Berlin… putting Ibiza to shame

Brandenburg Gate

While Ibiza has the history, the climate, and the reputation, a trip to Berlin (finally) this month made me realise that Europe’s best nightlife isn’t limited to London, Paris or the White Isle. I’ve been planning to go for a while, and it’s most definitely worth the wait. As a city, its recent history and rebirth can’t be matched. Whether it’s the traditional landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie or the Reichstag, or more modern Holocaust Memorial, rebuilt Posdammer Platz, or the cafes and shops of Kreuzberg, it’s a cosmopolitan city that’s not yet (thank god) succumbed to the gentrification that’s taken away some of the more rugged charms of our capital.

But the nightlife is something else. There’s too many (Tresor, Weekend, Watergate, Berghain to name a few) to hit in one weekend, but Watergate and Berghain alone were an eye-opener, proof that clubs can be just about the music. Not the DJ egos, the branding, the inflated door prices, or extortionate drinks. For less than it cost me to get 12 beers in Space on a Sunday (and we’re not even talking about money for getting in either, which I thankfully manage to avoid) I managed to get to, get in, drink and get home to Watergate and Berghain. 3e for a beer instead of 10e in Space doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to understand that one is an environment that welcomes clubbers and another that bleeds them for every penny in super-branded, slickly marketed megaclubs.

Watergate, where only a few hundred stare at the mesmeric LED lights on the ceiling of the main room, (and the music of Thomas Melchoir, Frivolous and Daniel Bell) or the monolithic Berghain and Panorama Bar, housed in the old electricity station north of the river, with the stripped-down, warehouse-like rooms and near-24 hour marathon of underground music. And the fact you can see the likes of Duke Dumont, Ellen Alien, Marcel Dettmann, Black Dog, Jesse Rose and Matthias Tanzmann for 12e. 12e wouldn’t get you a vodka in Amnesia. It’s no-frills clubs, where the focus is the music, and that’s it. Refreshing.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t my death-knell for the White Isle. It’s just an eye-opener to realise there’s more than a few alternatives, and many of them in one city. If it just had the weather….. well, if it had the weather it’d probably be ruined already. Sehr gut!


2 thoughts on “Berlin… putting Ibiza to shame”

  1. Indeed Berlin is much better than Ibiza.

    What I feel is that in Ibiza there are only macrodiscos, in Berlin there are only Clubs. Megaclubs. When you have been in Berghain/PanoramaBar you feel that ibiza is just a nursery and Berlin is the real clubbing college.

    Is not only a question of prices but als a question of feeling and essence. In Berlin every cub, small, medium or the big ones has something different and special to offer.

    Berlin is much better than London, than Paris than the withe island.

    Nowadays this is a secret, and people who know that Belin is probably the best city for clubbing in the world has the moral obligation to keep this secret. If bBerlin becomes famous like Ibiza then it will be the end of the Berlin we know. And if it hapens it wil be the worst tragedy in years. Sorry for the overstatment 😉

    People who has clubbing in Berlin has another point of view about the night scene. We are really lucky. Right?

  2. Clubbing in Berlin is fantastic, but saying that Ibiza’s clubs are only ‘macro’ to Berlin’s ‘mega’ doesn’t wash. How you can say that a club that holds 600 people is mega in comparison to one that holds 10,000…?

    Ibiza’s clubs are completely different, and both places (as well as London’s and Paris’ and everywhere else’s) have their own merits, but Berlin has the advantage of the music still feeling underground. Still fresh, alive. When DC10 in Ibiza closed, Ibiza lost its last underground club, so you feel that it’s too much governed by money and a minority. It’s no longer a people’s island. Berlin still feels this way.

    I love both, but I’ll be clubbing more in Berlin this year.

    Berlin will change, people will come, like London, and put money into the city, and the landscape will become different. It always does. Let’s hope this isn’t for ages yet though….

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