As I left Berlin the local paper was reporting continued rapid growth in tourism to the city, now only behind London and Paris in Europe. An astonishing number of outdoor cafes and beer gardens were certainly thriving this week.
This was my second visit; on the first in 2011 I covered the central tourist area (Mitte) in the main. This time I was able to explore the suburbs of Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer and particularly Friedrichshafen, and all of them have tremendous boozers.
Peter Sutcliffe’s 2011 book “Berlin in 80 Beers” gives excellent coverage of outer Berlin, and as wide a choice of pubs as you could wish. I particularly enjoyed the station buffet at Alexanderplatz (very proud of being No.1 in the book) and Hops and Barley in the wonderful Friedrichschafen cafe quarter.
There are a surprisingly large number of different beers available, and a growing number of craft beers, but I was happy to enjoy the house Pils in the heat. Some bars were offering cheap beer from Czech Republic at low prices.
With Berlin prices and the fantastic walks, Berlin is high on my list for repeat visits. Shame both Schonefeld and Stansted Airports are so painful though.