Years of research went into this list. While at one point there would have been no real demand for it, the listicle has become a key instrument of modern lifestyle journalism. When it comes to ranking toilets, our general rule of thumb is: the bigger the club, the bigger the toilet. However, size doesn’t automatically imply quality, as you will see when you visit the toilets included here. In general, I advise you to make up your own mind and form opinions based on experience rather than blindly following this list. It’s simply a starting point—and it’s also highly personal.
SchwuZ has literally the best club toilet I’ve been to in my whole life. There are probably fancier potties out there, but this bathroom makes an astonishing first impression. When you enter, you’re immediately blown away by the hundreds of stalls. There are stalls EVERYWHERE. They could open a whole other club in there. The interiors have nice little tables to leave things on while you’re hanging out. The booths are also decently sized, which is a plus if you like to take a crowd in with you.
The Berghain toilets are where it’s at. They have their own lore and legend—including that there are secret potties stashed all over the place—so let’s take an in-depth look. All of the main restrooms in Berghain have a minimalist, utilitarian design: there are no shelves, which means you can’t lay a phone down anywhere, and the bowls are made of metal, which makes them easy to hose down. On most nights, the staff does a stellar job of cleaning those puppies every few hours, and that alone sets them leagues above most other club toilets.
Panorama Bar’s main WC is a social hub, a place to meet people, a place to talk and lounge on ratty couches and smoke and cheer. Many music industry deals have occurred its bowels. It’s easy to get a conversation started and chat with an amazing new acquaintance for hours while someone who actually needs to pee pounds desperately on the door. The downstairs restroom next to the main Berghain dance floor is a classic—I mean, who among us hasn’t passed out there on the sofas while trying to decide to whether to go home or have another dance? The toilets on the ground floor are suuuper chill. You can peek out the window at the queue and lol at everyone down below.
Berghain is a very unique club, and by now probably everyone has heard tales of expats’ sexual adventures there, but people are still super secretive about what’s going on in the toilet stalls. This is a bit weird.
Hegemann’s is a classic club toilet. There’s nothing bad about it and nothing really special. The locks work well and the compartments are spacious. I would recommend this one to pretty much anyone who loves clubs and toilets.
4. Kit Kat Club
If you have ever dreamed of being REALLY CLOSE to a throng of unfamiliar bodies, this is your Eden. Once you wedge yourself through the sweaty people crowding the entrances, you can find some eloquent conversationalists. Security checks the cabins pretty frequently, which is both a pro and a con. They may interrupt whatever’s going on in there, but they’re not trying to arrest you. Plus, if you really need to go, the group in the cubicle that’s been standing around an iPhone and chatting with their AirBnb guest won’t be there too long.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you gave a whole house to those kids that you see at all the parties K-holing in some corner? Well, here it is. Renate is a house: some rooms, some beds and some toilets. There is no real distinction between the actual toilets and the dance floor in this maniac mansion. Be careful where you step/sit. It’s an ubiquitous, kind of eclectic approach to toilets. Some love it, some say, “This was funny for a bit but now is just so over.” You decide.
6. Club der Visionäre
The whole club is kind of a toilet, because it’s next to the water. And the toilets are kind of like the whole club, because they’re derelict, tiny and full of old people on K.
This one is for the connoisseur, so you must be somewhat adept in the world of club toilets to fully enjoy it. Not for the faint of heart, this is the true underground: grimy, gritty and kind of groundbreaking in its simplicity. The locks are often broken so you have to hold them shut with your foot while you hover-pee, and in that position it’s hard not to number one on yourself. You might find yourself in a huge queue at first, unaware that there are more toilets down the hall. That’s where the real magic happens. You have to experience this for yourself to understand the elation and glee one feels when he finds three empty stalls in a club at five in the morning.
