Europe’s answer to the city that never sleeps offers a late-night parade of neon clubs, hidden bars and sweet speakeasies. Want the inside track on Berlin’s best after-dark hot spots? Here are a few of the local favourites.
DJs, journalists and patrons alike consider this somewhat mythical club to be the world’s finest, and it’s not difficult to understand why. With a rotating cast of superstar selectors and enough strobe-lit space to house a small village, Berghain is a stunning testament to Berlin’s deeply rooted obsession with all things techno. The attached Panorama Bar provides a chilled-out respite from the main floor’s pulsating beats, but stick to the downstairs for a true taste of Berlin clubbing at its most rambunctious.
This former factory takes the cake when it comes to diversity. Situated in the trendy Kreuzberg neighbourhood, Ritter Butzke combines hip-hop parties, techno nights and VIP-worthy events into one iconic mish-mash. Get there after 1 a.m. to see the Berlin trendsetters in full swing.
Another Kreuzberg gem, Watergate is second only to Berghain in terms of most-coveted club space. The neon-hued upstairs plays hosts to the most cutting-edge international DJs while the slightly less frenetic first level showcases the future sounds of Berlin’s electronic scene.
Of course, there’s more to Berlin’s nightlife than bass-heavy clubs alone. If you’re interested in an evening of expertly crafted drinks and seriously laid-back vibes, head to Mitte’s Reingold. This speakeasy goes heavy on the 1930s decor and swirling jazz music, but its friendly patrons, warm-weather patio and expert bartenders offset any theme fatigue.
Buck & Breck
A speakeasy in the truest sense of the word, this hidden bar occupies a disguised Mitte space next to a police station. Only a few people can cram into the room at once — it’s barely large enough for the central bar — but if you manage to get the go ahead, you’ll be treated to an array of historical craft cocktails. Plan your trip to Berlin to visit these hot spots and make sure you buy American Express travel insurance before you go.
Berlin has a reputation for housing the hottest underground clubs, but this two-floor paradise rockets the concept into the sky. Located on the 12th and 15th floors of the Haus des Reisens tower, Weekend is locally loved for its roof terrace, inexpensive drinks and internationally renowned techno DJs. Stay until sunrise to see the city light up from the building’s magnificent views.
Three rooms, nonstop music and an iconic string of locations: It’s moved around over the years, but Tresor is one of Berlin’s most enduring legends. This techno mainstay brings in some of the world’s most innovative DJs and electronic producers, and in-the-know fans flock to the club to hear the latest beats and scope out the newest trends. This one’s not for the faint of heart; expect to party hard until well beyond dawn.