The Ultimate Guide To Every Berlin Club Worth Going To In 2018

The Ultimate Guide To Every Berlin Club Worth Going To In 2018

This Playlist Is Full Of Tracks Shazamed In Berlin Techno Clubs Over The Past Year

Those of us who live in Berlin know that the city is unparalleled in terms of its nightlife offerings. But for people who are new to the clubbing capital, traveling through, or just want a change of pace, some lesser-known but wonderful music institutions might pass under the radar.

Most of us know to queue up at Tresor or Berghain for an epic night out. But if you’re looking for a different experience—like a sex party at KitKatClub, a punk show at Urban Spree, or a laid-back drink at the rooftop bar Klunkerkranich—then we recommend you consult the list below.

Read on for nearly 50 of our suggestions for where you—or your visiting tourist friends—should go when you’re out in Berlin.

://about blank club Berlin techno

Neighborhood: Friedrichshain
Notable parties: STAUB, Buttons, Away
Door policy: Strict

://about blank sits at what many would consider to be the perfect intersection between the various clubbing vibes of Berlin. Its indoor-outdoor setup includes a massive courtyard with a year-round outdoor stage and plenty of room to relax, but its cavernous main building houses a distinctly grittier atmosphere than other similarly formatted clubs. ://about blank’s two main rooms are connected by dense corridors and house some of the city’s best techno weekenders, including the now-infamous STAUB parties. For those who want the no-nonsense attitude of Berlin’s dingy techno clubs but occasionally like to calm down—and, you know, breathe fresh air—://about blank’s your best bet.

 

Acud Macht Neu

Neighborhood: Mitte
Notable parties: Shameless / Limitless
Door policy: None

Mitte’s Acud Macht Neu is an interdisciplinary venue that operates at the intersection of art, music, performance and digital media. The space, which faces Berlin’s beautiful Volkspark am Weinberg, acts as a studio, club, bar and art gallery, and showcases events that range from film screenings to lectures, live acts and DJ nights. On evenings where special events aren’t slotted to take place, you can also visit the venue’s bar and outdoor seating space to grab a drink or small bite to eat. Sometimes, Acud is even known to host some pretty killer flea markets. It usually has more experimental-leaning bookings up its sleeve, so expect to come here for some mind-expanding music and a colorful collection of attendees.

Alte Münze

Neighborhood: Mitte
Notable parties: Pornceptual, Numerology
Door policy: Strict

This former State Mint is now a functioning underground venue in Berlin’s Mitte district. The labyrinthine dungeon-like space is predominantly known for hosting the bi-monthly Pornceptual parties, which bring heavy-hitting house and techno DJs to multiple floors of the complex—many of which transform into porn theaters and dark rooms. Twice a year, the space is also home to Tommy 47’s Numerology parties, which showcase darker and more industrial strains of techno across its three dance floors. Ironically, if you don’t visit this venue to attend some of the city’s edgiest events, you can also go to catch the operas, plays and musicals happening here on a regular basis.

Anomalie Art Club

Neighborhood: Prenzlauer Berg
Door policy: None

Anomalie Art Club, which sits next to Mensch Meier on Storkower Strasse on the border of Lichtenberg and Prenzlauer Berg, is a community-driven art and music space. With a public garden that’s always free on Fridays and Saturdays—as well as parties that often feature food and art—it’s one of the more relaxed demonstrations of Berlin’s nightlife culture. From the main hall, you can slip seamlessly into artisanal Mexican food or contemporary art and techno—perhaps all at the same time. Expect a creative crowd, interesting projections and a familiar atmosphere. Don’t forget to stop by the delicious Lamifa Restaurant for a bite to eat.

Arena Club

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Notable parties: Dystopian
Door policy: Moderate

Nestled along the border of Treptow-Kopënick and Kreuzberg is a canal and some green space, lined on all sides by a variety of nightclubs and bars. Arena Club snuggles up next to places like Ipse and Festsaal Kreuzberg as hundreds of revellers pass through the gravel roads and swampy grass en route to one of the dozens of parties that happen in this strip every night of the week. While the huge Hyte New Year’s Eve parties have made use of the area’s full and sprawling capacity, the space is often reduced on typical weekly outings to just the Arena club, which often hosts label nights, like the popular Dystopian parties. During the summer months you can take a breather at the adjacent Badeschiff outdoor pool area.

