You don't really know Berlin yet if you haven't played Kegeln!

You don't really know Berlin yet if you haven't played Kegeln!

Kegeln is an old German institution. If you don't know it and were told that it's played on a wooden lane with bowling pins and a ball, you'll probably conclude that it's bowling. Well, yes, you're probably not wrong, Kegeln and bowling are close relatives. But the Kegeln is an institution that must be treated with infinitely more respect!

Here, there is no huge complex with 18 lanes in a row, no blinding light, no two-tone shoes with slippery soles required, in huge and impersonal halls on the outskirts of the city. In Berlin, the Kegeln lane (Kegelbahn in German) can be found in small bars or restaurants. It is often reached by a hidden staircase, and there, in the basement, hidden from everyone's eyes, but accessible to everyone in reality, two lanes of busted wood, where balls with a 16 cm diameter have rolled tens of thousands of times and dug their furrows in an electric atmosphere while the beer bottles vibrated on the tables.

Kegeln is an underground bar sport, typical of Berlin.

Sometimes you can go to a bar for months before you realize that there is actually a parallel world in the basement where bowling pins are fervently waltzed in. It took me the overheated atmosphere of a winter evening to venture down that dark staircase that I had never noticed before and discover that exciting underground world.

There are half a dozen places, bars and restaurants in Berlin to play and practice Kegeln, much more accessible to beginners than bowling. Here are my two recommendations:

Map, Address and Price

Tante Lisbeth in Berlin Kreuzberg

Opening hours: every day from 4pm to 10pm
Price: 15€ per hour
Subway: U-Bahn Schlesisches Tor
Address: Muskauer Straße 49, 10997 Berlin

Kugelbahn Wedding

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 7pm to 1am
Subway: S+U-Bahn Gesundbrunnen
Address: Gruntaler Straße 51, 13359 Berlin

John-Henry Brichart


I write novels, short stories, travel the world, take pictures, get drunk and scatter. I studied journalism and worked as a freelancer in Brussels before moving to Lisbon and now to Berlin.

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