Nightlife in Kreuzberg: dancing on the Spree and in public toilets

Some love it, others hate it, but the nightlife in Kreuzberg with all its clubs, pubs and bars is as exciting as ever: Kreuzberg nights are long. Of course, the district where cobblestones used to fly, revolutions were planned and one pub followed the next has also changed over the years. Unfortunately, the gentrification has not made a bow around Kreuzberg. 36 is now almost like 61 and 61 like … Prenzlauer Berg, before it was completely redeveloped and the Swabians came? Anyway, we take you on a journey through the nightlife in Kreuzberg, from 36 and the clubs on the Spree to the bars and dance clubs on Kotti and Mehringdamm.

Lohmuhleninsel and around

Nightlife in Kreuzberg: The Lohmuhleninsel with its clubs and bars around it could be called the center of nightlife in Kreuzberg

Lohmuhleninsel would be right at the front of the race if it came down to determining Kreuzberg's cultural center – at least at night. The wild times, when there were up to seven clubs there, are over – at the latest since the Ipse burned out in 2020, and perhaps already since the Chalet and Burg Schnabel closed their doors.

Nevertheless: Today, the Club der Visionare (Club of the Visionaries), a veteran of Berlin's techno scene, Birgit & Bier, and a new club that brings variety to Kreuzberg's nightlife: The Æden wants to offer a diverse program and be not only a techno club, but also a cultural venue. At irregular intervals artists exhibit outside and inside the venue. During the week there are concerts by indie bands and singer-songwriter:indies. On Thursdays it's more funky and jazzy, on Fridays there are label nights and external promoters can have their parties. On Saturdays, more experimental and hard sounds fill the club and the bodies of its guests, while on Sundays it's more cheerful and housy.

Not far from Lohmuhleninsel, the Festsaal Kreuzberg has also been resurrected. The old Festsaal Kreuzberg on Kotti, one of the most popular addresses for concerts in Berlin in the noughties, had burned down in 2013. Now the bands play their instruments hot at the new location, close to the Arena Club and the Badeschiff, which are closed today. Officially, the new Festsaal Kreuzberg is already in Treptow. But probably at least everyone who didn't live through the Wall locates the new ballroom in Kreuzberg, at least in terms of feeling.

Sage Beach and Nasty and Angry

Dance in the front row on the Spree, with your feet in the sand and comfy deck chairs within easy reach: that's what you can do in summer on the eastern edge of Kreuzberg, from Lohmuhleninsel a little further downstream. For the winter months, the Sage Beach has built a winter garden, so that raves can also take place there in the cold months. However, there is no sound insulation and that means, unfortunately, that at 10 p.m. the Sage has to turn down the sound. On the other hand, it's nice not to party in dark rooms during the day in winter for a change.

The SO36 and Oranienstrabe

Nightlife in Kreuzberg: Oranienstrasse and SO36 are identity-forming for Kreuzberg

The Oranienstrabe in the change of time we show you here. It is many things: center of the resistant Kreuzberg, food mile, lively street with many bars and Spatis and home of the legendary SO36. Earlier in the 80s there were more clubs in O-Strasse where you could also dance and party, for example the Trash. Only SO36 remains, which has gained in importance over the years. Because the SO is one of the few places in Berlin where punk concerts take place, where people pogo and drink beer in masses, while up on stage the band screams into the mic. Wonderful! Other popular events at SO36 include the roller-skating disco, the 80s party, the queer party series Gayhane, the drag party Queens against Borders, organized by refugees, and the Kiez Bingo!

Of the many bars on Oranienstrasse and around it, Roses also stands out: a gay bar with lots of plush, lots of glitter and delicious drinks.

Nightlife in Kreuzberg 61: Gretchen and the Klappe

The area around Mehringdamm and Bergmannstrabe with the old postal code 61 has always been the more bourgeois, more set Kreuzberg. The development has intensified with the progressing gentrification. Restaurants can be found there in the same density as dogs in Viktoriapark, but you have to look for nightlife in this part of Kreuzberg.

But it's worth it: there's Gretchen, for example, an all-round club located in former military stables. In the Gretchen everything from Drum'n'Bass and Dubstep over House and Techno up to Jazz, Funk, Soul and Hip Hop and Trap, with Afrika Bambaataa over Dean Blunt up to Modeselektor already the large Musiker:innen filled the rooms of the Gretchen with their magic.

A little further down Mehringdamm, hidden under the cars whizzing by, on the middle island of Yorckstrabe and behind a flap, is the club "Die Klappe" (The Flap). Die Klappe is one of those clubs that is good for its location alone, as it is located in the rooms of a former public toilet under Yorckstrabe. It plays trance, house and techno. The mood on the dance floor is usually bomb, because it can be empty already times only with difficulty, because: It is, and who surprises that in a former public toilet, really small.


Nightlife in Kreuzberg: A bit fancier is the Watergate

Watergate is one of the clubs that had a major impact on Berlin in the 2010s and is the reason why thousands of tourists come to Berlin every year. It's right on the Spree at the Oberbaumbrucke, the terrace is especially impressive, where you can catch the morning light and watch the water in the morning, sweaty and dancing happily. The sound in Watergate is characterized by House, Tech House and Deep House and the big names of the scene play in the club again and again. Compared to many other Berlin clubs, the interior of Watergate is chic and not so down-rocked, tagged and industrial.

Ritter Butzke

The area around Moritzplatz is a rather dreary one: High-end office buildings with rooms that make it questionable whether anyone actually needs them, and houses with fancy condominiums stand next to run-down 70s new buildings. Spatis, pubs, restaurants and stores are thin on the ground. But one club is holding its own: the Ritter Butzke in a former factory. The Kreuzberg club extends over several floors and backyards. The floors are regularly played by greats of house, tech house and deep house. But the program is not only about partying: there is also poetry slam in the cultural garden of the Ritter Butzke every now and then.

Paloma Bar, Monarch, and the pub scene around Kotti

From the Monarch, you have a unique view of Kreuzberg's nightlife. Photo: Imago/Pop-Eye

If you were to ask the guests of the Monarch and the Paloma Bar what makes the two dance bars special, many would probably say: the view out of the window. Because, from the windows of the two stores, located right next to each other on Skalitzer Strabe, the guests look out of large windows onto the U1, which passes by at the same level. A unique atmosphere. In the Monarch there are also concerts from time to time, but sometimes there is just someone playing the music. If you want to hop from one bar to the next and feel comfortable in tolerant, queer places, the Olfe or the Sudblock are the best places to go first, both are right on the Kotti.

More Kreuzberg

You still need an outfit for the weekend? In these stores and corners in Kreuzberg you can store particularly well. You have the day off and want to while away the time? We have 12 tips for Kreuzberg 36 that always go. Whether you're visiting Berlin or don't know the sights in your own part of town: they're worth it. Here are 12 sights in Kreuzberg, from Berlinische Galerie to Markthalle lX. Always current texts about the district and news from Kreuzberg can be found here.