Guide to Nightlife in Berlin

Nights Out in the City That Really Never Sleeps

Bartenders working at Reingold Bar, Mitte
••• Lonely Planet/Getty Images

Berlin is not only the capital of Germany, it is also the capital of German nightlife. Underground, avant-garde, progressive, and hip – there are many words to describe the club scene in Berlin. From electro and pop, to indie, hip hop, rock, and live music, you can club in Berlin to your heart's content.

But before you set off to explore Berlin's clubs, read our guide to Berlin nightlife to find out when to go, what to wear and how to find the best club in Berlin.

So get out on the dance floor, and enjoy an unpretentious, affordable, and unforgettable night in the city that really never sleeps.

When to Go Out in Berlin

The clubs in Berlin are dead before midnight and only come to life around 2 or 3 a.m. Most clubs don't even open their doors until 11 p.m.. The best time to go (easiest times to get in and still have a great vibe) is Sunday morning and Sunday night. Do as the Berliners do: Prefunk at a bar before hitting the dance floor.

There are no fixed closing hours, so you can dance the night away until the sun comes up over Berlin...it happens sooner than you think. Public transportation continues throughout the night so there is no need to wrap it up so you can get home.

Style Guide for a Berlin Club

Don't worry too much about dressing up for going out. Most Berlin clubs don't have a dress code. Berliners are relaxed when it comes to style and follow the motto, "anything goes".

However, some places - like Berghain - are infamously capricious. The best advice is don't try too hard. And black is always a good idea.

How to get into a Berlin Club

While some clubs only require standing in line and paying a cover, several Berlin clubs have legendary door policies. While there is no secret recipe to get in everywhere, there are some things you can do to increase your chances.

  • Know who is DJing - Bouncers are rarely impressed with "I just want to dance".
  • Speak some German - Knowing how to respond in the language of the country will give you a better chance. Also, don't talk too much. Answer questions and play it cool.
  • Don't turn up in a huge group - Just like hosting a good party, a bouncer needs to manage the vibe of the club and that includes ensuring an even mix of men and women (or more women) and enough stray people to intermingle. Best pairings are 2 girls and a guy, or try getting in alone. For example, in response to "How many people are in your party?", tell the bouncer "Ich bin allein" (I am alone).
  • Stand quietly in line - many bouncers dislike a noisy group. Stay chill and just wait your turn. And please - don't take out your cell phone!

How Much Does a Nlight Out Cost?

You can have a great night out in Berlin and not break the bank. The cover charge varies from club to club, but will usually only set you back between 8 and 15 Euro.

While drinks are generally cheap in Berlin, prices are raising and can be at the highest at clubs. Beers are usually around 4 Euro, and for a cocktail you'll pay between 6 - 9 Euro.

Finding a Club in Berlin

Check out the club listings in Berlin's weekly German magazines called Zitty and Tip, or the English language paper The ExBerliner.

You should also look out for the free magazine 030, which offers good club listings and current events. The site, I Heart Berlin, is another fabulous resource with an essential guide on how to behave once you're in the club.

The Berlin districts that are famous for their vibrant club scenes are Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg (more high-end) or Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg (more alternative).

Make sure to check out our list of the Best 5 Clubs in Berlin.

Finding an Underground Club in Berlin

You've probably heard about the underground clubs and bars in Berlin that spring up from nowhere one weekend and disappear forever the next. So where are they?

The truth is, as the city grows (at astronomical speeds) these parties are becoming more rare. But you can still find these clubs in backyards, old warehouses, and even basements of residential buildings.

Often when leaving another club or event, you'll be handed a flyer for these parties. You should also check with the local staff from your hostel and fellow Germans clubbers.

Keep your eyes and ears open and your dancing shoes on. After all, part of the adventure is finding the right club...