Schöneberg and Wilmersdorf
*S5, S7, or S75: Savignypl. Wine from €4 a glass. Tequila €3. Tapas €3.70-5. Kitchen open daily noon-2am. www.andalucia-berlin.de
Imagine every person you’ve ever seen who you’ve looked at and thought, “Wow, that person looks crazy.” Now imagine them all in the same place. Well, Kumplenest 3000 is that place. In what used to function as a brothel, Kumpelnest 3000 now acts as a disco-themed dive bar and attracts everyone from shirtless transvestites to the average college partygoer—even on Wednesday nights. German for “nest of friends,” the Kumpelnest is surprisingly friendly—and we mean really friendly. When you’re ten Pilsners deep and it’s 3am (and only then), you should venture to the Kumpelnest for an experience you probably won’t forget or won’t remember one second of.
*Lützowstr. 23. Drinks €4-12. Open M-Th 7pm-6am, F-Sa 7pm-8am, Su 7pm-6am. www.kumpelnest3000.com/
The Green Door
Step behind the green door and enjoy some of the most creative cocktails in Schöneberg. You’ll have to ring the bell to be let in, but unless you look like you’re going to attempt something crazy, you shouldn’t have any problems. The inside of the bar exudes cool, with simple, funky decor straight from a ’70s porno. Speaking of porno, the bar is a reference to the movie, Behind the Green Door, which is a kitschy porno from way back when lava lamps were trending. You’ll never guess that from the much classier inside, but it’s always worth getting references. The classed-up inside comes at a cost, though, with cocktails tending toward the expensive side.
*Winterfeldtstr. 50. Drinks €8-15. Open M-Th 6pm-3am, F-Sa 6pm-4am, Su 6pm-3am. www.greendoor.de
Named after the iconic sex symbol from left-wing Berlin in the late ’60’s, Uschi Obermaier, this place reeks of grit, grunge, and rock-and-roll. The place is dark, sweaty, and saturated with cigarette smoke, and we suspect it hasn’t changed much since its prime. The music makes up for the tiny dance floor, and the crowd ranges from young and naïve to old and weathered. Everyone seems to have the same idea, though, which is to have a damn good time. The drinks aren’t particularly special, but the atmosphere is unique enough to pay it a visit.
*Torstr. 151. Cover varies but usually under €5. Open M-Sa 8pm-2am.www.muschiobermaier.de
The bright entrance light will guide you straight into some of the better cocktails in Mitte. The vintage parlor look and smoke stained couches give Neue Odessa its upscale atmosphere and attract a group of night-owls who aren’t just there to get hammered. The well-dressed hipsters who frequent this bar know to order the whiskey and stay away from the overpriced beer, but either way you aren’t going to get out of here on a budget.
*Torstr. 89. Beer €4. Cocktail €8-15. Open daily 7pm-late. www.neueodessabar.de/Odessa.html
We don’t know why they named this club after the famous punishment of Sisyphus. Sure, they could be insinuating that you should party for eternity. But really this place would be more accurately named if Sisyphus grew dreadlocks, chiseled his boulder into a snowboard, and slid down that damn hill like the wild hippie that he is, all while smoking the fattest of joints. Then we’d understand the name. There’s even an old truck-school-bus thing in the middle of the open-air venue. One word of caution (though mothers would probably give at least 2000 words of caution) is that Sisyphos is pretty far out. Literally—it’s a hike to get there. And they usually don’t get going until 4am. Worth the experience? We think so.
*Hauptstr. 15. Cover €10. Beer €2-4. Shots €2-4. Cocktails €5-10. Open nonstop from Friday at midnight until Monday. Hold onto your horses. www.sisyphos-berlin.net
This bar is laid back, and when we say that, we mean grab a beer (€2.60) and lie on a chaise lounge or one of the many super comfy couches in the “living room.” Wohnzimmer is a smoking bar, so the patrons tend to be in their late 20s and exude philosophical vibes. Nostalgia abounds.
