The Berlin Bunch: After Dark

ctr-berlin-bunch-cover2Berlin’s nightlife is an ever-changing beast, with countless ways to experience and enjoy it. As such some sort of comprehensive list of places just isn’t feasible. You can have as chilled or as crazy a night as you wish – it does have it all. Just wandering the streets at night taking in the sights and sounds with a road beer is an awesome adventure in itself, you are never too far from a corner shop, a staple in Berlin nightlife. Look out for the signs Spätkauf or Stube indicating little shops to hook you up with a cold pilsner, a bottle opener available right at the cashier counter. The transport network’s 24 hour service on the weekend enables you to keep it moving if you want to bar hop or club hop.

Revaler Straße provides partying opportunities – hip-hop, reggae, techno, etc. can be found from one bar to the next. You can walk into one of these crazy places and find deep house music, then come back to the same spot the following night and they have sixties themed swing music from a live band. The spontaneity and randomness of it all will put a smile on your face. If you’ve got the techno craze, then the notoriously strict Berghain may have to be visited, or you can hit up the more lenient Watergate.

Alternatively, if feeling super adventurous, there is KitKat club, a place glittering with nudity, absurdity and awesome techno music.

There is a traditional German beer hall in Alexander Platz if a stein of beer takes your fancy, quite a funny venue when packed on the weekend, although you may find a bunch of English people getting smashed for their mate’s stag do which hardly gives you an authentic Berlin experience. Unsurprisingly, central areas tend to be a tourist trap: a bar called AM to PM is the worst example of this – rip off watery beers, tacky music, depressed staff and drunk tourists – please God no!

A lot of locals will cite Kreuzberg as the area with the best nightlife. It’s not quite as easy as just heading there and finding places as it’s a vast neighbourhood with tucked away streets, but the area near Görlitzer Park, while somewhat sketchy, has a sprawl of heaving bars. It’s where the “cool kids” hang out, so be prepared for some in your face pretension and backwards hats and neck beards. Nevertheless, there are some sweet spots to be found here.

It’s impossible to give a comprehensive guide but hopefully this is a start.

CTR Berlin by William Barber

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