04 Sep 11 Tips to go Clubbing in Berlin
Everyone keeps referring to Berlin as the cool, young city of Western Europe.
And after hearing that, we obviously decided to head to Berlin to get a taste of the city, since it had our names written all over it. Because we are cool and young. Right? Jk, totes don’t need your opinion.
We knew nothing about the nightlife in Berlin – and more specifically, the clubbing culture in Berlin. It’s a whole culture, one that sprang to life after the Wall fell down and Berlin was free to be who it wanted to be. And thus clubs began in Berlin, as well as electronic music, specifically techno music.
Berlin is home to over two hundred clubs, with multiple ‘famous’ ones that everyone talks about. Since there are so many, it’s easy to find one that fits your needs and desires. But some are harder to get into than others. Some are open everyday of the week, some only on certain days, some are open continuous from Friday at midnight till Monday at noon.
Based on our short clubbing experience we had in Berlin, here are our stories that may help other club-goers who aren’t in the ‘know.’
Matrix Club: The first club we (mistakingly) went to that was close to our hostel. It’s a club made for tourists and groups such as bachelor parties, bachelorette parties and club crawls. We were even warned of what it truly was by our Alternative Tour guide, Dave. We’re sorry, Dave.
Berghain: Perhaps the most famous club in Berlin, it is notorious for turning people away with no explanation. After reading blog posts and tips from other club-goers, we were advised to not smile or talk in line and to wear black. I told Chloe she couldn’t even look at me while we were in line, because that would ensure I would fall into a fit of giggles. Regardless of the fact that we stayed silent, dressed like we didn’t give a shit (even though we did) and didn’t smile, we were turned away at the door. But it’s all part of the thrill, right?
KitKat: After our rejection to Berghain, we headed back to our hostel (which was only a five minute walk away) to decide our next plan of attack. We were recommended to go to KitKat, which is a sex club and is known for its great dance parties, by a bartender in our hostel. We memorized some phrases, DJs who were going to be performing, and dressed up a little. After waiting in line for over an hour, we made it to the front of the line and were simply told ‘no.’
By this time, it was close to 4 AM. Deciding to call it a night, we got some delicious donor kebabs on our way home and got a few hours of sleep. Most people just continue to the next club to try again, but we wanted sleep.
Chloe did even more research on clubbing and had formulated a plan by the time I woke up.
We would pack our bags, make sure we were ready to go (in case we got in), and head to Sisyphos to try our luck one more time. Our train left early the next morning, and we were going to be prepared to stay all night in case we got in.
Sisyphos: Located on the outskirts of Berlin, it is an outdoor club that is open 24 hours a day, Friday-Monday. Arriving at the club around 2 pm would give us a better chance of getting in (we hoped). We were right! The lines were short and we only had to wait about twenty minutes. The bouncer kicked out the guys in front of us because they stepped over the entry line too eagerly, which made us nervous about our fate. After a few questions (what’s your age, have you ever been here) we were in. YAAASSSSSS. The staff put stickers over our phone cameras because pictures and videos are not allowed. All club-goers should feel welcome to dance, act and do as they please in the club without worry of picture evidence.
‘Welcome to Berlin, the home of techno,’ a few guys said to us inside the club.
Sisyphos is amazing. It’s a fun outdoor club that has a festival vibe and a few different music venues. We stayed in the club for about fourteen hours, heading home to grab about an hour of sleep before heading to Prague. Don’t worry about getting hungry or thirsty inside, as there is a bar, pizza joint, coffee cafe, and more.
Overall, here are 11 tips we would use the next time we want to go clubbing (in Berlin):
- Do not go at ‘typical’ club times. We tried to get in at midnight on a Friday, the time it opened, which was apparently a no-no. Most Berliners go to clubs early in the morning (sometime between 5 AM and 9 AM) so try to follow that route.
- Know some German. We knew the absolute bare minimum, but at least try.
- Know the DJs. While we were not asked this, some bouncers will inquire why you are trying to get into a club. Make sure you know at least one or two DJs that will be playing.
- Always say ‘yes’ if asked if you’ve been to the club. Regardless if you have or not – they won’t let you in if you say ‘no.’
- Be 21+ to enter the club. Even though the drinking age in Berlin is 18, most clubs will not let you in unless you are 21.
- Don’t dress up.
- Wear tennis shoes. You’re about to get your dance on, after all.
- If you want to club hard and do it the right way, bring a backpack filled with a jacket, toothbrush and water bottle. You might be there all weekend long, after all. We definitely saw a few people brushing their teeth from the night before. The beach area at Sysphos is also filled with people napping during the day.
- Go in solo or with a small group. Large groups most likely will not get in.
- Contrary to popular belief, entering with the same amount of guys and girls is better than just girls. That being said, Chloe and I made it in with just the two of us.
- Have a good attitude. You may get in – you may not. It’s all part of the experience!
Keep in mind… this is all advice from a couple of Montana girls trying to make it in the big ol’ city. But hey, we were successful once, and once is all it takes to get you hooked!
remember to not smile in lines,