Top bars in Berlin

Best Berlin bars

When it comes to European capitals, Berlin is up with the best - and for good reason. With a throbbing nightlife scene, a hop through Berlin’s bars is well worth the hangover.

  1. Schwarze Traube
  2. Lemke Am Alex
  3. Green Door
  4. Klunkerkranich
  5. Kumpelnest 3000
  6. Salon zur Wilden Renate
  7. Club der Visionaere
  8. Quasimodo
  9. Dschungel
  10. Diener
  11. Vagabund Brauerei

Berlin’s heady melt of grit and glamour makes it vastly different from anywhere else in Germany - or the rest of the world for that matter. Its radical anti-gentrification agenda regularly makes global headlines, but it’s Berlin’s buzzing nightlife that provides its top draw. The best bars in Berlin are - simply put - some of the best in the world.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Schwarze Traube

Like many of Berlin’s best drinking spots, Schwarze Traube cocktail bar looks fairly nondescript from the outside. But knock on the door and - if it’s not full - you'll be ushered into a cosy, dimly lit bar with rickety furnishings and award-winning drinks.

Vibe: Cosy old-world charm

Nearest transport: Görlitzer Bahnhof

2. Lemke Am Alex

Always wanted to dine in the middle of a modern Brauhaus (brewery)? If your answer is an emphatic yes, Lemke Am Alex is the place to come. This craft beer-meets-German regional food bistro serves dishes like Eisbein (knuckle of pork), bratwurst or Berlin-style meatballs - pretty much anything that goes well with craft beer. They also offer guided tours and beer tastings.

Vibe: Airy modern brewery

Nearest transport: Alexanderplatz

3. Green Door

Ring the bell to enter Green Door, one of the best bars in Berlin, where the expert but unpretentious staff will recommend the perfect drink. If you’re a bit too sophisticated for 24-hour partying, this spot will appeal: an older crowd fills the cosy room.

Vibe: Relaxed and retro

Nearest transport: Nollendorfplatz

4. Klunkerkranich

If you like working for your wine, make for Klunkerkranich - you could well be looking for it for a while. This shabby-chic rooftop hangout is hidden on top of a distinctly unglamorous shopping centre, but the rewards are great once you stake it out. The urban-bar vibe is complemented by a sandy floor, superlative views over the city and occasional concerts and film screenings.

Vibe: Al-fresco chilling

Nearest transport: Rathaus Neukölln

5. Kumpelnest 3000

It’s hard to believe that Kumpelnest 3000, a charming den of iniquity, is only a few minutes’ stroll from Potsdamer Platz. With its deliberately tacky decor, local mixed/gay crowd and anything-goes atmosphere, especially at weekends, it’s a good place if you’re in the area and looking for the lure of the mirrored discoball rather than the commercial glare of the Platz.

Vibe: Anything goes

Nearest transport: Kurfüstenstr.

6. Salon zur Wilden Renate

If you love the ruin pubs of Budapest, you’ll fall for Renate in a flash. Located near the train tracks that run towards Treptower Park, Renate is an artist-run event space in a semi-derelict house with three floors, a cocktail bar and flamboyant decor that changes with each party. The music is good and the crowd is mixed. The only risk is that you’ll never leave.

Vibe: High-energy hipster hangout

Nearest transport: Treptower Park

7. Club der Visionaere

One of the most legendary of Berlin bars, Club der Visionaere is everything that its name implies - and more. This summer-only techno bar enjoys a unique setting on the intersection of the Spree and Flutgraben canal. The bar and DJ booth is in an old ceramic-tiled boathouse, and punters stand - and dance - on the floating docks outside. It’s minimal techno all the way.

Vibe: Upbeat canalside techno

Nearest transport: Schlesisches Tor

8. Quasimodo

If you’ve pulled one too many all-nighters in Berlin - a city that well and truly never sleeps - how about some down time with a spot of serious jazz? Quasimodo is the classic jazz bar - underneath the Delphi Cinema - with black-and-white photos, low ceilings and intimate tables. If pure jazz is just a tad too pure for your taste, there’s funk, blues and Latin too, as well as the odd international star.

Vibe: Intimate jazz bar

Nearest transport: Savignyplatz

9. Dschungel

To experience a real-life urban jungle, head to Dschungel in Neukölln. Dressed in kitschy rainforest get-up, with low lighting and home-brewed beer, this is a gem among a stellar line-up of Berlin bars.

Vibe: Low-key and leafy

Nearest transport: Hermannplatz

10. Diener

Is there anything that goes better with good German beer than traditional German grub? The Diener Berlin ale house is a local institution - not only because it was opened in 1954 by former German heavyweight boxed Franz Diener, but because it serves dishes like Königsberger Klopse (meatballs in white sauce with capers) and has an atmosphere as old school as the menu. Checking out Berlin holidays and looking for somewhere to stay? Nearby Sir Savigny Hotel, a stylish four star, is a safe bet.

Vibe: Vintage charm

Nearest transport: Savignyplatz

11. Vagabund Brauerei

One of Europe’s first crowd-sourced breweries, Vagabund is run by three American friends with a highly infectious passion for craft beer. As well as their own excellent brews, they sell classic Berlin ales and lager from family breweries in southern Germany. All that in a welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere that draws locals and expats alike. 

Vibe: All about the beer

Nearest transport: Seestrasse

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