Firstly, Berlin is a city like no other I have ever experienced. It has a mix of the old and new, working perfectly in harmony, as if it had always been there. The club scene is even better than what you’ve probably heard, and might be different to anything you have ever experienced. As a word of warning; please do not take photos, I witnessed on several occasions people being kicked and dragged out of clubs by security just for having their phones out. There are no heels for girls, no cocktail dresses, no leather shoes for men, no suit jackets, and no collared button up dress shirts. In Berlin, you come to party, and if you don’t look like you mean business, you’ll probably end up seeing the outside of the door a fair bit. So I’ve put together a list of 8 Berlin clubs (some, you may have heard of and others, you may have not) that I have rated and ranked. These are based on my personal opinion and the experiences I had on the night and/or day I was there. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments.
First of all, Das House of Weekend, is a tourist club, so ignore the first comments of coming to party and dressing down. Weekend is located just opposite the Fernsehturm TV tower in Alexanderplatz on the 16th floor and rooftop. The overall introduction to the place is pretty hidden with what looks like an abandoned elevator lobby, until you press up, and who should open the doors but a doorman who looks like he belongs in a drug den from the film Trainspotting. The music is general house on a single sizable but nothing special dance floor with an impressive bar in the back. The roof is something spectacular; open until 11am, it hosts incredible views in 3 directions and easy going lounge seats. If there was one thing to do, go for the sunrise.
Go for: The rooftop
Stay for: The sunrise
Alexanderstrasse 5, Mitte
7. Suicide Circus
If you want to be easily introduced to the real underground Berlin club scene, start with Suicide Circus. Conveniently located just to the right of Warschauer Straße, this place is house with house, minimal house, deep house, electro house, and techno, lots of techno. Some people suggested this place was hard to find, but the massive black banner saying Suicide Circus on the main road, right next to the train station made me think otherwise. Easy to get into and lots of fun around 5am, I would recommend this one as a bridge to something heavier.
Go for: The location
Stay for: The pumping house
Revaler Straße 99, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
6. About Blank
I found this place completely by accident, wandering the streets until I heard the solid thumping of what can only be described as manic German techno. There is no signage, no line, nothing but a guy or two in black (of course) and what looked like a small metal door. When you walk in, it resembles a mouse warren made of concrete… just a large concrete block, with old ruined chairs, minimal lights, minimal decor, minimal everything. The indoor dance floor is pumping with music and ravers, you should really join in. The second, and much larger dance floor, is outside and open for day parties. This place is a pain to get into, I consider myself lucky with this club, as everyone that ever gathered outside seemed to be dismissed in an instant.
Go for: Real German rave music
Stay for: The outside stage to open and party under a Teepee
Markgrafendamm 24c, Friedrichshain
Located in an old power station, this three (giant) room club stands out in terms of both size and dedication to the cause of house music – since the club’s opening, it’s programme has remained 24-carat techno. This place is for a party, and the crowd is so techno-committed that you’ll struggle to stay out of the craze for long. Prepare to get lost looking for the way to each room, as the venue is that gigantic that they have signs along every pathway and dungeon to help you get there. Oh and did I mention that one of the dance floors was a bunch of built in trampolines?
Go for: The size
Stay for: The amazing choice and taste in music
Köpenicker Strasse 70, Kreuzberg
Now first of all, the rumours you’ve heard are probably true, this place is almost impossible to get into. It has a reputation of being the best club in the world, and a door policy to back the crowds it gets. Like Tresor, it is a converted power station, but even bigger in size. This place holds nothing back, it is extreme in every way of the word. I saw some things I never would have thought to have seen in a club. A room that was completely black with no sense of light, purely for people to “get it on” if you will. People walking around in gimp suits and others with their junk just hanging out there. The music is extreme German techno, there is no relief to the pounding with nothing going below the 130bpm mark. To quote another site, it is “extremely liberal, disorientating, brutal and beautiful all at once, Berghain remains justifiably popular, and comes close to the no-holds-barred European clubbing that American film producers dream of.”
Go for: Its reputation
Stay for: The experience
Am Wriezener Bahnhof, Friedrichshain
3. White Trash Fast Food
For a bit of fun, try out White Trash. This place is nice and easy compared to the underground raves you’ll find right next door. Easy enough to find (it has just changed address, so make sure you go to the right one) with the large name above the door, this place is great value. There are two main sections, the outdoor section is like a beer garden, come in and sit/stand/dance wherever you like, the indoor section is strictly for bookings only, and they fill up fast. Music is modeled after a rock’n’rollers hangout. 50s retro, rockabilly, surf, garage, and punk, all mixed up into a fun USA meets Berlin kinda vibe. Be ready to dress up, and be ready to be turned back if you don’t have a booking. This is a great place to start your night with an amazing dinner and even better drinks on tap.
Go for: Dinner
Stay for: The amazing burgers, get a burger!
Am Flutgraben 2, Kreuzberg
All week; Free-€3
Go to Watergate. Just do it. In an amazing location right next to the beautiful Oberbaumbrücke, you can spot this club by the gigantic line of partiers out the front. This two level club has two levels of awesome. The deep and tech house music here is what started the hype worldwide, with new up and coming talent on display all night and headlining acts on the main stage, you will never get bored. Go out onto the floating platform on the river to watch the sunrise, then head back inside to party on in the sweat-pit dance floor while the sun shines in. There are almost no words to describe the atmosphere of this club, this club should be high on your list.
Go for: The floating bar on the river
Stay for: The best music I have ever heard in a club
Falckensteinstrasse 49, Kreuzberg
Wed, Fri-Sun; €3–€15
1. Club der Visionaere
Topping my list of the best clubs in Berlin is the underrated canalside venue, Club der Visionaere. Located right next to White Trash Fast Food, the line is fast moving and the doorman is welcoming, tick and tick. The club perfectly combines both raving and relaxation along the peaceful canal coming straight off the river. The minimal house can be heard throbbing through the brick walls as you sway under the hanging willow trees. The club is completely open air and is perfect for some day time partying, but be warned that during the week you can’t enter after 2pm, and 12 noon on the weekends. If there is one place to experience in Berlin, make it Club der Visionaere.
Go for: The peaceful canal and hanging trees
Stay for: The day party
Am Flutgraben 2, Kreuzberg
All week; €5