Quite possibly the greatest club in the history of the universe
An oversized disused 1953 East Berlin power plant made good by two low-profile gay visionaries in 2004, the Berghain is an elegant and sexy cathedral worshipped by Berliners and discerning visitors for its otherworldly sound system (ultra minimal, techno, tribal, house etc), sexy dark areas and an overall Babylon-like atmosphere. The Berghain attracts a big, mixed, free-spirited crowd. On a Saturday night clubbers can wait a while to get in, only to be subjected to a discriminating door policy, with large groups of tourists, drunken heterosexuals and others not making the cut. But the pay-off is well worth it, and many of those who gain entry linger well into Sunday or Monday. For less demanding music there's the stylish and very popular Panorama Bar upstairs [see entry], which is open also on Fridays (when the main part of the Berghain is closed). Between Thursday and Sunday a separate entrance provides access to the gay-male fetish sex space Lab-oratory [see entry]. And for one night each Easter weekend the Berghain stages the glorious leather/rubber/fetish SNAX party [see entry] — an anything-goes male-only Saturday/Sunday sex event on a grand scale (while never feeling corporate), previously staged at the Berghain's earlier incarnation Ostgut (demolished in 2004). The SNAX party takes over the entire Berghain except for the Panorama Bar, and is alone worth the trip to Berlin. A second now-annual party, FC SNAX UNITED, prescribing sportswear and trainers and held in early December, started in 2011. The complex also stages events and concerts during the week, plus clubs such as Pet Shop Bears and open-air summer/lounge options connected to the Bierhof Rüdersdorf/Kantine. The club's name is a composite of neighbouring areas Kreuzberg (former West Berlin) and Friedrichshain (former East Berlin). No mirrors in the club, and photography is not allowed. Capacity = 1,500, and as of 2014 (earlier, actually), there are rumblings about a certain rise in tourist infiltration, though less so on Sunday.
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NEARBY BARS & CLUBS
Panorama Bar (at Berghain)
Am Wriezener Bahnhof 1