Berlin has a reputation as the “poor but sexy” German capital, where locals and visitors party the hardest. People flock here from all corners of the world to live, work, and play.
However, there’s a side to Berlin beyond Tresor and Club Mate. It’s one of the hottest cities for startups, remote workers, writers, and creative types of all kinds. Because of that, it’s packed with fantastic spaces for working, fueling your caffeine addiction, and mixing with freelancers and entrepreneurs from around the world.
Regardless, whether you’re looking for some coffee snobbery to go with your deadlines or a quiet place to hold an online conference, Berlin offers a myriad of possible work locations. This list includes co-working spaces to check out if you’re in the city longer-term, and great coffee hangouts for those passing through who’d like a cheaper, more flexible alternative.
Oslo Kaffebar brought Scandinavian coffee culture to Berlin. You’ll find great coffee, freelancers on every stool, and a range of art hung up on the walls. The Kaffebar regularly has exhibitions that are a great way to meet local artists. Check the website to find more information about their Friday night parties.
The ambiance of a Berlin café like this is unrivaled. It’s also a quick and easy way to make friends with locals, since you can easily communicate even if you don’t speak German (which many cafés have been criticised for). If the sound of a coffee machine doesn’t distract you, it’s time to open your laptop and get to work.
Special Interest: Coffee cups are made from recycled coffee grounds.
Food: Cakes and cookies are baked in-house, meaning you’ll likely be very tempted when a new batch is pulled from the oven. If you’d prefer to avoid the inevitable sugar crash, opt for the cafe’s sandwiches instead.
Cost: Grab yourself a coffee and you won’t regret it. People usually spend up to an hour and a half here, but if your coffee is topped up, you can definitely spend the afternoon at the large table at the back.
Monday to Friday: 8am to 7pm
Saturday: 10am to 7pm
Sunday: 10am to 6pm
Address: Eichendorffstraße 13 10115 Berlin Mitte
If you’ve spent all day working in your pyjamas only to realise it’s 10pm and you’re still nowhere near hitting your deadline, St Oberholz is a great place to head. With strong Wi-Fi and great service, the established freelancer haunt has friendly bar staff who have no problem with you sitting and working long after your cup has been emptied.
There’s also the choice of a dedicated co-working space. Here, you can surround yourself with productive people and some of the big names in the Berlin blogging scene.
Thanks to the late-night vibe, you may struggle to find a seat, even in the early hours of the morning. Once you’re perched comfortably, though, the ambiance should help you hit peak performance. St Oberholz will have nine locations by the end of 2020, five of which have co-working spaces.
Special Interest: The cafe has an interesting lost and found collection which can be viewed on its website.
Food: The menu changes daily (lunch costs around €7.50), or head out onto Rosenthaler Platz for a larger choice of restaurants. Try the inexpensive yet delicious pizza from La Pausa, a pizza restaurant across the street.
Cost: Depending on whether you can work in a cafe or need a dedicated space to get things done, St Oberholz can cost anywhere from a few euros for a coffee, to €300 for a fixed desk and 24/7 access. There’s a free day trial on offer, and a digital nomad day pass costs €15.
Monday to Thursday: 8am to midnight
Friday: 8am to 3am
Saturday: 9am to 3am
Sunday: 9am to midnight
Address: Several around the city. Check the website for details.
Betahaus is a well-known spot for many remote workers in Berlin. One of the earliest co-working spaces, it has remained busy since first opening its doors in 2009. You can either visit the cafe on the first floor (but make sure you regularly buy a drink), or if you have deeper pockets, become a member to enjoy the multiple co-working areas.
Betahaus recently opened up a second Berlin location in Neukölln, again with a co-working area available.
Special Interest: This social space is talked about by remote workers throughout the city, but betahaus also has hubs in Hamburg, Barcelona, Tirana, and Sofia, with Milan on the way in 2020.
Food: The betahaus cafe also offers vegan and vegetarian options. Located on a lively street in the hip district of Kreuzberg, there are also plenty of alternatives just outside the door.
Cost: To enjoy the cafe, there is no need to spend anything more than a few euros for coffee and food. If you’re looking for a quieter space, however, you’ll pay €15 for a day pass, or €99 – €250 monthly. A free trial day is available.
24/7 with Pro membership, otherwise Monday to Friday: 9am to 8pm
Address: Betahaus, Rudi-Dutschke-Straße 23, 10969 and Harzerstraße 39,
Blogfabrik is far more exclusive than the others, and worth a mention due to its unique way of operating. To use the space, you don’t pay your rent with money, but rather with “content”. For example, the space has a magazine called Daily Bread Mag, which Blogfabrik creators contribute to twice a month.
Special Interest: Popular Berlin blogger, iHeartBerlin, works here along with 30 other creators, and explains the experience in this blog post.
Food: The space has a large kitchen but is also just a few minutes walk from Kimchi Princess, a fantastic Korean BBQ restaurant and Yellow Sunshine Burger, an organic, vegetarian and vegan eatery.
Cost: Although you can’t access this coworking space as easily as the others on this list, you’re encouraged to contact them if you have an idea for a “solid” workshop or event. Submit a pitch in the form of a video and include an overview, your CV and a cover letter.
Address: Oranienstraße 185, 10999 — it’s one of the best streets in the city for drinking and meeting locals!
Once you’ve worked your way through this list of some of Berlin’s best, you can also check out: Father Carpenter, Unicorn.Berlin, Kaos, West Berlin Cafe, Ahoy! Berlin, Mindspace.
Alternatively, during summer months, buy a local German SIM card (or use one from elsewhere in the EU) and choose one of the city’s many green spaces to work from instead.
Images via Betahaus, Oslo Kaffee, St Oberholz, and Betahaus (again)