Ber­lin nights

Plan the ul­ti­mate Ber­lin bar crawl with this itin­er­ary

Halliday - - Contents -

Ber­lin’s techno scene is legendary, but there is more to the Ger­man cap­i­tal than all-night raves. Af­ter dark, the city siz­zles with a late-night bar scene that leaves most other cities for dead. Dive down hip neigh­bour­hood streets to dis­cover a world of hid­den speakeasies, gritty rock dens, retro lounges and up­mar­ket cocktail bars. Bring cash and pre­pare to see in the dawn. It’s wun­der­bar.


Gal­leries and thrift shops, ur­ban gar­dens and street-food trucks make up this pop­u­lar counter-cul­ture neigh­bour­hood.


Ring in the ex­cesses of Ber­lin’s golden age at this bur­lesque bolt­hole. Be­hind the unas­sum­ing door­way is a he­do­nis­tic bar ooz­ing 1920s glam­our. Hip­ster bar­tenders wear bow ties and the cocktail list sings of sassy in­ge­nu­ity, like the saucy Rita Lynch, a cheeky mix of Pa­tron, Grand Marnier, lime and house-made tomato jam. On Satur­days, the smoky den is trans­formed into a sexy bur­lesque club. Don your best flap­per dress and min­gle.



A visit to this retro lounge is like a step back in time to a ’70s East Ger­man liv­ing room. A vin­tage record player spins croon­ing tunes (think Dean Martin, Blondie, Bowie and more), and ta­ble lamps give off a soft orange glow. The drinks list cham­pi­ons clas­sic cock­tails (the mar­garita is good) as well as lo­cal beers and spir­its, mixed to your lik­ing by the af­fa­ble bar­tender. Find a cosy cor­ner and set­tle in for the night.



Art and thrift shops, over­grown parks and laid­back bars are part of Lit­tle Is­tan­bul’s edgy vibe.


Nat­u­ral wine is the star at this lo­cal haunt. It’s the spot for good Euro­pean wines and a team that re­ally knows their grapes. Mu­rals of wild and won­drous beasts are splashed across the walls (a homage to chil­dren’s book Where the

Wild Things Are) and French oak bar­rels dou­ble as ta­bles. The share-plate menu is fun, with hits like sea­weed pop­corn, ‘io­dine shot’ oys­ters and char­cu­terie boards. Be­fore leav­ing, hunt out the se­cret mez­cal bar.



Ber­lin’s best sun­set spot is also its most sur­pris­ing – a com­mu­nity gar­den and bar on top of the car park at Neukölln Ar­cade (take the lift to the fifth floor and walk up the ramp). Large metal flow­ers tower above gar­den beds and there is a sand­pit for lit­tle ones to play. In­side the ready-made struc­ture are DJs, live mu­sic and comfy lounges. There is bar food, cock­tails and wine by the glass. Ar­rive early to nab a prime spot.


Street­side cafes, pre-war build­ings and vin­tage bou­tiques cre­ate charm in this up­mar­ket neigh­bour­hood.


Dive bars don’t come much cooler. In­side this post-punk rock den, black and white video flashes across black walls and there are plenty of dingy nooks in which to hang. On week­ends, DJs spin a solid mix of punk, new wave and glam rock. Drinks are cheap and the fun kicks on un­til dawn.



So­phis­ti­ca­tion and glam­our meet old-world charm in Ber­lin’s leafy art dis­trict.


Good things come in small pack­ages at this ex­clu­sive speakeasy. Hid­den be­hind an old shopfront (find the buzzer!), the se­cret spot seats just 14 peo­ple.

Gin, whisky or brandy-based cock­tails are the go, but there is also Cham­pagne, plus off-menu cock­tails. Ar­rive early to en­sure a spot.



There’s style in spades at this cocktail bar. Lo­cated in the for­mer Jüdis­che Mäd­chen­schule (Jewish girls' school), the art-deco spot is the place for top-notch cock­tails (try the ap­ple-y Hole in Nor­mandy) and Miche­lin-star bar food to match. Part of fine-diner Pauly Saal, it’s one of Ber­lin’s more el­e­gant drink­ing holes.


Be­hind a grimy ex­te­rior – find the iron door un­der the rail viaduct – is a smoky pro­hi­bi­tion bar with cool cock­tails (try the Wasabi) and live jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop. It’s a lit­tle like be­ing in­side a train car­riage, but one that’s swanky and oh-so-glam. A Peru­vian-fu­sion restau­rant ad­joins the bar. Dress sharp for en­try.


Belinda Luk­sic trav­elled to Ber­lin as a guest of tfe­ho­

Kon­rad Tonz.


Bar Tausend.


Klunker Kranich.

Pauly Bar.

Wild Things.

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