Berghain: It is often voted the best club in the world and I have found none better. The music on the main dance floor can be seriously hard, to the point of driving some of my friends away. It's lighter up in the Panorama bar. Is it a gay club? No – that's the first secret. Click the headline for more.
Somehow the crew who ran this popular, derelict but well organized joint managed to save up enough money to buy the old power station in Freidrichshain and then magnificently make it clubbable. The name BERGHAIN comes from kreuzBERG friedrichsHAIN.
The queue at Berghain is sometimes huge (the photo above was taken on a Sunday afternoon). You can wait for two hours and then you get to the front and you can get turned away for some reason or no reason. The door policy is a mystery. I have seen the sexiest people being turned away and the most overdressed screeching tarts being let in. So it all gets a bit tense as you approach the door, you never know what your fate will be. Two ways to get in quickly: 1) Go to lab.oratory first (6€ entry) and get a stamp on your way out. You can queue jump into Berghain with the stamp and they probably will allow you if you're reasonably sober. 2) Get there bang on opening time. There will be a queue but it moves fast at that time of night. The club fills up quickly so you won't be lonely. Everybody is searched as they go in. They even look in your socks and feel your pants if you're lucky. Excessive quantities (10) of party sweets are not tolerated.
Gay corner and darkrooms
There are two darkrooms in Berghain, one on the ground floor, sort of behind the bar and one on the main dance floor in the corner over the entrance. Gay men gather in this corner for dancing and for trips into the darkroom. It's not particularly well equipped but one of the best in Berlin because you get some very fit guys in there. My favourite spot is the little room on the left as you go in the left entrance. It has a blurry window onto the dance floor, from where the lights occasionally illuminate the scene and the music is thundering in. The guys sit on the sofas and have fun in the surreal atmosphere.
The downstairs darkroom is more for straights ... most of the time.
Treatment of drug casualties
They have people in Berghain who go round with beer crates collecting empty bottles. Apparently they have an additional duty to keep an eye on the punters to see if any require medical attention. A foolish man overdid it one night on GHB. The next thing he knew he woke up in hospital. He asked what had happened (doh!). They had found him on the road outside Berghain – not the treatment you would expect from that place.
Small bar by main dance floor
When I'm not dancing or in the dark room, my favourite spot in, is the small bar near that upstairs dark room. It has a local feel, you can sit around on the old sofas, have a joint, have a chat, have sex, make new friends, meet old friends or just soak up the atmosphere.
And beside that bar there are toilets: Why don't they clean the toilets in Berghain? Or at least the sweep them out every hour? They start the night all shiny and nice and built well enough to withstand a police a siege, they end the night with condoms, tissue paper and other detritus all over the place – but still able to withstand a police siege. For tidier and lighter toilets go up to Panorama Bar on the second floor or down to the ones on the ground floor beside the coat check.
Snax is a huge gay sex fetish event which takes place in Berghain and Lab.oratory every Easter (that holy day.) They combine both clubs and there still is not enough space. The queues are huge and slow everywhere. At the door, at the coat check, at the bars and even on the wide stairs going up to the main dance floor. I went there this year and the crowds were too much for me. I dreaded to think of some panic event breaking out. It would have turned from a minor nightmare into a major catastrophe. In their favour they keep the entry price down to 18 €. They should double that and allow in 70% of the people. Germans are too nice sometimes.
The garden - only open in summer - is a delight. It's not well advertised and opens around 10am the morning after if the weather forecast allows. DJs start playing there around noon, there's a bar and comfortable places to sit or lie and a dance floor with a sprinkler system to cool you off. Heavenly. You would not find the garden unless you know to look for it. Go into the downstairs toilets and there's a door at the back of them which leads you outside. It stays open until 8pm.
We were all very excited in June to get a Facebook invite to the official opening of the Berghain rooftop pool. Sadly it was a hoax- but they really should build one, it's a great idea. Until then, go to Kitkat if you want to club and swim.
And coming this month Dec 2010
Saturday 11.12.2010 – Start 24:00 it's 6 years of Berghain
[Friday] / Saturday 01.01.2011 – Start 1:00 Club night Total
Berghain, Panorama bar and lab.oratory combine
25€ advance tickets available in Berghain and lab.oratory whenever they are open.