*U2: Eberswalder Str. From the metro, head east on Danziger Str., turn left onto Lychener Str., then right onto Lettestr., just past the park. The bar is on the left, at the corner of Lettestr. and Schliemannstr. Beer €2.50-3. Cocktails €4-5. Cash only. Open daily 10am-late. www.wohnzimmer-bar.de
Kitty Cheng might be disguised as an antique, posh bar, but it has much more soul than it alludes to. One of the only bars that regularly bumps to old-school and new-school hip-hop, it has created one of the more interesting spots for higher-end cocktails in Mitte but they know it and make you pay for it. It’s pretty stringent about the guy-to-girl ratio, so if you’re a group of excited dudes, you might want to think about bringing a date or you won’t be let in. And maybe spiff up a bit—they don’t take too kindly to sloppily dressed partygoers.
*Torstr. 99. Beer €4. Cocktails €8-15. Open M-Th 9pm-2am, F-Sa 9pm-5am. www.kittycheng.de
Mein Haus Am See
Vintage decor, well-worn couches, a miniature cafe next to the bar, and a constant horde of youngsters teeming with angst make Mein Haus am See a popular destination for backpackers passing through Mitte. In addition to a range of funky seating upstairs, there is also a downstairs with a club-like atmosphere and club-like lighting (a.k.a. no lighting). Not your scene? Grab a book and latte at 4am because this joint plays 24/7 and used to be a library. Don’t misinterpret us though—most don’t come here to catch up on literature.
*Torstr. 125. Usually no cover unless there’s a live music event. Beer €2.50. Cocktails €6-8. Open 24hr. http://mein-haus-am-see.blogspot.com/
Mister Hu's Cocktail Bar
Our favorite part about Mister Hu’s was that, at 2am on a Thursday, there were tons of people chilling in the outdoor seating. The cocktails are good but not terribly original or impressive. The bar and music were pretty standard, but the crowd enjoying the laid-back atmosphere is what makes this place great. If you’re looking to sit down and drink for an extended period of time without a worry in the world, we recommend checking out Mister Hu’s.
*Goltzstr. 39. Drinks €7-13. h Open daily 6pm-3am. www.misterhu.de
At first glance, it might look like a kink shop, but, rest assured, the fuzzy pink walls and the omnipresent cheetah print make this gay bar a sight for sore eyes. Gay men, some lesbian women, and a couple of straight groups (there to camp out in campy glory) join together for small talk over some clean electronic. The bar’s small size makes mingling easy, and the endless assortment of wall trinkets (glowing mounted antlers, twinkling hearts, a psychedelic Virgin Mary) keep everyone giggling.
*U1 or U8: Kottbusser Tor. From the metro, head northwest on Oranienstr. past Mariannenstr. The bar is on the left. Beer €2.50. Cocktails €5, with Red Bull €6. Cash only. Open daily 9pm-late.
Great music every night of the week with genres from blues to jazz to funk, or some eclectic combination of each. The only problem is that the crowd tends to be representative of Charlottenburg, which means older and boring. If you want deep house until the sun comes up, you should go somewhere else, but if you don’t mind getting funky next to a 40-something who has to put the kids to bed after the next song, Quasimodo is the place for you!
*Kantstr. 12a. Tickets €8-15. Doors open at 9pm. Restaurant open M-F 4:30pm-midnight, Sa-Su noon-1am. www.quasimodo.de/en/
Translating to “The Loo,” Das Klo takes its shit seriously. Well, kind of. Food is served in mini porcelain toilets, and beer is served in urine collectors (never used—don’t worry). Every kitschy antique neglected by upscale antique shops has been claimed and vomited onto Das Klo’s walls, only adding to the confusion you’ll feel after being squirted by water when walking through the door and insulted in German by its DJ/comedian/porcelain-priest. If you don’t take yourself too seriously and have always wanted to eat out of the toilet, it might be worth the experience.
*Leibnizstr. 57. Beer €4-8. h Open M-W 7pm-2am, Th-F 7pm-4am, Sa 7pm-2am. http://berlin-klo.de/das-klo/
Club Zur Wilden Renate
Club Zur wilden Renate is everything you’d expect from the lovechild of a circus and a typical Berlin industrial club. Kitschy, psychedelic, and just plain crazy is the result, and we love every second of it. It might not have the same revered status as many of the other techno temples around Berlin, but nobody there seems to give a damn about what anyone thinks anyway. Respect.
