Debauched Delights of Berlin

Introduction to Berlin’s nightlife Berlin’s nightlife consistently attracts international renown – it is widely regarded as the most exciting city in the world in that respect. These plaudits are not undeserved. No matter what your tastes, you will find something for you in this simply buzzing city. From the nightclubs where the distinctions between day […]

Introduction to Berlin’s nightlife

Berlin’s nightlife consistently attracts international renown – it is widely regarded as the most exciting city in the world in that respect. These plaudits are not undeserved. No matter what your tastes, you will find something for you in this simply buzzing city. From the nightclubs where the distinctions between day and night are of little significance, to the hidden and more relaxed bars, Berlin has it all.

Image 1: Watergate Nightclub

There are a lot of myths regarding the nightlife in Berlin – people fear being turned away from clubs for reasons which are unclear, others think that techno is the only genre of music that thrives in this city. In the following blog, we hope to assuage these fears. Over the course of this blog we will explore bars hidden on car park rooftops, Berlin’s coolest hookah bars and an Alternative Pub Crawl which takes you to a range of unique bars – absinthe bars, table tennis bars and more.

Berlin offers so much more than the techno clubs with the intimidating door staff – though these are very real, and certainly they are worth checking out too! But perhaps the most charming part about the nightlife in Berlin is that you could wander the streets and find something new every day. The choices are endless and you will certainly not be getting bored. This blog intends to inform you about some of the places our team have visited and loved – we hope you find it useful!!

 

Fly high at two of Berlin’s best rooftop bars

Berlin’s nightlife is notorious for the venues which are hidden, secretive and fantastically unique. Why not throw even more cool into that mix? On top of being all of the above, Berlin’s rooftop bars offer the ability to make the most of the sprawling sky above, relax in the sun (it won’t be around for ever!) and take in the amazing views of the Berlin skyline straight in front of you. Here, we will look at two of the best – Klunkerkranich and Deck 5.

Klunkerkranich

A rooftop beer garden, a hidden entrance, an eccentric music venue – Klunkerkranich epitomises everything so loved about the Berlin bar culture. Yet perhaps the most important selling point of this bar is its genuinely friendly vibe. Families mingle happily among a hip, younger crowd – and unlike many places in Berlin, the door and bar staff could not be more welcoming.

Image 2: Klunkerkranich Roof Top Bar

The first fun to be had with Klunkerkranich is the finding of it. Sitting deep in central Neukölln, just across from the beautiful Rathaus, to enter the bar you must first enter the Neukölln arcade.  From there you then ride the lift to the fifth floor where you may be confused to emerge out into what seems to be a generic car park. This confusion will soon lift as you climb the ramp up to the next floor, where you will find yourself at the amazing garden of the bar. This is where the stunning views achievable from this bar will first become evident – the whole of Berlin lies visible to the north, all the way up to (and beyond) Alexanderplatz and the Fernsehturm. From there you pass the smiling door staff for only a small fee – or for free, every day, if you go before 4pm – and enter onto the fantastic rooftop terrace of the bar.

Image 3: View from the garden of Klunkerkranich

On the rooftop terrace, tables lining the outer wall (and therefore with an unimpeded view) are the prime options, but be prepared to compete with others to scramble for them! There are many other seats available in the centre, and there is also a sandpit for those families with younger children. There is a small indoor area too, often filled with jazz musicians or DJs. Klunkerkranich provides a packed schedule of events – typically there is something going on seven-days-a-week. All the relevant information can be found on their website. One of the most enjoyable things about this bar is the feeling that few people know of it – the strange method of entry, and the rewarding experience waiting for you instantly makes you feel among the Berlin locals! That is not to mention that, in comparison to similarly trendy bars, Klunkerkranich is cheap. One thing is for sure, after one visit here, you will be desperate to share this place with all your friends.

