We’ve forgotten how to party: only Berlin can save us now
Ditch the sweatpants, we’re going out-out
Saturday 26 March 2022 By Soho House
Well, it’s officially been two years since the first lockdown (an anniversary that we’re very happy to let pass without fanfare, thank you very much). Those seemingly endless months of baking bread, binge-watching Tiger King, and pretending to enjoy Zoom quizzes have left us tired, jaded and with cupboards full of flour that we’ll never use. But perhaps worst of all, they’ve robbed us of our knack for going out. And we’re not just talking about ‘popping to the pub for a quiet pint’ kind of going out. We’re talking about the kind of unapologetically hedonistic, utterly extravagant, ‘stock up on 5-HTP and milk thistle’ partying that starts with a trepidatious shiver running down your spine and ends with your eardrums and bank account begging for mercy – and life just hasn’t been the same without it.
Luckily, we know where to go to remedy this sorry state of affairs. If you too have missed the odd dabble in debauchery (and honestly, how could you not?), get yourself to Berlin for a crash course in cutting loose. Here are all the places we think you should go.
Buzziest bars and live music venues
It doesn’t matter what city you’re in, a visit to a hard-to-find rooftop bar is a rite of passage. In Berlin, that bar is Klunkerkranich. Located on top of the parking garage at Neukölln Arcaden, it offers unparalleled views over the capital, so arrive early and make sure you’re there for sunset. It’s also worth exploring Weserstraße, the area between Kreuzberg and Neukölln that has established itself as one of Berlin’s buzziest areas.
After the sun goes down, the city does an excellent line in moodily lit bars. Prenzlauer Berg’s Kink is a restaurant-bar house in a former brewery complex that serves up cocktail-paired dishes such as deconstructed tacos and chicory filled with minced lamb. And the Neue Odessa Bar on Mitte’s Torstraße is a renowned for its candlelit corners and on-the-strong-side cocktails (the White Russian and Moscow Mule come highly recommended).
Also worth a visit is Trauma Bar und Kino, a club, cinema and exhibition space that was founded in 2018 as a platform to bridge the art and music worlds.
If there’s one thing that defines the Berlin club scene, it’s a ‘marathon, not a sprint’ mentality, with parties frequently lasting all weekend – and sometimes into the week, if you’re feeling particularly energetic. Venues with outdoor spaces are favourites come summer: we love the riverside Kater Blau, and the slightly more under-the-radar – though no less unhinged – Sisyphos (when a club has a link to its ‘lost and found’ form right there on its homepage, you know you’re in for a good time).
Many venues also do double duty as galleries and cultural spaces: Prenzlauer Berg-based Anomalie, which is housed in a former car repair shop, hosts exhibitions, food and wine tastings and children’s parties in addition to its typically tech-house club line-up.
And of course, no Berlin round-up is complete without the capital’s grande dame: the notorious – and notoriously hard to get into – Berghain. We won’t bother repeating the rumours, we know you’ve heard them all before (those drains…). Instead, we’ll leave you with a little snippet we heard about the club’s Funktion-One speakers. The sound system, said to be one of the most powerful in the world, apparently only ever operates at 10 to 20% of its potential capacity, in order to preserve people’s energy during those days-long parties. Sound technician Benedikt Koch, who installed the system, has said that, at full power, it would be ‘like getting a massage of every nerve of your body.’ Oof…
Essential Soho House events
While you’re still recovering from that little tidbit, we’ll take a moment to draw your attention to what’s going on at the House over the next few weeks. Berlin-based creative collective, deadHYPE, is throwing a party session featuring some of Berlin’s finest underground DJs, Temper Tantrum hosts her Hot and stupid drag night (including performances, drinks, and music by DJ Ferrari Rot), and Los Angeles-based soul musician, Annahstasia Enuke, gives an intimate concert as part of our House Sessions series.
After all that, you’ll probably be ready for a nice lie down. You’ve earnt it.
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