Berlin's Best Clubs for Dancing the Night Away

Andrea Schulte-Peevers

By , Local Expert, Berlin
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Since the 90s, Berlin's dance floor action has reached near-mythical status and greatly influenced the city’s reputation as a capital of cool. It has incubated trends and sounds and launched the careers of some of the world's star DJs, including Paul van Dyk, Ricardo Villalobos, Ellen Allien and Paul Kalkbrenner. Every weekend, global hedonists invade town to bond with locals in their pursuit of good times. And with no official closing time for clubs and bars, the party often doesn’t peak until the wee hours and continues through mid-morning or beyond.

The biggest dance-a-thons are staged in the districts of Kreuzberg und...  Read more »

  • 1

    Berghain

    It's Berghain - Berlin's legendary, secretive, mysterious and irresistible cathedral of electronic music. Enough said!

    Local Expert Tip: "Berghain's door is among the toughest in town and wait times can be up to two hours. Don't come in big groups, don't drink while waiting in line and don't dress up and you might have a chance. No cameras allowed. "

     
  • 2

    Ritter Butzke

    With its underground feel and easy-going vibe, Ritter Butzke is an essential pit stop on Berlin's nightlife circuit.

    Local Expert Tip: "Whatever you do, don't dress up for this one."

     
  • 3

    Watergate

    A beautiful location, great sound and decor, and the world's best electro DJs keep Watergate at the top of the party heap.

    Local Expert Tip: "The door policy is tight and erratic and large groups rarely get in. Best to have a Plan B. There are few better places to watch the sunrise than from the floating dance floor of this riverfront club."

     
  • 4

    The Pearl

    Finally an upscale hot spot for dancing the night away has been added to the party spectrum in the western city center.

    Local Expert Tip: "Go to the website to sign up for the Digital Clubcard (free) to lock in discounts and VIP benefits. The door can be tough on weekends, so dress sharp and be patient in line. "

     
  • 5

    Clärchens Ballhaus

    This flashback to Berlin's Golden Twenties is as hip now as it was back in the day.

    Local Expert Tip: "Brush up your moves during free dance lessons: salsa at 9pm on Mondays and swing at 9.30pm on Wednesdays."

     
  • 6

    Stattbad Berlin

    This is a unique, alternative-flavored spot where you can dance inside a swimming pool.

    Local Expert Tip: "Stattbad also hosts the Berlin edition of the London-based 'Boiler Room' parties that see prominent DJs like Sven Vaeth, DJ T and Jimmy Edgar play live sets in, yes, the pool's old boiler room. Entry is by guest list only but it's all beamed out via the internet at www.boilerroom.tv/live. "

     
  • 7

    Tresor Berlin

    The crowd and line-ups may have become more mainstream, but Tresor is still an important techno hot spot in Berlin.

    Local Expert Tip: "If you didn't get enough partying in on the weekend, head to Tresor's 'Electric Monday', one of the few remaining Berlin start-of-the-week club nights. "

     
  • 8

    Prince Charles

    An unusual location, excellent sound and inventive cocktails make this venue a happening stop on the weekend party circuit.

    Local Expert Tip: "Prince Charles is not far from other cool clubs like Gretchen and Ritter Butzke - great for club-hopping! Try the eponymous 'Prince Charles' cocktail: vodka and Cointreau pimped up with lemon, cardamon, Earl Grey and Espuma. Yum!"

     
  • 9

    SO36

    Any party venue that has managed to remain relevant for nearly four decades deserves our respect.

    Local Expert Tip: "SO36's schedule changes daily, so check the website to see what's on. Concerts often sell out. Drinks are cheap and strong. "

     
  • 10

    Gretchen

    This low-key joint has good sound, eclectic cross-cultural booking and a mixed crowd amid historic surrounds.

    Local Expert Tip: "Check the schedule before setting out to make sure that the night's line-up matches your musical taste."

     

 

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