Berlin's best beer gardens
Published: 01 Jun 2009 17:30 GMT+02:00
Schrörs am Müggelsee
Situated next to one of Berlin's most scenic lakes, Schrörs am Müggelsee offers patrons a stunning view as a light breeze off the water helps cool the terrace. Don't forget to try Flammkuchen, a type of tasty Alsace pizza, and some of special beers on tap like Kirschbier (cherry beer). The crowds, which begin trickling in around 6 pm, are usually a pleasant mix of families, local retirees and young folks: conveniently, there's a giant blow-up castle to keep the kiddies entertained, although the constant parade of passing boats often proves equally enthralling.
0.3L beer from €2.20
Open daily from 11 am
Named for the retired cargo yacht it incorporates, Van Loon is part beer garden, part restaurant, part pier and part boat-docked-at-a-pier. Thanks not least to its nautical, patchwork charm, this breezy spot on Berlin's Carl-Herz-Ufer is an area favourite: markedly sunny, yet cool during the day, it is the perfect place to loiter. Should you grow hungry between water-ripple gazing and awing at the relentless dedication with which the local Bohemians avoid day jobs, you're in luck: the seafood is delicious. If it's sweet you're after, try one of the menu's elaborate ice cream medleys (also available to go). Or just sit back and enjoy the most obvious (and economical) option, as a number of frothy beer varieties await your every hankering. Also, don't forget to check out the company's year-round boat tours including on-ship buffet.
0.4L beer from €2.90
Open daily from 10 am
Escape the summer sun at Brachvogel, a botanical haven along one of Kreuzberg’s beloved canals. Das grüne Herz am Ufer, or "the green heart on the bank," as it fondly refers to itself, is the perfect place to eat, drink and socialise the mildly-uncomfortable Berlin heat away. Cedar facades and a reserved, yet attentive wait staff make for a welcoming atmosphere, whether you're a party of five or just looking to get some face time with your favourite newspaper.
Centrally located with a playground, Brachvogel remains coolly peaceful until about dinnertime, when bustling groups of hungry patrons mosey in for a comprehensive selection of warm German dishes plus some cooler Mediterranean options. Also, don't forget to take a swing (or putt, rather) at the mini-golf course, which happens to be turning 50 this year.
0.3L beer from €1.80
Open daily from 9 am
Wrapped in the leafy embrace of Kreuzberg's Viktoriapark, Golgatha seems to hibernate until about 7 pm, when afterwork crowds quickly jolt it to life: a bustling ground level garden is crowned by the bright, yet subdued rooftop terrace. Although the beer line down below may be among the slowest in the western world, the roof incorporates a second, less congested place to order your beverage of choice. Seating options are plentiful: kick back in beach chairs of a couple different varieties, or nestle up to some strangers at more traditional bench tables – that is, until the dance floor heats up.
Parents will be pleased to find they can easily duck in for a bit of phrenic release after an exhausting afternoon at the adjacent playground. And if you're just not in the mood to socialise, what better way to let everyone know than hunching over your laptop with some free wireless internet?
0.3L beer from €2.20
Open daily from 10:00 am
Fischerhütte am Schlachtensee
Legend has it that a hut was first built at the present-day site of Fischerhütte on Berlin's lake Schlachtensee in 1759 to house an oversized amount of fish. The structure was later converted to a roadhouse, where Fredrick the Great often stopped off on his carriage rides from Potsdam to Berlin. Today, the location is treasured for its historical significance and especially luscious surroundings, including a spot on the bank of one of Berlin's less-spoiled bodies of water.
0.3L beer from €3.00
Open daily from 9:00 am
As Berlin's oldest beer garden, Prater is a staple of the capital city's summer scene. According to local legend, the first cold mugs were distributed here in 1837 at the hands of a man known only as Porath. More official accounts show that the Family Kalbo purchased the establishment in 1852, subsequently expanding operations to coincide with the wave of coffee houses and beer gardens that swept the country in the 19th century. Two world (and one cold) war later, Pratergarten has watched the trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood grow up around it for a second time, which has helped return this locale's status as one of Berlin's most notable outdoor venues.
0.4L beer from €3.00
Open daily from 12 noon, April through September
Once nothing more than a small kiosk along the Spree River, this spot originally promised drinks and ice cream to parched boat passengers and pedestrians. Following World War II, the Family Fistler gave it the name Schleusen Krug in 1954 on top of the river sluice for passing boats. That meant, however, that this leafy beer garden was subject to some political drama during the Cold War. Communist East Germany controlled the water traffic on the Spree, meaning the locks underneath Schleusen Krug, but not the West Berlin river bank aboveground.
Some 50 years later, Schleusen Krug has become a pan-Berlin institution still situated in a beautiful patch of woods at the western edge of the city's central Tiergarten park.
0.2L beer from €2.50
Open daily from 10 am