What other people said about Berghain
The best club I've ever seen!
Merlin | Friday, July 27, 2007 at 18:54
Yesterday, on a lovely Sunday summer evening I came across the Berghain Biergarten. I heard of it before and it turned out to be really nice. It is located left of the club's building if you approach the club's main entrance.
The main entrance to the Biergarten is on Rüdersdorfer Strasse behind Berghain club.
In the Biergarten is a central building with the bar downstairs and two terraces upstairs. There are beds and deck chairs with pillows and cushions. I had an Alster (beer with lemonade) sitting on one of the beds. There were gay couples on the other beds cuddling up to each other ore enjoying grilled chicken from the barbecque downstairs.
There's a fountain in the garden and tables and chairs. There are also holiday swings where up to four people can have fun in. It was nearly 8 pm and the club next door was still going. People kept going in and out. The opening hours are during the week from 3 pm and on Saturday/Sunday from 9 am. I'm looking forward to my next chill out there, after a night of dance and fun at Berghain.
Glamour64 | Monday, July 30, 2007 at 07:46
Ooooo this sounds NICE, will have to check it out at the weekend ....
Amer | Thursday, August 16, 2007 at 14:29
We went for the first time this week-end to Berghain, and it was AMAZING.
It's maybe the best club in the world!!!
Music was outstanding, crowd was great, the club look fantastic, hot boys...
we will back soon!
Love BERLIN, LOVE BERGHAIN
Chocolate | Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 21:19
if you go to lab.oratory first (6€) you get into lab for half price (6€ off, which makes lab effectively free). i don;t know if it's correct, but i found that "ich möchte ein stampeln für berghain, bitte" works.
you need to go through the queue and into the guest list area on the right hand side of berghain's door, flash your stamp and you'll be waved past the security search to the desk. show the stamp again when you pay.
elliot | Tuesday, July 08, 2008 at 23:15
guten tag....ich möchte mehr infos haben über berghain? und zwar würde mir gesagt mündlich,das im oktober einer squatparty stattfindet,daran möchte ich teilnehmen,als passiver mitglied...ich danke ihnen für die infos henry szymanski
henry szymanski | Sunday, August 31, 2008 at 15:59
Berghain is definitely Berlin's best club.
A note about getting in:
This summer I went at 2am, BIG MISTAKE. I waited until 6am, and still didn't get in. Meanwhile, in the line, things were getting pretty unplesant, pushing, shoving.
Next time, I went at 11:30pm. I was the only person in line behind some Italian teenagers. The line started filling up, and by midnight it was already fifty metres long.
(btw: the Italian guys asked me if it was a problem that they didn't have any girls with them... whether guys on their own would be let in. We laughed, 'It's a gay club, didn't you know?' They freaked out, in a fit of gay panic. They didn't get past the door).
In winter time, the line takes longer to fill up, and you are usually OK arriving at midnight on the dot, or before 12:30. I know I'd rather arrive early, and have a drink in the Panorama Bar. Last time, there was an impromptu snowstorm and the view below, pools of light on the sudden white, against the background of electronic music, was totally sublime.
Joseph | Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 15:35
Re Berghain - tis a couple of years since I've been there but yes, highly recommended. You'll get in if you look the part. Venue is amazing, very Berliner, we have nothing like it in London that's for sure. Three levels of industrial grandeur. Friendly mixed crowd, gayer on the main floor, straighter upstairs. The club goes right thru into Sunday afternoon and the later you stay the messier it gets. Two downsides from my POV: the banging techno music on the main floor can become repetitive to the point of monotony, although the second dancefloor upstairs has different more varied sounds, and also there are way too many strobe lights (ugh). Other than that, a true Berlin experience and a must-do for the discerning gay clubber.
phil | Friday, February 29, 2008 at 13:50
berghain's amazing - there's even a graffiti tag on the outside, "don't forget to go home"!
i'd agree about the lights - they can be a bit monotonous, because they bought the wrong type of lighting - their lights are more suited to rock and roll stage acts than clubs... maybe they need to upgrade the lights with a colour thingie on front, or something.