*Alt-Stralau 70. Cover €6-10. Hours vary, check website for most up-to-date show times. www.renate.cc
Berghain and Panorama Bar
Even if we told you not to, we know you’re going to end up going to Berghain. It’s the unofficial electronic epicenter of the world—a techno temple that offers a church service for house worshippers from Friday until Monday. If this is your culture and you came to Berlin to go to Berghain, you must go. For those of you who didn’t know what Berghain was until now, you should think about going somewhere else. The line to get in (even at 3am on Saturday or 10am on Sunday) is usually over two hours long (should be named Berg-line, amirite?), and there’s a good chance Sven will shake his head in disapproval and you’ll be sent packing. Although it definitely has one of the most unique venues in the world, an incredible sound system, and a cult following, we believe Berghain contradicts the spirit of Berlin by using good advertising to generate global hype, making the countercultural mecca surprisingly commercial. Oh, if you decide to go, make sure you wear all black.
*Am Wriezener Bahnhof. Cover €14. Drinks €4-10. h Open F-Sa noon-late. www.berghain.de
Unless you’re a passionate jazz fan, you shouldn’t board the A-Trane. For those of you who enjoy hearing the brass wail and the strings dance, then A-Trane is definitely worth stopping by. Though small in size, the internationally acclaimed jazz club attracts some big names (Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, just to name a couple) and has been the recording site for many live albums. Expect to groove well into Sunday morning with a crowd that has been doing the same thing since ’92.
*Pestalozzistr. 105. Cover €10-20. Doors open at 9pm. www.a-trane.de
If yuppies were modern-day Puritans, this would be their city on a hill. On the 10th floor of the exceptionally trendy hotel in Bikini Haus Berlin, the Monkey Bar offers panoramic views of West Berlin so you can drink cocktails looking at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church or at the monkeys just below in Zoologischer Garten. We think some lucky hipster from a graduate school of design was given too much money to decorate the interior, so the result is quirky decor with plenty of succulents, rough (yet intentional) unfinished wood, and handmade pillows on all of the seating. Brush up on your history of architecture and man-buns and prepare to empty your bank account before going. The cocktails are superlecker but range from €10-14. They also have a Caesar salad that should rewrite history, but at €13, you can decide between a night spent under a tree in the Tiergarten or dinner and a drink. Your choice!
*Budapesterstr. 40. Cocktails €8-15. Beer €3-6. Food €8-16. Open M-Th noon-1am, F-Sa noon-2am, Su noon-1am. www.25hours-hotels.com/en/bikini/restaurant/monkey-bar.html
Galander is designed with the intention of eliciting a 1920s feel, but instead it feels like everyone there was born in the 1920s. The bar just continues Charlottenburg’s trend of old trying to be young and cool. The drinks won’t wreck your paycheck but aren’t going to surprise your tastebuds, which are already suffering from the haze of cigarette smoke drifting through the air. We suggest Galander if you’re looking for a classier pregame or smoky postgame, but this shouldn’t be your only destination.
*Stuttgarter Pl. 15. Drinks €8-12. Open daily 6pm-2am. http://stutti.galander-berlin.de/
Magnet wishes it were in New Orleans: it’s the sort of place that hosts ladies’ cage wrestling competitions. Patrons include locals who come for the DJ and furious tourists who got rejected from Watergate next door. Indie bands play on a short, shallow stage that makes it seem as though they’re part of the crowd, and DJs spin a much lighter mix than their Kreuzberg counterparts—think indie electropop. Magnet tries hard to one-up its peaceful indie followers, offering free Jager shots (while the stock lasts) a couple of nights a week.
*U1: Schlesisches Tor. From the metro, head toward the bridge. An “M” hangs above the door. Cover €3-7. Shots €2-2.50. Beer €2.50-3. Long drinks €6-6.50. Usually open Tu-Su from 10pm. Check online for exact schedule. www.magnet-club.de
Kreuzberg is covered with clubs, but where are all the bars? Well, they’re superfluous because Luzia is such a great bar that they’d all fall short in comparison. Luzia is huge and tremendously popular with the Kreuzberg locals, most of whom are UK transplants who think of themselves as German artists. Whatever, this is still a great bar. Gold-painted walls glow softly in the light of flickering candles. The huge, L-shaped design allows for long lines of vintage, threadbare lounge chairs, cafe tables, and a bar so long that it can easily serve the crowd that swarms here at peak hours.