8. OHM Berlin
Technically this club is Tresor’s little sister, so it’s in the same building—in fact, the whole thing used to be a bathroom back when the building was a power plant, isn’t that ironic? It’s cozy, cute and nice. This one’s for beginners, and a welcome entry point into the world of club toilets.
9. Golden Gate
There’s a rumor going around that Golden Gate has a storage room full of fresh new johns so they can replace the broken ones after every weekend. It can get quite wild here, and parties last way into Tuesday. This is your real Berlin experience, something to write home about.
Glass doors? Seriously? WTF?
Electronic Beats’s festival season has gathered steam with a rainstorm rave in Podgorica and a Halloween bash in Budapest, and this coming weekend the fun continues with another impeccable line-up, this time in Zagreb. We’re still in recovery mode after popping in to many of Budapest’s best hangouts, but we’re already researching the places we’d like to visit in Croatia, so we tapped a local crew to recommend some of the capital’s must-see locations. We’re also giving away 20 tickets for our November 8 show, which stars recent interview subject Erlend Øye, Den Sorte Skole, and Dark Matters.
Sirup is one of the most loved clubs in Zagreb and probably the most famous place to dance the night away. Over the past seven years, its booth has welcomed a laundry list of some of the world’s most renowned spinners. It recently moved to a new location in an old, historically-protected steam mill factory from the industrial revolution. If you’re keen to find Zagreb’s answer to Berghain, look no further than Sirup.
Masters is the best-kept secret of the Croatian dance music scene. It fits a mere 120 people and the best sound system in Zagreb, and its devoted clientele once saved it from being shut down. Recommended if you like an intimate and relaxed atmosphere, house, disco, and DJs like Gerd Janson and Mark E.
At Daus, you can party as if you were in a warehouse in more famous clubbing capitals like London or Berlin. It’s located in an abandoned building, and its unusual location combined with its interesting crowd and solid bookings has made this place a must for any serious partygoer in Zagreb—especially those who crave adventures in little-known hotspots that the likes of Resident Advisor and Facebook haven’t found yet.
Funk Club is a small bar/club located in Tkalciceva street, which is mostly reserved for the nightlife and bar parties in Zagreb. Although the street is bursting with bars, Funk is one of the two places that stand out in a musical perspective. The place is divided into two sections: a bar on the ground floor and a club downstairs via the spiral staircase. The vibe is chilled, drinks are cheap, and the sounds are indebted to disco, funk, afro, and soul. And to top it all off, Funk club is open every day.
The only other spot on Tkalciceva Street that’s worth mentioning to a musically-discerning audience is Melin. The place itself is a bar during the week, but on the weekends, it offers top-knotch jazz concerts. It’s decorated in a retro style with old school TVs set up as improvised tables and an open terrace surrounded by forest. It’s perfect for summer lounging.
Medika is an autonomous cultural center and squat that’s located in an abandoned pharmaceutical factory in the very heart of Zagreb. The grounds house several independent collectives and organizations which all deal with various sorts of promotions of different strains of culture. If you’re familiar with squat culture, you probably know what Medika’s about in a musical sense: reggae, dub, punk, bass, dubstep, and drum n bass.
The Bon Ton store/gallery is a “concept store” whose concept is music. They’ve got all kinds of musical equipment (Rewox amplifiers, rotary mixers) and a great selection of 12”, clothes, and books. The store/gallery is also a place to chill and mingle, so you can come here and have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine while listening to your favorite vinyl on a vintage Celsetion Deeton speakers.
Močvara means “The Swamp.” It was originally a cult club devoted to Zagreb’s “alternative” culture, but over the years it has become a place where all sorts of audiences interface. The programming features theater performances, films, workshops, lectures, and, of course, concerts and club nights. Despite its eclectic schedule, Močvara focuses on live bands.
Pogon Jedinstvo provides a space for cultural, musical, and youth-oriented programs in Zagreb. Every year, Pogon hosts over 200 various open public happenings from all disciplines of contemporary culture and arts: exhibitions, theater and dance shows, new circus shows, concerts, lectures, public panels and more.
