district. Check out www.newberlintours.com/pubcrawl for a map of the exact location!
Why is the pub crawl so great ? It isnt :o) but the main reason I want to tip it to you is because you meet many fellow travelers... and thats the main reason we travel to see interesting places and meet interesting people. The varity of nationalities makes the pub crawl so great.... so its a must when you want to meet other people....have fun
I had a lot of fun....
Dress Code: just what you like to wear...
- Budget Travel
- Beer Tasting
Scotch and Sofa: Late night lounging whisky bar.
"If I'd gone home then, I would have got just enough sleep, and would have been sober enough to avoid a hangover of any note. This would have left me perfectly placed for the long action packed day ahead of me. Instead, Hanno's friends were up and active, and we were soon sat down, drinking beer and pretending to read from the tatty-edged German pulp-fiction romance booklets scattered about, with names like "Der Pirat und Die Dame". "One beer", I tried to tell myself, "just one more beer and no more." But soon the complimentary schnapps came out, plus the complimentary free beer and more free beer, and the “boy was I going to have a headache the next day” free beer. Craig and Martin had a glass of burning absinthe each, because they just didn't care." - from my travelogue
It was very late when I got to this bar, and so it wasn't very full, but the staff were extremely friendly. The place had an interesting 50s style to it, and was a very comfortable place to sit down and enjoy a late drink, after a hard night clubbing.
Quasimodo: Jazz and more
Quasimodo is a typical Jazz club or cellar and Berlin's oldest. Most bands that appear here, play either Jazz, Blues or Soul. Many of them were famous enough to play at bigger venues but seem to enjoy the more direct contact to the audience they find here.
Interior is "conservative" in a positive way: A typical no-nonsense Jazz cellar.
Kurfürstendamm and Savigny Platz are within walking distance.
Dress Code: None
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