Berlin's 10 Best Watering Holes

Berlin is well renowned for its thriving nightlife and bar and club scenes. The reason for this is partially down to the sheer variety of nightlife options available all over the city. Whether you're in the mood for just a few quiet drinks in a nice atmosphere or up for a huge night out of bar and club crawling, this 10 best list is an eclectic mix which includes 10 of the city's most highly-praised bars with varying atmospheres, locations and price ranges. 

In the mood for a few cheap and cheerful (but very delicious) cocktails, in a fun, beach-themed setting? Head to Bahamas in the popular district of Prenzlauer Berg and get 1litre of your favourite cocktail for just 8 euros!

If a sophisticated after dinner drink or two is on the agenda, get dressed in your finery and head to Solar bar, where on the 17th storey you get to sip divine cocktails and look out at stunning panoramic views of the city.

Or if you're looking for a more uniquely Berlin experience, head to Forum Wine Bar, notable for its 'pay what you think it was worth' charging system, where you pay just 1 euro for glass hire and then sample as many of the wines on offer as you'd like, then pay at the end whatever amount you deem reasonable for what you drank.

With such a great variety of options you simply can't go wrong! So have a read through the list and happy drinking!


Sitting at the top of a block of old office buildings, right in the heart of the very centrally located Alexanderplatz, is Weekend nightclub. What makes this place so special is the spectacular views over the city provided by the panoramic windows surrounding the venue. Everything else about the club (dance floor, bar, seating) is placed in the middle so the outskirts of the rooms are really for making the most of the views. A sleek interior is common to all floors of this club, with modern wooden furnishings and a minimalist feel creating a very chic atmosphere. The rooftop terrace is stunning not just for the views but also for the way the space has been furnished and laid out. Open most days and always with an abundant list of DJ's playing house, pop and electro, this hip venue will provide the perfect night of drinks and dancing in a stylish environment.

Local Expert tip: If you've got the stamina to last until the morning, head to the rooftop terrace to watch the sun rise over the city- pretty magic!

Read more about Weekend →

Dr Pong
Photo courtesy of Conor O'Rourke

Who would have ever thought that taking a grungy bar and putting a ping-pong table in the middle of it would be such a successful concept? Dr. Pong's is a popular alternative bar with Berliner locals, located in the lively Prenzlauer Berg. For those wanting to play, you simply hire a bat from behind the bar and stand in a line around the table with other prospective players. There is then a sort of elimination show-down, where everyone has one hit of the ball and moves along so the next person has a hit and so on...until somebody makes a mistake and is taken out of the running. The last 2 players standing earn themselves a proper game of ping-pong! If you're not too keen on getting involved, it's still a lot of fun to watch, and there are other areas around the bar and beyond where you can just enjoy a drink and mingle. For cider lovers, this is one of surprisingly few places in the city that sell it! Granted its just one brand which happens to be Berlin made and perhaps a bit different to the usual... but hey, when in Rome!

Local Expert tip: A fun alternative to the usual bar scenes, with a little physical activity involved!

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Having only opened its doors last year, Prince Charles is fast becoming one of the places to be in the city. Creative and stylish, the club is located in an old swimming pool and decorated thusly. In a minimalist fashion, the area contains tiled walls, concrete flooring, intricate lighting and a centrally located bar surrounded by bench seating, creating the pool-like atmosphere. The idea of Prince Charles is to combine cultural events with a bar and club. Opening earlier in the evening, it is ideal for a couple of delicious cocktails in a casual atmosphere before turning into a raging dance club later in the night. There is always plenty of stuff going on so it's worth checking out the website to see what's happening.

Local Expert tip: Try one of their delicious specialty house cocktails- a Prince Charles or Lady Di.

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Newton Bar

Regularly noted as one of the city's best, this classic West Berlin bar combines class and character to make for a wonderfully interesting atmosphere. Sitting in comfortable leather lounges and surrounded by life-size Helmut Newton nude photographs on the walls, guests sip on their cocktails or beverages of choice and mingle. A little bit dark and dingy (but in the best possible way) with marble and rich wooden furnishings and decorated with tall, gothic candelabras, there is a real sense of nostalgia in the air. Upstairs you'll find the N-lounge, a comfortable smokers section typically filled with thick cigar smoke and suited businessmen. With a view over the stunning Gendarmenmarkt and wonderfully close to the bustling Friedrichstrasse, Newton Bar is perfectly located with a wonderful, classic ambiance.

Local Expert tip: This is a fairly refined place, so casual/sloppy attire wont quite cut it. Be sure to dress appropriately or risk being turned away at the door.

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The cocktail bar to rival all cocktail bars, Bahamas, located just off Schonhauser Allee in the bar-rich Prenzlauer Berg combines a fun atmosphere, great prices and a delicious cocktail menu, making for a very enjoyable night out. Decorated to resemble a beach bar, the floor of Bahamas is covered in mounds of sand, with tropical decorations gracing the walls. The bar does of course focus on its delicious assortment of cocktails, but on the menu you can also find beer, wine and non-alcoholic options. Probably the most novel aspect of this vibrant venue is the upsize option of ordering 1Litre of your favourite cocktail... for just 8 euro's! Standard cocktail sizes cost 4 euro each, with beer, wine and prosecco/champagne slightly less. There are also endless complimentary pretzel sticks provided to accompany your drinks! A fun, beachy atmosphere which always manages to draw great crowds, this is a fantastic bar to enjoy a few tasty beverages in!

