Berlin authorities to crack down on smoking in bars

Berlin authorities to crack down on smoking in bars

Berliners love their smokey bars, but authorities in two districts of the city are planning to enforce the existing smoking ban much more harshly in the near future.

No more smoker bars in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg?

It seems like the end might finally be nigh for smoking freely in Berlin’s bars. Green Party councillors in the neighbourhoods of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Mitte have announced that they will increase checks on bars and venues to make sure that establishments are adhering to the smoking ban.

The ban has been in place since 2008, but since then the local government has tended not to enforce the rule too strictly, has made some exceptions and broadly left it up to barkeepers to decide if they want to run their joints smoke-free or otherwise.

At the same time, the trend across Berlin has been moving towards non-smoking bars in recent years, but since 2017 the number of smoking bars in Mitte has risen from 66 to 88.

Berlin smokers could be charged 100 euros

Authorities’ tendency to turn a blind eye isn’t just the case in Berlin; of the 16 federal states, only Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland are in the habit of enforcing smoking bans.

But with the Ordnungsamt cracking down, smokers in Berlin will have more in common with their Bavarian cousins. Those caught puffing inside rather than freezing their fingers outside can expect a hefty fine of 100 euros. The bar owners won’t get away scot-free either: they can expect a fine of around 1.000 euros.

Thumb image credit: 360b /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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