10 atmospheric techno clubs and DJ bars in Berlin
Berlin is the place to come to party like a grownup: the city of never-ending raves has long been a magnet for techno enthusiasts. Those in the know can hit a club on a Friday night and leave on Monday morning. If you want to pass for local, add our list of no-pop places to the map and hang out there.
Photo: Crusty | RA
Köpenicker Strasse, 70, 10179 Berlin
One of the oldest German techno clubs. The place was opened in 1991 in the former cash vault of a large department store. Then the building was demolished and the club was moved to the old power plant. Tresor now has two main dance floors: one where a DJ behind the bar plays fast techno, and the other where he pumps the crowd to house. On weekdays one of the venues may be open, on weekends the action is full swing and if you are lucky a third dance floor may be open.
To change the dance floor, you have to walk through the long black tunnel, where the strobe lights methodically beat. The main thing is not to fall into a complete trance and do not get lost. Don’t count on the aesthetics here: the smell of sweaty party-goers and condensation dripping from the ceiling is the policy of the trashy Berlin club. You can stand in a queue for an hour and a half, but this mishap happens because of the number of people, not because of strict face control. The price to get in depends on the event: usually it’s €10, sometimes €12 or, in the case of the third dance floor you can get €14. For drinks: beer for € 3 is the most popular product. If you take a bottle of beer you get a token – a deposit for the cost of the container. That’s why the first time you have a drink it costs about € 1-1,50 more. Then you can get the money back but it is not customary: people keep the tokens as a souvenir.
In the same building is the OHM Club, a rectangle lined with white tiles around the perimeter. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Tresor can be too large for parties – so events are organized in the more compact and cozy OHM. Musical tastes are similar to the neighboring club, and the price tag for admission is between €5 and €10.
Richardstraße, 10, 12043 Berlin.
Basement bar in Neukeln, where the walls and ceilings are covered with everything from mirrors to crucified dolls and in some places, there are slot machines that don’t work. You can sweat it out at the bar upstairs, or you can take the stairs down to the basement and into the party room. Downstairs is a small area that looks like an apartment with rooms, hallways, and a very low ceiling that you can reach with your hand. The dance floor is for about 50 people. The atmosphere is very cozy and homely, but on weekends people fill up. The entrance fee varies from € 4 to € 6. Sometimes the money goes to help the needy and vulnerable groups.
In Sameheads they try to mix an interesting cocktail of music and DJs: a local program manager can find no name musicians on Soundcloud and invite them to his place, and sometimes popular locals or world famous DJs perform here. This coming Saturday, for example, Elena Sizova from Minsk will be playing.
Skalitzer Straße, 135, 10999 Berlin
You can’t get into this bar from the street. You have to take the steps in the courtyard, which will lead you to the bar itself. Paloma has two levels: the lower level, where almost always someone plays, and the upper level, which is open on weekends. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can roam from floor to floor and stay where the music comes in more. The program manager is a former salesman for the oldest vinyl store, Hard Wax, which focuses on house and techno. The bar’s program, as you might imagine, is affected by this employee’s background as well. In addition to good music, there’s a gorgeous view of the U-Bahn, where the yellow trains run, from the huge windows. Admission is € 4-5, cocktail is € 6-7. On Thursdays, before the parties, there are interesting events where musicians talk about track-writing techniques, mastering, etc. All in all, a cozy and homey bar where young people hang out and where neighborhood freaks stop by.
Eichenstraße, 4, 12435 Berlin.
If you want to party on a boat, this is the place to go. Hoppetosse is a place about house, minimal house and techno. Hoppetosse is located on a small two-story boat on the River Spree. Mostly vinyl DJs play here and most of the contingent are other DJs who support the performers. The club is famous for its long parties: People party nonstop from Saturday to Monday. Ricardo Villalobos, Zip, and other musicians we don’t know today, but will probably know in a couple of years. Hoppetosse looks like the Hooligan’s of Minsk after the fire: planks on the floor and parts of the ship around, left over from the voyages. Normally admission is €5, but if a powerful lineup and two dance floors are announced, you’ll have to pay €12. In addition to the dance floors, there are two small lounge areas with lots of sofas and a place to lie down and relax in the middle of the multi-day party.
