Chances are pretty high that at some point in your visit to Berlin, you’re going to end up in a nightclub. Berlin is one of the most infamous party cities in the world, where top-notch DJs, artists, and performers flock en masse, inhibitions are adamantly cast aside, and the revelry never stops—sometimes, quite literally. Berlin’s diverse neighborhoods, flourishing art scene, and tenacious persona have created some of the best nightclubs, bars, and music venues in Europe. No matter your nightlife preferences, there’s a place for you here. Visitors would do well to keep in mind that Berlin comes alive after midnight: don’t be surprised to see lines still forming at some of these clubs at 3 in the morning. Don’t fret, though, early birds—plenty of places open their doors in the afternoon, and thankfully, daytime parties happen to be Berlin’s forte.
Here are a few of the city’s best spots for drinking, dancing, and debauchery.
Prince Charles (Prinzenstraße 85F) is an excellent choice if you’re craving hip hop or house music, and any given night might offer a totally different experience from the one before. The Kreuzberg venue is sort of part-nightclub, part-concert hall (they occasionally host event nights like “Burgers and Hip Hop”), and provides just the right balance between a bar and club atmosphere. The club itself is located in the basement of an old piano manufacturing complex, where the former employee swimming pool has been drained and converted into the club’s central bar.
House of Weekend Club
Sitting high above the city in the top floors of the former Haus des Reisens near Alexanderplatz (Alexanderstraße 7), this popular spot works just as well for cocktail hour as it does for dancing till dawn. The rooftop is a huge draw—the open-air terrace offers panoramic views of the city, and space to sit down, relax with a cocktail, and take in the sunset (when the weather is permitting). There is usually a cover charge at the door (10 euros), but you’ll find an inviting mix of locals and young tourists inside enjoying the music: relatively standard DJ sets on most nights (house and techno), with occasional themed events.
RAW-tempel (Revaler strasse 99) is a collection of eclectic spaces—technically, an entire city block of abandoned warehouses—that has been repurposed as a playground for Berlin’s young, creative urbanites. It’s the perfect place to soak up the art, music, and burgeoning creativity that blossoms in Berlin’s seemingly-gritty underground. Pretty much anything you’re in the mood for, you’re likely to find in this hidden, graffiti-covered gem: food trucks, pop-up shops, bars and restaurants, climbing walls, an indoor skate park, live concerts, galleries, theater, and of course, nightclubs. The goings-on tend to vary, so you never quite know what you’re going to get here—but trust us, that’s half the fun. Offerings are generally pretty cheap, but remember to bring cash; most places won’t take cards.
Club der Visionäre
The popularity of this trendy waterfront bar, located between Kreuzberg and Treptower Park, has stood the test of time. The picturesque Club der Visionäre (Am Flutgraben 1) sits directly on the canal, under the friendly blanket of a romantic weeping willow. Like many in Berlin, this spot lands somewhere in the gray area between bar, venue, and nightclub—it’s a great place for afternoon drinks on a weekday, but is well-known for its Sunday parties and afterhours scene, when the music kicks in and the dance floor heats up. There’s a small indoor dance floor for those so inclined, as well as a larger, open-air deck on the water. In the colder months, they’ll often seal off the outdoor area and provide heaters in order the keep the party going. Cover charge is 5 euros.
It wouldn’t be a Berlin nightclub list without Berghain (Am Wriezener Bahnhof): the club has become practically synonymous with the city’s famed nightlife. Located near the border between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, this popular club is notoriously difficult to get into, with a line that often stretches more than three hours. There are theories floating all over the internet on how to make it past the strict doormen, suggesting everything from “speak to him in German” to “dress like a poor hipster.” (Seriously, there’s even a website for hopefuls that lets you practice for the real thing with a virtual bouncer.) That being said, if it’s your lucky night and you make it through, you’ll find yourself in one of Europe’s most legendary clubs: an industrial-style former power plant where the festivities regularly rage for more than 24 hours. And for party-goers with a passion for music, Berghain’s sound system is a thing of beauty.
Looking to explore more of Berlin? Check out Moon Berlin Walks for six self-guided walks through the city.