This is the place when you're looking for free events like parties and museums in Berlin. Perfect for low-budget travellers. These are the events locals go to. Even real Berliners don't know everything you can get in Berlin for free. Most of the content is german, but can be translated at the bottom of the page.
Berlin in a nutshell. Peculiar mix of people - 70 year-old ladies in old-fashioned evening dresses and gentlemen in suits, urban bummers in Hugo Boss as well as crazy hipsters are to be seen in this old ballroom (existed since 1913) in the centre of Berlin.
Situated in a scraped building surrounded by numerous art galleries, the place was visited by Tom Cruise during his search for old-fashioned shooting locations for the film 'Valkyrie'. Good food and delicious home-made cakes. Music changes depending on the day (cha cha, swing, waltz and tango). In the summer, the garden is an additional attraction.
If you walk down the Auguststr (Berlin Mitte), you'll spot an enchanting garden and the scraped building behind it.
Clärchens Ballhaus, Auguststraße 24, Berlin Mitte.
For those into something a little alternative (dub, indie, electronica etc), numerous small clubs around the Warschauer Strasse metro stop such as Cassiopeia and Rosis Bar are highly recommended. Relatively inexpensive with a great crowd and good music.
It's a sort of lounge/nightclub. I think it is a restaurant during the day. I was stumbling around Zoologischer Garten on a Thursday night and some kid handed me a flyer which (out of character for me) I took and it said there was live music playing. So I went over there and when I went in I was really surprised. There was a great band doing covers of soul classics and some other things i didnt recognise with an amazing piano player (who looked like Pat from Saturday Night Live) who took solo after solo and did not disappoint. Not to mention that the place was very stylish, chic but not expensive. Most people were sitting down and listening to the music but another group was dancing. I had a great time there and went back twice during that stay. I heartily reccomend it.
west on kantstrasse from the Zoo Station in Charlottenburg.
Hidden away in Berlin's laid back East Side, this back-of-a-boatshed haunt for recovering weekenders and general misfits exemplifies the best of Berlin's DIY bar culture. Comfily lo-fi, still manages a natural tree-covered canopy, a covered cinema, consistently brilliant music, and plenty of canalside seats (even if that means sitting in a boat). Staff are friendly and sound without being too-cool-for-school, and atmosphere will accommodate everyone happily, whatever your pleasure. Only in Berlin...
Zitty is a weekly (I think) listings guide that I discovered talking to some locals. Pick up a copy as soon as you arrive in Berlin to make sure you don't miss the best acts whilst you're out there.
Try any newsagent, or see www.zitty.de (German language website)
Excellent Indie/Electro/Hip-hop nightclub in the Volks building. Art Deco interior with chandeliers, and parquet floors. We saw a Japanese punk band who did a cover version of Hard Day's Night. Crowd are friendly and chatty, mostly 25+, entry was about 8 euros. Don't go before 11, it'll be dead as a dodo.
Rosa Luxemburg Platz station
Easily the coolest club in Berlin, the Sage Club is in a disused area of Heinrich-Heine-Straße underground station in East Berlin. It attracts a mostly local crowd of young, beautiful and trendy people. Each night is a different style of music: rock/alternative on thursdays; R'n'B/funk/soul on fridays; and house/electro on saturdays.
With two indoor rooms and an outdoor chillout area - complete with a VIP pool - it's hard to imagine a more spectacular venue. A great way to see a side of Berlin that 99 per cent of visitors miss.
Köpenicker Straße 76
Not a name that really sticks out, but this is the hive of the Kreuzburg area. On a cold day in February its numerous cafes and geek shoppers are a welcome from the intense cold. In the summer walk down and see numerous musical acts. Not a place to be seen but a place to just be.
U-Bahn Moritz Platz right slap bang in the middle
It used to be the case that the most interesting and hip bars and restaurants were to be found in East Berlin.
While the city's overwhelming architectural overhall has certainly changed the balance, there are one or two gems still hidden in the Eastern districts. Pasternak is a Russian restaurant (no surprise) steeped in atmosphere and tradition. You can almost hear revolutionaries muttering conspiracy theories into their vodka.
They do a mean Borschtsch and a host of other Russian classics. I've heard there are nights when live music is played but check this out when you reserve - and it is advisable to reserve as this place is very popular.
Metro line U2 Senefelder Platz
Of the three main opera houses, the Staatsoper (Unter den Linden) is the poshest. It's very elegant but its bars are a bit cramped and the staff a bit flunkified. Most of the audience are smartly dressed. The Komische always sings in German; if you can cope with that it has interesting productions. The audience there are regular goers rather than people making an occasion of it. Sit high up - if bored you can always admire the unexpected statuary and mirrors decor.
Deutsche Oper is a bit marooned in the old west, but actually has the most comfortable public facilities. Sit in the long rake of the stalls rather than upstairs. They're all reasonably priced by UK standards, and usually have tickets available at short notice/on the day
Gi-normous, fenced in park with plenty of room to roam, masses of stuff for kids and adults to do (wee train trips, water areas, lakes, all sorts of animals (free on the range), open air music and theatre) and masses of space to do nothing in, if that's what takes your fancy. Beautifully maintained and not at all corporate feeling. Couple of euros to get in. Bargain.
Neukoln, in the south east of the city. It's big, so no 'one' place to get in. Get a map!
A venue for all kinds of events and music. Featuring 'Joint-venture' every last sunday of a month - a show for new music, experimental electronica, improvisation and realtime music - and the GLOBUSbar, every Thursday, which is a nice lounge with live-music. Other shows, include an opera 'Ay!Carmen'.
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