Your ultimate guide to Berlin nightlife

Get to know Berlin's nightlife (2021). From tips and unwritten rules of partying in Berlin to the best party districts and clubs in town.


9 minute read
Updated on 7 Jul 2023

There're several reasons that internationals move to Berlin, including its nightlife. Berlin is a city where nightlife is recognised as a culture and partying as a lifestyle.

As many revellers will confirm, Berlin's nightlife is exhilarating, addicting, and surprising. At the same time, it can also feel exhausting, crude, surreal, and freaky. But no matter which of the numerous bars, events, or nightclubs you decide to visit, you'll get to experience the rebellious, hardcore, participatory, and progressive nightlife of magical Berlin.

In this article, we'll speak more about nightlife in Berlin, top clubs in Berlin, and Berlin's night life area .

Berlin’s Nightlife: A city that never sleeps

Berlin's nightlife is legendary for a reason. It's a city where people didn't let conflict or suppression take their spirit away. After the fall of the Berlin wall, they transformed the once-abandoned buildings into nightclubs and bars where freedom and expression of self became highly significant.

Today, you'll find more than 4,500 bars and clubs in Berlin where you can experience the city's world-famous pulsating nightlife.

With so many choices, no matter how you like to party, Berlin's got something for you! Whether you want to party the night away at a club or prefer a low-key meet-up with a couple of friends, you’re bound to find “your spot” in Berlin. And since Berlin doesn't have a closing time, you'll have uninterrupted access to Berlin night clubs for 3 days straight.

Ultimately, whether you’re planning to live in Berlin or are just visiting, you'll have the privilege and adventure of your life exploring Berlin's nightlife.

Where is the best area for nightlife in Berlin?

Berlin has a few districts that are well-known for their party scenes. The Mitte district in the Centre used to be the wild area in the 90s. Today it's got a bit of everything for all party goers.

The trendy Prenzlauer Berg in East Belin has the Eberswalder Strasse and the Schönhaused Allee neighbourhood. Here you can find some clubs, plenty of bars on Kastanienalle, and the oldest beer garden in Berlin- Prater Biergarten.

Wrangelstrasse is another lively district that hosts many clubs and bars right by the river Spree, such as Watergate. Near Treptower, you'll find the expat-friendly club Salon Zur Wilden Renate. In Friedrichshain you'll find alternative clubs with an industrial feel. The famous Berlin nightclub Berghain is located here.

Kreuzberg in West Berlin is a trendy, urban, multicultural district famous for its clubs, low key bar culture, and great dining options. Some famous clubs in this area include Tresor, So36, Club der Visionaere, and KitKat. You'll also find plenty of restaurants and bars in Oranienstrasse.

What should I know before partying in Berlin?

Berlin's strict door policy is no secret. Are you wondering how you can increase your chances of entering a popular club in Berlin? Then make sure to follow some basic rules:

  1. The less elaborate you dress the better. Often wearing all black helps to match the techno scene. Overall, you should go for a laid-back look.
  2. Do not go in big groups. Within your group, make sure to have an equal split between the genders.
  3. Do not be drunk; do not be too loud when talking or laughing; do not look at your phone!
  4. When asked for rules, it’s best to hand over your switched off phone so they can cover your camera.
  5. Do your research to answer the bouncers confidently. Know who is playing and dress the part.
  6. Try to speak in German when possible, but don't overdo it if you don't know the language. Being humble and honest always helps.

Apart from the rules, also remember these tips to have a good night out in Berlin:

  1. Don't go to clubs before 01:00 A.M. Most clubs start getting crowded around 2:00 A.M.
  2. Carry cash! Most places in Berlin and Germany don't accept cards.
  3. Don't worry too much about getting home. The city's public transport runs all night long to bring you home safely.

Best Nightclubs in Berlin

1.Berghain & Panorama Bar

Berghain & Panorama bar is the most famous club in Berlin and arguably one of the best clubs in the world. In fact, the clubbing experience is so popular that people flock to this gem from other countries just for the weekend. Even those who don't like clubbing or techno music are bound to be drawn to this infamous and secretive club.

Housed in a once abandoned power plant, Berghain & Panorama Bar is the successor of the infamous gay club Ostgut. Today, the club is such an integral part of Berlin's history and culture that, unlike other clubs, it has to pay similar taxes as a concert hall.

Getting to party here is like a once in a lifetime experience, thanks to its strict and bizarre entrance policy. Once you enter (if you're lucky), you'll step into a whole different universe.

The people who come to Berghain are liberal, free-spirited, bold, curious, and eccentric. And the world-class music system is one of the best features of this club. As the top-notch techno beats reverberate across the 18-meter high ceiling of the main dancefloor, you'll feel intoxicated by the atmosphere and find yourself giving into Berghain's dance floor. The more time you spend inside, the more you'll come to understand why regulars often refer to Berghain as the church for techno lovers.

The club itself is split into two parts. Berghain is a techno paradise with world-class DJs and performers lighting up its insane dance floor every Friday to Monday. The Panorama Bar is where you go to regroup and catch your breath before heading back into Berghain. It's got a relaxed vibe where you can dance to house music and have a few drinks.

You can find Berghain & Panorama Bar in Friedrichshain, an area known for its alternative vibe and a mix of industrial and soviet-style architecture. It's also conveniently located near the Berlin Ostbahnhof railway station.

