10 Amazing Berlin Clubs
Berlin is world famous for its hedonistic house and total-immersion techno clubs. Electronic music has sound-tracked the city pretty much since the wall fell. The legacy of early, pioneering clubs like UFO and EWerk (and events like the Love Parade) is continued in the city’s abundance of cutting edge clubs and legendary after hour parties. Below are some of the best places to let your hair down…
Every list of Berlin clubs must begin with Berghain, the city’s Big Kahuna in terms of clubbing. A former power station, it’s an imposing and industrial place with a cavernous main room whose ceiling is 18 metres tall and a smaller bar (Panorama) upstairs where punters groove to housier sounds. There are no mirrors, no VIP rooms and you can go in on Friday and leave in the small hours of Monday morning. Simply as purist – and as good - as clubbing gets.
Am Wriezener Bahnhof, Friedrichshain, +49 30 2936 0210
A reincarnation of legendary party shack Bar 25, where the parties sometimes went on for weeks rather than merely days at a time (there as accommodation huts on site if you needed a nap in between), the “Wooden Cat” lies on the opposite side of the Spree. While the notorious circus/cabaret area has sadly gone, there’s still a good restaurant, ridiculously hedonistic parties – and a notoriously bitchy door policy.
Michaelkirchstr. 23, +49 30-51 05 21 34
Occupying a prime location on the upper floors of a communist towerblock on Alexanderplatz, Weekend’s interior is a far cry from its drab exterior. Its large windows offer panoramic views of the city – as does the rooftop terrace bar (open in summer only) - and the music is mostly accessible yet considered house and minimal techno.
Alexanderstrasse 5, +49 30 2463 1676
Salon zur Wilden Renate
Located out on the fringes of the inner-city at Treptower Park, Renate’s parties take place in a semi-derelict house whose maze of rooms are redecorated each weekend by the artist-clubber owners. Parties are as fun as the décor, injecting some levity into what can be an all-too-serious techno scene with disco, house, live shows and other themed and dressy nights.
Alt Stralau 70,
A stylish alternative to industrial behemoths like Berghain and Tresor, Watergate is the city’s sleekest clubspace, merging a booming Funktion One system, handsome LED light display (in the main room) and a fantastic Spree-side outdoor terrace to a savvy booking policy that puts on some of the best names in underground techno and house.
Falckensteinstrasse 49, +49 030 61 28 03 94
Squatting ominously beneath the train tracks near Jannowitzbrücke, this graffiti-covered building resembles nothing more than an abandoned concrete shack. Head there past midnight however and you’ll see the walls and windows vibrating from the deep, heavy basslines as DJs ply a devoted crowd of party people inside a dark, concrete room. Strictly for the hardcore.
Club Der Visionaere
Where the tiny DJ booth-cum-bar is a former fisherman’s shack and the dancefloor-cum-chill-out area are literally wooden rafts that float charmingly on a canal. The largely outdoor of this Club of The Visionaries makes it a superb place to party in the summer, especially as the DJs spin excellent quality techno and sometimes include high profile guests. The cocktails aren’t bad, either.
Am Flutgraben 2, +49 30 6951 8942
The current Tresor is actually the third incarnation of the legendary club, whose history goes back a couple decades. Occupying a renovated power plant, the three rooms - Batterieraum, +4 Bar (which has views of the old power station ruins), and the basement – unleash banging beats that tend towards the harder side of techno and acid.
Köpenicker Strasse 70
Located in a former industrial stretch near the main train station (Hauptabhnhof), Tape models itself on a New York club. There’s a smart gold-themed upstairs bar for drinks, but the action mainly takes place on the dark and sexy dancefloor (don’t bump into the art tree!), where a broad range of DJs pump beats through a decent sound system. Every few weeks the club hosts an art event known as Tape Modern.
Heidestrasse 14, +49 30 28 48 48 73
One of Berlin’s swankier enterprises, Cookies lies right in the commercial centre of town, just off main drag, Unter den Linden. It’s only open a few days a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays), which has helped prevent overkill (it’s been open a while.) The main dancefloor plays largely accessible techno and house and the adjacent restaurant (Cookies Cream) serves excellent high-end vegetarian food.
Friedrichstraße 158, +49 30 280 8806