The right to Leitungswasser

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Verti Music Hall

Attended League of Legends world championships, and was met with huge resistance when trying to acquire tap water. Especially appalling since each day lasted 8 hours, if you left the building you weren't allowed back in, and a bottle of water was an astonishing €4.50. Germany really needs to catch up in this regard.

Alex more than 2 years ago

Rosengarten - Restaurant, Café & Biergarten

Refused a glass of tap water for my desperately thirsty 3 year old daughter in spite of buying a drink and cake for myself. Was a regular at this lovely cafe in Burgerpark Pankow but not anymore! Was so outraged that I started searching for customer rights and am shocked to see we don’t have any here in Germany!

Hannah more than 2 years ago

And tap water is delicious

You need to know something also: Tap water here is delicious. I come from a warmer country where tap water comes from weak rivers and water recycling plants, and it tastes awful, but at the same time, bottled water is really cheap compared to Berlin.

I am surprised also that many people eat lunch without drinking. For me the cause seems to be the high price of drinks compared to the cheap price of food.

I don't think the mentality of the restaurant owners and the germans in general will change soon: the only solution is not going to restaurants.

Mortadelo more than 8 years ago

Avoid Massai in Lychener Strasse, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Had dinner here with a group of 10 international and German friends on Saturday 10 Sept 2011.

My friend and I both ordered tap water. The request was ignored and finally two small glasses of tap water arrived after a reminder.

It was a hot and humid night (and the restaurant does not have airconditioning) - so I asked for a further glass of tap water. The waitress returned with a bottle of S. Pellegrino imported italian water. I told her to take it away, which she initially refused to do, but eventually did. The waitress started arguing with me suggesting it was against the restaurant's policy to offer tap water at all.

By this stage the conversation of the whole group of 10 had turned to this issue and we started talking about basic human rights, the UN's Millenium Goals and how London's mayor encourages restuarants to offer free tap water - with no shame.

Later the restaurant owner ambled over to put his oar in... while he could have simply given me a glass of tap water - he decided to dig in and defend his policy - and tell me a load of nonsense about how he's worried about litigation from patrons falling ill having drunk their tap water. He was so annoying I eventually told him to leave me alone.

So - if you want tap water with your meal - avoid Restaurant Massai - in Lychener Strasse, Berlin

LondonJetsetter more than 10 years ago


Water should be free to drink at restaurants, bars and cafe's. It's should be a choice to ask for bottled or tap water..having both equally available!

Ushany Jasmin Balder more than 11 years ago

works for me...

i find that if i order a beer (or large glass of juice) and then ask if i can also have a glass of tap water along with it, it's not a problem. that's my experience at least (in berlin and frankfurt). i usually don't ask for more than one, sometimes a second glass along with a second drink that costs. not the same as in the US, but this usually gets me water when i'm really thirsty.

james more than 11 years ago

fight for your right to leitungswasser!

you are totally right about the post-war mentality that something which costs nothing can't be valuable, i hope this thinking is becoming a thing of the past. and for purely commercial reasons most places don't like customers asking for a glas of leitungswasser. but if you ask unmistakably for it, you get some. and in a cafe with coffee-culture, you usually get a little glas with your espresso per se. as a customer, i simply wouldn't accept to be denied this right. you can change the rules by acting accordingly!

mark more than 11 years ago


kuchi in mitte, they won't give you tap water unless you have ordered another drink.

t kelley more than 11 years ago


I was refused tap water in a bar in Cologne, the waiter never came back with it, and sent a different waiter to serve us for the rest of the night.

Jen Wallace more than 11 years ago

I was refused leitungswasser at a well-known beef chain in Zehlendorf. The bottled water cost 2x the price of my hubby's beer vom fass.

Thnx for the good ink this month!

Jill more than 11 years ago


ja, what up with that!?

Dave more than 11 years ago

toca rouge - torstrasse

toca rouge is the biggest tap water scrooge!

karlrossman more than 11 years ago

no 45

prententious place on kollwitzplatz - they get around the issue by charging 1 euro for a bottle of berlin tap water....idiots

Hal more than 11 years ago


Yumcha!!! They are the worst.

Rory more than 11 years ago

waterless in berlin

my parents came to visit recently and were denied a simple glass of leitungswasser time and time again (almost always in mitte). now i ask for an empty glass and fill it myself in the bathroom.

customers seem to remain an unavoidable annoyance to most german-run bars/cafes/restaurants.

where's my water more than 11 years ago

it's silly to pay for water

To feel shame about asking for tap water or to deny it is absolutely ridiculous. It's a basic human right.
Sure, restaurants want (and have the right) to make money with drinks but if you order a meal from them, you have the right for tap water.
I was once in SUMO in Bergmannstraße and order my meal and tap water and the little self-righteous waiter told me 'this is not an imbiss' trying to make me feel ashamed.
I just left the fucking place without eating my food and went to another more friendly restaurant across the street.

carlos more than 11 years ago

So true

this is so true it's almost embarrassing!! I hate the look in the waiter's face when I ask for a simple glass of water – they do make me feel bad about asking for it. But c'mon, with the heat of these last days they could at least give me a break...
I suggest lobbying creating a facebook page!! ahahha

tnt more than 11 years ago

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