Berlin's nightlife is legendary. With fantastic dining, atmospheric gig venues and dynamic nightclubs, there's something for every taste – whether you're looking for a casual drink with friends, or an all-night party. To help you get your evening off to a great start, we've rounded up a selection of Berlin bars and pubs that stand out from the crowd – from the stylishly edgy, to the eccentrically cool.
If you're looking for an unusual drinking spot that's sure to add a memorable twist to your stay in Berlin, get ready to raise a glass to these quirky bars:
Ever fancied drinking in a mad scientist's laboratory? Zyankali Bar is just the place. From its fluorescent yellow exterior to the glowing test tubes and other medical apparatus that adorn the interior (including skeletons and a mummified body in a glass case), this is definitely a cocktail bar with its own vibe. Owner Tom Zyankali describes the establishment as "a (mostly liquid) foodlab with an integrated herbal garden and bar." The result is a wide selection of spirits and innovative, chemistry-inspired cocktails made with ingredients prepared on-site.
Image: Zyankali Bar
"Due to the high competition and the many regular workshops happening here, Berlin bartenders tend to be more creative when it comes to experimenting with new technologies and/or unusual or homemade ingredients," Tom explains. "I am one of the very few bartenders with a scientific background (as a chemical engineer in the food control area). This leads to a) a huge range of homemade products, and b) unique ways of selecting the ingredients and combining and refining the flavors, textures and colors of a drink.”
Located in a former brothel, Madame Claude literally turns the drinking experience on its head, with its furniture stuck to the ceiling – a bit disorienting after a couple of drinks. Known for its regular live music and DJs, with performances every night from 7pm, the bar attracts a trendy hipster crowd, and is the ideal destination if you fancy a night of dancing with cool retro vibes.
Atrium Bar at the Radisson Blu Hotel
Pretend you're drinking beside the sea at the Radisson Blu Atrium Bar . This stylish bar sits alongside the hotel's most unique feature, the AquaDom, a vast glass tank that is the largest cylindrical aquarium in the world, housing more than 1500 colorful fish in 1 million liters of clear salt water. Watch the shimmering fish and the enchanting play of light through the water as you savor a selection of beers, wines and expert cocktails.
A brilliant venue for al fresco drinking in the summer months, the Projekt Klunkerkranich rooftop garden takes up the top story of a parking garage in the Neukölln area of Berlin. With stunning views, a bar and canteen serving up fresh, tasty produce and frequent live jazz performances, it's a friendly, laid-back place to soak up the sun.
A bit swankier than your average Berlin pub, Bar Tausend is tucked away beneath a railway bridge and entered through an unassuming, unmarked door. Once you find this, you have to buzz for entry – be sure to dress to impress to make sure you pass inspection. Inside, you can enjoy a range of tantalizing drinks and innovative cuisine in a sophisticated setting, with a glinting mirrored ceiling and intriguing program of eclectic live music, DJs and even art installations.
With an interior that evokes a 1920s saloon, complete with an elaborate vintage cash register, warm red walls and dim lights hanging low over the bar, this atmospheric speakeasy lets you step back in time to the Prohibition era. Low-key and friendly, Stagger Lee offers a great selection of drinks inspired by the Wild West – be sure to check out their range of bourbons, rye and tequila, served up by expert staff in authentic period outfits.
If you're a fan of cult film director Quentin Tarantino, this bar is a must-visit during your trip to Berlin. Tarantino's Bar pays homage to the edgy director's stylish movies, which run continuously in the background. The atmospheric red lighting evokes the classic Pulp Fiction, and you can admire the film posters on the wall and enjoy the film soundtracks while sampling an eclectic array of cocktails, beers and spirits.
For those seeking cocktails with a magical twist, the appropriately-named Fairytale offers plenty of enchantment in liquid form. The décor and drink selection at this Berlin cocktail bar are inspired by Alice in Wonderland and the Brothers Grimm – think deep jewel tones, White Rabbit sculptures and mysterious cocktails served in glass slippers. It's perfect if you want your night out in Berlin to contain a dose of happily ever after.