Our first nightclub attempt, Berghain, had failed, but that wasn’t to deter us! This was, however, our first realisation that when someone says “Go out in this area, that’s where all the bars are” it actually isn’t that useful. The other difficulty in Berlin is that given it’s history of being so divided, there really is no main centre or one area to go out in.
We were told by our helpful hostel receptionist (which later would prove to be a rare luxury compared to other hostels and hotels) that Friederichshain was the place to go. So we headed off in that direction. The problem when we arrived was that it was a lot more spread out than we had anticipated. Given the advice to just head there and we will find the bars, we were envisaging it being a Courtney Place type scenario where they were all quite central. But alas, it was a really spread out area, and it was quite difficult to tell if the bars were any good. Especially when they all had cover charges so you don’t want to part with your euros for a crappy bar. We sat down at one that had a cocktail special, but it was pretty average and we were getting tired, so decided to call it a night. As we were headed back to Westbahnhof station, however, we stumbled across what seemed to be an old railyard, with bars in all these old wharehouses, many of which were covered in really cool graffiti, political statements and art. It turned out to be quite the find, with loads of cool bars and beer gardens with novel themes and far more reasonable prices. We stopped in at a few of them, and it was just such a cool, laid back and novel atmosphere compared to most cities which try to have the classiest bar or compared to really intense clubbing districts.