The district of choice for chic Berliners (the ones not wearing black or
ripped clothing), kunst cognoscenti, global hipsters, and of course tourists
of any ilk. People-watching is a sport on Oranienburgerstrasse,
but be prepared for the odd condescending stare if your fashion sense is
not up to scratch, particularly in the Hackescher Markt area. Mitte is the
new face of the former east, and is trying a little too hard to be what
eastern Berlin is not, or at least never was. This area hosts the highest
density of clubs in the city, which luckily cater to a wider market than
the pretentious bar goers.
Veteranenstraße 21, 10119
Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 44 35 94 97, Fax: no fax | U8 Rosentaler Platz,
Bus N8, Tram 50 | Times: Daily from about 21:00
This cultural centre in Mitte was there at the start of the Berlin
cultural revolution. Comprising a theatre, cinema, cafes, clubs and
a healthy splash of culture, (including art exhibitions) this place
is only cool depending on your standpoint on the "Evil Tyranny of
Consumerism" debate. Don´t expect to see too many pair of sunglasses
strategically positioned on the tops of patrons' heads. Drum 'n' bass,
reggae and hip-hop are on offer every week and those with preferences
of less mainstream music shouldn´t be disappointed. At the moment
the centre is facing eviction unless funds can be raised to purchase
the building which, incidentally, needs a good lick of paint.
| Delicious Doughnuts
9, 10119 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28 09 92 74, Fax: no fax | U2 Rosenthaler
Platz | Night bus N8 | Cover: Sun - Wed Free, Thu. - Sat € 5 -
15 | Doors Open: Mon. - Sun. 21:00
The sound system and smallish dance-floor leave something to be desired,
but the lighting is profound: dark, with a bluish rim coming from...somewhere.
Hang out in the front side-room to chat, or cozy up with your friends
on the curved couches lining the back. Patrons are young, but relatively
sophisticated: think, in this connection, black mock-turtlenecks and
slacks. Music ranges from lounge to house, with some salsa beats thrown
in for good measure. The bartenders are professional, the atmosphere
is groomed - this is no dive. But don´t hesitate to request
your favorite tunes from the deejays, who also appear to have a good
| Im Eimer
68, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 282 2074, Fax: no fax | U8 Rosenthalerplatz,
Bus N8 | Times: Fri & Sat 23:00 | Price: approx. € 8 -10
Another classic example of a post-wall squat-come-club. It´s
a wonder that this place has a telephone as that would, surely, represent
too much of a tangible connection to the outside world. One wonders
if the readings and theatrical performances found in the hidden corners
of this post-apocalyptic maze have any relevance to the mostly renovated
Mitte. The badly graffitied interior looks as if it kept the local
spray can shop in business for the last ten years. Evenings here are
usually to the sound of some hybrid of techno/dance. It would be advisable
to go and have a look at it before it gets turned into a Sushi Bar.
3, 10178 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 446 20 97, Fax: no fax | S-Bahn Hackescher
Markt | Night bus N5, N6, N8, N52, N54, N58, N65, N84 | Cover: Fri.
€ 10, Sat. € 15, Sun. € 5| Doors Open: Tue - Sun 20:00
Youthful b-boys come here for the comforting vibe of partially underground
hip-hop, past and present. The club is nicely cut into a large front
bar, a lounge-style middle room and a good-sized dance floor in back.
Funky interior, funky people. Go early for a great hamburger or miso
soup, and you can avoid the bouncer who starts checking threads at
around 11. What are those threads? New filas, clean black levis, and
some of those big, stylish headphones. The service is friendly, as
is the crowd: sweet kids who like to chill out after a bout of skate-boarding.
Schönhauser Allee 176, 10119 Berlin - Mitte | U2 Senerfelder
Platz Bus: N52 | Tickets: € 10 - 25.
One of Berlin´s smallest clubs, the atmosphere in this former
safe building can be electric, as long as you can tolerate the stifling
humidity. If arriving after midnight you are likely to encounter a
gaggle of sweaty partygoers in the street, desperate to get a breath
of air. Friday night is Discount Club night, with the opportunity
to hear some of Berlin´s finest techno DJs for the reasonable
price of DM15. The club strives to keep away the largely underaged
techno kids who have the run of many similar venues, and maintain
a more mature clientele (who are more likely to spend cash on pricey
drinks). Music on offer is mainly a mixture of techno, electro and
drum n´ bass, with the odd hip hop or reggae night thrown in
for good measure.
