Overzealous security. Bored Police. Expensive drinks. Sydney’s nightlife laws may have recently loosened, but – relative to other cities – going out here still blows.
Berlin is the opposite. Rather than bankers doing ‘baggies’ and bouncers chucking you out at first stumble, Berlin is a famed cosmopolitan techno-loving free for all.
The pinnacle? Berghain. Arguably the most exclusive club in the world (or at least the most famous place that consistently knocks people back), the following Tripsavvy photo of Berghain, we believe, illustrates why Berlin has such a coveted nightlife scene.
From the glowing edifice in the background to the time of day (Early morning? Late afternoon? Who knows!), this photo of Berghain epitomises the chill, free-flowing suction a night (or three) out in Berlin represents.
Bouncers with good taste (you generally don’t get let in unless you can name one of the DJ’s playing), no pretension (international celebrities, and Conan O’Brien have famously been rejected), no yapping, no football teams and an international embargo on boat shoes.
As The Sydney Morning Herald put it in 2018, “The city’s laissez faire attitude to nightlife is a world away from Sydney’s lockout laws, heavy-handed policing and onerous regulations that have led to the closure of many venues.”
Oh and there’s a historical aspect too: “Professor Michael Hutter, an expert in cultural economics at Berlin’s Social Science Research Centre, traces the city’s permissive approach to partying back to the devastation wrought by two World Wars, which caused the collapse of social and moral conventions, and the ideological confrontation with the Soviet bloc.”
As for Berghain, if you want to get in, there are three important rules to follow: wear black, break into small groups and don’t talk in the line.
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Beyond that, there are a few more pieces of advice that will boost your chances of getting in.
- Learn the phrase “Sorry, I don’t speak German,” (“Tut mir Leid, ich spreche kein Deutsch.” While it isn’t necessary to speak German to get into Berghain, politeness can make all the difference.
- Visit outside of peak times (very early on Sunday morning or very late on Saturday night can be a sweet spot).
- Play it cool – as Culture Trip says, “Most people get knocked back because they look completely out of their comfort zone, and no amount of black clothing or leather can hide it. Take a deep breath and remember, for all the rejection stories, it’s still one of the most frequented clubs in Berlin, so the odds are in your favour.”