I know my blog posts are usually geared more towards photography, however, this club calls for a written review of my experiences. So my absolute most favourite part of Berlin, in all honesty, would have to be Berghain nightclub (as lovely as the Victory Column is). Berghain is said to be the leading club in the world for techno music and known for having one of the hardest door policies in the world simply because it is quite irrational. Queues can last for hours and people just get turned away without explanation. On entry you will be searched and have stickers put over your phone camera so that the inside of Berghain remains a mystery to outsiders. There are no mirrors or reflective surfaces inside either (your appearance may shock you upon departure, especially after a couple of days inside). My partner and his best friend are regulars and often have guest list so I had no trouble getting in which was a relief, nobody wants to queue for four hours and not get in!
I went three times during my first months visit to Berlin, with my longest stint being 22 hours straight and since moving to Berlin I have become a regular. There’s something satisfying about powering through and leaving after close on a Monday morning. Commuters whizzing past you on their way to work, screaming children in hand and all you have to do is try and get to a bed before you run the risk of becoming a full-blown zombie.
Berghain floor is my favorite part (18m high ceilings and enormous) playing mostly techno music and Panorama bar upstairs is geared more towards house music. When you aren’t dancing like a crazy person there are many nooks and crannies to chill out in and meet new people of all ages from all over the world. I could not believe how friendly and eager everyone was to make conversation and most people speak English. What blew my mind the most out of everything was that there is also an ‘Eis Bar’ upstairs that sells scoops of different flavored ice cream which can be a nice chilled break from all the furious techno-induced dancing.
We had tickets for New Years Eve (tickets don’t guarantee entry) and all areas were open so I even got to go to Laboratory which is exclusively a gay club that usually has a separate entrance. I really loved Laboratory, the music was amazing and there was a really positive and fun atmosphere. Sex swings and dark rooms are littered around, as well as sexual activity. I won’t go into too much detail about what goes on inside just know that you have to have an open mind and be willing to let go of all inhibitions.
Stamps are given so that you can return to Berghain after a brief trip home to recharge seeing as the party runs for a few days. I found that coming home after 12 hours on my first trip, I couldn’t sleep anyway, so the second time I went I just powered through the feeling of wanting to leave. Then it was like I had a new lease of life, we like to call it ‘the point of no return’. This was the same for my third time and the only reason we left was because we had a hire car to pick up in several hours! We made it, just about…
First Time Berghain Tips
- Make sure that you eat a good meal before you go as you may not eat again for a long time, something that will line your stomach especially if drinking and to fuel your dancing!
- Have pre-drinks to loosen you up and get into the party spirit (you may be arriving Sunday afternoon). Drinks are not too expensive inside but most people aren’t drinking much anyway, drinking isn’t the best idea if you want to party the whole weekend.
- My only suggestion for what to wear would be comfortable shoes, something warm for the queue but not too warm underneath as inside gets hot and all black. I know a lot of people write blogs posts on what to wear but the first time I went, I wore a green parka and the second time I wore my partners’ black sports coat as well as his hat and scarf with my leather trousers so…
- Stay hydrated, you can refill your bottles with water at the toilet (it’s cheaper).
- Queues for toilet cubicles are long and stand your ground if you are waiting especially if you actually need to use the toilet.
- Don’t worry if you are alone or lose your friends, you meet the best people and I even met up with some of them the next few times I went and it was as if we had been friends for ages.
I would love to hear about your experiences here, for me, it is the best club I have ever been to by a long shot… I would recommend that everyone experience it at least once, if not for the music then definitely to let yourself go and discover a version of yourself that you never knew existed.
You will find me on the Berghain dancefloor.
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