Pitch Record Store
This vinyl record store might not be a club or a bar, but music lovers shouldn’t pass it by. Situated in the very center of the city, Pitch owns a great selection of 12″s and an open decks policy, so it’s an ideal place for a weekend warm-up or a nice afternoon chat. Although the idea of open decks might seem to attract amateurs, DJ TLR and Delta Funktionen often take advantage of it.//
Electronic Beats’ Fall season has already hit Podgorica and Vienna with some precocious talents, and our Halloween blowout in Budapest is set to raise the bar once again. James Blake, James Holden Joy Wellboy, and Zoot Woman have already sold out the Millenáris Teátrum, but we’re offering a few more tickets in a last minute giveaway—all you have to do is enter your information in the form at the bottom of this post to score a trip to the Hungarian capital. In addition to an amazing night with Electronic Beats, the lucky winners will have the opportunity to explore the city’s bustling nightlife culture. According to our correspondents at the NVC, Budapest is brimming with creative talent. In fact, there’s so much to do over there that we wouldn’t know where to begin, so we asked them to compile for us a guide to the 10 best bars and clubs on both sides of the Danube.
Send in your submissions for free tickets by Tuesday at 4 PM CET.
Every music lover in Hungary has a special place for A38 Hajó in her heart. The venue is, and has been for 10 years, the single most important venue in Budapest. It’s unique because it’s a ship floating on the Danube—hence the word “Hajó” in the name, which means “ship” in Hungarian—and because of its lavish decor and a state-of-the-art sound system. There’s a restaurant on the first floor, a dance floor on the roof, a small bar out back, and a new second boat that’s attached to the primary one, but it’s most famous for the treasure hidden in the belly of the barge: a prestigious, 700-capacity concert hall.
Millenáris Teátrum is located in Millenaris Park, which sits on the Buda side of the city, where there are lots of old warehouses and factories. This particular space contains exhibition areas, film and TV studios, and event halls, and it has a special place in our hearts because it has hosted the Electronic Beats Festivals for four years now. Its perfect acoustics make it a remarkable venue for concert, yet, because of its size and strict regulations, it’s only active a few times a year. That’s why Budapest’s musical savants know that any event in Millenáris must be something special.
Budapest’s underground citadel, Corvintető, opens for electronic music heads from Wednesday to Saturday. However, it’s underground in name only, as the club sits atop the city’s oldest department store. Many of Budapest’s most prolific parties happen here, like DJ Palotai’s 15-year-old Rewind bass music night and the techno bash Casino Bangkok. Visitors should make sure to stop by, if only for the amazing view from the top bar.
The Erzsébet Tér (or “Elizabeth Square” in English) is a park near the heart of the city and the old Jewish district, which is pretty much the headquarters for Budapest’s underground culture. In this case, we do mean that it’s literally under the ground, as Club Akvárium was built below the park over a decade ago. Earlier this year, the club and the square were renovated, and now the venue has three stages, an amazing new sound system, a restaurant, a café, and a pub.
You’ll find this recently remodeled space in the heart of the city, just outside of the bustling 7th District, in the foyer of one of the most revered cinema halls. Toldi is the hive of Hungary’s thriving underground electronic music scene, and it supports local crews like Farbwechsel, Bounce, Küss Mich, and Nightdrive. Even the strip of pavement in front of the venue has played a tremendously important role in shaping Budapest’s culture, as it’s a meeting place for creative minds.
Lärm is the Hungarian capital’s newest venue, but it’s already a respected underground silo. A lot of care was put into the minimal design and the sound system; there are only a few lights, a DJ booth, speakers, black walls, and a smoke machine. It’s an exciting playground for the bigger crews to experiment with niche parties as well as a great way for the smaller promoters to reach wider audiences.
