An international hub for all-night fun, Berlin boasts a firmly established position as the world's premiere party city. Today, the name of the German capital serves as a byword for alternative culture. Despite its emphasis on modernity, both young hipsters and fans of more conservative entertainment can be sure that Berlin will become one of their favourite spots on the planet.
When it comes to nightlife, the old divides in the German capital are still visible with the balance paradoxically reversed: the glittery Western part of the city lags behind the truly alternative Eastern part, where the real action takes place. However, both areas feature highly recommendable locations at which to sample the world-famous German beer and listen to excellent live music.
For a trendy atmosphere in West Berlin, try the cocktail paradise BaramLutzowplatz (Lutzowplatz 7) and popular gay bar Hafen (Motzstrasse 19). UniversumLounge (K’damm 153) has a distinct 1970s feel, featuring pictures of the landings on the moon as part of the décor and a decent menu of martini drinks. An interesting mix of people can be found at Zoulou Bar (Hauptstrasse 4). Kreuzberg swarms with bars that double as cafes during the daytime. CaféBar Morena, WienerBlut and Madonna are all found along Wiener Strasse (respectively number 60, 13 and 22).
In East Berlin, extraordinary venues offering all sorts of evening entertainment simply abound. The most popular locations include the Ambulance Barr (Oranienburger Strasse 27), the funky pub 808 (Oranienburger Strasse 42-43), and Reingold (Novalisstrasse 11), serving cocktails to jazz accompaniment. In the former GDR building at Karl Marx Allee 34, you'll find the Café Moskau, with a bar on the ground floor and a dance room in the basement. The hip Prenzlauer Berg is home to the renowned hip-hop venue, H20 (Kastanienalle 16). Try the excellent beer garden at Prater (Kastienalle 7-9) and the cocktails at the Polynesian-themed TabouTikiRoom (Maybachufer 39).
Probably the most unusual bar in Berlin is NoctiVagus (Saarbruecker Strasse 36-38), serving food and beverages and staging musical, theatrical and even scent-based events in complete darkness. A similar but more food-oriented venue is Dunkel-Restaurant (Gormannstrasse 14), in which customers are served by blind waiters.
Berlin has a very strong, ever-developing club scene. Younger crowds will like the tourist-oriented clubs along the Ku’damm in West Berlin, as well as 90Grad (Dennewitzstrasse 37), featuring gay nights on Thursdays and Saturdays. SO36 (Oranienstrasse 190) has a similar style. In East Berlin, one of the trendiest places is the house-playing Sage Club (Köpenicker Strasse 78). The FritzBerlin (Warschauer Strasse 34) is singles-oriented and sports the motto “Eating. Partying. Flirting.” Spectacular views over the city and a funky atmosphere can be enjoyed at Week12End (Alexanderplatz), situated on the 12th floor of an office building and open on the weekends.
For live concerts, visit KnaackClub (Greifswalder Strasse 224), a multi-level venue offering a rich calendar of live musical events. For funk, salsa and merengue, stop by Havanna (Haupstrasse 30). Popular jazz spots include B-Flat (Rosenthaler Strasse 13) and AtraneJazzclub (Bleibtreustrasse 1).
When it comes to entertainment, there's no better place than Berlin's hip clubs and bars. When touring Berlin, remember about the nightlife of this vibrant city and don't get too tired visiting its landmarks!