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Beyond Berghain: 10 clubs you need to rave at in Berlin

The German capital is teeming with top-class late-night spots

  • Dave Turner
  • 30 December 2017

Techno's house of worship? Dance music's biggest meme? Whatever you want to call it, Berghain's the nightclub that comes to everyone's mind whenever clubbing in Berlin is mentioned. And why wouldn't it? The building's a Brutalist lover's dream, the likes of Ben Klock head up nights regularly, the parties never seem to end and a no-cameras policy allows you to just do you. As we all know, though, there's a strict door policy and a view that only the coolest get in. That's exactly why someone made up some illustrations telling you how to make it through the doors. If they don't work, no fear. There's plenty of other places to go raving in the German capital. Check out the best spots below.

1
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Move D, Richie Hawtin, Omar S. That's just a selection of DJs who've played at this once-illegal club in Friedrichshain in 2017 - its seventh year. The birthday weekender was pretty wild in April, rolling for three days with the likes of Lena Willikens and Helena Hauff helping to blow out the candles. The building could easily be mistaken for a derelict house from the outside and the understated interior allows for all sorts of fun.

2
Funkhaus

The upcoming HYTE party on New Year's Eve is one reason alone to get yourself to Funkhaus in the east of Berlin. Nina Kraviz and Chris Liebing are just two of the DJs playing in the 1950s former broadcast centre for a 24-hour party. The venue's main spot for club night's is the Shedhalle concert room, a sprawling space with rustic walls and curved, aging ceilings. It's a prime spot for the parties that just keep on rolling, Perlon's 46-hour party with Ricardo Villalobos, Zip and more back in May is a great example.

3
Ritter Butzke

Just recently, Ritter Butzke was partly refurbished to introduce an apocalyptic new club space, Dampfmaschine. It's got the look of a mad scientist's laboratory, with all sorts of old machinery lying around and an LED wall designed by Telekollegen. The photo above show's that the whole club's not like that and there's even an outdoor courtyard for those hot days. In its eighth year being legal (it opened illegally in 2007), it's hosted Timo Maas, Format B and a whole host of local selectors.

4
Tresor

Tresor's a name firmly ingrained into techno's history. The original club opened back in 1991 and the record label has released music by Jeff Mills, Robert Hood and Surgeon over the years. As has become all so familiar in recent years, Tresor's original building had to be vacated in 2005 to make way for offices. But where we lost an iconic space, we gained a techno-perfect venue in 2007 when Tresor re-opened at the abandoned Kraftwerk power plant. It's set over three floors and it's pretty damn terrifying to look at. Just imagine what it's like when the music's loud and the lights are off...

5
KitKatClub

The above illustration gives you the smallest, scrawled taster of what's in store at KitKatClub. The sex-is-acceptable fetish spot opened in '94 and has musically diverse parties going on on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It's right around the corner from Tresor, too, so you can easily do both in one night. Just be aware you might have to remove some clothes to gain entry here.

6
Watergate

As you've probably guessed, Watergate sits right next to the water, the capital's River Spree to be specific, in Kreuzberg. With floor-to-ceiling glass windows, that means come daytime, the curtains open and you've got stunning aqua views straight from the dancefloor. Not enough to sell it to you? How about the stunning LED lighting and the likes of Kerri Chandler and Mr Ties on the line-ups? Gotcha.

7
Griessmühle

A former grain mill, Griessmühle is the perfect rave spot for anyone who loves dank, stripped back spaces to dance in. By that we mean metal pillars, skeletal staircases and plenty of dark corners. The dancefloor's usually illuminated by a combo of blues, reds and purples, while the garden's unused grain silos still remain.

8
Club der Visionaere

Hands up if you love daytime spots. Located on a canal just off the River Spree near Kreuzberg, Club der Visionaere opens its doors early and goes on late. The dancefloor only fits about 50 people on, though, so people usually spill out onto the wooden decking beside the water. Evan Baggs, Hector and Anthea have all laid it down at the intimate spot in the past few months.

9
Salon Zur Wilden Renate

If a rave's got a house party feel to it, it's almost a given it's going to be anything-goes naughtiness. Add glitzy, chic decor to that and you probably won't want to leave the place. Salon Zur Wilden Renate is the spot we're talking about, a trendy, three-dancefloor club in an old apartment building that has a heavy focus on local DJs. Berliners definitely to throw a party.

10
Ipse

Located very close to Club der Visionaere, although way bigger with a capacity of 700, Ipse is another venue making the most of its waterside spot. Parties go on both inside and outside, house and techno acts making up the bulk of the programming. The warehouse-style main room is perfect for those winter nights, but summer's all about the daytime bash's lounging beneath the trees and beside the water.

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter

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