Berlin’s club scene is a marvel of the dance music community, and it is intimately tied to the history of the city. For years, Germany was divided and cut off from the rest of the world until the fall of the Berlin Wall. The city’s youth celebrated the triumph of peace over conflict, acquiring a newfound cultural freedom and forming what is a clubbing capital of the world. Here are six of our favorite venues in the city:
Berghain is a temple dedicated to the quintessential sound of Berlin techno. Despite its grimy appeal and notoriously difficult door policy, it is constantly voted the world’s best club, garnering a wild and hedonistic reputation that would make the most hardened clubber weak in the knees.
Watergate, a split-story club, is a favorite of Kreuzberg clubbers. It’s famous for its sound system and the enormous LED panel on the main floor, as well as the downstairs Waterfloor that showcases the best up-and-coming DJs in Europe, playing mostly house and techno.
Salon zur Wilden Renate
This multi-room club has a fun atmosphere thanks to its circus theme and labyrinth-like quality, giving it the feel of house party. Salon has an eclectic mix of music and colorful decor, and it’s notably easier to get into than more exclusive venues like Berghain. Music in the main room is mostly German house and tech-house.
If Berghain is techno’s capital, than Tresor is its Mecca. The club is a historic landmark for the techno scene, founded just before Germany’s reunification in 1991 and kicking off Berlin’s modern clubbing scene. Don’t expect the sounds of EDC here, this is strictly for techno-heads only.
Weekend is a popular clubbing destination for tourists, located adjacent to the Fernsehturm TV Tower where exiting patrons can catch the sunrise just as the light bursts through the Haus des Reisens. It has an outstanding rooftop terrace, and despite the touristy crowd, they pull some of the best house and techno acts out there like Jazzanova’s Dixon and Trentmøller.
White Trash Fast Food
You’ve never seen a club quite like this. WTFF completely rejects Berlin’s reputation as a techno capital and instead serves up a weird concoction of American food, rock music and the decor of a Chinese take-out place. Come here to listen to some blues, get a tattoo, eat a burger and smoke a cigar in their cinema.
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