Schönhauser Allee 176 , 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 44 38 31
10, Fax: no fax | U2 Senerfelder Platz Bus N52 | Tickets: € 15
Although neighbours, the Pfefferbank is to the Pfefferberg as chalk
is to cheese. Those who dread the claustrophobia of the former will
be delighted by the open layout of the latter, where many events spill
over into the large outside garden in the summer months. The Pfefferberg
is more than the average Berlin club - it also serves as a venue for
cultural events and live music whilst maintaining its reputation as
"in". Events here can be anything from live dance displays, poetry
reading and classical music to jazz, reggae or electronic parties.
| Roter Salon
10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28 59 85 38, Fax: no fax | U2 Rosa-Luxemburg
Platz | Night bus N54, N55 | In the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
| Cover: € 5 - 15, Concerts: € 15 - 30 | Doors Open: Mon - Sun
Hip, but not pretentious. Order a Budwar at the red bar lined with
Soviet memorabilia, then glide into a red plush armchair to enjoy
the scene bathed in red light. Yes, there is a theme to this place.
Usually a drum-'n'-bass or salsa joint, the Salon is also a hot spot
for concerts: bubblegum punk and occasionally trip-hop ... check Zitty
or Tip for the weekly musical line-up. A laid-back crowd consisting
mostly of mods (you know - Brits with sideburns) and Northern Soulers.
Köpenicker Straße 78, 10179 Berlin - Mitte/Kreuzberg
| Tel: 278 50 52, Fax: 278 50 52 | U8 Heinrich-Heine Straße
| Times: Thu-Sun 22:00 | Entry € 10 - 25
Nice fancy interior. Nice fancy clothes. Nice fancy music... Housey
/ garage / old school music fans will have a ball. Some say it has
a high opinion of itself but, in reality, it´s not that offensive.
If the glare of your co-patrons clothes are dazzling you too much,
you can always go and have a nice seat in the garden out the back.
If you´re still not sure, why not try the less pretentious Thursday
night when rock music is on the menu.
10099 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 282 6527, Fax: no fax | U8 Rosenthaler
Platz | Times: daily from 20:00 | Entry: cheap or nothing
This is not everybody´s scene but if you fancy hearing some
poetry or experimenting with a style of music with which you´re
not yet familiar, get on down here and have a cheap drink with a cross-section
of Berlin students and art teachers. Every night will be different
and some more different than others. It must have something going
for it as it always gets some sort of a crowd and it´s been
in existence for some time. Situated in the old ZAR chocolate factory
(hence the name) but you wouldn´t know to look at the place.
Tucked away in the heart of concrete Alexanderplatz, Sternradio consistently
offers the hottest line up of Berlin DJs on the market. Ranging from
banging techno on the highly respected No Ufos nights to cracking
drum n´ bass for Hardeged, the club has provided a home for
many events in Berlin that have previously floated around numerous
venues. The question is; why? What is it that draws these already
successful events to plant roots in a small, stuffy, sterile club
with all the atmosphere of a plush hotel bathroom? Even the white
tiled walls in the cramped bar area are reminiscent of the lavs in
the Grand Royal. Still, it seems that someone high up in Sternradio
promotions is very well connected, and the club will be pulling in
the yuppie crowd for at least the forseeable future. For music-heads
the bill - which repeatedly boasts respected DJs such as Woody and
Storm - means that the club has a pull that may prove hard to resist,
but prepare to be disappointed if you´re looking to go crazy
on the dance floor. Everyone else will be trying to keep their hairstyles
Schönhauser Allee 176, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | U2 Senerfelder
Platz. Bus: N52 |
The third in the cluster block of the Schönhauser Allee neighbourhood,
Subground is the grittiest of the Pfeffer trio. Another venue that
would seriously benefit from an improved ventilation system, the club
hosts mainly techno and trance parties, such as the hippy haven Pan
Connection that takes place the first Friday of every month. Psychedelic
images and a "Space Bar" selling naturally hallucinogenic products
create a trippy feeling that is nothing compared to the "unique" dance
moves of some of the patrons, but at least it makes a change to the
mechanical robo dance for which Berliners are renowned.
| Dolmen Club
6/7, 10178 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 440 60 26, Fax: no fax | U2 Rosa
Luxembourg Platz, N52 | Price: usually DM5-10. | Times: Wed, Fri,
Sat at about 23:00.
