Berlin. Everybody’s raving about the city and barely a day goes by without you reading some travel piece on how “Übercool” Berlin has become – what with techno clubs, pop-up restaurants and graffiti masterpieces on every corner. But Berlin is also known for some pretty cool beer gardens, with new ones popping up all over the place.
Still, my advice is simple; if you’re looking to discover the best beer gardens of Berlin and drink the city dry then throw those guidebooks away, they’re already out of date.
As a bona fide Berliner, check out some of my inside tips on the beer gardens you HAVE to visit when you’re in town. And yup, they’re organised in the time old-fashioned format of “East vs West Berlin”.
If you’re a fan of craft beer and you love nothing more than checking out micro-breweries then Eschenbräu is the place for you. They brew their own beer (Pilsner, Wheat and Dark) on tap in a kettle that sits near the bar. The selection of beer changes every few months, but it’s always guaranteed to be electric and delicious, and if you need to cool off then head to the garden out back.
Burg am See
Simply put, this is one of Berlin’s best beer gardens. The Burg am See is located riverside in Neukölln – one of Berlin’s most diverse and crazy neighbourhoods. The beer garden is a strange fusion of German and Turkish culture, with traditional German Pilsners being served up alongside Hookahs, all under the roof of Turkish-style outdoor tents.
Good music, great beer and a relaxed, bohemian atmosphere, what’s not to like? The Klunkerkranich in Neukölln is more than just your average beer garden, with live performances from up and coming Berlin artists providing the perfect accompaniment to a lazy Sunday afternoon in the sun. The Klunkerkranich is also just a stone’s throw away from the (now-disused) Tempelhof airport, which in a stroke of genius has been turned into a public park. So who’s up for a game of football on the runway?
The Prater is officially Berlin’s oldest (and most famous) beer garden, and it’s location in the heart of Prenzlauerberg – Berlin’s trendiest and hippest district – makes Prater an absolute must for any visitor to Berlin. In operation since 1837, Prater is a Berliner favourite due to the fact that up to a 1000 people can easily fit into the garden, plus with a house Pilsner and Dark lager on tap, there’s plenty reason to spend all day there under the trees or sitting on the steps.
On a hot, stifling day in summer, the best place to cool-off is to head to the Badeschiff (lit: bathing ship). Essentially the Badeschiff is a riverside bar area with adjacent pool in the shape of an old transport ship. This means that if you’re suffering in the heat – or you’ve just had one too many Pilsner’s – then you can just go for a dip and relax in the pool. The Badeschiff also isn’t too far from the old border between East and West Berlin.
Bierhof Rudersdorf – Berghain
If you’ve come to Berlin to party and discover some great beer then the Bierhof offers you the best of both worlds. Either you can get the night started here before heading to Berghain, or you can take a break from the massive 48-hour techno session you’re enjoying and relax in the beer garden under the lights and the trees. Life doesn’t get any better than this!