*U1 or U8: Kotbusser Tor. From the metro, head northeast up Aldabertstr. and turn left onto Oranienstr. The bar is on the right. The only sign is a large, black rectangle with a gold coat of arms in the middle. Beer €2.50-3.50. Long drinks €5-6. Absinthe €3-7. Cash only. Open daily noon-late. www.luzia.tc
SO36 was probably amazing in 1970. For one thing, seeing David Bowie on a dance floor might make your heart stop. But today, SO36 is less of a club and more of a relic, a tribute to better music and better times. The various parties, live shows, and cultural presentations that fill this huge hall attract a mixed gay/ straight clientele whose common denominator is that they like to party hardy. Gayhane, a gay cabaret that performs the last Saturday of every month, has become a staple of the Berlin GLBT scene and can get pretty epic.
*U1 or U8: Kottbusser Tor. From the metro, walk north on Adalbertstr. and turn right onto Oranienstr. The club is on the right. Cover varies. Shots €2.20. Beer €2.80-3.50. Wine €3. Long drinks €5.50, with Red Bull €6. Cash only. Hours vary, but usually open F-Sa 10pm-late. www.so36.de
If you’re looking for a place that’s “off the beaten track” (at least for tourists), this is it. One of Berlin’s only clubs to feature a Gästeliste, or guest list, in addition to regular admission for n00bs and natives without friends in high places, Ritter Butzke’s complex, nestled in the alleyways of an old factory building, is one of Kreuzberg’s most well-known and best-kept secrets. The three dance floors vary from small and intimate to medium-sized and cramped to expansive and accommodating to even the most notorious toe-steppers. Pick your poison.
*U1: Prinzenstr. From the metro, head northeast on Prinzenstr. for 2 blocks, then turn left onto Ritterstr. Halfway down the block, turn into the courtyard shaded by trees on the right. The entrance to the club is at the end of this courtyard. Cover around €10. Shots €2-2.50. Beer €2-3. Long drinks €5-6. Cash only. Hours vary, but generally open F midnight-late, Sa 10pm-late. Check the website for full calendar of events. www.ritterbutzke.de
*U1: Schlesisches Tor. From the metro, head south on Schlesischestr. across both canal bridges. The Arena complex is the large industrial set of buildings on the left after the 2nd bridge. Cover €5-10. Cash only. Party hours vary, but usually open F-Sa midnight-late. www.arena-club.de
Compared to many of the other factory-style clubs around Kreuzberg, Watergate is surprisingly small. That said, what it lacks in floor space it makes up for with quality of music, wall-to-wall LED lighting, and the perfect lounge outside right on the River Spree. Given its central location and popular reputation, Watergate can amass quite a line at the door, but the door policy is relaxed. As long as you don’t look like you’re there to hurt someone, you should have no problem getting in and having a great time. This house of house thumps well into the AM, so bring your stamina.
*Falckensteinstr. 49. Cover €5-10. Open W and F-Sa 10pm-5am. www.water-gate.de
Club der Visionaere
*U1: Schlesisches Tor. From the metro, head southeast on Schlesischestr. Cross the 1st canal; when you reach the 2nd, the club is on the left next to the bridge. Cover €4-15. Beer €2.50-3.50. Long drinks €5.50. Cash only. Open M-F 2pm-late, Sa-Su noon-late. www.clubdervisionaere.com
Housed inside an old, derelict heating plant, Tresor is a modern techno tabernacle and legendary labyrinth of some of the best electronic music to come out of Berlin. With an industrial dance floor in the basement and more laid-back house lounge upstairs, the sheer size of the space will impress you. Globus on the third floor produces some of the smoothest house vibes we’ve found, +4 is the laboratory where the techno-technicians experiment, and the vault is where Tresor’s signature sound staves off the morning and then charges straight through to the next day. Anywhere within this once-machine-filled maze makes for the perfect place to dance the night away, and a crowd with similar interests puts Tresor at the top of our list of clubs to visit in Kreuzberg.
*Köpenicker Str. 70. Cover varies, usually €7-15. Open W and F-Sa midnight-late. www.tresorberlin.com
Lido is one of the most renowned institutions for live music in Berlin. What? Not another techno-house factory? Yup, that’s right. Lido has been hosting some of the greatest indie rock bands to come out of and visit Berlin for the last decade. Housed in a 1950s style movie theater, the venue is a welcome change of pace from the industrial drum-and-bass warehouses, with a stage and dance floor big enough for you and a couple hundred of your newfound best friends and an outdoor lounge that is the perfect place to rest your ears and your feet. If live music is your thing and techno doesn’t float your boat, Lido will be your flagship.