Photo: Club der Visionaere “official”
Am Flutgraben, 12435 Berlin
Hoppetosse and Club der Visionaere are run by the same people and are within a five-minute walk of each other. When the party at Hoppetosse tends to die down by Monday night, people move to Club der Visionaere. The only downside of this location is the seasonality. The place works from April to November depending on weather conditions. But when the sun is shining here you can sprawl out on the poufs right in the street, throw your legs in the water and listen to the music coming from the open window of the club. The space itself is small: on one side there’s a DJ, 2-3 meters away there’s a small bar and in between there’s a dance floor 5m². On Tuesdays and Wednesdays admission is usually free, on other days it’s €4. If you suddenly want to stay longer and get hungry, know that there’s a pizzeria on the second floor of the brick building. All in all, the place is homely and a bit rustic, but no less iconic than Berghain.
Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243 Berlin
A thousand and one articles have already been written about this techno mecca in Berlin. It’s got a great sound and a cool atmosphere, but Berghain is known mainly for its long queue at the entrance and unpredictable face control. You can walk in here many times, but you won’t get in 21 times for reasons no one but the security guard understands. There’s an opinion that you have to look like you’re not too anxious to get in. If you’re in a cocktail dress – the chance drops, if you look around and take photos of everything on the phone – the chance drops, if you look like you’re about to get to the best party of your life – the chance almost to zero. For tips on how to get into Berghain, click here.
Weekend parties here last more than a day. There’s only now some seasonality: Tourists come and party the first night, and locals pull up closer to Monday night. If you hang out here for a couple of days, you can see how the audience gradually gets naked, becomes more freaky – and now there are already more leather underpants, chains and naked people on the dance floor than people in clothes. Entrance usually costs €15 euros, on Friday, when the club is partly open, €12, and on Saturdays €16-18. Another feature of Berghain is that the DJs play long sets of 3-6 hours. If you look at the lineup, see some interesting names, and then come at night and hang out until 8 am, you can easily not catch any of them. There’s usually only a couple of sets played during the night. As for drinks, it’s common here to buy a bottle of Club-Mate or beer and then fill it with water from the tap in the restroom.
Photo: Funkhaus Berlin
Nalepastrasse, 18, 12459 Berlin
At one time the GDR built a station which was very similar (in its function) to the Ostankino TV tower. The huge space from the start was designed with an emphasis on good acoustics. Now the Funkhaus Berlin is located here, where events are held not quite regularly – a couple of times a month. As a rule, these are big concerts or parties for a couple of days. You can come here as a museum by appointment and peruse the location in the light of day, but agree, it’s much more interesting to look at the place during the event. Admission for the party is € 15, for the concert about € 30. Be sure to check the poster before you go.
Nalepastrasse, 18, 12459 Berlin
In the same building where Funkhaus Berlin was sheltered, there is another club – Monom. It is known for its 4D sound system: the sound is located around the perimeter – on the ceiling, along the walls and even in the floor. Typically, musicians write their programs specifically for the unusual system. It is the only place where the set can sound like this and not that. Besides the parties, Monom hosts a lot of performances and installations, where the sound is in touch with the visual. Sometimes there are exhibitions. Of course, this lay-out influences the contingent – many people are attracted exactly by the art component. Entrance costs from €15.
Photo: Andreas Hesse
Brückenstraße 1, 10179 Berlin
This almost secret bar is located in Neukeln. You can’t just walk into it from the street. First you have to find a little nightclub in the neighborhood, of which there are a dime a dozen in Berlin. Then, when you get to the right stall selling beer and cigarettes, look for the refrigerator with your eyes – this is the key to success. Behind the refrigerator doors is the entrance to a nightclub. There’s a meme on the internet, where when you walk into Diskothek Melancholie 2 through the fridge, you see a fairy tale, and when you leave, you see a guy at the cash register selling cigarettes. Everything is played here: drum’n’bass, house, techno, and experimental. Usually people hang out at the bar till 3-4 in the morning and then move on to other places. Admission is € 5.