Arkaoda

Neighborhood: Neukölln
Door policy: None

Arakaoda is a hop and a skip away from Sameheads, the Neukölln-based bar and club on Richardstrasse. But while Sameheads offers a kookier and higher energy musical experience, Arkaoda provides its counterpoint. The multi-room space is a laid-back, candlelit venue that plays host to the local experimental music station Cashmere Radio. It’s also known to host DJs that will come to play a night of music by Arthur Russell, Japanese producers from the ‘60s or Turkish psych rock bands. This place might not necessarily get crazy, but it’s an ideal place to come during the week or on the weekend if you want to have great drinks and listen to music that’ guaranteed to be well-selected.

AVA

Neighborhood: Friedrichshain
Notable parties: Techno Mittwoch, Hot Box
Door policy: None

“A retreat for those who want the Berlin club scene to be a place without hype and excessive door policies,” AVA is a small, inclusive club right off the Spree near Warschauer Straße that pushes against the unforgiving, scene-y vibe many people have come to expect at—and especially outside of—a Berlin clubbing institution. AVA’s clubbing atmosphere is overall more relaxed; it predominantly hosts local DJs, resident nights—including Techno Mittwoch and Hot Box, a queer party on Fridays—and a friendly vibe for anyone who can’t be bothered with having to be “cool enough” to party.

 

Beate Uwe

Berlin Techno Clubs Underground Beate Uwe

 

 

Neighborhood: Mitte
Door policy: None

Getting off the S-Bahn at Jannowitzbrücke, you might think the immediate area is a nightlife dead zone lined with grim ’70s GDR Plattenbau apartment towers. And while you might be close to right, Beate Uwe kind of proves you wrong. It’s a small unpretentious club, in an unusual building that feels like a youth center, with a good soundsystem and a relaxed community. It’s sort of like a second Golden Gate (also in the area), but with a less sloppy vibe.

Berghain

Neighborhood: Friedrichshain
Notable parties: Klubnacht, Snax, Janus
Door policy: Strict

Little known fact: the bratwurst from the cart outside of Berghain is delicious. Say what you will about the wurst at your favorite beer garden, but this was the first proper bratwurst I had after touching down in Germany, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Crispy outer shell, pretty good mustard, toasted brotchen. It’s all you really need. Also, the people that tend that snack shack have to be some of the kindest, most calm-mannered people you’ll meet in Berlin at any hour, but especially at god knows what time you decided to stumble up to that cart. Good people and good sausages. Good club.

Birgit & Bier

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Door policy: None

Equally as close to being a beer garden as a club, Birgit & Bier supplements its club nights and Funktion-One sound system with a couple of individual traits: one, it opens and closes early—at least by Berlin standards—meaning you can get there during the mid-afternoon and party until the early morning. Two, it actually encourages eating. The club frequently offers a variety of food, from pizza and fried snacks to Asian noodle bowls and, yes, even the occasional “sushi donut”. It’s the perfect place to ease any visitors, especially parents, into Berlin’s nightlife.

Burg Schnabel

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Door policy: None

Situated between Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Alt-Treptow is a block that somehow manages to pack four well-known clubs into a relatively small amount of space. There’s courtyard club Chalet, open-air minimal mainstay Club der Visionaere, beer-garden-slash-club Birgit & Bier and Burg Schnabel. Of these, Burg Schnabel is the smallest, but it has a completely different vibe from its neighbors. The hole-in-the-wall space is relatively un-manicured, its rough brick walls holding little embellishment other than sparse neon lighting. If your club preference tends towards boxes rather than warehouses, this is your spot. It makes for a distinctly intimate and stripped-down clubbing experience.