*Cuvrystr. 7. Cover varies, usually €4-10. Hours vary depending on the concert; check website for the most up-to-date schedule. www.lido-berlin.de
*U5: Frankfurter Tor. From the metro, head south on Warschauer Str., turn right onto Grünberger Str., then turn right onto Simon-Dach-Str. Beer from €2.50. Mixed drinks from €5. Cash only. Open daily 6pm-late.
Cassiopeia is in the RAW Temple, which still stands as an act of defiance to the gentrification of Berlin. The party zone bordering the train tracks is filled with broken bottles, graffiti, and industrial buildings giving off the vibe of third-world country meets clubbing sanctuary. You might see the lights shining out of Cassiopeia like the queen in her starry chair, beckoning you to come and take a shot, but we reckon you’ll hear Cassiopeia before you get anywhere close enough to see it. This place is just as raucous as the rest of ’em and will give you a hell of a night if you show up with the right attitude.
*Revaler Str. 99. Cover €5-15. Beer €2-4. Shots €2-5. Cocktails €5-10. Hours vary, usually open 11pm-late. Check website for the most up-to-date times. www.cassiopeia-berlin.de
Located on one of those wide boulevard DDR streets, Sanitorium is another place designed to ease you into the Friedrichshain scene. This bar plays light, almost clinical techno to guests that lounge on sleek, backless couches shaped like cubes. As much as we hate blatant marketing, we do love free booze, so check in at Sanitorium on Facebook for a free shot.
*U5: Frankfurter Tor. Beer €2.50-3.50. Cocktails €5.50-8. Cash only. Open M-Sa 6pm-late, Su 7pm-late. www.sanatorium23.de
*U5: Frankfurter Allee. Once you’re on Pettenkoferstr., keep an eye out for signs; the club is off the road on the right. Cover €6. Beer €2.50. Vodka and coke €3.50. Open F-Sa 10pm-late. www.k17-berlin.de
*U5: Frankfurter Tor. Walk south on Warschauer Str. and turn right onto Grünberger Str. Beer from €2.50-3. Cash only. Open M-Th 5pm-1am, F-Sa 5pm-3am, Su 5pm-1am. www.facebook.com/rooster.berlin/info?tab=overview
*U1, S3, S5, S7, S9, or S75: Warschauer Str. From the metro, walk north on Warschauer Str., turn right onto Revaler Str., and walk about 10min.; Rosi’s is on the right. Cover €3-7. Cash only. ~ Open Th-Sa 11pm-late. www.rosis-berlin.de
Prenzlauer Berg Nightlife
Zu Mir Oder Zu Dir
*U2: Eberswalder Str. From the metro, head east on Danziger Str., then turn left onto Lychener Str. Zu Mir oder Zu Dir is in the line of bars to the left. Beer €2-3. Cocktails €4.50-5. Long drinks €5-8. Cash only. Open daily 8pm-late. www.zumiroderzudir.com
Duncker used to be a stable, and it still kinda looks like one. In all of Prenzlauer Berg, this is the craziest club, and it might even rival Stasi-bunker clubs. The interior is decorated with chain mail and armor and pretty much anything else you associate with horses. Dunker is frequented by 20-somethings and serves as a venue for a host of live music events. Ring the bell for entry.
*U2: Eberswalder Str. From the metro,head east on Danziger Str., then turn left on Dunckerstr. Walk north on Dunckerstr. until you reach the bridge over the train tracks. The club is on the left, in the darkened building immediately past the bridge. Goth music M. Eclectic DJs Tu-W. Live bands Th. “Independent dance music” F-Sa. Throwback DJs Su. “Dark Market” goth flea market Su 1pm. Cover varies, usually less than €5; no cover on Th. Beer €2.50. Long drinks €4.50. F-Sa all drinks max. €2. Cash only. Open M-W 9pm-late, Th 10pm-late, F-Sa 11pm-late, Su 10pm-late. www.dunckerclub.de
Badfish has an unbeatable atmosphere that’s only trumped by the friendliness of the bartenders. It’s not often you find a bar that has a great drink selection coupled with friendly staff and reasonable prices to boot. It has every alcoholic beverage variety your thirsty self could want to consume, from frozen margaritas to ciders to craft beers to high-end whiskeys—just don’t try them all at once. Oh, and it has picklebacks. Don’t know what those are? Order one anyway.
