Summer nights in Berlin are the stuff of international renown. Yes, the Hauptstadt has a well-deserved reputation as a clubber’s paradise — but there’s a lot more to it than Berghain and beer.
Here are our top tips for making the most of the city after dark.
Dine al fresco in Kreuzberg. If there is outdoor space to be used, you can bet that Berlin’s restaurateurs will use it. You’ll often find diners packed all the way to the curb, if not to the parking space in front of it! We love it — but for something a little less chaotic try the lovely, leafy courtyards of SHISHI on Ritterstraße and 3 Schwestern behind the beautiful Bethanien building.
Street Food Thursdays are back! Markthalle IX (Market Hall 9) has long been the go-to destination for Thursday evening street food deliciousness in a gorgeous indoor setting.
*Did you know: First built in 1891, Markthalle IX is one of fourteen historic market halls opened at the end of the 19th century (Only a handful are still in operation).
Watch a movie under the stars at one of the city’s many Freiluftkinos (outdoor cinemas). For atmosphere alone, our favorites are Freiluft Kino Rehberge (Usually auf Deutsch) and Freiluftkino Kreuzberg (usually original version).
Pro Tip: OV at the end of the movie title means the film will be shown in its original language, whereas OMU means original version + German subtitles.
Rain-check? Catch a film at one of Berlin’s great indie cinemas! Babylon Berlin programs a mix of film festival favorites and silent movies with live musical accompaniment. Kino International on Karl-Marx-Allee (which film nerds may recognize from the movie Atomic Blonde) is an iconic choice for the latest releases.
Need a night in? Binge some German shows on Netflix. If you're not sure where to start, try DARK, How To Sell Drugs Online or Der Tatortreiniger. International “reality” hits like The Circle and Queer Eye have German counterparts too. (Psst! Turn on the German subtitles to learn some useful vocab).
Drink (or Dont Drink) Like a Berliner
Enjoy a sundowner at a rooftop bar. We love Klunkerkranich’s distinctly relaxed atmosphere, diverse music policy, and tasty food options. For something a little more highbrow, try the famous Monkey Bar.
Späti crawl! These late-night convenience stores, similar to bodegas located every few blocks, are a Berlin institution. In the summer months, many proprietors set up tables and chairs out front, creating makeshift bars. Great if you're on a budget.
Sample Berlin’s sober scene. From Friedrichshain’s alcohol-free cocktail bar, Zeroliq, to the fabulous booze-free Späti, Null Prozent in Bergmannkiez, non-drinkers in Berlin are spoiled for choice when it comes to tasty tipples without the hangover.
Berlin is a great city for gigs. From contemporary jazz haunts like Donau 115 to the open-air magnificence of Waldbühne, live music fans are well catered for here! A couple of our favorite in-between venues: Kantine am Berghain, Huxley's Neue Welt, and the Säälchen at Holzmarkt 25.
Did you know that there are four — that’s right, FOUR — major opera houses in Berlin? For the classics, head to the Staatsoper on the old royal boulevard or the Deutsche Oper in City West. But for something more intrinsically Berlin, you can’t beat the Neuköllner Oper on Karl-Marx-Straße.
Have a Laugh
Roll the dice and dive into Berlin’s local, yet international, comedy scene. ComedyinEnglish.de is a helpful, user-run site that compiles various stand-up events across the city in a weekly newsletter.
Become a local at Neukölln’s beloved Comedy Cafe. Perhaps best known for its stellar program of improv shows, this spot has a cozy bar and an air-conditioned theatre. Feel like getting up there and bantering with the best of them? They also offer courses in improv, stand-up, and comedy writing.
See Why Berlin Clubs Are World-Famous
Sing your heart out at Monster Ronson’s! This queer karaoke bar is a Berlin institution. Whether you opt for a private booth, sing on stage (sometimes with a live band to back you up!), or just observe — you’re in for an unforgettable night.