A city that never sleeps: The guide to Berlin’s nightlife
The city is full of amazing attractions, top restaurants and nightlife that is as exciting as it is unusual. Berlin's nightlife is legendary, and rightly so. Sex-friendly philosophies, excessive hustle and bustle as far as the eye can see, no official closing time - nightlife is considered a culture and partying a lifestyle in the city that never sleeps. When visiting this vibrant city, be sure to visit one of the many clubs and immerse yourself in the night!
But why is Berlin's nightlife so distinct and popular? The city's nightlife is closely linked to its past. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the youth organised many illegal parties in abandoned factories and buildings to express and celebrate their newfound freedom.
With the fall of the Wall, Berliners were able to reinvent themselves and explore new identities in these clubs. The rapid rise of this underground culture paved the way for a unique clubbing scene that made Berlin the undisputed techno capital it is today.
The best area to frequent in Berlin depends on your clubbing style. Whereas techno fiends and ravers are likely to find heaven in Friedrichshain with the world famous Berghain, alternative bar-goers are likely to enjoy trendy areas like Prenzlauer Berg, whilst the LGBT community might find the closest you can get to heaven is at Nollendorf Platz.
Experience Berlin at its core and dance the night away in one of the many clubs or bars!
Techno Paradise – Warschauer Straße
If you’re into techno than this is the right address for you! Located in the former East Berlin, in the neighbourhood of Friedrichshain, you will find Warschauer Straße which has everything your heart may desire: from live music venues to world famous techno clubs.
Find soviet-style architecture and an alternative clubbing crowd. The area has a grungy, industrial atmosphere and most of the venues, as with most techno clubs, are housed in old warehouses and factories, which only adds to the eclectic flair. There is nothing like it in Berlin.
It is also the gateway to the world’s most famous techno club Berghain.
Wrangelstraße – Wet parties
Partying right at the river Spree? Yes, please! Go to the Wrangelkiez quarter which hosts a number of clubs and bars right at the water. Find the famous and legendary Watergate club in this lively area, famous for its panoramic views and techno beats.
For a more indie rock and electro party vibe you can find right next door Musik und Frieden and the Lido. Also close at Treptown Ufer, you will find the expat-friendly club Salon zur wilden Renate and many open-air venues for a great night out, especially in summer.
Dance the night away with views of the river!
This neighbourhood is trendy and urban, a paradise for hipsters. The multicultural quarter in the southern centre of Berlin is famous for its cool clubs, alternative bar culture and amazing food venues. Even before German reunification, the neighbourhood was a haven for the counterculture, so much so that it is still the home of odd Berlin today.
Urban art adorns many buildings, shutters and alleys in Kreuzberg, giving the area an artsy, bohemian flair.
When it comes to clubs, you can't go wrong in Kreuzberg with places like KitKatClub or Club der Visionäre. Here you will also find Tresor, one of Berlin's best clubs, known for its fantastic, gritty techno music and housed in a concrete cube.
The Oranienstraße is buzzing with nightlife thanks to the many restaurants, bars and cafés that line the street, making it a good place to start the night. The narrow streets are filled with tables and people, making it a lively and busy place. The "Max und Moritz", one of the oldest pubs in Berlin, can also be found here. Since 1902, its warm and rustic atmosphere has been an invitation to a cosy get-together.
Top areas to keep an eye on if you decide to stay in this alternative party paradise definitely include Schlesisches Tor, a street full of alternative bars, and Kottbusser Tor, home to hipsters meeting up every night.
The Mitte district
The Mitte district is the heart of Berlin and offers a little bit of everything for all kinds for party people. If you want to jump into the fray, this centric and buzzing district is the place for you!
The neighbourhood is quite large with multiple great nightlife spots, so keep an eye out for these places to go out:
You can’t go wrong with Alexanderplatz, the most famous and central square of Berlin. It offers several underground venues and a lot of cool bars, and is basically a perfect starting point for a night out in Berlin. If you want to throw yourself into the fray, this is the place to be.
Rosenthaler Platz is a hip and trendy area. You will find many bars and restaurants here and the area around Oranienburger Tor is full of young people. However, be aware that there might be more tourists than locals here.
Bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés are lined up along Hackescher Markt and Oranienburgerstraße. On Oranienburger Straße, it is all a bit classier, glitzier and just overall more glamorous. A wide range of people are attracted by the clubs, bars and restaurants in Hackesche Höfe, as well as the cinemas, courtyard theatres and artists' studios.
Berlin’s gay heart: Nollendorf Platz
For the LGBTQ+ community, this neighbourhood is the gay epicentre of the city. Located in Schöneberg, in the southwest of Berlin, the area has a well-deserved reputation for one of the best nightlife scenes in Berlin. With its many restaurants, cafés and shops frequented by the LGBTQ+ community, it is a thriving and vibrant district for anyone whose heart is tinged with rainbow colours.
Other rainbow districts in Berlin not to be missed include nearby Kreuzberg, famous for Café Sundström and the SchwuZ nightclub. There are also shops and live music venues along Bergmannstraße where LGBTQ+ community members and visitors can gather and have fun. The Mitte district also has some LGBTI* hotspots such as Weinbergpark.
A lot of the bars can be found around Motzstraße and Fuggerstraße. In this area there are many bars, clubs, shops and sex venues. There are even some of Berlin's gay hotels here.
Hipster Prenzlauer berg
In verdant Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin's bar scene is laid-back and perfect for enjoying mild nights with friends. This area is a favourite among young professionals and an alternative crowd seeking a place with personality where they can sip a cocktail or enjoy a craft beer. A couple of small clubs can also be found here, mixing nu-disco and chill beats.
The biggest array of bars can be found at “Kastanienallee”. Here you will find a great variety of nightlife options for a balmy night out. Keep an eye out for the fancy cocktail lounge Zaza, if that is more your style. In case you prefer something more clubby, you can visit the nearby club Nemo.
With its many restaurants, pubs and bars, Kollwitzplatz forms the centre of the district and is a magnet for visitors. It is also home to the oldest beer garden in Berlin, the Prater Biergarten, one of the best places to spend a pleasant evening surrounded by a mix of locals and tourists.
The Kulturbrauerei is an old brewery that has been converted to host events in the central square. It also has a theatre and numerous bars and restaurants and is a great place to watch sporting events on big screen TVs.
Check out this blog to find the best clubs in Berlin.