The Best of Nightlife in Berlin
In every hostel in this great city, you will hear rumours, stories of people who have tried and failed to gain entrance to a mysterious club, as well as wild tales of those who did. This club is celebrated by many as the best club in the world. I am of course talking about the Berghain.
This world famous club has gained a reputation for having some of the toughest door staff in the business (see Sven the Terrible above). Tattooed and huge, the intimidating men on the door are notorious for taking one look at you and refusing entry. So often has this happened that the long walk from the front of the queue has now been known as the walk of shame. Youtube videos have even sprung up of people asking the confused revellers why they didn’t gain entrance. The best advice for entrance? Wear black, queue on your own, and don’t speak a word of English. If you are hoping to pop down Friday night for a look, forget it. Expect three hour queues most of the night, for a shorter queue, come Sunday morning.
An imposing, looming grey chunk of concrete in Friedrichshain district, the Berghain is a venue that doesn’t provide any frills by way of interior design. As if designed to ensure maximum bodies on the dancefloor and little else, the Neolithic former power plant setting is cold, unforgiving and mysterious. The metal shutters over the windows of the Panorama Bar keep out the light, opening some time Sunday morning to let in the sun, only to slam shut again when the drop hits. Known as a hedonistic paradise, there are plenty of dark spaces to indulge in sexual acts in the club. Don’t be surprised to see bare bodies and glinting eyes as you go past the dark rooms.
The Berghain originally opened as Ostgut – a male only fetish club. To this day there still retains a strong sense that the club hasn’t changed its identity, and it is certainly easier to gain entrance if the bouncers think you are gay. Over the years, the club gained fame for providing incredible, relentlessly good music. After carving out this identity, true music lovers worldwide have made the pilgrimage to the Berghain to experience the best names in music.
Dirty, underground dance music with big bass, big drops and tunes that keep people dancing from Friday to Monday morning. The Berghain is known as the capital of Techno, and the finest DJs in the world not only play here but are residents of this club.
It’s one of the hardest clubs in the world to gain entrance to, which gives it an air of mystery that many find irresistible. The whispers of people who have been into the Berghian tell of incredible stories. A friend of mine visited and wandered into a room full of men with World War gas masks on, with the hose attached to their anus.
A hostel worker from Ireland told me once he used to book a flight the Berlin, arrive at the Berghain Friday night, and leave Monday morning. No backpack, no change of clothes.
Hype and intrigue aside, the only true reason to visit this club is a love of great music. This simple fact underpins the reason why the club has never sold out or caved in to change. The Berghain is Berlin, big, loud, mysterious and full of surprises; a bucket list nightclub if there ever was one.