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Your Ultimate Guide to Berlin's Nightlife

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by Bryony Harris on 11 Aug 2019

Relocating to a new city can create a number of feelings, ranging anywhere from complete exhilaration to a little anxiety. The good news is that there are thousands of people in the same situation. Like you, they’re packing up their belongings and heading out into the great unknown.

There are so many benefits to living abroad, and if you’re living in Berlin (either to study at one of Berlin’s universities, intern or start a new career), you can be sure that your horizons will be broadened in ways you could never have imagined! For starters, Berlin sure knows how to party; the nightlife scene in the German capital is pretty much legendary.

But First… Why Berlin?

Berlin is known for a lot of things, including its diverse neighborhoods, delectable dining, historic attractions and, of course, its nightlife. However, the seemingly endless opportunities of Berlin are what really attract young talent to this city.

Berlin has an impressive number of well-known options for university placements, which is why so many students opt for Berlin when studying abroad. You’ve probably heard of:

  • Humboldt University of Berlin
  • Technical University of Berlin
  • Freie Universität Berlin

And for those looking for an internship in Germany or a position at an innovative new startup, Berlin is just teeming with options. The city actually sits at number six on our rankings for the Top Cities for Finding a Job. Some that work well with incoming internationals include:

  • Blacklane
  • Contentful
  • ChartMogul
  • Go Euro
  • SnapShot

On top of that, the city’s public transportation system is easy to navigate and gets you from one side of the city to the other with total ease. Plus, many options run all night, so it’s not a problem if you’re leaving a bar or a club nearer sunrise. What’s not to love?

Berlin’s Diverse Nightlife Options

Berlin is known the world over for its pulsating nightlife, and with good reason. Whether you’re the clubbing regular or prefer a low-key meet-up with a couple of friends, you’re definitely going to find “your spot” in Berlin.

Even expats who come from other cosmopolitan cities, such as Amsterdam, Barcelona and Helsinki, find themselves blown away by the nightlife of Berlin, which isn’t always nocturnal may we add! It truly is one of those cities that never sleeps, keeping its revellers moving until sunrise and even into daylight hours.

So, while it’s great to know that your weekend is taken care of, the larger clubs host week-night parties and events, so prepare to adjust your sleep schedule when you first arrive in Berlin. Then again, we know what they say about ‘all work and no play’...

Let’s jump right in and discover the places you won’t want to miss when exploring Berlin’s roaring nightlife scene!

1.Berghain & Panorama Bar

Nestled between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, Berghain & Panorama Bar is the epitome of Berlin nightlife. The experience is so popular that people flock to this gem from other countries just for the weekend, so expect to mingle with plenty of other internationals. The fun part is that the entertainment complex is split into two sides: Berghain is a techno paradise, with world-class DJs and performers lighting up its insane dance floor every night of the week, and even all day during the weekends. The Panorama Bar is more on the relaxed side, where you can listen to house over a few drinks.

Okay, we aren’t going to fool you. Panorama Bar is where you go to regroup and catch your breath before heading back into Berghain. This club is big for students in Berlin and it’s conveniently located near the Berlin Ostbahnhof main line railway station. Tip! It can get pretty crowded during the weekend’s regular party hours, with some queues lasting up to 1.5 hours! We recommend trying your luck at Sunday during the day, and hey, there’s cake and coffee!

2. Weekend

Found in Mitte and occupying the 12th and 15th floors of the Haus des Reisens, (along with the roof, in Alexanderplatz) the Weekend’s building is a bit foreboding. But this high-rise is one of the most popular clubs in all of Berlin, especially due to its central location, close to public transportation. The building has low ceilings and a perpetually-packed dance floor. You can expect techno and other current dance genres. Go with a group of friends, and expect the party to go late into the night and early hours.

3. Gretchen

If ambiance is everything, then you’ll really enjoy a night out at Gretchen. Set in a former military barrack, the ceilings are vaulted, and there’s a vibe for everyone. One area offers the city’s best DJ spinning tracks for a crowded, pulsating dance floor. The other is a live music venue, where you can witness everything from local acts to some regional favorites. Just be sure to get your tickets in advance for some of the performers! Located in Kreuzburg, you can easily jump on a bus or take the U-Bahn.