Image 4: A Klunkerkranich sunset

 

Practical Information

Klunkerkranich, Karl-Marx-Strasse 66, 12043, Berlin – Neukölln

Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-2am, Sunday 12pm-2am

Nearest U-Bahn station: Rathaus Neukölln (serviced by the U7 train)

http://klunkerkranich.de/

 

Deck 5

Remarkably similar to its chilled-out Neukölln cousin – Klunkerkranich – in the respect of the venue, Deck 5 sits perched on the 7th floor of the Schönhauser Allee Arcaden. Here, in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg, you can find what their website proudly calls “Berlin’s highest beach club”. It is that and far more. Open from midday daily in the summer, here you can enjoy a range of delicious drinks (as well as barbecued food to die for) whilst enjoying the great view of the city from this rooftop beach. The only way to understand the great relaxed vibe of this place is to get out there and go see it for yourself!

Image 5: Relaxing at Deck 5

Like Klunkerkranich, you must ride the lift to the top of the Arcade before you reach the bar, again making you feel as if you have discovered a hidden gem However, whereas Klunkerkranich has a garden-style décor, containing many wooden benches, plants and is consistently crowded with people snuggled up around every table, Deck 5 is something else entirely. The sandy beach provides more than enough room for people to pick their own space, and is complete with numerous deckchairs. You might even describe the bar as quiet in comparison to Klunkerkranich, unless the weather is particularly good on a weekend. However, this is all part of the attraction. The vibe here is very much about kicking back, taking in the lounge music, and imagining yourself transported off to the Caribbean, or the Maldives perhaps.

Come here if you want a place to chat with your friends over some reasonably priced cocktails, with relaxed music, and perhaps a tasty burger straight off the barbecue. Don’t come here if you want a wildly energetic night – its just not the vibe. Deck 5 is in its element as an oasis of calm, to come and destress after a difficult or tiring day. In this respect, you could hardly pick a better place.

Practical Information

Deck 5, Schönhauser Allee Arcaden, Schönhauser Allee 79, 10439 Berlin – Prenzlauer Berg

Opening Times: Midday-Midnight

Nearest S and U Bahn station: Schönhauser Allee

Website: http://www.freiluftrebellen.de/en/

Written by: Kieran O’Malley


Get weird at Berlin’s alternative pubs

Berlin has a reputation of being the hipster capital of the world and never following any general conventions. What better way to bolster Berlin’s hipster lifestyle by having phenomenally weird bars. Here’s a list of a few alternative bars compiled and reviewed by our very own Jillian McCants.

Gin Chilla

There’s something respectable about a business that’s dedicated to its puns, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Gin Chilla. If the adorably grotesque chinchilla on the sign doesn’t draw you in, you’re likely to at least be sucked in by the promise of free Wi-Fi and an impressive assortment of gin cocktails. The lure of internet brings you in, but the friendless of the bartenders and the strength of the drinks will make you stay.

The bar itself is warm and cozy with its mass of huge leather couches and chill music. The menu consists of pages and pages of punned-out gin specialties and a satisfying selection of absinthe and soft-drinks. At the moment, they have nearly 300 gin cocktails in their repertoire. For gin newbies, the delicious Berliner Branstifter with its flowery mix of elderberry and mallow blossoms is a great place to start. For those who are looking to a more refined night, there are gin tastings starting at €20 per person for those looking to sample their collection.

Image 6: An example of the extensive selection at Gin Chilla

Gin Chilla’s central location right across from the M13 Warschauer Strasse stop and the infamous Suicide Circus make it a perfect beginning or end of the night hangout. You’ll be hard pressed to find a bar with such good vibes and gentle ambience that’s so close to the techno hotspots. Whether you use this bar as your main event or as a stopping off point, be sure to take a quiet moment on their couch to savor your night.

Practical Information

Address: Warschauer Strasse 33, 10243 Berlin Friedrichshain

Hours: 7AM-1AM

Closest transit: Warschauer Strasse Station

 

Alternative Berlin 666 Anti Pub Crawl

What better way is there to explore Berlin than by taking an extensive hike through its most beloved underground bars? Possibly none. The Alternative 666 Pub Crawl leads happy drinkers through a promising four bars and one club. The guide can take you anywhere, from a ping pong bar to a retro hangout to a swanky absinth bar. Each establishment has its own personality and beat, one more likeable than the last. The selection of bars is varied, so you really get a taste of each genre of nightlife.

