Berlin, kiosk, spaeti

Photo by AR

In Berlin, there’s a unique type of convenience store that’s become an integral part of the city’s culture: the Späti. Short for Spätkauf, which means “late purchase” in German, spätis are small, independent shops that stay open late into the night, often 24 hours a day. They are found on nearly every corner in Berlin!

Spätis are more than just a place to buy groceries or grab a beer. Much like France’s boulangeries and wine and cheese shops, which were deemed “indispensable for the continuity of the life of the nation,” Berliners also hold their Spätis near and dear. They are social hubs where people gather to chat, relax, and enjoy the company of others. They are often the first stop after work for a quick drink with colleagues or the last stop before heading home for the night. Spätis are also a great place to find out what’s happening in the neighborhood, as they often host events such as live music or poetry readings.

Spätis are a reflection of Berlin’s unique character and often represent the cultural diversity of the city. For example, in the heavily Turkish neighborhood of Neukölln, most spätis stock Uludağ Gazoz, a fizzy Turkish lemonade, and little tubs of Turkish-style ayran, a yoghurt-based beverage.

When you’re in Berlin, don’t just stroll past the Spätis. Pop in, grab a cold one, and let the ambiance wash over you. Strike up conversations with the locals, get to know the neighborhood, and explore the city from the locals’ perspective.

And to truly immerse yourself in the city’s unique spirit, join one of our guided bike tours. Our experienced local guides will take you on a journey through Berlin’s vibrant neighborhoods, introducing you to the city’s hidden gems, quirky cultural hotspots, and of course, the iconic Spätis.