Situated in the Sean Og cellar, here you will experience a really
anglo-celtic club experience combined with very bad German dancing.
An army of youths in Murphy's T-Shirts (or was it Guinness) will be
happy to serve you with a stuck-on smile, and a host of your fellow
German co-patrons will be glad to step on your feet as they attempt
to express their emotions to Pulp or Blur. Although not at the cutting
edge of the Berlin social scene, you know exactly what you are going
to get before you pay your entrance money.
| Pavillon am Weinbergsweg
9, 10119 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 449 5973, Fax: no fax | U8 Rosenthalerplatz
| Located in Volkspark am Weinberg
Planted in the middle of Mitte's Volkspark, Pavillon looks not unlike
a disused scout hall in a satellite town. Inside it's not much better,
being very much your common or garden disco set-up circa 1990: black
couches perimetering the dancefloor, a bar at the back, and a few
disinterested types sipping at their drinks. That said, what the place
lacks in aesthetic glamour it makes up for in good old-fashioned unpretentious
shake appeal. Expect a pot pourri of Deep Funk, Funky Soul and New
York Boogaloo from the likes of Soulpusher and Boogaloo Pussycat.
Videos and slide projections from 1970's blaxploitation and sex flicks
as one might expect. A word to the wise though, the admission price
remains the same at the end of the night as it is at the beginning.
Leipziger Str. 126a, Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 229 06 11, Fax: no fax
| U + S Potsdamer Platz Bus: N52, 84 | Prices: 10 Æ 20DM dependant
on guests etc. | Times: Wed, Fri, Sat 23.00-
Opened in March 1991, this ex-safe of the Wertheim department store
quickly rose to cult status. Tresor has its own label, acts and catalogue
of merchandise, with the club being only part of the business. Although
managing to retain a reputation with fans of techno across the world,
you may hear from people who have seen the place develop over the
years that it has lost some of its appeal. Downstairs in the basement
(Tresor itself), you can still see the rusty remains of the old safety
deposit boxes. Iron bar gates and bare brick walls (which seem to
be typical for this kind of club devised in East Berlin in the early
nineties) create the necessary ambience for listening to some of the
best techno on offer in Berlin. Few seem to agree as the place never
seems to be full and the patrons are either groups of sportily clad
youngsters or tourists there to experience the Tresor brand just once.
Upstairs, Globus offers some relief from the brain damage below by
playing some lighter records and outside in the garden, a tranquil
world can be found under the branches of the trees. Although the lure
of the music should be enough, a visit in the near future would be
encouraged as the looming figure of Potsdamer Platz hints that a location
change may be imminent.
Ziegelstr. 23, 10117 Berlin -
Mitte | Tel: 28 87 88 90, Fax: no fax | S+U Friedrichstr |
The Dr. Who of Berlin clubs. After four changes of address and transmogrifications
WMF is now situated in Ziegelstrasse in an old Post Office building,
the original having been a metal factory in Mauerstrasse. Intent on
being at the forefront of the clubbing experience, the large dancefloor
is accompanied by video screens and light installations which prove
to be unnecessary distractions. The Shiny Trainer Brigade should feel
at home. Open all week with a different feel to the music every night.
Drinks are ridiculously expensive. Sunday night is the famous and
highly popular GMF gay night.
| Kaffee Burger
10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28046495, Fax: no fax | U2 Rosa-Luxembourg
Platz | Night bus N54, N55 | Times: daily from 18:00 | Prices: beer
€ 4 | Cover: Disco € 5, concerts € 10 - 15
If you are looking for something more off the beaten track, it's worth
checking out the program at Kaffee Burger. This former brothel is
now owned by 3 artists and has a varied program to match their interests.
There is something on every night ranging from literary events to
rock 'n' roll discos. Although only opened last December, it already
manages to attract a large and mixed crowd. No need to feel uncomfortable
in this very unpretentious pub-like venue. People are more likely
to be dancing on the tables than standing around looking cool. A refreshing
change for Mitte.
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