The 13 best bars in Berlin

Monkey Bar, the best bars in Berlin
The Monkey Bar, one of the best bars in Berlin, is named after its views of the monkey section in the neighbouring zoo

Berlin is known for its edgy corners and hipster hangouts, cosy pubs and off-the-beaten-track bars. From old-fashioned cocktails in hidden speakeasies, fizzy Pilsners in buzzy beer halls or schnapps on a balcony overlooking Kantstrasse, read on for our favourite drinking spots in Berlin.

We also have guides dedicated to Berlin's best hotels, attractions, restaurants, shopping, nightlife and how to spend a weekend in the city.

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One of Kreuzberg's most popular pre-club bars, Luzia sits along the district's buzzy Oranienstrasse. With exposed and distressed brick and concrete walls, splashes of street art and funky murals, and some quirky decorative knick knacks, it serves as a mellow coffee spot during the day, with locals chatting and people-watching from the large, street-facing windows. Come nightfall, especially at weekends, the house and techno gets turned up, lights are dimmed and the beers, mixed drinks and cocktails begin to flow as the clubbers warm up for the evening ahead.

Prices:​ £-££
Getting in:​ No dress code

Prenzlauer Berg

Prater Biergarten

Dating from 1837, Prater Biergarten is Berlin's oldest beer garden and one of its most popular. It is set inside a fairly nondescript courtyard in Prenzlauer Berg, and might look a little desolate in winter, but come summertime the chestnut trees are in bloom and the locals sip beers and munch sausages on shared wooden picnic benches. As well as a decent Pils, they brew their own Schwarzbier, and the neighbouring restaurant (Prater Gaststätte) serves classic German cuisine (think hearty dishes like schnitzel, trout and goulash) all year round.

Prices: £
Getting in: No dress code

Becketts Kopf

It's easy to walk straight past this deliberately clandestine cocktail bar without even knowing it's there. The clue is in the glowing head of Mr Beckett that shines out from the dark window like a literary ghoul. Ring the doorbell to find a sophisticated and intimate space comprising two rooms, one of which is always non-smoking. One of the city’s most established cocktail bars, it has long been known for working with German and Austrian boutique distillers, and also partners with some companies to develop their own special flavours. The vibe is dimly lit, with elegant, comfortable armchairs dotted around and large artworks on the walls, plus a poetic menu; if it's too overwhelming (it's all in German) just ask the bartender.

Prices: £
Getting in: No formal dress code but people do wear shirts and evening dresses here

Beckett's Kopf, Berlin
Beckett's Kopf is a clandestine cocktail bar with an entrance that could easily be missed


Tucked away on a quiet tree-lined street in pretty Prenzlauer Berg, this charming music-lover’s café and bar might look simple from the outside, but it offers far more than the usual neighbourhood spot. Opened in 2017 by a French-German couple with a passion for music and fine drinks, the menu features an excellent range of biodynamic wines, cocktails made with boutique spirits (including whiskies from Japan), plus a considered array of French cheeses and snacks. The interior is a warm, homely mix of vintage sofas and armchairs, retro chandeliers and lamps—there’s even a fireplace for colder months. The biggest talking point, though, is the bar’s hi-fidelity vintage sound system, on which the owners and guest selectors play jazz, funk and soul; a great place for an intimate tête-à-tête.

Prices:​ £-££
Getting in:​ No dress code


Schwarzes Cafe

Once a haunt of the West Berlin cognoscenti (a former haunt of David Bowie and Iggy Pop), the Schwarzes Café remains a bonafide Charlottenburg institution. It’s one of the few spots in Berlin that’s open around the clock, and attracts a mix of tourists and locals as it shifts effortlessly between being a bar, café and restaurant. Food tends towards the traditional (schnitzel and spätzle) with some Asian and pasta dishes thrown in, and drinks range from some great lagers and wheat beers to mixed drinks, prosecco, schnapps and cocktails. The tiny balconies that look over Kantstrasse are especially sweet. Note that it’s cash only here.

Prices:​ £
Getting in:​ No dress code

Rum Trader

It's small – possibly the smallest bar in Berlin – but Rum Trader is big on personality. One of the few cocktail bars in West Berlin, and certainly the most established, it maintains an authentic post-war atmosphere with its gramophone vinyl collection, waist-coated staff and vintage glasses. There's room for around 25 people, mostly standing (though there are stools and a table), but this means you get to mingle with the locals. As per the name, the rum-based drinks are the thing to aim for, though there are plenty of whisky and gin drinks too, as well as bespoke options.

Contact: 00 49 30 88 11 428
Prices:​ £-££
Getting in:​ No dress code. Ring bell for entry and arrive early to secure a seat. No big groups

Monkey Bar

The 25Hours Hotel's 10th-floor cocktail bar is one of the only decent bar options close to Zoologischer Garten. It is named the Monkey Bar for its views directly onto the monkey sections of the adjacent zoo, but the better vistas are actually from the other side, overlooking the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church and West Berlin. The clientele is an interesting mix of locals and international hotel guests, who mingle around the large, well-stocked bar (they make a mean G&T thanks to lots of boutique brands) and on the small dance floor. The neighbouring NENI restaurant serves great Levantine-inspired food, and the third-floor Aperitivo bar offers a solid wine selection.

