Quick Guide to Berlin Nightlife

By July 17, 2016Music, Travel

I talked to several locals and Berlin enthusiasts and thought I would share some of their suggestions with the World Wide Web. 

First of all….

Tourist club or Berlin club?

Tourist clubs are those that are large, flashy, have lots of lights, and play a variety of popular music. A Berlin club is usually “weird,” as one local told me. Weird meaning it feels a little shady and there can be some strange people inside. Berlin clubs are usually dimly lit, grungier, and play the Berlin sound. Berlin is known for techno and there is A LOT of techno. If you like deep house, funk, acid house, etc you’ll probably also like this scene a lot. (Fact check plzzz) There is the basic four on the floor beat plus a variety of layers, typically really heavy sounds that build on each other to create a dark and almost spooky ambience. Don’t expect anyone to “drop the bass” or play popular songs you may hear on the radio. How do people tolerate listening to this heavy music sometimes for over 30 hours nonstop? Apparently Ketamine. You can find it pretty easily because people on the street will look at you and discreetly ask or gesture. Although I don’t encourage any of that, those people are shady, and we saw some pretty messed up looking people at the club.

The Places to Be

Berghain – the most judgemental, most famous party in the city. It’s a non stop party from Friday night too Monday morning. They even have food you can buy inside. This club is known for rejecting 75% of people who try to enter and the line to get in is rather long. We didn’t want to wait in line, but keep reading for tips on how I hear to get a chance to be accepted. (Fact check!!!) Berghain is both a touristy and a Berlin club. It is 4 stories tall and plays a lot of that Berlin sound.

Sisyphos – Another one of those popular cool clubs, but way easier to get into. Like Berghain, their parties typically go from Friday night til Monday morning. ResidentAdvisor info

The Matrix – Located underground beneath a train station, this club has 5 different rooms. It is very touristy, I didn’t see anyone getting turned away and it was mostly that electronic and top 40 hits with a couple other rooms dedicated to other things. The main hall had electronic jams with dancers and a cage. Another room had fun top 40 hits playing. Both new and old. It was a fun place, but there was 70% dudes, so beware.

Golden Gate – A small nightclub packed with that Berlin sound. There is only one room, but it can get packed. Dimly lit, also beneath a train station, but a lot harder to find, and it is barely advertised.

Salon zur wilden Renate – An unrenovated apartment building in Friedrichshain, across the river from Treptower Park. Renate is a multi-floor, multi-room club that seems a little different every time you go. There are three main dance floors. The atmosphere is that of a theatrical house party. Music is usually house and tech house, most often by Berlin-based artists. A large outdoor courtyard is open during the summer, which includes a long wooden cabin with another bar, DJ booth and dance floor. (source)

Club der Visionäre – A rustic and understated spot in Kreuzberg near Treptower Park. In a way it’s more of a bar or afterhours venue than a nightclub: entry is usually five euro or less (sometimes free), the dance floor holds fewer than 50 people, and the sound system, though clear, is very quiet. Most attendees spend their time standing on the wooden deck outside, or sitting beneath the weeping willow that hangs over part of the club.  Opening hours depend on the weather and level of attendance, but on big weekends it can run from Friday through Monday without a break. (source)

Tresor – Set in an abandoned power plant, a labyrinth of concrete passages mazing into basement vaults and industrial halls. Inside there are three separate but connected floors: Globus and +4Bar for house and experimental electronic music, and, of course, the famed vault which, reached through a 30m long tunnel, carries the Tresor sound uncompromisingly. (source)

Brunnen 70 – This club has both bad and good reviews on Yelp and is quite shady. It’s an old bunker with 5 different rooms, but also a home to a lot of drug use, based on information from yelp saying there were syringes all over the bathroom. You’ll get to the address and you’ll be at a hostel. Go around back and you’ll find a door, ring the bell and the elevator comes up to get you. If you’re looking for one of those weird, non-touristy clubs, maybe you’ll like it.

Looking for more clubs? Check Out ResidentAdvisor for the latest info

What to wear

Black. Tourists wear shiny and bright things, so that’s okay at those super touristy clubs. Other than that stick to dark colors. Add a touch or color here and there with a necklace or accent on a garment. No need to wear heels, combat boots or other flats work just fine. I never recommend sandals at a club because it hurts when your feet get stepped on and it’s more of beach/outdoor wear anyways.

Dudes. Look nice, but not too fancy. No suits, no ties. A button down and jeans/khakis will work most places, but if you want to get into places like Berghain they like a little grunge. A v neck t-shirt, grey or black works well. Think about what a hipster many wear.

Getting in the club 

At super exclusive places the bouncer “feels your vibe,” meaning they can sense from your dress, body language, and other clues, if you’re the type of person they want in their club. A lot of the times it doesn’t matter how pretty you are, that’s not what they look for. As long as you look good and well put together.

What they want is a good mix of locals and tourists. They want people who aren’t too happy and excited, but also people who aren’t depressed and bored looking. Do not be afraid or nervous, they can sense the fear. Someone who is afraid is not going to party hard at their club.

Berghain’s bouncer Sven Marquardt

Read more here Telegraph UK

 

Have fun!! Tell me about all your stories in the Berlin nightlife, I will update as I get more information and stories from those around me. Have an experience? Contact me and I’ll include a link on the page!

About Mary

Studying on Exchange in Milan, Italy. Been to 9 countries and counting. Follow me as I dive deeper into new cultures and venture throughout the world.

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