The Berlin Hipster is a multi-faceted creature. They might start their evening off downing champagne coktails in Soho House yet they could easily end up raving to blistering techno until the following afternoon in Panorama Bar. Here are our top Berlin clubs and bars - only for the truly hip. You have been warned.
Salon zur Wilden Renate
Situated in the cool crusty side of Friedrichschain, Wilde Renate is hugely popular with arty students and old ravers who don't wanna grow up. Spread across a few floors of an 'altbau' the club looks like your grandmother's living room on acid. Antlers, grand pianos, dodgy lampshades, patterned wallpaper and heavy curtains all add to the feel, the only tell-tale sign youre in Berlin (not Kansas) is the kicking soundsystem which has played host to many a techno and house DJ, such as Tini, M.A.N.D.Y and Nicholas Jaar.
This club is a Berlin institution! Cookies has been going for 15 years, a journey which has seen it grow from a tiny basement club via 6 other locations to the grand space it's in now just off Friedrichstraße. Upstairs you have the vedgetarian restaurant 'Cream' and downstairs is the club. The layout of Cookies is genius, you have a small room where the djs spin hip hop, indie and electro and the larger room which is the house and tech-house floor. The unisex toilets at the back of the large room are always full of flirting Berliners, lounging on couchers and generally misbehaving. " large bars serve up great drinks including signature Cookies cocktails such as the delicious and lethal 'Watermelonman'. A must. Open tuesdays and thursdays (Yes that's right,Ttuesdays and Thursdays; in Berlin they need a weekend to have a fun).
Friedrichstrasse 158-164, Unter den Linden, 10117
Tel: 030 2749 2940
Situated directly on the River Spree looking over the famous Öberbahnbrücke bridge, Watergate boasts possibly the best club location in all of Berlin. It's split accross 2 floors, with their 'waterfloor' featuring floor to ceiling windows and an amazing view of the water. The sun coming up at 10am as this floor full of sunglassing-wearing ravers go ballistic to another techno track has to be seen to be believed. Upstairs is very different altho just as impressive, there they have a ceiling that is completely covered in LED lights that move in time to the beats. It's a cutting edge clubbing experience that rivals any club in the world. Their resident label nights include MANDY, Get Physical and Mobilee - expect queues around the corner so get their early. Open wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
If you are a real techno/tech-house fan then this is where you need to be; they have easily the most incredible soundsystem, atmosphere and crowd in Berlin. Berghain is legendary for its gay parties - it is essengially a gay club on Saturdays, with the ground floor of the old Factory just full of wall to wall shirtless men of all types - twinks, bears, azzis, hipsters. You name it. On Fridays the upstairs is open too, this is Panorama Bar, where the crowd is mixed (straight, gay, bi and who the hell knows). If you arent open minded then don't bother coming here! It's really hard to describe Panorama Bar because you just should go and experience it. It's unforgettable and their choices of DJs to book are world class from Laurent Garnier to Radioslave to Luciano and Loco Dice. A word of advice, dont try and be a smart ass at the door, you won't get in. Just keep your head down and button those lips! their doormen are lgenedary for being the toughest in Berlin and often turn people away just because they don't like the look of them. There are also no cameras allowed so dont bring one or you will have to hand it in at the door (after a serious body and bag check). Which actually makes the place even more intriguing and desirable right? Enjoy.
am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243
Tel: 030 293 602 10
Brilliantly situated in a high-rise building in Alexanderplatz, Weekend has carved out a place for itself as a key player in the Berlin club scene. It has expanded over the years and now boasts 3 different levels - the 12th floor (with stunning panoramic views over Berlin), the 15th floor (no windows, a black box of a room with lots of LED lights) and the sprawling roof terrace which really is a hotspot during the summer months - a tip, if youre an older raver then come here for their Sunday afternoon parties, that's when all the older cool Berliners come out to play. If you're a young one then Weekend is perfect for you, generally the age group is slightly younger than Watergate, mostly around 18 - 30. DJs who play at Weekend are the creme de la creme of the international electronic scene, from Richie Hawtin to Felix da Housecat to Moby to Fatboy Slim.