Unlike other pub crawls across Europe, Alternative 666 shuns rowdy drunkenness in favour of cooler, more aloof public faces. Pub crawlers are reminded of Berlin’s dedication to keeping it cool, which holds true even after a few rounds of Jäger. The tour upholds an admirable balance of letting loose and respecting the locals.

Image 7: The club, the final stop of the pub crawl

This tour is great for those who don’t know their way around yet or for those who just want to sit back and enjoy a leisurely tour of Berlin through beer-soaked glasses. The pub crawl draws people from across the globe, so there’s quite the chance to meet new friends. The program also includes six free shots and entry to a techno club at the very end of the night, leaving you with the opportunity to turn in early or party until brunch hours. To be fair, after the slow burn of excitement through the night, almost no one chooses to pack it in early.

Practical Information

Address: Tati Goes Underground (formerly Yesterday Bar) Metzer strasse 2, Prenzlauerberg Hours: 9PM-1:30AM

€12 tickets

Closest transit: U2 Senefelderplatz


 

Hookah: The Berlin Edition

Germany has always had a good relationship with places like the Middle East and Turkey. One positive that has come out of this relationship is the integration of hookah, also known as shisha into Berlin’s smoking culture. You’re never too far away from a hookah bar regardless of what district you’re in. For those of you who don’t know what hookah is, it’s smoking various flavours of tobacco mixed in with fruity or sweet elements with a cold water base to increase the volume of smoke blown out. It’s the “OG” version of Vapes. Popular areas to find hookah in Berlin include Mitte, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. So here’s a list of shisha bars to check out:

Cleopatra

Cleopatra is one of the more traditional looking hookah bars in Berlin. Located in Mitte, this bar boasts a good variety of both hookah flavours and types of alcohol. The hookah is comparatively expensive, but still worth it as the mint flavours are exceptional. Expect to spend around €10 on hookah. A beer will cost you around €3 so it’s very affordable for the typically broke young person. The interior is a traditional middle-eastern design. Red and black coloured tents fill up the inside, African paintings hang from the walls of the tents to promote authenticity. Cleopatra provides free wifi, making it the optimal place to do some relaxed work too.

Image 8: The relaxing atmosphere of a hookah bar

Practical Information

Address: Chausseestraße 11, 10115 Berlin, Germany

Opening hours: 5PM-5AM

Nearest U-Bahn station: Naturkundemuseum

First Lounge

First Lounge is a chic hookah cafe located in the Kreuzberg area of Berlin. First Lounge’s classy interior is it’s selling point, it’s minimalist, modern and classy. Apart from the interior, First Lounge also has an outdoor seating area for when the weather is pleasant. Its location is peculiar and quiet so it may be worth choosing outdoor seating. The cafe provides free wifi and phone chargers as well as some entertainment on the TVs on every wall. First Lounge is easily one of the more affordable hookah cafes with a pot of bubbly coming in at €8. Unfortunately, First Lounge do not serve any alcohol, but you can enjoy a fresh juice or coffee.

Image 9: Hookah bars don’t just offer a smoke, most have a wide range of drinks too

Practical Information

Address: Gneisenaustraße 72, 10961 Berlin, Germany

Opening hours: 5PM-5AM

Nearest U-Bahn station: Mehringdamm

Marrakesh Shisha Lounge and Cocktail Bar

Marrakesh is a hookah bar located in Mitte just outside Rosa-Luxembourg Platz. Although the interior is small, the combination of dim lighting, Arabic and Spanish music makes a fantastic vibe. The shisha is priced at a very reasonable €7 and cocktails come in for €4. Marrakesh is the place to go for a group who have both smokers and non-smokers.