During the day, this cozy little bar in downtown Budapest is an open office space, but at night it becomes a watering hole. Young creative types are drawn to Központ (which means “center”), so, naturally, it has inspired many movies, music videos, and bands. Although it’s a relatively small bar, Központ still provides a wide array of musical selections, which range from live jazz concerts to psychedelic jam sessions and DJs who play hip-hop, house, techno, or indie rock.
Telep began as a gallery, a shelter for the local art scene. Its crowded bar is open to the street and provides a window on the city’s latest styles. Telep’s diverse program, which includes workshops, screenings, and gigs, draws a community of photographers, longboarders, bikers, and designers. Casual visitors can drop by for a cool drink, a bite in the bistro, and some world-class people-watching. Telep also houses Hungarian designer label Ykra and a graffiti shop called Shoppp.
Beat On The Brat
Chaotic disorder meets extreme tranquility at this bar, which is located under a parking garage. Beat On The Brat is geared toward fans of garage rock, alt-pop, post-punk, noise, and synth pop, but it’s totally unpredictable—you might end up having an interesting discussion with some friends, or find yourself at a hardcore alt-rock disaster.
Equal parts restaurant, bar, and club, Kolor’s main aim is to provide Budapest its first club where one can show up on any given night and dance to quality electronic music, for free. It also hosts the longest-running weekly hip-hop club night in Budapest, Monday Session.
Anonymous but true stories from the depths of the dancefloor. All illustrations by Wayne Shellabarger.
I’m not exactly a stranger to the world of kink, having worked in a BDSM club in my younger years (in a DJ capacity; you wouldn’t believe how quickly Nine Inch Nails becomes boring), so I wasn’t fazed by my first time walking into Gegen, an experimental queerdo party that takes place at the legendary Berlin sex club KitKat. What did faze me was the enormous amount of MDMA placed in my water bottle. By 3AM my eyes were pinpoints, my vision tinted red, and my clothes behind the DJ booth as I worked the stripper pole with gusto and a monster toad that couldn’t be cucked. Twenty minutes later my hands were covered in blisters, and I had bruises on my backside, but that didn’t stop me from having a conversation in my underwear with the editor-in-chief of a local culture magazine. He later assured me I was “surprisingly erudite and coherent.”
It happened after a long party weekend at Ostgut, and because I worked there, for me, partying and working was in fact the same. I started working Friday night, I stopped working, I went to an afterparty and I came Saturday evening to party again. Then I stayed until the morning. Next door to Ostgut there was this sex club, Lab.oratory—which is still there today at Berghain. I remember that I went to the afterparty in The Lab to have some fun there. Then I wanted to go back to the Ostgut garden and I discovered that I had lost all my clothes. The only things I had left on me were my shoes, so I had to think how to get back to the party. I was not tired, totally high, of course, and no one could tell me what happened. And I don’t remember. They put these old cloths on the sofa which should make it more beautiful, but in places like this, they are totally filthy and ugly. So I took one of those cloths, I put it around me like a toga and somebody unlocked the door back to Ostgut for me, and I went to the garden and appeared there like Mahatma Gandhi or Jesus and people started somehow ‘worshipping’ me. It was pretty crazy, and really embarrassing. The party was so good, I lost my clothes!
It was my second time at Gegen, and I might have been high on molly. I went into the dark room and every man that I encountered there, I was like, “Okay!” At some point, I realized that I had actually spent FOUR HOURS in there.
A few years ago I was on tour, and had stopped off to do a gig in Slovakia’s Subclub, which takes place in a bunker set into the side of a hill beneath a castle and comes complete with exactly the sort of sound issues inherent in running a club in a space like that. ANYWAY, I’d just finished playing and was grabbing a drink at the bar when two cute female fans decided to grab me instead. I was dragged into the bathroom, drugged inside a stall, and fucked against a wall (which was audible in the hall). About halfway through my second performance of the night, there was a rattle on the door, then a loud SLAM as the door was shoved open, knocking two of us down. There stood the promoter in all her aged dignity, staring coldly at our three dazed and contused buttocks. “This is NOT the kind of party I do,” she said, before storming out. We later found out she’d left the party entirely for the evening. I still got paid though, which just goes to prove that basic instincts are always the way to go.
