The 13 Best Nightclubs in Berlin #Nightlife
If we did a poll on the first idea we associate with Berlin, there's a good chance it would be the party, the techno or the most famous clubs in the world. Berlin has worked for years, through raves, alternative parties, nights dancing on minimal or trance music, to build up a well-deserved nightlife reputation. If some people regret the normalization of Berlin's parties, Berlin remains a city that likes to dance in the electric atmosphere of its mythical clubs.
I met a Scotsman in a bar who told me that the first time he came to Berlin, he went to a club on a Friday night and asked what time the club closed its doors. The waitress looked at him and said, in a detached way: Monday. The Scotsman thought she didn't understand the question and he asked, "No, but what time does it close tonight?" The waitress put her cocktail shaker down for a second and looked him straight in the eye: "Monday morning". The Scotsman knew instantly that this was a city for him. He moved to Berlin 6 months later and opened a bar where English stand up parties are held, but that's another story.
In Berlin you can go out at any time of the day or night. It's very common to spend the afternoon in a club (is it still a nightclub btw?). Is it a before, an after party? We don't know and in Berlin it doesn't matter. No one cares if you arrived 5 minutes ago or 48 hours ago on the dance floor.
But the most important thing it is to get into those clubs. So here are a few tips, without any guarantee: avoid smartphones or cameras, be rather discreet before entering, practice your German - just stammer a couple of words, for the moment, you'll be fine -, dress casual or eccentric, but above all nothing stilted, it's not the atmosphere at all, avoid coming in a group, there's little chance you'll all get in, don't get drunk or hide it as much as possible. For the rest, let yourself be carried away by the music.
After a few years in Berlin, here's my selection of Berlin's best clubs, nightclubs and places to go out at night (or in the morning):
1. Berghain: the mythical club ranked among the 10 best nightclubs in the world (Friedrichshain)
Well, you probably didn't need me to discover the temple of techno, a mythical, even mystical club (dress code: all in black). This imposing concrete block is a former power station, always at the cutting edge of what is being done in terms of electronic music, both popular and alternative, avant-garde and guardian of the Berlin club tradition.
I would advise you to come on Sunday morning, when you are most likely to avoid the crowds and long lines. The bouncers are also more accommodating at this time.
Address: Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243 Berlin
Opening hours: Friday: 23h59-9h, Saturday: 23h59, open all Sunday
2. Sisyphos: one of Berlin's legendary clubs (south of Friedrichshain)
The roads that lead to the Sisyphos go nowhere else. In this not very lively district of Friedrichshain, there is only this old factory which closes half of the year in winter and every other week in season. From the outside, you can't perceive the fairy-tale atmosphere. Once past the entrance, you arrive in a complex of several rooms, located in different formerly disused buildings and a vast open air space, with a terrace with lanterns, brazier, sand. It's like a festival, or an improvised rave, raw and warm. Welcome to Berlin.
Address: Hauptstraße 15, 10317 Berlin
Opening hours: Friday midnight to Monday 10am (open on Sundays, closed in winter)
3. Crack Bellmer: an ideal and inexpensive bar-club to experience Berlin nightlife (Friedrichshain)
This bar is the perfect place to dive into the Berlin night. Located in Friedrichshain in the vibrant alternative district RAW, the entrance fee is between 2 and 3€, the cheapest you can find to enjoy Berlin's nightlife. Nice interior space.
Address: Revaler Str. 99, 10245 Berlin
Opening hours: every day from 7pm onwards
4. Kater Blau: an amazing place (Friedrichshain)
Located on the banks of the Spree, the Kater Blau is an old disused warehouse, a mecca for the alternative scene. There are two halls that revolve around a terrace made of salvaged wood, hallucinated statues, bric-a-brac and above all an imposing blue cat. The atmosphere is electric and I've already danced in the torrid heat.
Address: Holzmarktstraße 25, 10243 Berlin
Opening hours: from Friday evening at 11.59 pm to Monday morning non-stop
5. About blank ://: one of the best underground clubs in Berlin (Friedrichshain)
In the far end of Berlin, there is a small club with a small hall, which hosts the best DJ's in the world. I often go there in the summer to enjoy the outside space. Behind the marquee and the wooden track, there is a garden where really all kinds of encounters are possible. The clubbers rest there, in one of the bathtubs, in a caravan or on top of each other on stoned sofas.
