Partying in Berlin can be a bit tricky. Some of the hottest clubs in Germany’s capital can be very exclusive. It takes some effort to get into Berlin’s best clubs.
Partying in Berlin is one of the best nightlife experiences in the world. Berlin techno clubs are legendary – and for a good reason. Berliners are devoted to superior techno. Heavy beats pound through the dance floors of clubs all over the city.
It’s not only the music that makes partying in Berlin such a mind-blowing experience. After a history of conflict and restriction, Berlin has become a city of freedom. Berlin techno clubs are freedom-focused. There’s no better place to express yourself.
It’s this culture of freedom that has made partying in Berlin a challenge for many tourists. Some Berlin techno clubs are just as famous for their door policy as they are for their music. Although Berlin attracts many tourists, it is not a “tourist city” in the typical sense of the word. Many patrons at the clubs are local; the scene does not depend on tourism.
The doormen of Berlin techno clubs have a valuable job. They must preserve the spirit of freedom and the safe space inside. They do this by checking your “vibe.” In practice, this means many tourists queue for several hours at clubs, only to be turned away at the door.
Is it really that hard to get into Berlin clubs? It depends on where you go. This article is a guide to some of the best techno clubs in Berlin, and how to get inside.
Table of Contents
Partying in Berlin – the Basic Rules
With a few exceptions, getting into Berlin techno clubs is not that difficult. There are some basic rules that everybody should follow. Stick to small groups. Don’t be too loud or too drunk in the queue. Know which party you’re going to, and the names of some DJs. Don’t play around on your phone. Be confident and polite. If you know some German, use it (but don’t try to bluff it – it’s ok to say you speak English).
Many blogs will tell you that everybody in Berlin wears black. As you’ll see when you enter the clubs, this is not entirely true. Berlin fashion is eclectic and kitsch, and you’ll see a range of outfits from gothic to glitzy. If you can pull off the unusual, color-clashing-hipster style, go for it! If you’re more of a jeans and boat-shoes person, it’s probably easier to stick to a dark look.
One more thing, a no is a no. No doorman in Berlin has ever changed their mind due to a tourist begging or bargaining. There’s plenty of clubs, and most are open all weekend, so move on to the next one.
Partying in Berlin – Best Clubs and Door Policies
The most infamous of all Berlin techno clubs. Berghain is the Church of Techno, and it does not go easy on its worshippers. Inside, the sound system will swallow you with incredible techno. That’s if you can get in.
Out of all the clubs, Berghain is maybe the most difficult to enter. But, if you know what you’re doing, it can still be surprisingly easy. The first stage is the Berghain outfit. There is plenty of space inside to change into something more you. To get in, you need a perfectly sculpted, casual Berghain outfit.
What is a perfect Berghain outfit? Firstly, dark colors. Black, grey. Secondly, simple. Jeans, fishnets, comfortable shoes (no boat shoes!), some black eyeliner. The Berghain doorman doesn’t appreciate those who try too hard, so stick to simple alternative chic. Don’t be too classy, remember you’re partying in a smoky warehouse sex-den; not dining at the Ritz.
The second phase of getting into Berghain is to get past the Berghain doorman. On Saturday nights, you’ll meet the world’s most famous bouncer – Sven Marquardt. On Sunday, it’s a different team. The most important thing here is to be confident. Don’t look intimidated. Make eye contact. Oh, and don’t smile or talk in the queue. Be bored. You need to act like you don’t even want to go in. But you’re going in, because why wouldn’t they let in somebody as cool as you?
Channel your inner supermodel, and you can win the battle of charisma against the Berghain doorman.
Saturdays have a very long queue, but it’s somewhat easier to get in. Sunday morning is a better party, and you won’t queue for long at all. However, Sunday is when locals attend their church, so the doorman is a little more strict.
Another institution of techno, Tresor Berlin is one of the oldest running techno clubs in the world. Its success and history connects with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It has been a revered and respected name amongst Berlin techno clubs for decades.
Today, Tresor gives new DJs a chance to “break Berlin” at their New Faces party. They showcase many DJs during the week and assault you with premium techno on Friday and Saturday.
