Berlin's Best Clubs for Dancing the Night Away

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 Friedrichshain, whose edgy clubs prove that Berliners are geniuses when it comes to recycling venues. Two of the biggest hot spots - Berghain and Tresor – are ensconced in former power stations. Two more Prince Charles and Stattbad Berlin - have given old swimming pools a new lease on life.

While techno and the many subgenres of electronic music continue to define the Berlin sound, next-gen party people also embrace plenty of other beats like hip hop, dancehall and dubstep, which has given rise to clubs like Gretchen with its eclectic schedule and clientele. Riding the retro wave is Clärchen’s Ballhaus, where an all-ages crowd gets their groove on with tango, salsa and swing nightly. Also part of the nightlife spectrum are sizzling glamour pits like The Pearl which are popular with high-heeled hotties and deep-pocked VIP-booth jockeys.

Open since 2011, Gretchen has a solid track record for pulling in pretense-free music lovers with choice acts - both DJs and live - from the entire musical spectrum. Depending on the night, the line-up may skew towards electronica, drum'n'bass,...  Read More

Happy 36th Birthday, SO36! Berlin's bastion of subculture and alt-sounds in the heart of the vibrant Kreuzberg district can look back on a long and storied history. Founded in 1978 and at one point managed by the late conceptual artist Martin...  Read More

Prince Charles, a stylish mix of club and bar, didn't need much time to get a foothold in the pantheon of top clubs in town. It's ensconced in a swimming pool for the employees of the piano factory once housed in the building. The bar itself is...  Read More

Deep in the bowels of a massive defunct power station lies Tresor, Berlin's techno mothership. Founded in 1991 in the eponymous vault of an abandoned department store near Potsdamer Platz, this club institution launched the careers of top DJ...  Read More

Stattbad Berlin
Photo courtesy of Stattbad Berlin

A pioneering hub of creativity, Stattbad Berlin (formerly Stattbad Wedding) occupies a public swimming pool from 1907. Since the water was drained in 2001, the space has been reincarnated as a beehive for artists, musicians, designers and...  Read More

This legendary Berlin dance hall celebrated its 100th anniversary in late 2013, perfect proof that good things never go out of fashion. Originally called Buehlers Ballhaus, it was renamed in the 1920s after Claerchen, one of its most beloved...  Read More

Charlottenburg - Wilmersdorf
The Pearl
Photo courtesy of The Pearl

Since opening in late 2013, this swank hot spot has injected a much needed dose of sass into Berlin's once fairly sleepy western city center. The club entrance sits at the bottom of a dramatic exterior cascade spilling into panoramic windows. A...  Read More

To electronic music lovers, Watergate is an essential destination thanks to a flawless booking policy that brings in cream-of-the-crop DJs from international labels every weekend. It also gets our vote for most beautiful club in Berlin and not...  Read More

Although it cut its illegal underground roots long ago, Ritter Butzke has hardly gone mainstream. Ensconced in an old factory with the requisite industrial decor, this party temple vibrates with techno, electro and minimal every weekend. Its...  Read More


Oh, if the walls of this hardcore party chamber could talk... they'd shriek! The stories would certainly make tender souls blush, for hedonism rules with abandon in this dark, multi-floor labyrinth set amid the industrial rawness of a defunct...  Read More


Meet Andrea Schulte-Peevers

Andrea has made a living as a travel writer and photographer for over 20 years, visiting some 70 countries in the process and authoring a similar number of guidebooks, mostly for Lonely...  More About Andrea

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