Chalet

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Notable parties: Clubnight, Music Lab
Door policy: Moderate

Chalet is a sprawling, ramshackle mansion that’s been repurposed as a club space. Winding staircases, vintage crown molding and dark brown wood furnish this strange clubbing environment. The club is next to the gas station that also flanks neighboring Ipse and Club der Visionaere. With a spacious garden for bonfires and outdoor parties in the summer, plus the former mansion’s large living room-turned-dance floor, it’s no surprise that the Kreuzberg hangout has become a local favorite. Residents like Stefan Z can often be seen opening the floor for artists like Max Graef or Byron The Aquarius. And while house music still finds room on Chalet’s decks, things almost always get harder and darker as the hours pass.

Club der Visionaere

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Door policy: Moderate

Club der Visionaere—or CDV for short—is a Berlin institution. It’s a local darling for Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoon afterhours and a favorite for tourists and locals alike. The music leans towards minimal and trippy tech-house sounds, but never escalates to full party volume. This is a place that stresses quality over quantity. With an E&S DJR 400 typically fitted in the booth, a selection of good records and stellar in-house and guest DJs (think Vera, Binh, Zip, Ricardo Villalobos and Slow Life) it’s usually a good bet if you’re ever in doubt about where to go. It’s also a completely outdoor venue with a beautiful, canal-side location in Kreuzberg, so get there while the weather’s hot.

Else

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Door policy: Moderate

Else is also in the clubbing nucleus on the banks of the Spree. As a summer-only venue, it’s exclusively outdoors and it’s surrounded by a large garden and various bars. Selections focus on house, disco and other lighter variations of underground dance music. It’s famous for its Sunday daytime parties. There are few better places to spend a warm evening with good house music. Else even has a stone-oven pizzeria on-site that attracts some of the most fervent supporters, though they may not be as clothed—or as composed—as the typical pizza-goer.

Farbfernseher

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Notable parties: ://about what
Door policy: Moderate

This small, one-room club used to be a TV factory, hence the name (which means color TV in German). It’s a typical choice for weeknight jams that often hosts full-blown dance parties that rival any Friday night. You’re equally likely to find melodic techno as breaks or electro at this small, but intimate spot. As smoky as any non-ventilated Berlin club and decorated as such—that’s to say, not really—it maintains a clubbing identity that the city has become so famous for across the world. It’s almost impossible to notice the door, so take a look for people lingering outside, or as always, follow the bass.

Funkhaus

Neighborhood: Köpenick
Door policy: None

As the former national broadcasting center for East Germany, Funkhaus was crafted with the utmost attention to detail. The complex is massive. It has an entire building dedicated to personal studios, while others on the idyllic riverside campus have been repurposed into concert halls and rave spaces. Performances here are typically live—think Alva Noto or Aphex Twin (coming up)—but it’s also been the site for 24-hour rave marathons, like Moscow club Arma17‘s recent anniversary takeover. It’s also home to the recently inaugurated 4DSOUND space, which regularly hosts avant-garde electronics in its multidimensional sonic room. So regardless if you’re here for a weeknight show or a party marathon, this Spree-side location is not to be missed.

Golden Gate

Neighborhood: Mitte
Door policy: None

Golden Gate is Berlin’s gallic village. Situated in one of the arches of the S-Bahn near Alexanderplatz, the club is about as intimate—and as gritty—as it gets. Since it only fits about 100 people, a night at this club can be intense and blurry. Parties here will usually stretch well into the next afternoon, even on a midweek day. The lineups usually feature mostly up-and-coming Berlin-based DJs who predominantly play a range of music somewhere in between tech-house and Euro deep house.

Gretchen Club

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Notable parties: Recycle, Ninja Tune Mode, Pressure
Door policy: None

Kreuzberg’s Gretchen Club, just steps away from U-Bahn station Mehringdamm, is one of Berlin’s most important drum & bass havens. While the layout isn’t necessarily that impressive—it consists of mainly one large rectangular room—the lineup of artists featured certainly is. Residents like Berlin’s Delfonic have helped pave a positive reputation for their informed weekly DJs. It’s also the location for The Bug’s “Pressure” parties, which feature a specially brought in Jamaican-style sound system. Outside of weekends, you can expect to see a range of live performances, including up-and-coming jazz musicians, that compose a multicultural, multigenerational crowd. The sound is loud, but it’s unfortunately not the best the city has to offer.

