By Marriette Rough
Berlin is a beast to be reckoned with. Do it right and life will be a roller coaster of picnics, parties and new people. Do it wrong and she will spit you out unceremoniously with a destroyed liver and a vague inkling that you have been up to no good.
It is not an uncommon tale to hear of your average Joe coming over for a weekend dalliance and failing to ever leave. That is actually what happened to me about 9 years ago. And I am still here, testament to Berlin’s never-ending pulling power.
The party scene here can be surprisingly difficult to navigate. Bars and clubs generally begin their days pretty humbly. They are about the music, the feeling that you can be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do. Minimal money is invested creating a raw and underground feel. This has long been one of Berlin’s most enticing draws. Disaster has been known to strike, popularity can create ego’s and Berlin has it’s fair share.
Open Air Parties are entirely different to normal clubbing. Dancing in the sunshine feels somehow a little more wholesome. Even on the base level that you are out using your day to it’s fullest, rather than post-nightclub-daytime-hibernation/hangover. I know many Berliners, be them ex pat or the real deal, waking up early, enjoying a few mimosas with breakfast and heading out for a day of partying.
Our top 3 Open Air Clubs this summer are as follows. Amusingly they are all on the same street, so fear not if you don’t get into the first.
(Markgrafendamm 24 , S and U-Bahn Ostkreuz)
A very small understated little club that pulls in some of Berlin’s coolest DJs, often having live accompaniment for example live violin or guitar. Sand under foot means you can take off your shoes and dance all tribal-like. The size of this open air means you will likely make a bunch of new friends and they have bottled Mexicana shots, a firm fav in Berlin. Pretty much a Bloody Mary in shot form. You will not be disappointed.
://about blank (This is it’s real name)
(Markgrafendamm 24C, S and U-Bahn Ostkreuz )
About Blank has been a Tour Guide haunt for years. Popular as they are, they still manage to have friendly door staff, which is a rare find in Berlin these days. They have multiple floors, the best of which is outdoors. Lots of trees mean even in the hot heat of the summer, you can have a shady little dance.
(Alt-Treptow, S-Bahn Treptower)
Just over the bridge from both its mother club Wilde Renate (also a great in and outdoor club) and from the other clubs I have mentioned. This club has a frame over the dance floor that sprays a fine water mist when it’s too hot to move. They also have a little stand selling all of your most vital Berlin Party survival gear; bubbles, confetti and sweets. There’s a great view of the River Spree to boot.
Good to know are some general door policies. Firstly Berlin is basically the opposite of most countries, meaning the more dressed up you are (unless its a bit off the wall) the less likely you are to get in. So casual is key – guys do not wear an ironed shirt, ladies do not straighten your hair. The most you will ever pay in entry to any club in Berlin is 15 Euros, so enjoy that whilst you can. If the party is in it’s last leg, meaning on the afternoon of the third day, the price will usually be cheaper. Cheap entry means you can try another if the one you are at is waning, and it won’t break the bank. Whilst queuing try not to be too boisterous, Berlin Door-People tend to have an aversion to rowdy tourists!
The most recommendable Facebook page for spontaneous Open Air Parties is ‘Open Airs Berlin’, which is now available in App form.
Go forth and cause some trouble ; )