How to do... Berghain
“ ID, bitte.”
Snarling Sven stares you up and down, face tattoo scrunching as he thinks. Will this person make party tonight?
After 2 long hours staring up at the ominous ex-power plant you’re now so close you can hear the ‘unce unce unce’ from inside. Heart beating in your ears, mouth dry, you glance sidelong and meet his eye....
Sven shakes his head.
NOOOOOOOO!!!!! Head in hands, you stumble dejected, into the cold Berlin night.
While there’s no set rules for what’ll get you into Europe’s most notorious nightclub, here’s our guide to what might help, and where to go if you don’t get in...
What's all the fuss about?
Can any nightclub be worth a Disneyland-length queue, without even guaranteed entry?
Aside from the world class sound and light engineering, and world class DJs playing flawless techno…
It’s the ultimate hedonistic experience. As soon as you’re in… you’re free. The vibe is ecstatic to the point of silly.
The crowd's a beautiful mix of regulars, locals, expats - everyone's at their most uninhibited and having the time of their life. (The door policy kind of makes sense when you're in.)
The attention to detail is next level - at the cloak room, you’re given a leather necklace instead of a crummy paper ticket. (This is because some people hand over all their clothes on the way in)
Start in Panorama bar, for mincing house and disco, and sip prosecco over ice from a glass (for €2 😱) Then head downstairs to the techno pit. 15 hours in, you might sit down for a coffee and croissant... then go again ☕ 🥐
It kind of is like Disneyland… but with more fisting. (Those darkrooms are dark for a reason 👀 🍆)
How to not be a noob in the queue
-Don’t take selfies. In fact, don't have your phone out at all.
-Don’t drink, smile, or appear to be having a good time.
-Don’t show up looking twat-arsed. If your eyes are blinking independently you probably won’t get in anywhere, least of all here 🤪
-Do go on Sunday morning, even though everyone knows this, there still tends to be a lull.
-Do dress like a local. So über casual and vearing black, ja. Or crotchless fireman trousers and a vest. (Nothing in between)
-Do go in pairs, (never in a group)
-Do learn the German for 'I'm with him/ her' or 'there's two of us'.
And if all else fails, you're in Berlin, there's more 10/10 clubs than you can get around in a sleepless weekend...
Salon Wilde Renate
Renate is the kinda place you enter not knowing a soul and leave having seen half the club’s genitals.
Crawl up ladders in this abandoned apartment block, run wild through foggy corridors and face-lick strangers in hidden corners.
End the night in a room full of bunk beds, raving to hedonistic house in a Victorian wig.
There’s something great about a nightclub in a 150 year old mansion. Against the mass of brutalist dinge-core warehouse vibes that Berlin doles out by the bucket load, Chalet is... decadent.
It’s all chesterfield sofas and chintzy lamps, like a giant, Georgian house party only smokier, and mit funky haus n techno.
Tresor is the godfather of Berlin techno clubs. Founded in 1991 in an abandoned power plant, it’s an industrial concrete labyrinth raging over 7 floors.
Despite the slightly ‘horror movie’ aesthetic, the vibe is friendly as fook and the crowd diverse. Just try and leave the smoking area without making friends.
Plus it’s launched legends Jeff Mills and Juan Atkins.
Don’t show up before 2am.