The spring temperatures have been scorching in Northern Europe. As we segue in summer, it’s time to have a rooftop cocktail. Here are our favorites in our home city of Berlin.
Rooftop bars aren’t the norm in Berlin. Instead people like to jump on their own rooftops or go grillen in the park. That doesn’t mean that there’s nowhere to go for your cocktail fix when Berlin gets steamy. Quite the contrary. The city’s thriving cocktail scene also has an outpost up high. Check these out for size.
A disclaimer: As a democratic publication, the Soho House Rooftop has been left off the list. By all means, find a friend and go. There’s a pool after all.
Monkey Bar — zoology graduate
A by now classic spot in City West is the Monkey Bar. With a large menu and a focus on exploring the flavors of the world, all types of palettes are covered. Rum is a specialty, with their various Mai Tais coming particularly recommended. Gin lovers will also love the broad menu, which includes a section called GINspiration for those attuned to the so called mother’s ruin. There’s even the Monkey Poney cocktail, from which the proceeds go to the sponsorship of an ape called Bini, who incidentally lives just below at the Zoo.
A light, sparky funk soundtrack gets things going and there’s a whole bunch of Isreali cuisine from neighbouring restaurant Neni on offer too. This is one for the entire evening. And yes – the monkeys are real and swinging right beneath you.
Amano Rooftop — louche and cool
Hip and ever-so trendy, but with a strong drinks program to boot, the Amano Rooftop Bar has long been a hotspot for the mixologist crowd. They’ve got a smaller, more classic cocktail list than the downstairs bar, focused on the cocktails we all know and love. Try a Rinquinquin & Tonic or spritz for something extra fresh and summery.
They’ve also got a location close to Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof, but we’d recommend this one for its higher standards of service and craftsmanship, as well as its cooler Mitte location.
Hotel de Rome — get bubbly
One of the city’s most deluxe hotels has a roof terrace with nigh-on unmatchable views of the historic center of Berlin. The dome of Hedwig’s cathedral lies right next to you, as does the famous Bebelplatz, with the TV tower and Berliner Dom central in eyesight.
The hotel’s rooftop vibe is admittedly more “special occasion” than “local hotspot” — many admittedly come dressed to the nines — but that doesn’t detract from the fabulousness of the whole affair. The staff come clad in head-to-toe Lacoste and offer high standards of service.
Bubbles are central on the menu, with fresh, fragrant champagne cocktails including the eponymous Hugo de Rome, mixed with St. Germain and mint, and the Nuts and Berries, mixed with Frangelico hazelnut liqueur and topped with berries. The classics are all on tap too.
Klunkerkranich — park up
Less exclusive, but more reflective of the shabby, “poor but sexy” spirit of Berlin is the Klunkerkranich: translated as the “wattled crane”. Open all day and located on the top of a Neukölln shopping center, it’s a great spot for families, offering both brunch options, pizza, and a sandbox for the kids to play in. A fake Jeff Koons sculpture completes the arty vibes.
In a part of the city with few high-rises, the panorama here goes long and wide, making it a sunset spot not to miss out on. Just get here early — queues in the summer are on the rather long side.
Monbijou Hotel Rooftop — boutique affair
The Monbijou Hotel offers some very boutique vibes and that extends to its rooftop bar. The most understated on our list, it makes a casual Mitte two-parter with the nearby Amano rooftop which offers more party vibes.
Come here for an aperitif and try one of their flavoured ice lollies — get an Espresso Martini to perk you up after a long day at work.
Bildquelle: 25hours Bikini Monkey Bar, Amano Gruppe, Hotel de Rome, Klunkerkranich Julian Nelken