Tip! Queues during the regular weekend party hours can last up to 1.5 hours. Try your luck on Sunday during the day and be treated with cake and coffee!

2. Tresor

How do we best describe Tresor? Well... get ready for hard techno beats, pounding sensations, and DJs behind jail bars in this iconic techno underground club. Located in an abandoned power plant, you'll experience one of the best techno clubs in Berlin in Tresor.

Once inside Tresor, you'll be surrounded by long concrete corridors. Even as you walk through the infamous 30m long vault tunnel, you'll be surrounded by music.

If techno gets too much or you need a change of scene, head upstairs to Globus or +4bar for some house or EDM.

If you're planning to visit Tresor, make sure to head over around 3:00 A.M. to experience it like a true local. And don't forget to wear something that can withstand the hours of constant dancing, without even a thought of sitting down.

Tresor is situated in Kreuzberg, an area known for its hipster and counter culture scenes. You can party here on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday every week.

The more than 100-year-old original vault door from Tresor is now an installation at the Humboldt Forum.

3. Sisyphos

Even though it’s a bit out of the typical Berlin nightlife zones, Sisyphos is an adventure in itself; you’ll have no need to club hop.

This club is in an abandoned dog food factory__. Can you really get any more “real Berlin?”

A visit here can feel like you're on vacation or in a carnival, thanks to the vast indoor and outdoor areas. Inside Sisyphos you'll find a lake, an empty bus, a chilling area, and numerous dance floors with several types of music playing on any given night. And if you’re hungry, you can grab a coffee, pizza, fries, and more. With so much happening here, don't be surprised if you find yourself or others partying well into Monday!

We recommend Sisyphos if you want to explore a new part of town and be greeted by nicer staff compared to other clubs in Berlin. It's also got a comparatively relaxed entrance policy.

4. Watergate

If music is like air to you, you'll find yourself at home in Watergate.

Watergate is a place where you can find world-class artists like Adam Freeland, Get Physical, Kerri Chandler, and Eric Morillo. This 2-floor club boasts an incredible music system where you will enjoy great house, techno, or R&B beats. Watergate was also the first club to invest in a responsive LED lighting system, making for an overall exciting clubbing experience.

One of the highlights of Watergate is the view you can enjoy. The floor to ceiling glass windows gives you a nice panoramic view over the river Spree and the floating deck terrace allows you to enjoy the sunset or sunrise.

Watergate is located in Falckensteinstrasse and it's open on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

5. Salon zur Wilden Renate

If you ever fancied having a giant house party in an abandoned building, then you've got to visit Salon Zur Wilden Renate.

What was once a crumbling building set for renovations became an abandoned housing complex. And in true Berlin fashion, this complex quickly became the breeding ground for parties. Today, this building houses the famous Renate club where you'll find yourself partying across multiple floors and multiple rooms; each with its own peculiarities, old furniture or lighting fixtures.

Renate is a place where you can go wild and get lost in its myriad of rooms, corridors, secret spaces. Besides the many dance rooms, you'll find a real labyrinth, a cafe, a secret mini-club in the attic, and a large open-air venue in the summer.

The clubbing area itself is divided into 3 floors. The ground floor, also known as Schwarzer Raum (Black Room) is a techno haven. Upstairs, the Gruner Raum (Green Room) has house music. The third floor with the Roter Raum (Red Room) will make you groove to Disco music along with some slow tunes. On any given day, you'll find a mix of international and local artists across the different floors whose beats will vibrate your core and transcend your soul.

Salon Zur Wilden Renate is particularly popular with internationals as you can find international artists and various expats partying with locals. And unlike other clubs, it's a place where you can truly express yourself by wearing catchy or Kitsch outfits.

6. KitKat

Saving the last one for the most bizarre and famous club in Berlin. KitKat is a techno-sex club, which understandably is not everyone’s cup of tea. But if this piques your interest, read on.

KitKat is known for its sexual liberalness. It's a place where you've got to be confident with your sexuality. It's a place where you can try out your desires or fetishes without judgement and simply be yourself. But don't worry! Just like most clubs in Berlin, there's absolutely no photography allowed.

Inside the club, you'll find numerous dance floors, a swimming pool, mock operating room, massage room, and a lounge area.

The dress code is almost always fetish or leather. But that doesn't mean you can leave your clothes at the door. You'll still have to dress up to impress.

Late-Night Berlin food

Did you think we'd leave you hanging with only club recommendations?!

No night out is complete without a late-night food adventure; especially not in Berlin. After all the energy you'll lose dancing till the morning, you're going to need food before heading off to bed. Here're some of our recommendations.

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 favourite 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 a night 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 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 €5 - €6, 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.

Berlin awaits!

Now that you know some of the best night clubs to visit in Berlin and how to get into them, it's time to go out and experience it yourself.

And if the city really resonates with you, why not explore homes for rent in Berlin to easily experience the nightlife whenever you want?

Apart from the best nightlife in the world, expats who've moved to Berlin get to live in the cheapest western European capital city, experience several diverse neighbourhoods, work in some of the coolest start-ups, and study in some of the best art universities. Berlin truly has something for everyone and it's no surprise that several expats have decided to move here. So if you're feeling ready, find out more about moving to Berlin.

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