Tropical flair and island relaxation might not be the first things that come to mind when you think of Berlin, but that’s just what you’ll find at its so-called ‘beach bars.’ Mostly situated along the banks of the River Spree, these scenic, occasionally kitschy waterside locales are a great place to catch some rays, sip a cool beverage, and soak up the city’s carefree summer spirit.
An outdoor pool and beach club located directly on the Spree, Badeschiff is one of the most unusual bars in the city. From the large swimming pool floating in the river, you have panoramic views of the city center. A wooden footbridge with hammocks connects the pool to the riverbank, where you can play beach volleyball or work on your tan. The bar serves barbecued snacks and summer cocktails, and they regularly host parties and other special events. Open from May to September.
The site of Strandbar’s palm trees and sand across from the elegant stone buildings of Museum Island may appear odd at first glance, but there’s no better place in the city center to relax like you’re near the equator. Sink into a lounge chair, order a fancy cocktail, and watch the boats go by — or groove to a lively soundtrack that mixes salsa, tango, and chacha while you watch the sun go down. Open from the end of April to September.
Located on the banks of the River Spree in Friedrichshain, YAAM (Young African Art Market) is a laid-back, island-inspired beach club and art gallery featuring a bar serving Jamaican beer and jerk chicken, basketball and volleyball courts, and live concerts, along with DJs spinning reggae, Afrobeats, hip hop, dancehall, soca, and more. Open year round.
Sage is a hip beach bar attached to a restaurant of the same name bordering the south bank of the River Spree in Kreuzberg. Expect stylish beach furniture, fine sand, a leafy wooden deck with steps leading straight to the water, delicious drinks, a menu featuring bar snacks like sweet potato fries, and an African-influenced house music soundtrack. On Sundays, they host an open-air party from 2pm-10pm.
A funky beach bar with a welcoming, DIY vibe, the Holzmarkt Strandbar Pampa in Friedrichshain features sofas, hammocks, a scenic riverfront lounge area, and play areas in the sand. Next to the Mörchenpark urban gardening project, the beach bar is owned by the team behind the popular Katerblau nightclub, and it’s open whenever the weather is good. If bizarre entertainment is your thing, stop by on a Friday night for a round of chicken bingo.
Practically hidden at the end of Pier 13 in the Tempelhof Marina, Salitos is a cool waterfront bar overlooking a sleek industrial harbor. Decked out with sand, palm trees, and Strandkorben (Baltic Sea-style covered beach loungers), the bar serves solid cocktails and draft beers. A great spot to start or end an evening on the town. Open from April to September.
It’s all about picnicking and barefoot dancing on the sand at Rummelsburg, a crowd-pleasing nightclub and beach bar that attracts a young, music-loving crowd. Electro beats, good drinks, bamboo furnishings, palm trees, and a picturesque location on Rummelsburger Lake make it an excellent spot to watch the sunset. If you’re in the mood to grill, they supply barbecues, cutlery, and charcoal - all you need to bring is the food.
A relaxing oasis on the shores of the Müggelsee, Gestrandet is a contemporary harborside bar with a 270-degree view of the water and an adjoining restaurant featuring fresh, seasonal dishes that change every week. Open year-round, it attracts a sizeable local crowd on weekends when the weather is good, but with room for 400, just about everyone can find a place in the sun.