Griessmuehle

Neighborhood: Neukölln
Notable parties: Synoid, Wax Treatment, Cocktail d’Amore, Mechatronica, Reef, Mother’s Finest
Door policy: Strict

It’s truly hard to pick some of the most notable parties happening at this Spree-side establishment. 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. From the outside, this dingy space looks like an adult playground: its backyard is littered with various wooden structures, empty silos and scattered tires, cars and complex constructions, most of which are strewn with black-clad ravers at any hour of the day or night. But while the outside might seem whimsical, the inside certainly is not. Griessmuehle has three dark and heavy dance floors which usually showcase the darker and more electro- and industrial-driven side of Berlin’s underground music scene. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad party here.

Hoppetosse

Berlin Techno Clubs Underground Hoppetosse

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Notable parties: Slow Life label showcases
Door policy: Moderate

Hoppetosse is a club on a permanently docked boat just a short stroll away from Arena Club and better known sister-club Club der Visionaere. The club usually holds one dance floor below deck and, similarly to CDV, is a mainstay for the quirky, minimal house and techno sounds of people like Binh and Vera, as well as the tech-house grooves by the local heroes from the Betriebsfeier posse.

Humboldthain Club

Neighborhood: Wedding
Notable parties: Dreams Of Neon
Door policy: None

Humboldthain Club is located beside its namesake park in the northern neighborhood of Wedding. This establishment has one of the nicest gardens in the area, which allows it to host community screenings and table tennis outside of weekend hours. Its signature wall of TV screens across two rooms offer up a nice dynamic while dancing—and probably more light than many other clubs in Berlin. In-house parties like Dreams Of Neon bring together some of the most light-hearted, but energetic, vibes in the city with performances by DJs and musicians alike.

Ipse

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Door policy: Moderate

Ipse is one of the most musically balanced clubs in Kreuzberg. While the sound isn’t the best you’ll find in the city, its two rooms—which are arranged around a maze-like entrance and an almost-soundproof structure—mean parties here can go until the very early hours. It also has an incredible patio for the summer season, so morning and daytime sets become a staple in the warmer months. You’ll find a mainly house, techno and electro-oriented booking policy here, although the range is wide and varied. With a door policy that can be restrictive at times, as with most Berlin clubs, it’s best to avoid groups.

Kantine am Berghain

Neighborhood: Friedrichshain
Door policy: None

Although this space bears the infamous Berghain name, it’s actually located in a building off to the side of the main club and curates lineups that include synth-pop, Afrobeat, jazz and experimental oddities. The cozy interior doubles as a lodge-style lounge complete with a fireplace, peeling paint and red velvet curtains. And the shows—which predominantly take place throughout the week and in the early evenings on the weekends—are held in an intimate, standing-room concert hall off to the side. In the summer, Kantine’s attached beer garden, Bierhof Rüdersdorf, is also an ideal place to chill while you wait for the Berghain queue to die down. Don’t worry about getting turned away from this door. You can usually buy your tickets to shows in advance.

Kater Blau

Neighborhood: Kreuzberg
Door policy: Moderate

Kater Blau is the successor of two legendary clubs: Kater Holzig and Bar 25. But unlike these earlier incarnations, Kater Blau doesn’t owe its charm to the patina of a decaying old building or a ramshackle cowboy ranch aesthetic. Located on Holzmarktstraße just next to where the original Bar 25 resided, it’s managed to keep the ambiance of a playground-for-grown-ups intact. There are different floors, with the main dance floor overlooking the river Spree. The musical direction in the main room ranges from slowed down emo house to tech-house and minimal, and you can experience various strains of oddball electronics elsewhere.

KitKatClub