Pratergarten beer garden, Berlin

posted on: Monday, 15 July 2013

The Mitte area of Berlin

History on every corner, the Mitte area was once half in East Berlin and half in the West

The entry to the hip Pratergarten beer garden

Beer garden staples: mustard, bratwurst, pretzels

You know you live in a cool city when your very own mayor comes up with the tagline 'Poor but sexy' to describe it. So while Berlin has a really high unemployment rate and owes around $64 billion in debt, it doesn't seem to be holding anyone back from having a good time.

I think that often Berlin goes a little under the radar, but to my mind it's one of the most fascinating cities of Europe. It feels like some sort of mix between London, Paris and Tokyo. And where else can ride your bike through the stunning Tiergarten and have local nudists getting out there in the sun while you do?

The gruesome but fascinating history adds a lot to the mix. The rise of the Nazis, the Holocaust, the Berlin wall: it's a city that has had a horrific past, but to its credit, it owns it and puts it out there. The philosophy seems to be that by bringing the past to the forefront, they are determined not to let it happen again. It's compelling.

Which brings me to another compelling feature of the German capital: beer gardens. Jolly good idea aren't they? Sitting outside in the summer under huge trees, with a range of exceptional cold beers at your fingertips, surely trumps the Australian RSL and even a cosy British pub.

If you happen to visit the Mitte area in Berlin, which I strongly recommend you do because it is absolutely beautiful, I would stop off at the Pratergarten beer garden. Throughout the summer it's one of the hippest beer gardens in the city, but there is always space for a few more and it takes less than five minutes to get your dinner from the German sausage hut at the centre of the garden. I tried the bratwurst, giant pretzels, mustard and weiss beer which were all divine. And it all came in at under 10 Euro. Berlin beer gardens: cheap but sexy!

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