Local Expert tip: Pick your favourite cocktail and upgrade to 1Litre of it for just 8 euro's!

Read more about Bahamas →

Located on the lively Oranienburgerstrasse, the Bellini Lounge is an attractive cocktail and wine bar, focused on providing a fun, modern bar atmosphere. A large venue with ample indoor and outdoor seating areas, the Bellini bar is the ideal spot for a few beverages all year round. Inside the atmosphere is sophisticated and modern with comfortable leather stools and couches surrounding a large, open bar. When the weather permits, the bar opens out onto the footpath with plenty of comfy spots to enjoy the fresh air and city atmosphere. The menu has a great selection of over 70 cocktails, including of course the bars namesake "bellini" as well as other long drinks, beers and over 100 wines. You'll also find a good little snack menu, which includes a great antipasti platter. One of the attractions of the Bellini bar is its aquarium, home to over 500 fish!

Local Expert tip: Comfortable, modern, relaxed and sophisticated, this is a great place to enjoy a few quiet cocktails and some delicious antipasti.

Read more about Bellini Lounge →

A cool, grungy, living room-style cafe by day and a pay-what-you-want wine bar by night, Forum, conveniently located in Berlin's Mitte, is a fantastically novel place to go for a few casual glasses of wine. After 8pm, the concept is simple- Make a 1 euro payment for glass hire and then simply help yourself to glasses of whichever wine takes your fancy. Refills are all part of the idea, so you're welcome to return and sample as many of the wines as you would like. There are plenty of wine options on offer and the staff are happy to talk you through your selections and make suggestions if you're unsure of what you're after. You then go and sit in a comfortable spot somewhere in one of the various rooms, all furnished somewhat like an old living room. Sometimes there will even be a buffet filled with various cakes, pasta, bread, croissants etc for you to nibble at along with your wine. After enjoying some food and drink, a cosy atmosphere and good company you then simply return your glass at the bar and pay an amount depending on what you think it was worth.

Local Expert tip: After 8pm this wine bar turns into a 'pay what you think it's worth' venue!

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Located along Oranientrasse, possibly Kreuzbergs most energetic strip of bars, restaurants and clubs, sits Luzia. This little gem is very popular with the Kreuzberg hipster locals- known for being sophisticated yet unassuming, with a great atmosphere. With exposed brick walls and fitted with vintage '50's furnishings, the bar is cosy and comfortable, perfect for enjoying a few drinks and chats with friends. Weekends can be pretty busy here, and despite seemingly ample space and seating, you may be left standing. To avoid this, head on over on a weeknight for a somewhat more relaxed atmosphere and (hopefully) comfortable sitting space! Drink prices are very Berlin standard (aka inexpensive) and you're guaranteed a great vibe making Luzia the perfect place for a few casual beverages.

Local Expert tip: Oranienstrasse is filled with buzzing bars and restaurants, making Luzia perfect for after dinner drinks or as one bar on a street-long crawl!

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Berlin's nightlife is not for the feint hearted. While most clubs are busy pumping heavy electronic beats and not even considering opening their doors until well after midnight, there are a number of alternative (and I use the word very literally) options well worth bearing in mind. Madame Claude is one of these kooky finds, set in an old brothel in Kreuzberg. Here, you enter via the cloakroom and wander through a number of smaller, snug rooms until arriving at the bar... where everything is upside down. With furniture on the ceiling, lights on the ground and a backward clock behind the bar, it is a novel (and after a few drinks, confusing) experience to say the least. Located at Lubbener Strasse, 19, a short walk from Gorlitzer Bahnoff or Schlesisches Tor U-bahns (U1) and open from 7pm, 7 days a week, Madame Claude is a quirky find fitting of Berlin, that is definitely worth checking out!

Local Expert tip: Looking for something fun but slightly low- key to do on a Wednesday night? Madame Claude hosts a popular music quiz... in ENGLISH, which tends to generate a great crowd each week. Better still, admission is free and there are a variety of drink specials on offer.

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This stylish cocktail bar is located on the 17th storey, providing panoramic views of the city, is an experience not to be missed! The novelty begins when you enter at ground floor- after checking your coat, you enter into an elevator which runs along the outside of the building, giving you the feeling of being suspended in mid-air as you glide on up to the top floor. Once inside, you take a small staircase to the level above the restaurant to find this stylish, modern lounge area, bordered by floor to ceiling windows providing glorious views of the city. With a seemingly endless cocktail menu averaging about 10 euros a drink, it's not the cheapest place for beverages, but you certainly get what you pay for in not just delicious cocktail but also wonderful ambience and views. Evidently popular with couples on dates and business men enjoying after-work drinks, you may feel out of place if you turn up casually dressed. There is also a restaurant located directly below the bar should you wish to make this your dinner spot.

Local Expert tip: Although there isn't a formal dress code, you may feel out of place if you turn up in extremely casual attire.

Read more about Solar Sky Lounge and Restaurant →


Meet Rachel Beckley

Fresh from University and just 20 years old, Rachel decided to delay ‘real life’ for a while longer and live abroad. After 10 months based in England, (scattered with various escapes to...  More About Rachel