Contact: ​
Prices:​ £-££
Getting in:​ No strict dress code, but you might have a better chance of getting in with a shirt rather than a hoodie

Monkey Bar, Berlin
Monkey Bar serves great cocktails and views of the city


Hops & Barley

A consistently homely and welcoming bet for a decent beer and a pleasant atmosphere. Dominated by the in-house copper brew kettles that indicate the venue's commitment to home-brewing, the general décor is redolent of a typical Berlin bar (kneipe) with stucco on the walls, tiled and wooden floors and a mix of wooden tables, armchairs and upholstered sofas. It draws a local crowd that's only part hipster, and the eight homemade beers on offer include pilsners, dark beers and wheat beers (plus a cider), plus Flammkuchen for sustenance.

Prices:​ £
Getting in:​ No dress code

Hops & Barley, Berlin
Hops & Barley does exactly what is says on the tin - Marco Baass/Marco Baass



Run by Hannes Broecker and his partner Claude, this buzzy yet unpretentious Neukölln spot has become a popular destination for lovers of natural wines. It boasts around 200 bottles on its shelves and in its expansive cellar, ranging from small producers to bigger names, many of them showcasing rare and almost extinct varieties from France, Germany, and boutique wineries across Europe. There are only a handful of tables as well as some seats at the bar, which are generally full at weekends and midweek too. As well as the impressive choice of wines, the food menu is top-notch, with a considered selection of sharing dishes that span fluffy sourdough bread, Japanese-style Onsen eggs, fried shiitake, tortellinis filled with a divine potato and pecorino mix, plus pork belly, beetroot skewers— and a devilish chocolate mousse.

Prices: £-££
Reservations: Recommended

Schwarze Traube

In business for a decade now, the ‘Black Grape’ hasn’t lost any of its buzz—mostly due to its impressive contrast of stellar cocktails and a decidedly unpretentious atmosphere. The bar, run by award-winning mixologist Atalay Aktas, looks fairly anonymous from the outside: ring the bell to enter a dimly lit space whose two rooms have an illicit, speakeasy ambiance, with a vintage twist: a shabby-chic collection of tables and armchairs likely plucked from flea markets, black and gold wallpaper, and quirky decoration like a golden (birdless) birdcage. There’s no menu as such, but there are daily changing specials; easiest is to just describe the kind of drink you would like to the bartender and they will knock something up from their excellent selection of boutique and classic spirits, home-made syrups, and fresh ingredients from the neighbouring indoor food market.

Prices:​ £-££
Getting in:​ No dress code and no reservations


This is one of the last remaining local kneipe in this part of Mitte, and is therefore something of a cherished institution. A bakery in former GDR times, the building actually dates from the 19th century, and a vague whiff of nostalgia can be discerned in the main room, with its dominant gold-edge bar and blue-tiled walls. The staff can seem a little distant if you're not a regular, but they'll soon warm to you if you hang around. The minimal bar menu extends to a few beers on tap and the occasional mixed drink.

Contact: 00 49 30 28 27 70 4
Prices:​ £
Getting in: No dress code


Victoria Bar

This classic bar was luring in the locals long before Potsdamer Strasse became dotted with trendy restaurants and contemporary art galleries. Indeed, it feels immediately like a throwback to earlier times with its classic long, wooden bar and well-dressed wait staff, not to mention the artworks on the walls, which feature satirical works by the likes of Sarah Lucas, Marcel Dzama and Martin Kippenberger. The drinks list is equally classic and extensive, spanning champagne amalgams like the “Pick Me Up”, mixed with Cognac V.S.O.P., grenadine, lemon juice, champagne and angostura, and the “Funkadelic 1995”, with Jose Cuervo Silver tequila, Cachaça 51, Giffard Pêche, egg white and grenadine. If you get peckish, snack on one of the bar’s roast beef or club sandwiches.

Price: ££
Getting in: No strict dress code, but it won’t hurt to make an effort like many of the regulars do

Brauhaus Lemke

Berlin isn't exactly short of classic German beer halls but this one, despite its central location in an arched brick space under the S Bahn tracks near Hackescher Markt station, has a particularly appealing timeless and traditional quality. It serves good quality home-brewed beer along with imported IPAs, pilsners and wheat beers, plus traditional food such as pig-knuckle and schnitzel, served up with an abundance of potatoes and sauerkraut. Staff are friendly, the décor is reassuringly of brick and wood, and the patio area out back is also great in summer.

Prices:​ £-££
Getting in:​ No dress code

Brauhaus Lemke, Berlin
Brauhaus Lemke stands out among Berlin's German beer halls

How we choose

Every bar, venue or experience in this curated list has been tried and tested by our destination expert, who has visited to provide you with their insider perspective. We cover a range of budgets and styles, from casual pubs to exquisite cocktail bars – to best suit every type of traveller – and consider the service, drinks, atmosphere and price in our recommendations. We update this list regularly to keep up with the latest openings and provide up to date recommendations.

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