Berlin’s Underground Spots

1. Tresor

Situated in Köpenickestraße in Kreuzberg, Tresor is considered the largest underground club. The beats are massive, so don’t expect a chilled ambiance here. You’ll need to wear something that can withstand the hours of constant dancing, without even a thought of sitting down. It has three separate rooms blasting techno, so don’t expect a lot of variety. But hey, isn’t techno what Berlin’s music scene is known for anyway? The building also hosts a record label, so you never know when someone may be recording.

2. Sisyphos

Even though it’s a bit out of the typical Berlin nightlife zones, Sisyphos is an adventure in itself, so you’ll have no need to club hop. Crazily enough, this club is in an abandoned dog food factory. Can you really get any more “real Berlin?” A visit here is an excellent way to take in the unique and diverse culture of this city. You can find a lake, an empty bus and numerous dance floors with several types of music playing on any given night. And if you’re hungry, then you’re still in luck, as there’s a pretty tasty pizza place right inside the space. The parties go well into the early morning, with the majority of the dance crowd not showing up until after midnight. So, it’s best not to go on a work or a school night, for sure!

3. Creamcake

This weekend underground party doesn’t always happen at the same venue, which is all part of the allure. It started out in 2011, and it quickly took over the weekend slot for the best “in the know” scene for locals and some very privileged tourists on the party tour. You can expect musical guests like Lotic, Danny L. Harle and UNIQUE3, along with an assortment of surprise performers. Creamcake is especially LGBTQ friendly, making the vibe open and welcoming. Some of its go-to venues include Ohm, Akademie der Künste or Hebbel am Ufer.

Late-Night Berlin food

1. Schwarzes Café

Located in Charlottenburg and complete with a courtyard terrace, this 24-hour eatery is open whenever your night of partying is over, even if it’s in the early hours of the morning. Opened back in the 70s, this spot is an absolute favorite amongst the expats and artists of the city. Schwarzes Cafe has a diverse menu, serving up organic meats and all-day/all-night breakfast, which is perfect after an evening of dancing. They are also known for their strudels, homemade cakes, and milkshakes.

2. Imren Grill

With numerous locations spread all throughout the city, you are usually only a few steps or a short ride from some of the best kebabs or Turkish falafel in all of Berlin. You can also enjoy baked pitas and lentil soup, plus a free cup of Turkish tea while you wait for your order.

3. Curry 36

This Indian staple is one of Berlin’s most famous walk-up food kiosks, plus it’s open until 5 a.m. for your nightly convenience. Not to mention, the food is also perfect for a student budget. Two sausages with fries will only set you back five or six euros, and it’s known for the best Currywurst in the city. Located in Kreuzberg, it’s close to several popular nightlife spots, as well as public transportation.

Basics of Moving to Berlin

Now that you know exactly where to go and what to do with your nights in Berlin, you just have to get there! Making sure that you register for any permits or visas that you need is imperative, as well as locating housing in a neighborhood that fits your budget and your personality of course!

Registration and Permits

When relocating to Berlin, you’ll need to register your address immediately with the Bürgeramt. Depending on your country of origin, you may also need a student visa or a work permit. Keep in mind that health insurance is required, but you can simply use your home plan if you’re coming from a country within the EU or EEA, as well as Switzerland.

As mentioned, the popularity of Berlin’s neighborhoods has always been a huge draw for incoming internationals. The good news is that, just like the nightlife, there really is something for everyone. Some of the most popular neighborhoods include:

Mitte - The historic center of Berlin.

Neukölln - Where a quirky, fun, and bohemian atmosphere meets true international flair.

Friedrichshain - Kreuzberg - After the damage of World War II bombings, this area has been rebuilt into a trendy, creative and lively locale.

Charlottenburg - Wilmersdorf - Welcome to the retail epicenter of Germany, with countless work opportunities.

Pankow - This neighborhood is brimming with young professionals, expats and families.

Tempelhof - Schöneberg - An area popular for alternative activities and sports.

Steglitz - Zehlendorf - Expect to find plenty of recreational activities here, mixed with picturesque villages.

With the help of this nightlife guide, you should be ready for the multifaceted beats of Berlin. Just like the rest of the city, its nightlife is diverse, welcoming and unforgettable. Now, it’s time to sign up to a trusted housing platform, so you can move to Berlin, arrange your placements and say goodbye to the ordinary. Berlin awaits!

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by Bryony Harris on 11 Aug 2019
Ready for your adventure abroad?Find a room in Berlin
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Ready for your adventure?Find a room in Berlin