Berlinsiders: Surviving The Scene

Berlin has one of the best nightlife scenes in Germany, if not Europe. It even competes with New York in being “the city that never sleeps.” Whether it’s the famous techno, mysterious underground or edgy punk scenes you crave, Berlin’s got it all.

The biggest secret to surviving a night in Berlin is to pace yourself. In true laid-back European fashion, there are no laws on the length of a party. No boring sound pollution laws. No silly licensing laws. Nothing. Berlin is one of the few places where they actually listened to the Beastie Boys and gave the people the “Right to Party.” Most clubs won’t bother opening their doors until 11:00 pm and the party doesn’t actually start until two or three in the morning.

I repeat, pace yourself. It is possible to have days where you can stop by Yaam for a cheeky afternoon drink and end up not even making to the club so use your
common sense. Most Berliners pre-drink at bars before hitting the clubs. Bars like Barbie Deinhoff’s (page 106), Yesterday (page 102) and the Weineri Forum (page 102) are all great places to socialize and intoxicate yourselves before proceeding onwards to a club.
You may be thinking that pre-drinking at bars is going to double your costs of a night out but that isn’t necessarily true. Entry is usually free to five Euros, beer is around 2.50-4.00 Euros and spirits and mixers are around 4.50-6.00 Euros.
Bars are not the only way Berliners prepare themselves for a big night out. Many people flock to see live music. Venues such as Lido (page 107) offer live music
every night with a range of acts from indie to heavy punk to Balkan Beats and even comedy shows.
Although not strictly legal, drinking on the street is tolerated by the authorities so you will find that the majority of people on a night out will have some form of drink attached to their hands. Most food joints will sell drinks to go and almost all shops have a handy dandy bottle opener on the counter for your convenience. Be sure to finish your drink before you reach the club as some places have completely random door policies and will single out the drunk or drunk-esque tourists among the crowd.
Berlin’s nightlife is probably most famous for its long list of superb clubs. KaterHolzig, Berghain, Tresor, White Trash and Cookies are just a few clubs rated very highly amongst Berliners. Expect to leave very late and very drunk. Your best chance of hearing about one of Berlin’s notorious underground clubs is leaving a club. Those with enough stamina will have a huge advantage at this point as underground clubs come and go on a daily basis; just because you get invited one night, doesn’t mean you’ll be invited back the next time.
Don’t be under the impression that soaking up the culture is limited to seeing the Berlin Wall, Reichstag and Checkpoint Charlie. You are severely mistaken. Berlin’s nightlife is a huge part of its culture. Set aside a day to experience the coolest, hippest bars and dance in some of the most famous and electric clubs in the world. After all, you are on holiday in Berlin.

The perfect night out from Berlinsiders resident party boy, Adam Harris.

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CTR Travel Writing Team Berlin 2012

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