am Alexanderplatz 5, 10178
Soho House Berlin
Soho House expanded their empire to Berlin in 2010 and it has gone down a storm here. SHB has become a firm part of the city's exciting fashion/music/dining out scene and thanks to their ever-changing house events calendar, there is always something interesting going on here. From a dinner hosted by designer Matthew Williamson to a DJ set by Talib Kweli to a fancy-dress Halloween Ball, this place has had Berliners filling out their membership application forms at break-neck speed. Our personal favourite is hanging out on their stunning roof terrace in the summer with our feet in the pool and a cocktail in the hand. Bliss! And if you want to enjoy drinks of an evening then their restaurant and bar is a perfect meeting place, with one of the most stunning chandeliers you will ever see hanging over a bar where superb champagne cocktails are mixed and served with a smile, (a rare thing indeed in Berlin).
Tel: 030 405 0440
White Trash Fast Food
White Trash is a restaurant/bar-come-live music club that is very popular with the more rock'n'roll variety of Berlin hipsters. When Pink, Carl Barat or Lenny from Motorhead are in town, they stop by White Trash for a beer and one of their legendary cheeseburgers and to shoot the shit with Wally, the enigmatic tattooed Texan owner who you will never catch without his cowboy hat on. Many a Berlin-band regularly play here (such as We Heart Sharks or Myriad Creatures) on the ground floor which has a pub-restuarant kind of feel and in the 'Diamond Lounge' in the basement they have indie club nights and more live shows. Back in the days when Gossip were a little unknown band they played here. You can also get a tattoo in their basement tattoo parlour if you are feeling particularly brave - plenty of great rockabilly tat styles to choose from or bring in your own design. Come down and rock out, its a very fun, relaxed place - and the food is anything but trashy (the name is a joke), with really good natural ingredients going into their menu.
Tel: 030 5034 8668
Soju Bar / Kimchee Princess
Kimchee and Soju are a great double threat - you eat some delicious Korean food first in the cool modern Kimchee Princess restaurant and then afterwards you go round the corner to their 'Soju Bar' where you can enjoy some classic soju drinks and some of Berlin's best DJ's spinning!
Skalitzer Strasse 36, 10999
This bar is a mutual effort from the owners of Weekend and Cookies so you know it's bound to be good. Ever since it opened in 2012, Trust has been packed to the gills every night - sometimes a little too full if you ask us. Our tip is to come here early, start your night off here around 22.00 when you can kick back in your chair and enjoy a chat. They serve vodka and champagne only so dont come here if you're a beer-drinker. The crowd ranges from young girls - henc a lot of older guys here looking to pick up - to a lot of well-off students/actors/creatives/etc. A DJ is always there to keep the crowd entertained with music altho this is not so much of a dancing spot, it's more of a drink/talk/pick-up spot.
Torstraße 72, 10178
The name of this bar is an in-joke, it's a really tiny space and far from Kingsize. However what it lacks in square meters it makes up for in personality - Kingsize is cool, no question about it. Run by Conny Opper (of Scala/Rio/Broken Hearts Club fame) and Boris from Grillroyal, it is a serious hipster hotspot. DJs such as Paul MOgg, Hugo Capablanca and occassionally BANG BANG BERLIN's own Lizzy McGrath play here to a crowd who dance on the tiny dancefloor or night long. The drinks come in crystal glasses and are strong and rather expensive but hey, that doesn't seem to stop people queuing to come in here. The bar is often so full that in summer the patrons spill out onto the pavement outside meaning you can spot the Kingsize bar from way down the street, there are about 50 people hanging out outside. Well worth a visit, just don't moan if someone in the throng spills their drink on you, it's part of the experience.
Friedrichstr. 112b, 10117