With the fall of the Berlin Wall came huge cultural upheaval, with underground night clubs springing up across a city once divided. Read on to discover the 7 best clubs in Berlin and their door policy.
Dubbed the best club in the world, Berghain not just for world-class techno: it’s a lifestyle for many of the clubbers who call it a ‘church’. Housed within an imposing power station from the Communist era, it emerged in 2004 from the ashes of its predecessor Ostgut. This infamous world with stunning industrial architecture is well-known for the eccentric characters, liberal attitudes, random sexual encounters, and, of course, the gargantuan sound system. Berghain boasts a cavernous, 60-foot high dance floor supported by massive concrete pillars. Upstairs one can get to the not less iconic Panorama Bar, which focuses on groovier, more melodic sessions rather than the main floor’s severe techno.
Door Policy: Berlin’s nightclub door policies are generally strict, but Berghain takes this to another level. Here are some tips for you: Do not go in big groups, do not laugh out loud or have too much fun in the line – they simply don’t like that. Try to wear dark clothes. Be as discrete as you can and make sure you know where you are getting into. Oh, and don’t dare to take your phone out of your pocket.
This legendary techno club is housed in an abandoned power plant in Berlin’s Mitte district. The colossal location is breathtaking and its derelict nature makes it reminiscent of a outrageous movie set: it holds a labyrinthine of dance floors, smoke-filled tunnels, a huge outside area, and of course amazing sound system and acoustics. You won’t forget your experience in the basement, a black hole occasionally punctuated by flashing strobes with some of the loudest, harshest techno it’s humanly possible to hear.
Door Policy: Bouncers are very strict. Basically the same rules from the other clubs, like Berghain, apply here.
Sisyphos is a place like no other where the party begins on Friday and trundles on non-stop until Monday. With a huge chill-out area, disused cars, tree houses, a small lake, a pizza truck and a myriad of dance floors, you might lose yourself for hours or maybe even days inside this former dog biscuit factory. Music ranges from pumping techno inside to more house-y tunes out by the lake. You’ll feel like you’re in a world of joy, happiness, and freedom. You might ask yourself if it’s a good idea going there, since it’s located a bit far out of the way, but don’t worry: you can get a shuttle from Ostkreuz to get there.
Door Policy: Sisyphos has a lighter door policy, but be patient: you’re going to stand in line for quite a while. Eventually, they’ll ask you if you’ve been there before and big groups are as always not welcome.
This slick two-floor institution was a driving force behind the rise of minimal techno in mid-2000s, as well as the first club to invest in a ceiling-mounted responsive LED lighting system. Watergate is a hotspot for those who want to enjoy a great night with recognized DJs who play upbeat, fun and accessible music. The downstairs water floor is particularly impressive, with its floor-to-ceiling windows paired with its location right onto the River Spree, and a floating deck terrace for watching the sunrise over Kreuzberg. It can feel touristy at weekends but pick the right night, and you’ll still feel the magic.
Door Policy: As in many mainstream clubs, they’re interested in keeping the same number of men and women inside the place. So avoid going there with a big group of guys or girls. Better would be to go there with a small group with the same number of both. Don’t forget your ID, cause they’ll definitely ask for it. Also, you have to be over 21 years old to get in.
5. Kit Kat Club
Since 1994, and across multiple different iterations, this underground techno club has maintained a reputation for sexual and hedonic excess. Its current location near Tresor is one of the city’s most unusual spaces, with half a dozen dance floors, a dubious swimming pool, a fire breathing dragon fixture and plenty of dark corners. It’s open most days of the week, but the music fluctuates wildly. For pure polysexual hedonism, look out for Gegen, a bimonthly queer — but hetero-friendly — party. Don’t be afraid, it’s not as hardcore as it seems.
Door Policy: Wear your best underwear and be prepared to leave your clothes in the cloakroom. Different from other clubs, big groups and foreigners are welcome, but they won’t let you in if you’re not prepared to follow the dress code, show your flesh and get into the sexual vibe of the club.
Griessmuehle has been around for a few years, but it’s been making a big impact in the Berlin scene for the last two or three. Housed in a former grain mill in Neukölln, this dingy space looks like an adult playground. Its backyard has a lounging area by the canal littered with grain silos, makeshift structures, scattered tires and benches. But while the outside might seem whimsical, the inside certainly is not. Griessmuehle has three heavy dance floors which usually showcase the darker and more electro- and industrial-driven side of Berlin’s underground music scene. A monthly, weekend-long gathering of dirty queer hipsters hosted at Griessmuehle is Cocktail d’Amore.
Door Policy: Sometimes it gets really difficult to get in, but as usually, avoid big groups of people and striking clothes.
7. Wilden Renate
If you’ve ever dreamed about clubbing in a circus, this is your place. Its name already describes the kind of atmosphere you’ll find inside: WILD. Besides a big outdoor area, a kitsch decoration and countless dance floors, their main attraction is a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers. You’ll feel like you have been invited to David Lynch‘s house. Their parties are original and also really diverse. Depending on the day, you will listen to the most different and bizarre kinds of music and meet people you’ve never expected before. During summer, you’ll be also able to attend their open-air parties.
Door Policy: In comparison other clubs in Berlin, it’s considerably easy to get into Wilden Renate. Just be sure to follow the basic door policy rules: don’t get wasted before getting there, don’t go in big groups and, when possible, answer their questions in German.
The clubbing culture has become a lifestyle and music is a religion in the German capital. Here, the 7 best clubs in Berlin you shouldn’t miss. Please, leave your comments below and share the article if you liked it.