Big Night Out: Berlin

Decadence is in, but it's not obligatory

The vibe

The vibe

In the 1930s, Berlin was a byword for hedonism and excess. Those heady days are back and you will find plenty of up-for-it clubs and "one-nighters" offering everything from techno and house through to S&M parties, 24 hours a day. Get to grips with it all by going underground on the U-Bahn or overground on the S-Bahn. No journey should cost more than €3 (£2). Be there on 12 July 2003 for the infamous Love Parade, the world's biggest, raunchiest street festival.


The beautiful Berliners start drinking early. Happy Hour (6pm-9pm) is a rather stylish retro affair at Green Door, Winterfeldtstrasse 50, which is so cool that you have to ring the bell to be let in. Sybaritic sipping goes on at Club Seven Lounge, Ackerstrasse 20, where Mo Asumang's guests savour cocktails from the comfort of cream daybeds. Greenwich, Gipsstrasse 5, attracts a crowd who groove to the ultra-chilled beats of Café del Mar, within a leather-walled interior.


Partake of Kafee and Kuchen (coffee and cake) at Café Adler, Friedrichstrasse 206, where you can keep your eye on the site of Checkpoint Charlie. In summer, down a beer and a snack at the lakeside alfresco cafés, such as Café am Neuen See, in the leafy Tiergarten. Weitzmann, Husemannstrasse 2 (00 49 30 442 7125), dishes up Brandenburg specialities in a Bauhaus-style salon for less than €10 (£7). Umbrian cuisine with urban flair is found at Bocca di Bacco, Friedrichstrasse 156 (00 49 30 206 7282), under €20 (£14). VAU Restaurant, Jägerstrasse 54/5 (00 49 30 202 9730), offers new German fusion cuisine with a hint of Italian in an understated setting for less than €30 (£20).

Go native

Culture vultures have three opera houses to choose from, not to mention world-famous orchestras, one now under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle. Opera to go: Deutsche Oper, Bismarckstrasse 35 (00 49 30 341 0249), Komische Oper, Behrenstrasse 55-7 (00 49 30 4799 7400), Deutsche Staatsoper, Under den Linden 5-7 (00 49 30 2035 4555). Check out the Berlin Philharmonic, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.


Sage Club, Kopenicker Strasse 78, is a see-and-be-seen place where house music rules. A mixed and lively crowd congregates at SO36, Oranienstrasse 190, which mainly plays techno. For the ultimate in decadence try the Kit Kat Club, Bessemerstrasse 2-14, where half the crowd dresses in fetish gear. The main gay clubs are ShwuZ, Mehringdamm 61 and Connection, Fuggerstrasse 33, where you dance in a sea of beautiful boys with pumped-up pecs.


Late-night snack bars are plentiful. Try Habibi, Goltzstrasse 24, an Arabian stand-up bar offering everything from hummus to aubergine mousse. Biers 195, Kurfürstendamm 195, attracts night owls, fast-food junkies and celebs. For home-made fat chips and loads of sauces, head for Fritz & Co, Am Wittenbergplatz.


Berliners recover with an all-day breakfast. Tomasa, Motzstrasse 60, serves up big platefuls: think English but with cheese, as well as vegetarian and organic options. Or try Café Einstein, Kurfürstenstrasse 58.

Further information

Cresta Holidays (0870 161 0900; offers a three-night b&b break at the three-star Hotel Tiergarten from £298 per person, including return flights. German Tourist Office (020-7317 0908;

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own