Rooftop terraces are all the rage in Berlin this summer. Clear blue evening skies, with just wisps of pink cloud promising more fine weather for the following day, provide a perfect backdrop for sundowners. The legendary Berliner Luft and the vast Himmel über Berlin have magical qualities and combine to create a heady mixture. And the views are to die for. Here are just some of the places you can go to chill out and get that top of the world feeling. You won’t want to go to bed before sunrise…
Iconic poster for the film ‘Wings of Desire’
In the thick of Berlin-Mitte the Amano Hotel and the Monbijou Hotel both have Dachterrassen (rooftop terraces) with cocktails at around 10 euros and a feel-good, relaxed atmosphere. The Amano is larger and busier and open in the afternoons as well, from 2pm at the weekends. Service starts at the Monbijou at 6pm.
Monbijou at sunset and Amano at midnight
For dizzier heights, try the Panorama Terrasse at the Park Inn on Alexanderplatz. The view is amazing, almost as good as the Fernsehturm for half the price. But it’s only open in the afternoons. Base Flying is an optional extra for dare-devils.
The Humboldt Terrassen in the blue box opposite Museum Island are also only open in daylight, but not so vertiginous. Here, you are much closer to the all the historic sights in the city centre and can check the building progress of the Humboldtforum at close quarters.
Afternoon sorbet on the Humboldt Terrassen
Techno-loving night owls should head for the Weekend Club at 7, Alexanderstrasse. Berlin’s clubbers know the best view comes at dawn when the sunlight bursts through the windows of the ‘Haus des Reisens’, the former Soviet tower block that contains Weekend. It now has a roof terrace too on the 12th, 13th and 15th floors; a great example of Berlin’s underground rave scene being raised into the stratosphere.
Weekend Club terrace
But my favourite roof terrace in Mitte has to be at the Hotel de Rome. With stunning close-up views of Frederick the Great’s historic Berlin, cocktails and light meals cost a little extra. But the location is worth it. There’s still time to catch an Italian or Cuban night on Monday or Tuesdays in August.
Historic Berlin views from the Hotel de Rome
Potsdamer Platz is the only high-rise complex in Berlin and has some pretty breathtaking rooftop bars. The lift of the 25 storey Kollhoff Tower whisks you up to the Panoramapunkt in only 24 seconds. There’s a café bar here at 103 metres, open until 7 pm. For later cocktails, the Grand Hyatt Hotel at Potsdamer Platz has a summer terrace open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Just around the corner, the exclusive 40 Seconds Club has stunning 360 degree views of the capital. Here, the urban jet set parties from midnight to morning.
Potsdamer Platz from the 40 Seconds Club
Less slick and showy, more shabby-chic are two well-loved Berlin rooftop terraces on the top of shopping mall car parks. In Prenzlauer Berg, join the ‘Freiluftrebellen’ on Deck 5 of the seventh floor of the Schönhauser Allee Arcaden car park. Only the sea is missing – plenty of sand and sky. Cocktails are only €7.50 here and pizzas, wraps and salads available too.
Join the ‘Open air rebels’ in Prenzlauer Berg
The ‘Klunkerkranich’ (‘Wattled Crane’) is the Neukölln version. On hot days there’s a cool-down hose, in winter there’s a heated hut. All year round you have a view of every roof between Neukölln Arcaden and the Fernsehturm (TV tower.) Breakfast is served from 10am and entry is free until 6pm when the entertainment starts. This is a totally relaxed zone, run by hippies and supported by the local council. All ages welcome and you can get a beer for €2.50.
Sundowners in Neukoelln, looking west
Charlottenburg has plenty of Berlin sky on offer too. Top pick is the Monkey Bar on the 10th floor of the 25 Hours Hotel at Bikini Berlin. Special features include floor to ceiling views of the Zoo and City West and some quirky interior design details. Cocktails come in at an average of 11 euros and are best sipped outside on the terrace by the swaying palm trees. Open until 2am at weekends.