Practical Information

Address: Schönhauser Allee 5, 10119 Berlin, Germany

Opening hours: 5PM-5AM

Nearest U-Bahn station: Rosa-Luxemburg Platz


 

Broccoli: The Berlin Edition

Now that you’ve arrived in Berlin, you will notice the famous liberal drug scene many talk about. If that is your scene, Berlin is one of the best cities in the world to dabble in. After you pick up some “Broccoli” at Görlitzer Park you might want to visit a few places while under the influence. Newcomers to the city, beware, if you’re going to Görlitzer make sure you go during daylight hours in order to avoid any shady conflict. Now that you’re prepared here’s a few things to do in Berlin while under the influence of god’s favourite plant.

Image 10: Goerlitzer Park

The Berlin Zoo

Everyone loves seeing cute and beautiful animals while sober, those feelings get amplified when your inhibitions are lowered. The Berlin Zoo is undoubtedly one of the most well recognised zoos in the world and there’s a reason for that. Its sheer size and variety of animals will keep anyone busy for at least half a day. Watch some of the animals go about their daily life and in an inebriated state of mind you might learn quite a bit. The zoo is full of food and ice cream stalls for when the munchies kick in. Check out the famous Panda enclosure and you’ll eventually come to the conclusion that you’d rather be a Panda.

Image 11: The Official Animal of Berlin at the Berlin Zoo

Practical Information

Address: Hardenberhplatz 8, 10787 Berlin, Germany

Opening hours: 8AM-5PM

Nearest U-Bahn station:

Website: www.zoo-berlin.de/en

The Holocaust Memorial

The Holocaust memorial located in Berlin is one of the most surreal, beautiful and mysterious monuments on the planet. The eerie unevenness of the memorial will change your perspective and may even make you feel uneasy in your state. However, that’s what makes the memorial so special and unique. Take a few minutes to walk around the memorial, absorb its beauty and create your own interpretation of it. Remember, it is still an important monument, so please stay respectful – don’t smoke or take too many pictures inside and do not stand up on the monument at all.

Image 12: Holocaust Memorial

Practical Information

Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Opening hours: 8AM-8PM

Nearest U-Bahn station: Mohrenstrasse

Website: https://www.visitberlin.de/en/memorial-murdered-jews-europe

Chalet Nightclub

Chalet is one of the more unique nightclubs in Berlin. Chalet is in an old mansion and gives the vibe of an overblown house party. There are multiple rooms to dance in and a few rooms with questionable but nevertheless comfortable couches. So if you’ve had a strain that gets you moving, you have many places to dance and at the same time you have places to sit and have ‘deep’ conversation with your fellow stoner. However, the best part of Chalet is the outside. Chalet’s outdoor area is unlike any other club in Berlin, it has a bonfire. Yes, you read that right, Chalet has a bonfire in its outdoor area and is the optimal place to socialise and wind down towards the end of your night or just a good place to get some fresh air or smoke.

Image 13: Chalet Nightclub

Practical Information

Address: Vor dem Schlesischen Tor 3, 10997 Berlin, Germany

Opening hours: 10PM-10AM

Nearest U-Bahn station: U1 Schlesisches Tor

Website: www.chalet-berlin.de

Burgermeister

Now that the munchies have kicked in, make your way to one of the many Burgermeisters located in Berlin. Burgermeister has a large variety of mouth watering burgers and some stores are open as late as 3AM so it’s a perfect night time meal. Compliment your burger with a side order of spicy cheesy fries and taste the pure bliss.

Image 14: Burgermeister

Practical Information

Address: U1 Schlesisches Tor, Oberbaumstraße 8, 10997 Berlin, Germany

Opening hours: 11AM-4AM

Nearest U-Bahn station: U1 Schlesisches Tor

Website: burger-meister.de

That could potentially be an entire day in Berlin, with a few breaks in the middle where you could visit some beautiful parks and markets.

Written by: Aakash Manoj Bhatia

 

 

 

 

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