Karl-Marx-Platz, 16-18, 12043 Berlin.
Berlin’s arkaoda is a sister club to the institution of the same name, which opened in 1999 in Istanbul. A relatively new place in the German capital where Berlin concrete, some greenery and a muted warm yellow are waiting for you. According to the founders, the club is looking for new things and supports independent music and art, just like the Turkish branch. The facility consists of two parts: a bar where a small sound system and DJs play in the corner and a more serious dance floor in the basement. You can sit for free with a glass of beer and listen to music but if you decide to go down to the basement, you will have to pay an entrance fee of 5-7 € depending on the party. The place is open almost daily and they pour beer and serve shots of 20 ml – no miracles. Remember that students like to hang out at arkaoda.
The editorial staff of 34travel thanks Artem Dorokhov for help in preparing the material.
10 unusual bars in Berlin
Beer bars and pubs, or as they are called in Germany, Bierstube (Bierstube) and Knaipe, are a very special part of German culture. For them is definitely worth a detour from the usual tourist route.
Especially rich is the capital of Germany. Among the top bars of Berlin there are several “beer places” that are unusual and far from the usual standards.
Monterey is a well-established bierstube that stands out noticeably from the hundreds of similar establishments in Berlin. Guests can find more than 250 different beers at this beer bar, and the alcohol list includes brands from Germany, Canada, the U.S., Austria, Belgium, Britain, Russia, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Australia.
Most often customers choose several brands: Augustiner, Weiherer Pils, Rollberg or Berliner Berg. Cask beer is available for 2.50-4 €. Both the interior of the bar – the purple walls are hung with posters depicting musicians – and the tunes played here are related to rock music.
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Monterey’s Bar Menu
From the name of this unusual Berlin bar it becomes clear at once that it is dedicated to K. Tarantino, the famous American film director. Guests mingle to the soundtracks of films of the master of the suspense genre. On the dark red walls hang portraits of C. Tarantino and actors who starred in films he created. On Fridays in the Berlin bar there are guest DJs, techno music sounds and everyone can dance till dawn.
Cocktails cost – Mr. Horse’s Neck, Black Mamba, etc. – from 6 to 8 €; 0,5 liter of German draft beer – 3,80 €. The beer bar offers discounts on Wednesdays to students, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays to anyone who visits Tarantino’s Bar from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Tarantino’s Bar Menu
The cozy and always crowded Dicke Wirtin is one of Berlin’s most famous, traditional and at the same time unusual pubs. Beer mugs on the shelves and hanging along the walls, lamps with lampshades, elegant chandeliers and antique mirrors – all this immerses visitors into the atmosphere of home, very suitable for friendly conversation.
Dicke Wirtin is the best place for those who want to get acquainted with local beer brands and national food. Here you can order meat and fish dishes of traditional German cuisine. Their price is not low – from 10.60 to 18.20 € – but the portions are big. A mug or glass of Berliner Kindl, Köstritzer, König Pilsner or Duckstein costs €2.80 to €4.90.
Dicke Wirtin menus
Das Klo Bar
Among the flamboyant and unusual bars in Berlin stands out a place that looks like a panic room. At the entrance, guests are greeted with a splash. Chairs and tables in the beer bar hall can suddenly move upwards. Occasionally lightning flashes for several minutes. A puppet hanging on the wall descends lower and starts pounding the guest with a hammer. But the surprises of a strange Berlin pub do not end there.
The name Das Klo translates as “toilet”, so guests drink not from mugs but from large beer glasses made in the shape of sanitary ducks. The napkins are shaped like toilet paper, and the chairs are shaped like coffins or toilets.
Complementing the unusual flavor of the Berlin bar is a decent beer assortment. The price for 0.5 liter does not exceed 5,50 €. The pub also has its own “chip”, which they are very proud of – “the strongest beer in the world. The alcohol content in it is 57% and only people older than 21 years are allowed to try this drink.
Das Klo Bar menu
Salt n Bone.
