Berlin is a party metropolis. In case you were wondering just how mind-bogglingly vast your nightlife options are, consider this: according to our stats, this city of 3.7M hosts around 800 music events each month, which means you have at least 27 events to choose from every day. Clubbing is such an important staple of Berlin’s identity that according to a recent study*, 75% of people agree it should be treated as a cultural asset, and almost half of all partygoers could imagine moving to Berlin for the scene alone.
Club culture is so specific in Berlin that getting rejected at the door is often a more valued experience than actually visiting the club.
Since we know that queuing for hours in front of a venue and/or generally basing party expectations on local folklore isn’t everyone’s stein of beer, we dove into our data to discover the venues with the most live music events, and where in Berlin you’re most likely to find your favourite music genre.
Where to go?
Although Berlin is comprised of 12 districts, the beating heart of its club culture is said to be located within the S-Bahn ring. In a 2018 survey, locals claimed that over 90% of the greatest clubs are condensed in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Mitte area, with Berliners most often opting for the former, while visitors and tourists tend to party in the Mitte (center) area more – which is to be expected.
As venue sizes go, they're kind of like the typical clubber attitude: one extreme or the other, with little in between. You can expect your destination to be either quite intimate, accepting up to 150 people, or a large-scale place welcoming 1000 guests or more.
When to go?
Fair warning: the inspirational “early to rise, early to bed” proverb does NOT apply to Berlin nightlife. As our team experienced first-hand in September, the pubs rarely kick it off before 7pm, while the club doors usually don’t open until 11.
Though there’s something to find every day, the Thursday–Sunday window is your safest bet. Some clubs are closed Mondays through Wednesdays, some are busiest at weekend lunch hours, others operate on a regular 11pm–6am basis. You’ll do well with some planning and an outfit that can soldier through 48 hours of fun.
What to expect?
By analysing our data for live events between 15 August and 30 September 2019, we’ve arrived at the following two findings:
#1 Berlin was and remains an Electro hotspot.
Of all the analysed events, 45% were of the Electronic persuasion, followed by Rock gigs at 13%. Pop and Hip Hop events are also slightly more common than the other genres – but bear in mind, we’re still talking about 1310 events in 45 days, so the opportunities for, say, visiting a Metal banger, are ample (P.S., that’s 52 Metal events, in case you were calculating).
#2 You name it, the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg area has it.
Well, unless you're a hardcore Classical and Jazz fan. In that case, you’ll most likely have to venture to the northern part of the Mitte area for a cultivated orchestral music experience. And if you find yourself in the western part of town, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf to be exact, you’ll be happy to hear that although the area is known for its swankier and shopping-oriented scene, you’re more than likely to catch a decent Rock, Country or Blues act there.
If you’re an Electronic enthusiast, you’ll probably do well in Neuköln too, as the #2 and #4 of the biggest live music “providers” – Klunkerkranich and Griessmuehle – satisfy both House and Techno fans there.
Of course, peeking into 10 venues is barely scratching the surface of this huge and thriving beast of a nightlife. Berlin is said to cater to any and all party desires, and with clubs offering pre-packed meals at marathon events, you know they mean business. If you know of a venue that absolutely needs to have a glow stick shined at it, drop us a line and tell us why.
* “Clubkultur Berlin” Study, 2019
Cover photo: Alexander Popov (Unsplash)
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