*Stargarder Str. 14. Beer €3-5. Cocktails €6-10. “Angry” hour daily 5-7pm. Open daily 5pm-5am. www.badfishbarberlin.com
Scotch and Sofa
Retro. Stylish. Classic. Scotch and Sofa defines what a bar should be, with comfortable spaces to lounge about. Come to Scotch and Sofa to sip your scotch or whiskey, talk about something intellectual, and osmose the coolness of the atmosphere. Take some advice, though: if you aren’t already experienced in the whole classy-scotch-drinking game, pick the cheapest option on the mile-long menu. It all tastes good, and your wallet will thank you.
*U2: Senefelderpl. From the metro, exit by the northern stairs, then head southeast on Metzer Str. After passing the grocery store, turn left onto Kollwitzstr. The bar is on the right, half a block up Kollwitzstr. Scotch from €5. Open daily 6pm-very late. Happy hour daily 6-7pm; cocktail of the day €3.80.
*U2: Eberswalder Str. From the metro, head east on Eberswalder Str. The bar is on the left. Cover €3.50; includes 1 beer. Must be 18 or older to enter. Beer €2.70. Cocktails €4.50-5.50. Cash only. Open M-Sa 8pm-late, Su 6pm-late. www.drpong.net
*U2: Senefelderpl. From the metro, exit by the northern stairs, then head west on Schwedter Str. Turn left onto Kastanienalle, then veer right onto Veteranenstr., a block down the hill. The bar is on the corner of Veteranenstr. and Fehrbelliner Str. Cash only. Open M-Sa 10am-late, Su 11am-late. Wine flows 8pm-midnight every night, so let that guide you. www.weinerei.com
*U8: Rosenthaler Pl. From the metro, walk west on Torstr. and turn right onto Ackenstr. Schokoladen is on the left. Cover up to €10. Beer sometimes as cheap as €1.50, but prices vary. Hours vary, but shows usually start around 8pm. Check the website for details. www.schokoladen-mitte.de
*U2: Senefelderpl. From the metro, head south on Schönhauser Allee. Beer €2.50-6. Mixed drinks €4-7. Cash only. Open M-F 8pm-late, Sa 9pm-late, Su 8pm-late. www.8mmbar.com
*U8: Oranienburger Str. From the metro, head north on Tucholsky Str. and turn right onto Auguststr. M-Th programs €8, students €6, after midnight free; F-Sa €3; Su programs €8, students €6, after midnight free. Open daily 10am-late. Dance programs start sometime between 7 and 9pm, depending on the day of the week. Check the website for more details. www.ballhaus.de
*U6: Alexander Pl. From the metro, head northeast to the “Sharp” building. Cover €10-20. Coat check €1.20. Open Tu-Su midnight-late. www.week-end-berlin.de
*U6: Rosa-Luxemburg-Pl. From the metro, walk 1 block to the east on Torstr. Cover M-T €1, F-Sa €5, Su €1. Beer €2.50. Shots €3-4. Cocktails €6-7. Cash only. Open daily 9pm-late. www.kaffeeburger.de
*U1, U3, U4, or U9: Nollendorfpl. Cash only. Open daily 8pm-4am (or later). www.hafen-berlin.de
*U1, U3, U4, or U9: Nollendorfpl. Most drink €2-7. Open M-Th 5pm-2am, F 5pm-4am, Sa 11am-4pm, Su 5pm-2am.
*U1 or U2: Wittenbergpl. 2-for-1 drinks W 7-9pm. Cash only. Free Wi-Fi. ~Open M-Th 3pm-2am, F-Sa 3pm-3am, and Su 3pm-2am. www.prinzknecht.de
*U2: Bülowstr. Open M-F 5pm-late, Sa 7pm-late, Su hours vary. www.begine.de
*U7: Kleistpark. Cocktail €6, €5 M-Tu and Su nights. Cash only. Open daily 6pm-late.