With the football World Cup looming large on the horizon and kicking off on June 12th, the urban landscape of Berlin’s streets and bars is set to change over the space of roughly 6 weeks. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock of late, you’re probably aware that this year, the finals are being held in Brazil. What you might not know however, is that this means games will be kicking off a lot later than in 2010 or 2006. The earliest games are set to start at 18:00 will the subsequent ones will start as late as midnight on some occasions. To help you get the most out of it (or to help you avoid it completely if you’re not a fan) we’ve put together a list of 5 hot spots around Berlin for watching the 2014 World Cup.
1. Go Native
Let’s face it, when you’re in Berlin the best atmosphere during the finals is at German games for the simple reason is that that is where the passion is. If you want to tap into the passion and energy of a partizan crowd, simply follow the nations to their respective bars, restaurants etc. each night. There are 32 different countries competing at the world cup and you can bet each one will have a stronghold somewhere in Berlin. For example if you’re in Neukoelln, why not try out Melbourne Canteen for some of Australia’s games, or skip down the road to Cafe Futuro and voice your support for Italia and the Azzuri. The bottom line is, if you follow the real fans you are likely to get the best buzz, and during these sort of tournaments you often see tribal flags and colours emerging from a place you had no idea was run by a bunch of Greeks.
© visitBerlin, Sarah Lindemann
The guys at the 11 Freunde magazine know football, and they know how to showcase it too. With similar set-ups in Leipzig and Hamburg, you can expect a large scale football frenzy all the way to July.
3. WM Beach Arena – Invalidenstrasse, 78
What better way to feel like you are actually in Brazil than watching the world cup on a beach? Situated right next to Hauptbahnhof, and located inside the Metaxa Bay complex, with plenty of summer drinks on offer, you’ll feel like you’re on the Copacabana in Rio (or at least that’s the pitch anyway!).
4. Haus der Kulturen der Welt – John-Foster-Dulles-Allee, 10
HKW are following up on their successful screenings of previous previous finals in ’06 and ’10, with their Copa da Cultura 2.0 this year.
You can of course expect lots of beer and football on a massive screen, but this venue offers a lot more with an entire Brazilian themed festival of culture, featuring music and food.
Copa da Cultura | © Dirk Bleicker
5. Prater Beer-garden – Kastanien Allee, 7-9
If you are more interested in the drinking than the action happening on the field, then perhaps your best bet would be a be classic German biergarten. We’ve gone for Prater in Prenzlauerberg, but truth be told the atmosphere will be similar in most of these places – big beers, big brats and even bigger hangovers in the aftermath. Definitely worth checking out at least once when the Nationalmannschaft (that’s the German team to the uninitiated) are playing.