When it comes to Berlin, one thing is clear: the nightlife is legendary. What is less clear, however, is the best place to enjoy the nightlife – the former west or the former east. We think that this split is more than obsolete, and not just in terms of planning a night out.
Our perfect evening starts on the famous Kurfürstendam. The backdrop? A unique mix of Chanel, bratwurst stands and post-war history. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church with its partially-destroyed roof is as much a part of the skyline as the Europa Center, the neighbouring, somewhat outdated shopping centre, or the Kaufhaus des Westens, located 650 metres away and known as the KaDeWe for short.
A bikini with a concept
KaDeWe, the historical luxury department store, is an institution in Berlin – but that’s not where we’re headed today. Instead, we’ll have a stroll through Bikini Berlin. The concept mall was opened in 2014 and is home to much more than just shops. It is full of cool boutiques and restaurants that fit together seamlessly in terms of their design. The “pop-up boxes” are really intriguing. These wooden boxes in the centre of the mall allow young designers to present their collections and start-ups to present their new products without huge overheads.
Feeling a little shopped out, we treat ourselves to a sunset aperitif and enjoy the fantastic view out over the city. In the Monkey Bar, which is located on the tenth floor of Bikini Berlin, you can enjoy exquisite drinks, delicious snacks and an unmatched view of the Berlin skyline. And, on the other side of the bar, you can watch the monkeys in neighbouring Zoo Berlin – or maybe they’ll be watching you! It’s all a matter of perspective. It’s not called the Monkey Bar for nothing ...
There’s more to Berlin cuisine than currywurst
An aperitif is traditionally followed by a meal – not wanting to defy such tradition, we decide to head for a meal. So we leave the upmarket West and head for the slightly more ... brash East Berlin. Whether you take a taxi via Berliner Tor or the S-Bahn via the Hauptbahnhof: your final destination should definitely be Skalitzer Straße, next to the Schlesisches Tor. Or, to be more precise: the Kantine Kohlmann.
In terms of appearance, this place is anything but a “canteen”. It’s a stylish place – modern yet warm and with a dash of Berlin charm. A bit like the food. Here, they add an unusual twist to traditional German dishes, such as spinach pretzel dumplings with Swiss chard and beurre blanc, or blood sausage with radicchio and cocoa plums. And those who fancy a digestif after such culinary indulgences only need to go as far as the Hausbar next door.
Dance the night away
As we’re in Berlin, we can’t leave without heading to a club. We couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried: the Watergate is just a few minutes’ walk away. You should definitely take a stroll along Köpenicker Straße and across the Schillingbrücke along the way – you can marvel at the East Side Gallery on the right and the majestic Oberbaum Bridge spanning the River Spree at night.
You can pretty much guarantee a long queue outside the Watergate. With a bit of patience and making sure to remember the line-up for the night – the bouncers do occasionally ask – you finally make it into the famous Berlin nightlife. EDM beats, a sea of lights spread across the ceiling up to the DJ booth and a terrace directly overlooking the River Spree: this truly is a prototypical Berlin club. Well, it’s a little cleaner than the norm.
That was it: a Royal night out in Berlin – endless fun from west to east. And, now that it’s over, it’s time to say goodbye – or as the natives would say: “Tschö”.