Berlin's most beautiful old timer pubs
Berlin isn't exactly brimming with ancient pubs, but the old-time drinking dens that still exist are absolute gems. If you're eager to experience Berlin's most atmospheric bars, our list of historic Kneipe are just the thing to wet your whistle.
This traditional Charlottenburg boozer has been pulling in punters since 1892, and with its dark wood panelling and cabinets brimming with ancient bottles, hardly seems to have changed.
What's more, loyal locals still outweigh the inevitable tourist onslaught - a night out here is not just filled with beer, but typical Berlin banter and a host of colourful regulars.
For non-smokers (and yes, like many Berlin pubs, Wilhem Hoeck is filled with fug) a smoke-free, adjoining restaurant serves up typical German comfort food and at least some of the atmosphere of its older sibling.
But the main bar is where the party's at: don't forget to pop a few coins into the juke box for another trip in time courtesy of '70s pop and Schlager.
Wilhelm Hoeck: Wilmersdorferstrasse 149, 10585 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sun, 11am to 1am (and beyond)
Located alongside upmarket Savigny Platz, Dicke Wirtin is a cosy Berlin classic that's been welcoming visitors for decades.
Its labyrinthine complex of bars and dining rooms is made even more intriguing by bric-a-brac on every possible surface - you could spend a day in here just eyeballing the interiors.
An array of fine draught beers help wash down the reasonably priced, hearty Berlin fare. And if you're looking for a perfect Berlin souvenir, the brandies and liqueurs from Dicke Wirtin's very own distillery come in 25 tantalising flavours.
Dicke Wirtin: Carmerstraße 9, 10623 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sun from 11am
E & M Leydicke
In 1877, brothers Emil und Max Leydicke founded a fruit wine and liqueur factory in Kreuzberg. A 'tasting room' followed in 1889, and, more than a century later, this is what you'll see today - a time capsule interior of battered tables, dusty nooks, antique cash register plus a long-defunct cigarette machine offering smokes for 20 Pfennig.
The self-made schnaps and wines are still being served, with beer as a (sole) alternative tipple. At Leydicke, thankfully, nothing ever changes.
E & M Leydicke: Mansteinstraße 4, 10783 Berlin
Opening times: Mon–Sun 6.30pm - 1am
Max & Moritz
Dating from 1902, this Kreuzberg institution boasts atmosphere-laden Jugendstil interiors including its very own ballroom and library.
Granted, it's more of a Wirtshaus (dining room) than pub, but for those not tempted by traditional Berlin dishes, you can still pop in for a drink. Don't be fooled by its location on a grimy stretch of Oranienstrasse; step inside and you'll enter another world entirely.
Max & Moritz: Oranienstraße 162, 10969 Berlin. Opening times: Mon-Sun, 5pm - 12am.
Zum Goldenen Fass
And here's a lost-in-time gem almost no one has ever heard of: a tiny, hole-in-the wall boozer just a short walk from the majestic Schloss Charlottenburg.
Even if it doesn't look like much in passing, the stuccuoed ceiling and ornate wooden cabinets are classic 19th century fittings. Worth a peek if you happen to be visting the palace or museums nearby.
Zum Goldenen Fass: Spandauer Damm 55, 14059 Berlin. Opening times: Mon-Sat, 10am - 12am; Sun, 3pm - 12am.
Bierstube Alt Berlin
Originally opened in 1893, and the oldest pub in Berlin, the tiny Bierstube Alt Berlin once occupied a prime, mid-town position at Münzstraße 23.
Until, that is, investors decided that the irreplaceable venue had no part in their plans for a hip shopping location and slated it for demolition.
Thankfully, the tiny, wood-panelled bar was rescued from the wrecking ball and transported, piece by piece, to a new location alongside the lovely Ballhaus Berlin.
Even if, visually, it's not the most glamorous of Berlin's ancient drinking holes, the Alt Berlin's history certainly is - in the 1920s, it was infamously frequented by Mitte's prostitutes, and in later years became a favoured haunt of celebrities ranging from Berthold Brecht to David Bowie.
Raise a glass to its miraculous survival.
Alt Berlin: Chausseestraße 102, 10115 Berlin.
Opening times: Mon-Sun 6pm-1am.
The 'refurbishment' of the grand, 19th-century complex at Münzstrasse 21-23 has to count as one of the most ill-judged episodes in Berlin's ongoing gentrification. Not only was Berlin's oldest pub threatened with demolition, but one of Mitte's finest historic apartments was transformed into an 'upmarket' clothing store. Some original fittings were saved, but its charm was obliterated forever.
It may not look quite as ancient as some of the other pubs on our list, but this lovely Prenzlauer Berg local has been welcoming guests for more than a century.
These days, it's set up as a low-key restaurant, but plenty of beer is still on tap alongside hearty German fare that consistently gets a thumbs up from visitors.
Zum Schusterjungen: Danziger Strasse 9, 10435 Berlin
Opening times: Mon-Sun 12pm - 12am
Image credits: Stadtklause
Tucked away in a sidestreet just a few minutes's walk from Potsdamer Platz, this tiny pub ticks all the right boxes: great food at good prices, original fittings from various eras and a blazing woodstove in winter.
Popular with office workers and tourists alike, in recent years visitor numbers have risen considerably (yeah, we're also to blame) and it can be hard to find a seat in the narrow spaces. Plan a visit outside peak times if possible.
Stadtklause: Bernburger Str. 35, 10963 Berlin. Opening times: Mon-Sun: 4pm-12amScroll
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