Where to Get the Best Views of Berlin in 2021: Berlin Rooftop Bars & Lookouts
My ideal summer day consists of sipping something sweet and alcoholic (or cool and caffeinated) and preferably doing so high above the city. So you can imagine that I’ve been on the hunt for Berlin rooftop bars and lookouts since I arrived.
Like the city itself, some of Berlin’s rooftops are fancy, others are whimsical. The good news is that they are spread across town, so you’ll find several choices regardless of whether you’re in the East or West. The somewhat less good news is that Berlin rooftop bars aren’t at every street corner – yet.
That’s why, on top of listing my favourite sky-high hangouts, I’m including several great lookouts where you can get the best views of Berlin. After snapping away at the city’s icons, you can always grab a drink back on ground level!
Fabulous Berlin Rooftop Bars Not to Miss
Hotel de Rome
As mentioned, some of Berlin’s rooftops are the epitome of elegance. One of these is the Hotel de Rome’s fabulous terrace.
Set just off Bebelplatz, a stone’s throw from Unter den Linden, you could hardly ask for a better view over Berlin’s classic icons, or a more stylish setup. Fortunately for locals, this terrace is open to the public and not just hotel guests.
You’ll be able to order food and drinks as you enjoy the skyline – which includes the TV Tower and Berlin Cathedral. Don’t be surprised if you catch a whiff of lavender, which has been planted around the terrace. Even in the afternoons, a DJ is remixing lounge hits, perfect for a few hours of respite from daily life.
While many Berlin rooftop bars only open their doors around 5 pm, the Hotel de Rome’s terrace is available from 12 pm. I’ve actually visited the Hotel de Rome with my laptop and had some very inspiring work sessions thanks to the complimentary wifi.
However, the best way to experience this Berlin rooftop is to arrive before sunset, snatch a corner table, and catch the sky turning pink and red.
One Lounge (Motel One Upper West)
Another venue with a sleek rooftop bar is the Motel One Upper West. For non-locals reading this blog post, know that “motel” is used very loosely in the case of this hotel brand. The Upper West is an ultra-modern 3-star venue with one of the most beautiful Berlin rooftop bars on the top floor.
The spacious indoor/outdoor One Lounge provides views over the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Bikini Berlin, Tiergarten and much of the City West. This is a fun, affordable spot with classic drinks and comfort food – and your go-to for gin & tonic.
Of all the Berlin rooftop bars, the One Lounge may be the least known. This being said, it is 100% open to the public and, best of all, never too crowded!
Monkey Bar is one of the oldest and most popular Berlin rooftop bars. Reservations are not possible, so make sure you arrive early to snag a seat with a view (doors open at 6 pm).
You’ll be able to choose from indoor or outdoor seating, with sensational views over the Berlin Zoo (thus the name – Monkey Bar), Memorial Church, Tiergarten and all the way to the Victory Column and Central Berlin. Even indoors, the bar has floor-to-ceiling windows.
As well as fabulous but pricey drinks, the 10th-floor lounge serves tapas-style dishes cooked up by the neighbouring NENI Restaurant. (My personal tip: go for the mini burgers!)
So far in this blog post, we’ve covered 3 relatively upscale Berlin rooftop bars. Klunkerkranich is something else – a whimsical mix of everything that is Berlin’s grungier, relaxed side. Set atop the Neukölln Arkaden shopping mall, you first have to trek through a parking lot to reach this bar.
Upon arrival, you’ll see something like a community garden with art installations, plenty of picnic tables, and food stands. There are even sandboxes for the kids. Unlike typical rooftop bars, Klunkerkranich takes a more family-friendly approach – think of it as the kind of place you can go chill for the day.
And of course, you’ll be able to get your photo fix here, too, with views over the roofs of Neukölln all the way to the TV Tower.
Gallery Rooftop Bar
Staying in the East, let’s head over to the Warschauer Str. area, where you’ll find the Gallery Rooftop Bar. Atop the Hotel Indigo, this lounge provides idyllic views over the Spree and the famous red brick Oberbaumbrücke – in other words, the historic border between East and West.
