The Spirited Traveller: Berlin's booming bar scene

Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:49am EST
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Kara Newman is the author of "Spice & Ice: 60 tongue-tingling cocktails." The opinions expressed are her own.

By Kara Newman

NEW YORK (Reuters) - If you're Berlin-bound, I sure hope you're well rested, because you might not get much sleep while you're there.

"Nightlife is booming," declares Helmut Adam, the Berlin-based editor of Mixology magazine. "You have more and more classic and upscale cocktail bars, but Berlin has always been famous for its massive underground. Bars still pop up on every corner with second-hand furniture and bottled beer and shots as the main staple."

He adds one more urgent note: "Berlin has NO curfew. You can go 24/7."

In many ways, it seems like Berlin is making up for lost time. From 1961 to 1989, the city was divided by the Wall, marking the Cold War standoff between East and West. Now, the former East Germany's central bank building has been transformed into the swanky Hotel de Rome, and its Bebel Bar (here)

is among Adam's recommendations.

The space is grand and high-ceilinged, with separate rooms for discreet conversations. A plus for deal-makers: "It's open in the afternoon."

Meanwhile, the once bomb-damaged Mitte area has been rebuilt into a vibrant district full of exciting bars and clubs, such as trendy Tausend (   Continued...

<p>A man takes a picture with his iPad of the Brandenburg Gate as it is illuminated during the Festival of Lights in Berlin October 12, 2011. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>