Tresor Berlin door policy is similar to other techno clubs in Berlin. Since it’s a very bare-bones, warehouse-style techno party, extravagant costumes are unusual. Simple is better, and a similar look to your Berghain outfit will go down just fine. In general, the Tresor Berlin door policy is pretty relaxed; but large groups of tourists are unlikely to get in. Break your large group into smaller groups. In Berlin, it’s perfectly acceptable to abandon your friends outside if they don’t get in!
Another long-running institution in Berlin, KitKat is mostly known by tourists as a sex club. While it’s possible and encouraged to have sex here, KitKat is a lot more than just a place to hook up.
The freedom and acceptance that comes with a night in KitKat can be a mind-altering experience for many. But how do you get past the KitKat doorman? What is a good KitKat outfit?
Luckily, KitKat lists its dress code on its website (in German, of course). So, the official advice for your KitKat outfit is:
Fetish, leather, uniform, kinky, glitz and glamour, costumes, upcycled, elegant, avant-garde, extravagant of every kind.
So, this leaves you with a lot of room for creativity in your KitKat outfit. Fetish is your safest bet. Some tourists make the mistake of thinking they can just remove clothing to get in. The KitKat doorman will remind you – it’s not about taking off. It’s about dressing up and being creative.
Saturday is the most fun night to visit. It’s full of loyal, friendly regulars who ready to welcome you to their beloved Kitty. Sadly KitKat might be closing, or re-locating in 2020. We’ll keep you updated!
Salon Zur Wilden Renate
Renate is maybe one of the most beautiful of Berlin techno clubs. It’s a multi-room, multi-floor circus extravaganza. Filled with avant-garde décor, it’s a myriad of creativity and exploration. With multiple dance floors showcasing talented DJs, a night in Renate is a night to remember.
The Renate door policy is pretty easy. It’s the perfect place to experiment with more extravagant outfits. Think kitschy and clashing. Your Renate outfit is a great chance to express your inner weird.
The general rules apply when getting into Renate. Large groups, particularly men, are not welcomed. Be polite to the Renate doorman, and know which Djs you’re there to see.
About Blank is an unmissable techno club in Berlin. It’s home to dark techno, a beautiful summer garden, and one of the coolest queer parties in the city (Buttons). It has quite a rigorous door policy specifically designed to make sure everybody inside will have a good time.
First of all, your About Blank outfit should fit the party. If it’s Buttons, think fabulously queer. If it’s a dark techno party, go dark. Your next challenge is the About Blank doorman. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions, and for this club, definitely know which party you’re going to and who’s playing. The About Blank doorman may ask you, “why are you here?” or “have you been here before?”. Have an answer ready and be confident. They are just looking to see if you will have a good time. If they ask you about the rules of the club, “no pictures” is always a good answer.
Sisyphos is almost as famous amongst tourists as Berghain. If you are in Berlin in the summer, visit this phenomenal club. It’s like having an open-air festival in the middle of the city. If you arrive Friday or Saturday night in the summer, expect to queue for several hours and to be cramped inside. In Berlin, you party whatever time you feel like, so beat the queues by dropping by during the day.
Sisyphos door policy can be quite strict, and the process is sometimes intimidating. You’ll arrive at a stop sign at the front of the queue, where the Sisyphos doorman will inspect you from afar. Your Sisyphos outfit should be exciting. As always, a typical dark Berlin outfit will be helpful; but there’s room for colorful experimentation in Sisyphos. Hit the second-hand stores in Berlin to find your ultimate Sisyphos outfit.
As always, know the DJs, be polite to the Sisyphos doorman, and go in small groups. If they ask about rules, give them your phone so that they can cover the camera.
Overlooking the Spree, Kater Blau offers you a weekend-long adult playground. Featuring great techno beats and outlandish disco acts, Kater Blau is a dance-heavy razzmatazz popular with locals and tourists alike. Drop by on Sunday afternoon for a family-like vibe and the best tunes around.
Kater Blau can have a pretty tough door at times, and confidence is needed to impress the Kater Blau doorman. Although a dark outfit is a safe bet, an individual style will be appreciated if you can wear it with confidence! Like with all clubs, know the DJs, know the event, and be nice!
So that concludes our guide to getting into the most famous techno clubs in Berlin. Good luck on the door, and let us know how you got on in the comments!
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