Address: Markgrafendamm 24c, 10245 Berlin
Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday from 11.45 pm to 8 am, Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm.
6. Kitkat Club: an unusual and libertine nightclub (Kreuzberg)
Threatened several times with closure, the KitKat survives. And it drains the most eccentric crowd with it. If you want a chance to get in, plan on dark sobriety or your most exotic latex. The KitKat is not just a club, it's an experience. Berlin's underground scene at the highest level.
Address: Köpenicker Str. 76, 10179 Berlin
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 11pm to 9am (closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays), open on Sundays until 6pm.
7. Club der Visionäre: an open-air nightclub (Kreuzberg)
Berlin can be so surprising at times. The Club der Visionäre looks like a little café on the banks of the Ganges. And in reality it's a pontoon thrown on the canal that distills pure electro under the weeping willows. The dance floor is tiny so most clubbers nod their heads as they drink a beer over the Spree. Nice place to eat and drink as well.
Address: Am Flutgraben, 12435 Berlin
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 2pm, Saturday-Sunday from 12pm. Open end!
8. Watergate: the electro club with the most beautiful view in Berlin (Kreuzberg)
Right next to Berlin's most emblematic bridge, not far from the East Side Gallery, the Watergate owes much to its cutting-edge DJ programming and its large bay windows overlooking the Spree. Seeing the day rise up on the river, while being carried away by the vibrations of the music, is undoubtedly the best thing to do in the Berlin night.
Address: Falckensteinstraße 49, 10997 Berlin
Opening hours: Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday from midnight to 2pm.
9. Monarch or Paloma Bar: a small hidden club where people dance tightly (Friedrichshain)
From the outside, you can't imagine it, you can barely guess it. The first time, I didn't think I'd find the bar. You have to open a barred door, climb up a tagged and stinking stairwell to get to the floor where the bar is. The door opens, and then it's a miracle. Probably the most urban bars, similar to what you might find in other big cities, but with a Berlin touch, in the service, the music and the atmosphere.
Address: Skalitzer Str. 134, 10999 Berlin
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9pm to 6am
10. So 36: A legendary club in Berlin (Kreuzberg)
Formerly a mythical landmark of the punk and rock scene in general, the club now organizes once a month absolutely great evenings where you can dance rollerblading on funk and soul music. One Monday a month, in the early evening, SO 36 transforms itself into a giant skating rink. I advise you to arrive early to find roller skates to your size and above all to take advantage of the introductory dance lessons to try out on the dance floor.
Address: Oranienstraße 190, 10999 Berlin
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9pm to 5am
11. Tresor: the hardcore and underground techno club of Berlin (Kreuzberg)
In the middle of the power plants of a German supplier, Tresor is hiding in an old disused factory (but it's not the only one, you'll have noticed). A mecca of the techno scene, it welcomes the biggest DJs from Berlin and around the world in an apocalyptic style. So dance, you've got nothing to lose.
Address: Köpenicker Str. 70, 10179 Berlin
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11.45pm to 8am (12pm on weekends)
12. Ritter Butzke: a club with a relaxed atmosphere (Kreuzberg)
The entrance and the rather clean surroundings do not suggest the crazy energy that the two rooms of the club give off. I went there several times to listen to my favorite DJ and it was thrilling.
Address: Ritterstraße 26, 10969 Berlin
Opening hours: Friday to Sunday from 11.59 pm to 10 am (7 am on Monday)
13. Hoppetosse: a club on the Spree (Kreuzberg / Treptow)
Directly on the Spree, and for good reason, here we are on a boat (which stays in the dock). Two rooms, one of which is on the deck, in the open air, with a breathtaking view of Molecule man and one of the most beautiful sunsets in the city, with the Oberbaumbrücke and the television tower in the background. An alternative and rather relaxed atmosphere. Often the last place to go when you have been refused entry everywhere else.
Address: Eichenstraße 4, 12435 Berlin
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 2pm, Saturday-Sunday from 12pm. Open end!
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.