Gallery specializes in local spirits and classic drinks, so make sure you give these a try!
AMANO Bar (Auguststr.)
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have not yet been to the AMANO Bar on Auguststraße, although it comes highly recommended by some friends who know Berlin rooftop bars like the back of their pocket.
The drinks are supposed to be fabulous and the views over the city stunning. Day or night, it would be hard to catch a more iconic shot of Berlin with the TV Tower standing tall in the background.
Unlike most spots on this list, you can actually book a table at the AMANO Rooftop Bar.
Weekend Club Terrace
Formerly called “House of Weekend”, the newly anointed Weekend Club is more of a sky-high dance floor than a rooftop bar, but on Sundays, the terrace opens at 3 pm for some serious lounge vibes.
Towering 17 floors and 83 metres above Alexanderplatz, this may be the highest of Berlin’s rooftops. It goes without saying that you’ll have sensational views over most of the city.
Keep your eye out for celebrities as you sip your Aperol Spritz – you never know who you might run into at the Weekend Club.
By the way, this club/bar is located inside the heritage-listed “Haus des Reisens” or “House of Travel”. During Soviet times, this building housed the headquarters of the GDR’s main (and only) travel agency, as well as the foreigners’ registration office.
Insider Tip: Beyond Berlin Rooftop Bars, Discover This Lovely Rooftop Cafe
I was recently invited to check out Cafe Nullpunkt, housed in – and owned by – the sustainable Miniloft Hotel in Kreuzberg.
Not only does Cafe Nullpunkt have a gorgeous outdoor terrace at ground level, but if you ask the staff nicely, you’ll be able to sit up on the 6th-floor rooftop and enjoy your vegan or gluten-free meal eye-to-eye with Berlin’s downtown skyline.
This is a great spot to work if you, like me, gather your inspiration from looking out at urban landscapes. What’s more, Cafe Nullpunkt organizes weekly events, so you can enjoy that skyline with live music and a fabulous sunset.
Berlin’s Best Lookouts (Popular Choices and Insider Tips)
If visiting one of these Berlin rooftop bars doesn’t fit your schedule, you can still get some sensational views over the city without having to wait until the afternoon or evening. Indeed, there are several lookouts and viewing platforms scattered around town.
Panorama Punkt, located in one of Berlin’s tallest buildings at Potsdamer Platz, offers 360-degree views of the city from 115 metres above the ground. To reach the viewing platform, you’ll be invited to ride up in Europe’s fastest elevator, taking you to the top in 20 seconds.
Not only is Panorama Punkt a great spot to catch the sunset and get a bird’s eye view over Berlin, but you’ll also be able to learn about the neighbourhood’s history in a permanent outdoor exhibit. Panels and photographs share Potsdamer Platz’s evolution from the 1800s to today.
As of July 1st, 2021, the Panorama Punkt cafe will be open once more, allowing visitors to grab a drink or snack 25 floors above street level.
Victory Column Viewing Platform
If you don’t mind the exercise, make your way up the spiralling staircase of the Victory Column at the heart of Berlin’s famous Tiergarten. You won’t regret it: sweeping views over Berlin’s largest park, Potsdamer Platz and Mitte await.
I’d especially recommend a visit to the Victory Column in the autumn, as this is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spots to see fall foliage in Berlin. You’ll be able to capture rows of yellow leaves extending all the way to the Brandenburg Gate.
The last Berlin lookout on this list is far less touristy. In fact, the viewing platform in the Zionskirche tower can still be considered an insider tip. Open to the public on Sundays only, it costs just 1 € to access this 67-metre high lookout.
You’ll be able to enjoy views of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte, with the TV Tower in the distance defining the skyline.
Berlin Rooftop Bars and Lookouts: Unique Ways to Experience the City
I hope this list has helped you discover some new Berlin rooftop bars and viewing platforms. Although cities like New York or, closer to home, Frankfurt, are known for their skyline and rooftop scene, it’s safe to say that Berlin has some fantastic choices, too.
If you’ve enjoyed finding out about Berlin rooftop bars and lookouts, make sure you check out this article on 11 unique photo spots in Berlin.
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