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11 summerly places at the Spree

Beautiful cafés and beer gardens at the waterfront

Café am Neuen See: Beer garden in Berlin
Beer garden Café am Neuen See © visitberlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

One definition of summer in Berlin: sitting on the banks of the River Spree, ...sunglasses on, leaning back, and sipping the foam off your coffee. Or your mug of beer. The main thing, of course, is that you’re able to do this outdoors. We’re looking forward to whiling away some hours drinking beer at picnic tables, lattes and iced coffees in beach chairs, and simply having fun on repurposed stumps. The taste of summer:

The Classics

1. Café am Neuen See

The Café am Neuen See in summer is a must! First I order a meal and a beer from the counter and then take a seat under the shade of the large trees. And then I enjoy the first cool sips as I watch the row boats moving slowly across the Neuer See – Allyn Liechtensteinallee 2, Tiergarten

2. Strandbar Mitte

Sitting in the sun, the light sparkling on the water, with my feet up: the perfect way to unwind after a city stroll. Strandbar Mitte is right on Museum Island, between the Bode Museum and Monbijoupark. Here I can have a pizza, sip cocktails, and relax in the evening sun as I listen to the music and watch the tango dancers on the riverside dance floor. – Maxi-Lena Monbijoustraße 3, Mitte (closed)

3. Teehaus im Englischen Garten

Slightly hidden in the large Tiergarten Park, but all the more idyllic, is Teehaus im Englischen Garten. In summer, I sit out on the large terrace overlooking the rose garden and listen to free concerts on Sundays. And, as is appropriate for a café in an “English garden”, scones and all the fixings for a proper afternoon tea are available. – Kristin Altonaer Straße 2/2a, Tiergarten

On the water’s edge:

4. Café am Engelbecken

I absolutely love to sit at Café am Engelbecken. Its incredibly scenic location in Kreuzberg is the perfect spot to catch some rays as I enjoy cake made in-house and overlook the fountains in the water basins. It’s easy enough to forget the surrounding hustle and bustle of the capital. My tip: after your cake and coffee, take a stroll along the green stretch and discover some Berlin history. – Kathrin Michaelkirchplatz 24, Kreuzberg

"Café am Engelbecken" in Berlin with a terace
terace "Café am Engelbecken" © (c) visumate

5. Insel der Jugend

An enchanted isle where colourful and cute little boats dock for a day out on the water, this is one of my favourite spots in the summer. This “Isle of Youth” can be reached by walking through Treptower Park, after which you can reward yourself at the Inselcafé with cake and often a small menu of savoury selections. And if you’ve still got energy to spare, you can even rent your own boat and set sail on Rummelsburger Bucht. – Maxi-Lena Alt-Treptow 6, Treptow

6. Schoenbrunn

Just let the joggers and cross-fitters pass as they run up and down the bunker hill. I’m going to stay seated at Schoenbrunn in Volkspark Friedrichshain and leisurely eat my wood-fired pizza bite washed down with a wine spritzer. All I have to do is watch the swans as they seem to float by on the pond and I’m reminded that there’s more to life than exercise. – Allyn Am Schwanenteich, Volkspark Friedrichshain, Friedrichshain

Urban Oases

7. Wintergarten

One oasis in the city is the café-restaurant Wintergarten at Literaturhaus, even though it’s just around the corner from the Kurfürstendamm. It’s part of the magnificent turn-of-the-20th-century villa, which also houses the Literaturhaus, a perfect spot for bookworms. First stock up with new reading material in the book shop and then settle down with a cup of coffee in the secluded garden and get stuck in. – Kristin Fasanenstraße 23, Wilmersdorf

8. l’Antica Dogana

Original Italian pizza and plenty of space are on offer in the beer garden at l’Antica Dogana, just off busy Schönhauser Allee in Pankow. Located on the premises of the former Willner brewery, there’s always something going on here in summer. The beer garden’s lively atmosphere is created as the neighbourhood comes together to enjoy the giant pizzas and other Italian specialities. – Maxi-Lena Berliner Straße 80, Pankow

Café Eule in the green Gleisdreieckpark
Café Eule in the Gleisdreieckpark © (c) visumate

9. Café Eule im Gleisdreieck

Upturned beer crates, reclaimed stumps, old wooden benches, all surrounded by a lot of green. Right in the very heart of Berlin, Café Eule in the Gleisdreieck Park is a real oasis. The perfect spot for coffee, home-made lemonade. and a freshly baked cake.– Allyn Enter the park via Bülowstraße, Kreuzberg

10. Mar y Sol

This café’s tasty Spanish tapas have me dreaming of sea and sun on the Mediterranean, even though I’m actually sitting on Savignyplatz surrounded by leafy trees. All it takes is a small bowl with olives, some cheese, and seafood and other Spanish specialities are on the table. – Kristin Savignyplatz 5, Charlottenburg

11. Humboldt-Terrassen, Humboldtbox

What’s better than warm, home-made apple strudel? Maybe apple strudel with a views! That’s exactly what the Humboldt-Terrassen (, the café at the Humboldt-Box, offers. The two observation decks give fantastic views of Berlin: the Cathedral and the TV Tower, Gendarmenmarkt, and Brandenburg Gate over to the west. Home-baked cakes and home-made ice cream are also on the menu. – Kathrin Schlossplatz 5, Mitte

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