Ironic as it may be, Berlin, the city that bears symbols of its violent past and that has, for two decades, been at the center of a cold war, with a great divide in ideologies, faith and power running uninterrupted through its heart in the form of a concrete wall, has risen like a phoenix in celebration of freedom and gracious acceptance of all possible differences of human existence. A city that once stood as headquarters of a leadership that believed in acting upon fanatic beliefs, today is one of the most charming acceptance and a thriving example of the ‘Live and Let Live’ adage – the Berlin of the 21st Century!
It is this history that perhaps lends intensity to the frivolously vibrant, almost hedonistic streak to its clubbing and party scene. Almost worshipped with devout fervour, music seems to be the religion of the city and its churches have taken shape in the Inside of abandoned factories and commercial buildings that had to be taken down, post the breaking of the wall. Thriving today with the Rhapsody of rock, electronic, classical, rap as well as benevolent gypsy symphonies, the Berlin of today is a throbbing, pulsating cultural village, well concealed under the cloak of a bustling metropolis. Sometimes disorientating, mind-blowing and occasionally even brutal and freaky, music and party scene in Berlin is one of the most dynamic and vibrant ecosystems, attracting patrons across age, geography, time and taste of music.
And while the music and the chic venues that are generously infused with local culinary and brewery excellence, consistently allure patrons, night after night, it is in truth, the city’s evolved ideologies that has shaped the clubbing landscape such that it combines politics, sexual openness and acceptance and progressive social values to create safe, participatory and, ultimately, magical nightlife spaces for clubbers, to lose themselves in.
With 24×7 parties throbbing in the underbelly, sometimes well concealed and sometimes brutally in your face, Berlin offers a plethora of options for the modern traveller, one that befits the title as the party paradise of the world! On offer are choicest of establishments that cater to every taste, budget and age group. With venues as myriad as tiny basement clubs, industrial techno temples, chestnut-canopied beer gardens, fancy cocktail caverns, saucy cabarets and abandoned powerhouses, Berlin delivers hot-stepping odysseys, and not just after dark and on weekends but pretty much 24/7.
Notable places of the visit on the circuit include the many well-defined districts, both old school and new. ‘Kreuzberg’, almost a city in its own rights, boasts of several small and large pubs and clubs, making it a destination in itself – one that cannot be explored completely in just one night. District Mitte – the cool and wild party paradise of the 90’s may have today become crowded with more commercialized settlements but the “Oranienburgerstraße”(Oranienburger street), lined with a wide range of pubs and bars, is a good starting
Point for a night out. The ‘Prenzlauer Berg’ – the place where the party scene transitioned to from ‘Mittte’ houses the Kollwitzplatz, Helmholdtplatz and SchönhauserAllee – popular neighbourhoods with loads of hip ‘drinking holes’. ‘Friedrichshain’ with its industrial wastelands converted into huge clubs and smaller cozy pubs with outdoor seating on the sidewalks, offers a relaxed and bohemian feel, making it one of the least gentrified and most alternative districts of Berlin.
Some of the most notable party destinations include:
Berghain& Panorama Bar – the Church of Techno
One of the most well-known pubs in Berlin and around the world, Berghain offers the best sound system and the best of music, bringing the abandoned power plant to life, every night. With the impeccable line-up of best DJ’s playing their best tunes, alternated by house music, it is the perfect place to enjoy the best drink and best of music.
More of a festival than a club, Sisyphos, located in an abandoned dog food factory, is a labyrinth of free experiences, much like an Alice in Wonderland getaway! Not a regular club, but the Sisyphos regularly hosts parties that take assume the air of leisurely festivals, every two weeks and offers a taste of unadulterated freedom and joy, one that is difficult to forget for life!
This 1913 establishment – a former ballroom known for extravagance dance parties, holds an old world charm well masqueraded into a contemporary vibe with a soundtrack of predominantly jazz, swing and soul tunes. And while the venue hasn’t changed much since the 1920’s, its patrons range from a mix of hipsters, tourists and ageing (but agile) music lovers, making it a more contemporary venue, deeply rooted in strong character.
Housed in a decadent, abandoned 150-year-old mansion, the Chalet, located in Kreuzberg – the most hip neighbourhood in Berlin, offers a great line up of talented DJs playing in two different floors and a very charming garden: the perfect place to chill, when it’s not freezing cold outside. Open 7 days a week, the Chalet, with its vintage lamps and armchairs, bonfires in the backyard, wallpapers with antique patterns and many small rooms, caters to a rather more mainstream/touristic crowd.
Jay Kantawala, Founder of WIYO travel said, “With a general sense of reckless abandon, the dressing in most parties is casual and highly underdressed. With most bars open up till the wee hours of the morning and breakfast being served across the city until sunset, Berlin truly wears the majestic crown of being the party paradise of the world!”