The Cool Cat among all of Europe’s capital cities, the unpretentious hipster haven of Berlin is one for every bucket list. Among its swathes of watering-holes in which to quench your thirsts, the following spots are the coolest bars in Berlin that you absolutely cannot miss out on.
Hidden behind black curtains next to a florist and a few kebab shops on the bustling Oranienstraße, in keeping with typical speak-easy tradition, it’s a great mystery how Prinzipal has remained a well-kept secret. Entry to the coveted club is accessed through a buzzer on an unmarked door, and once inside, prepare to fall down a rabbit hole of bizarre and unpredictable wonder.
Berlin’s answer to 20th century Paris, the acclaimed burlesque bar has everything you’d expect from such an exotic institution… nipple tassels and all! But aside from the undeniable entertainment, the drinks also do not disappoint. Infused with in-house created bitters and syrups, all the cocktails are named after famous burlesque dancers with the most popular being, A Date with Dita — a colourful nod to the iconic Dita Von Tease — flavoured with bourbon, grapefruit, lemon, dates and bitters.
Running for over 10 years on the kindness of strangers, the pay-what-it’s-worth bar cannot be missed. Located in Berlin’s central district, Mitte, €2 is all you need to rent a glass and drink as much delicious wine as you desire. Once you’ve sipped copious quantities to your hearts’ content, simply make a trip to the tip counter at the front of the bar and leave the amount you feel you should pay.
A novel concept that has allowed the business to thrive for over a decade, however, due to a few too many recent incidents of abuse, the bar has started to suffer and is rethinking its strategy. Be sure to see it while you can, but if you do decide to visit the experimental institution, bare in mind that it’s been able to run successfully for this long thanks to the honour system. Be respectful and don’t abuse the system. Remember, it’s pay-what-it’s-worth, not pay-what-you-want.
You can’t think of Germany without thinking of a country besotted with its most well-known beverage: beer. So it’s quite fitting to include one of the city’s most beloved Biergartens: Prater Biergarten.
Established in 1837, Prater Biergarten is Berlin’s oldest beer garden, and possibly its most picturesque. Idyllically framed by a canopy of chestnut trees, the venue has room for more than 600 people on its pleasant picnic tables.
The home brewed nectar Prater Pils is the drink of choice, but stout beers from around Germany are also available, along with a selection of delectable dishes from the adjoining restaurant.
Located just across the road from the Fountain of Fairy Tales, Märchenbrunnen in Volkspark, Berlin’s Fairytale is an absolute wonderland of cocktails and is the place your insta account is begging you to plaster all over your feed.
After being greeted by a giant caterpillar lounging on a mushroom upon entry, a night out in Fairytale is an experience wilder than your craziest fantasies. An evening of discovering secret doors, magically lit mirrors, pop-up book menus and toilet mirrors that turn your eyes square — yes, you read that correctly — awaits.
The wacky theme continues over at the bar where the Bar Tender concocts eclectic potions presented in the picture perfect “drink me” bottle that you’d expect from any homage to Alice in Wonderland.
While it’s unlikely that it’ll be your regular dive, the sheer uniqueness of this bar as the world’s first perfume-inspired bar earns it a position on our cool spots to drink in Berlin list.
The brainchild of bar manager Arnd Heissen, guests are immersed in a full sensory experience. Hand-picked fragrances from the likes of Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Jo Malone and Guerlain are used as the inspiration to create wonderfully unique drinks that you’ve never tasted anywhere else.
Upon arrival at the bar, visitors are invited to sample aromatic scents and then are offered the corresponding cocktail that pairs with their favourite fragrance. The spirits used to recreate the scents reside beside the perfumes in bell jars, alongside the other ingredients used to make the cocktails. Beginners, for the Jo Malone made with Earl Grey infused Don Julio Reposado, pink lady apple juice, jasmine tea and vanilla, honey and cucumber syrup — yum! And there are 14 different others to choose from.
What’s more, snacks created specifically to pair with the cocktails are also on offer at the bar. Of all the options, the best are the vanilla and raspberry macaroon pairings for the Signorina cocktail inspired by the Salvatore Ferragamo fragrance.
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Know any other cool and unmissable bars in Berlin? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces. We have rooms in Berlin!