Although Salt and Bone is a brand new beer bar in Berlin, it managed to quickly acquire a reputation as one of the best places for informal socializing. The connoisseurs of good alcohol always feel in this pub welcome guests.
“Facility’s specialty is the Kraft beer from the best Berlin breweries: BRLO, Heidenpeters and others. The price for 0.5 liter starts from 4,50 €. You can order sausages, burgers, chicken wings and other German beer snacks. Also unusual Berlin pub offers a choice of 20 cocktails for 7,50 to 13 €: Cucumber Gimlet, The Last Request, The Auld Dubliner and others.
Salt n Bone Bar Menu
Among the most famous and popular wine bars in Berlin, the famous “Rutz” stands out. It attracts with a variety of cocktails and local beers – from 4.90 to 9 € and more. But the main thing that makes this Berlin bar interesting is a wide selection of wine, the average price for a 0.75-liter bottle is 77 €. The glass capacity is 0.1 liter.
All wines are divided into groups, depending on the region of the producing countries: Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Portugal or Italy. Guests can take part in a tasting of several famous brands. In the warm months, visitors are invited to take seats at tables in the cozy courtyard of the bar.
Menu of the bar Rutz
One of Berlin’s trendiest bars has been welcoming guests on Potsdamer Strasse since 2001. The wine in the Victoria Bar costs €7.50 to €9.50 per glass, the beer €4.50 to €5.50. During happy hour (from 18:30 to 21:30) all cocktails in the pub are offered for 8,50 €.
Bar Victoria is known as a place for exhibitions of modern Berlin artists, which increases the number of those wishing to visit this institution.
In the evenings, the pub holds master classes for anyone who would like to learn the intricacies of cocktail making, and the bartenders even initiate guests into the secrets of the production of specific German wine brands. All this is done in a fun manner and accompanied by drink tastings.
On the banks of the slowly flowing Spree, Berlin’s main river, the Tausend is “hidden” behind a metal door on Schiffbauerdamm. In this stylish and unusual beer bar you can listen to the sets of such popular German DJs as Oonops, Fheels, Cherokee, Trujillo, Mr. Nylson. Soul, trance, disco, techno, funk and jazz are played for the guests.
The space of dimly lit halls of the pub seems wider thanks to the vaulted metal ceiling which seems to consist of several mirrors and a motley 3D installation on one of the walls. Tausend offers cocktails starting at €8.50. The main courses are served in a separate room (Cantina) for 22-29 €.
Tausend bar menu
Not far from Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn, on a wide green street with streetcars, you will find one of Berlin’s best bars. This is how connoisseurs and frequent visitors usually describe Becket’s Kopf.
The unusual bar in Berlin is named after Samuel Beckett, the famous playwright and author whose portrait can be seen in the bar. The Beckets Kopf is a cozy place to be, with subdued reddish light, paintings on velvet walls and avant-garde jazz tunes.
Talented DJs in Beckett’s Head (as the name of the pub translates) delight the public with musical sets and charismatic barmen masterfully mix tasty cocktails (the drinks cost from 11 to 14 €). Besides German liquors you can order whiskey, brandy or gin.
Menu at Beckets Kopf
Those looking for good bars in Berlin in the center of the German capital should definitely visit the Monkey Bar. This is the unusual name of the bar, located on the 10th floor of the hotel Bikini Berlin. From here guests view the alleys of the zoo, located next door to the hotel and look for cages with monkeys with great interest. The bar is named after them.
In the sunny warm weather from the terrace of Monkey Bar one can spend a long time looking through almost all famous buildings in Berlin, starting from the famous TV Tower and finishing with the half demolished Kaiser Wilhelm Church – a symbol of the consequences of the war against fascism.
In the evenings in the Monkey you can hear the sets of famous Berlin DJs: Cup of Jazz, Baron Pries, Brian King – and everywhere the atmosphere of fun and easy-going reigns.
Many of the bar’s cocktails have unusual names, thematically related to monkeys: Bini’s Monkey Ponkey, King Kong, Monkey’s Cobbler and others. Their prices range from 8.50 to 15 €. The beer list is represented by Fürstenberg and Hacker-Pschorr Keller.