Berlin knows how to party
Berlin wouldn’t be complete without experiencing its wild nightlife. Where grit meets weird, Berlin’s ‘poor but sexy’ appeal has given birth to some of the best nightlife in Europe, if not the world. The Berlin nightlife experience comes in all shapes and sizes. You could grab a cheap beer and mingle with the hipsters on street corners, or rage for days in marathon club sessions.
Pride and Street Parties
Unlike most cities that masquerade under the notion of being ‘24 hours’ (London amongst others), Berlin is truly out and proud when it comes to being 24-7. The U-Bahn operates throughout the night, meaning no last minute dash to the tube or metro before going out at 12.30am, here any time is party time. The party culture is clear when you experience the likes of the Christopher’s Street Day parade (gay pride) that runs through to Brandenburg Gate or the ‘Love Parade 2.0’ running along the East Side Gallery. These public gatherings start as political demonstrations, but are soon drowned out by the sound of techno and bass. Enormous trucks the size of houses set up shop in the street and blast delicious tunes into a welcoming crowd of young, old and everyone in between – we even saw babies on the shoulders of eager parents (ear protection of course, this is Germany!).
Forget America, truly taste freedom
The conclusion so far is acceptance, love and inclusivity. Perhaps a testament to darker times fraught with oppression and lack of freedom, Berlin is a wild explosion of hedonism and ‘anything goes’ attitude that really means it. Berlin as we know it is relatively young, a city divided in two until 1989 after mauerfall. Reunification has spawned a relentless energy, optimism and open arms to all.
This is no more obvious than within the club institutions of Berlin. In places like Kit Kat or Pornceptual, Freikörperkultur (Free Body Culture) a hangover from the East German days reigns supreme. Unlike 99% of places in the world, nudity is okay and even mainstream. You can see why in the sweltering heat of a dungeon-like club, the temperature soars past 30C, no air and people still smoke inside – you won’t feel the cigarette burns (but yes you will get them).
The cult of Berghain
We won’t linger on the whole, ‘how to get into Berghain’ thing, as part of the fun is finding out how to gain entry your own way. Berghain is one of the best clubs in the world and equally as exclusive. You could wait 3 hours in the freezing cold only to be turned away with a gesturing nod – no explanation. We see the benefits however, as a strict filter allows only the most die hard music fans in (think Berliners and no tourists). Welcome to Klubnacht @ Berghain, and the cult of marathon partying. This place is like no other, expect to find partygoers in here Thursday through Monday (your stamp gives you entry whole weekend, so don’t wash).
Joining other weary eyed creatures of the night, early morning sees us slip past the door and into Berghain. It’s Sunday Mass, for all those fallen from grace. The music chills you, shocks you, the sound is electrifying. The venue is cavernous, industrial and deliberately designed without dead ends. The toilets fit six to a cubicle and without mirrors on the walls, you’re denied a glimpse at yourself. There are also no windows, no light, no circadian rhythm here. It is no wonder we bumped into a disheveled guy in his 40’s, ‘I’ve missed my flight to New York, I’ve been here for days’. This is the ultimate clubbing experience, a chaotic experience refined into something almost religious. Despite all the hype, Berghain lives up to and exceeds expectations – we recommend you go check it out before it’s too late!