two darkrooms, one's in the far left corner of the dancefloor with sling and completely, totally black. not found the second one - i think i may have been having too much fun outside. no-one cares if your sex is anywhere else in the club, though you may find panorama bar upstairs quite straight.
if it's a nice day in the summer, then the garden will be open outside from 10am. It's a grassed area with deck chairs, not the beer garden, which is rather sleepy and aside from having sexy bar staff, is rather boring in comparison. i went home, showered (being careful not to wash off my stamp from when i went in earlier), changed and returned at about 2pm, with enough people to make it a very enjoyable afternoon, dancing on the outdoor dancefloor, sitting around on the deckchairs, or going round behind the seating areas to the grassy bit and sunbathing on the grass.
you can see the dance area on google maps here - http://tinyurl.com/5ceo65
elliot | Tuesday, July 08, 2008 at 23:36
The other darkroom in Berghain is sort of behind the bar downstairs. You walk through the bit where the sofas are and there it is!
John | Wednesday, July 09, 2008 at 12:02
Berghein bouncers are shit. These fucking straight bastards don't know the difference between gays and heteros. I tried to get there at a civilized time for clubbing, i.e. 2 am. There was a massive queue of all young straight girls and young hetero guys blocking the entrance. I almost thought I'm at the wrong place. What horror to queue up with these people. Then I made it the the front and then they did not let me in telling me I'm not gay. Me standing there all muscles and tight shirt sobbing to get some action. Instead a couple of 20 year old girls made it there. Is this really a gay club?
Markus | Sunday, August 10, 2008 at 15:29
Ich lieber Berghein. I have been there twice the venue is awesome, the music is fantastic, the crowd is really mixed & like the darkrooms / cruise areas too.
thejules00 | Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 22:59
Went to Berghain on 16th May ... as usual it was absolutely fantastic ... would definitely recommend arriving late and hitting the garden on Sunday, its a real treat :-)
Amer | Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 22:21
Berghain is dead. Same boring music. Nothing has changed. And the door policy remains fucked up. They have become too arrogant and complacent. Don't bother, unless of course you like the idea of standing in a queue (which has nothing to do with the number of people inside) for up to 2 hours and then get subjected to a completely random door policy. It doesn't matter what you look like, or if you are gay (how would they know anyway), or if you are not from Berlin. They are on a power trip -it's a really bad vibe. Avoid. Seriously.
Jules14 | Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 11:34
I was in the Berghain/Laboratory with my wife ;o) just to see Villa Nah gig Friday 30.04
and I was completely crazy influenced by DJ team Raufen & Saufen set!Could anybody help me to get list of the tracks they played - there was one synth/electro song which became one of my fav! help me please 'cos I don't know who's song is it!!! Can't live with this tune - it still plays in my ears: "Dance With Us, Dance With Us..." many thanks in advance!
Electro-media | Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 23:58
there is some sort of confusion. one of the 3 dancefloors/stages of Berghain is gay, and there is a backroom, quite obvious actually.
the rest of the club IS TOTALLY HETERO (at most druggily bi-curious) and NOT GEARED TOWARDS CRUISING BUT DANCING.
and that's the truth guys. now, whether u like it or not...
otis | Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 09:10
could anyone please confirm if it is correct that a lab.oratory stamp will give you a discounted entry and skip the line?
Kriss | Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 16:45
If you go to lab and get a stamp on the way out, you can jump the queue into Berghain. But you don't get cheaper entry. It's worth asking tho ... Tell us what happens :-)
George | Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 16:49
How to get to Berghain
If you are going to Berghain by taxi just tell the taxi driver 'Berghain'. 90% know where it is. By S- or U-Bahn it's trickier. Walking from Ostbahnhof is the easiest. Just get onto Strasse der Parisier Kommune then take a right and a left through some developing industrial estates. From Warschauer Strasse S- or U-bahn it's tempting and quickest to walk down Marchlewskistrasse and into Rüdersdorfer Strasse to the back entrance of Berghain, but sometimes all the many gates are locked so you either have to climb fences or take the long way round to the front. It's safer to walk along Mühlenstrasse beside the old wall and the Eastside gallery and that's a great walk when exiting on a summer morning. If you're late enough there are lots of beach bars open.