My friend was leaving Berlin for good, so I decided to join her and her mate for another Sunday night blow-out. This meant another night of beers and Kater Holzig. Already wretchedly drunk, once inside we went for the holy trinity of MDMA, speed, and more MDMA. The next thing we know, the sun was beating down on our pale faces, our eyes straining against the sun. It was so hot that the River Spree, which normally looks like a seeping, infected laceration across the city’s pockmarked face, looked like a forest stream—crisp and inviting. My friend peeled off her clothes and jumped in. As people cheered, the attention was turned to me. “JUMP! JUMP!” the sadists screamed. Easily swayed by fleeting fame, I removed my DMs and jumped on in. As soon as I hit the water, I realized my mistake. I’m asthmatic and as a child had chronic eczema; I have never, ever had a school swimming lesson in my life. I cannot swim beyond a scrappy doggy paddle and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the cold smack of the chill, stagnant water. I thrashed in panic, the stinking water going in my mouth, my eyes. My friend, lithe and a lot younger than me, pulled herself out and offered motivational words as I grasped at the concrete lip of the embankment three feet higher than me. A kind man, vertiginously high on a cocktail of drugs, tried to pull me but had to give up, and I fell back, pathetically, into the murk. Another, more sober, man appeared and guided me to the steps which were hidden but just a few strokes away. I allowed myself to be led by the current, gripping onto the metal slats just in time (a few seconds later and I would’ve been carried downriver, to the toxic zones where the river is lined by heavy industry). I climbed out, with his help, my legs streaked with red rivulets as the brown water made my blood run thinner and faster. The stranger sat me down while he ran to the bar for a first aid kit. As he peeled the ancient plasters from their dusty packaging he comforted me. “This happened to me when I was sailing,” he said generously. I wanted to marry him.
I wish my story ended there. However, anyone who’s consumed drugs will know that the smallest spike of adrenalin tends to make MDMA work in overdrive, turbo-charging the high into a series of dizzying rushes. Gripped by this bittersweet oblivion I decided to remove my bra and allow my clothes to dry. This felt normal, arcadian even. I was in the middle of a club at 8am, topless. Sadly, my friend told me to put my top back on because the bouncer was looking for us. We made a crude pantomime of hiding as security scanned the club from various vantage points, and I started to cry to myself—but I quickly forgot why. I called my partner who was mad at me. I said I would get a taxi home right away.
I never got that taxi. Instead, easily distracted and dizzy with fast encroaching shock and chemicals, my friend and I thought it was a mark of fate when we found two baggies, within meters of each other, each dusted with a tiny amount of white powder. “Shall we?”
Reader, we did. But as we made our way to the dancefloor the world started spinning sickeningly. I hit the deck with a velocity that left me seeing white. “ON NO, IT WAS KETAMINE!” my friend exclaimed, before telling me to lay on my back. She sat down by me and shifted my head into her lap, stroked my hair, said it would be “fine, babes.” I started freaking out about my glasses, which seemed to be made of the most mathematically improbable angles. Maths itself became a fixture of my racing, disassociated brain. I begged my friend to explain what came after two, and why. My head swam and my stomach churned. She finally got me to my feet and slung my limp arm about her shoulders, leading me inside the club, to the safety of the sofas, the kind anonymity of dark. As we stumbled across the ten or so meters of Kater Holzig’s outdoor terrace, I lifted my head and looked out across my fellow club goers, absolutely beaten. A pair of eyes met mine, it was the man who had saved me from the river. I tried to smile, but he—and I will never forget this—turned his face away, a look of abject disappointment crossing his face. ~