Berlin is one of those cities that is perfect for solo travel. On the surface, it might seem somewhat intimidating – perhaps owing to the strong sense of character about the city, but its character is one of friendliness, openness, individuality, fun, and warmth. You just gotta scratch the surface a little, then getting under the skin of this unique capital as a solo traveller is a fantastic experience, particularly at night!
Here are some of our top tips for doing Berlin solo at night, and some of the best places to experience Berlin nightlife when you’re travelling alone.
Ways to meet people as a solo traveller in Berlin
• You’ll need to come out of your shell a little to connect with people in Berlin. By this I mean don’t just linger at the bar looking uber cool, waiting for someone to introduce themselves. Take the initiative and put yourself out there. Berliners like to meet new people, so start a conversation.
• Berliners love their beer – so this is an ideal segway into a conversation at a bar or beer garden in Berlin. Why not ask some locals for their recommendations on the best local brews…nothing brings people together like good beer!
• Likewise, locals will always have their favorite places to grab currywurst, schnitzel, or whatever else satisfies their hunger, so it’s a good conversation topic; ask people for their tips on the best cheap eats around – hey presto, you’re chatting with the locals.
• Pub Crawl – of course, the best way to experience Berlin nightlife as a solo traveller is on a pub crawl
. Obviously, we’re easily biased on this, being a pub crawl and all, but it really is a no-brainer for a top night out in Berlin, especially if you’re travelling solo. You’ll meet up with us lovely local guides and a ready-made crew of party-buddies and head out to explore the best of the city at night. You’ll visit three authentic local Berliner bars and finish up at the renowned Matrix club with free VIP entry (saving you €10 – sweet!), you’ll also get three free shots, free beer while walking between bars (again, public drinking, love you Berlin!) and a drinks voucher for the club too. Not only that, but you are welcome back again as many nights as you like for free – perfect for the solo traveller to meet new people every night in Berlin.
If pub crawling with a group isn’t really your thing, no worries - you’ll still have a great night out in Berlin by yourself and easily meet people.
• Stay at a hostel – as well as being the best budget-friendly option, hostels are social places and Berlin has many excellent hostels to choose from. Many will have their own bar, cool common areas, and events for guests to enjoy together; so you’ll always meet people easily and make new friends for the night, the rest of your trip, or maybe even the rest of your life! While most good hostels in Berlin will have high-quality private rooms, you should consider staying in a dorm – it’s cheaper and you’ll meet more people and have fun with your dorm-mates if you want to.
• Have a boozy picnic – Berlin is full of parks and they are always frequented by Berliners and visitors alike enjoying a beer and chilling out (yeah, you can drink in public in Berlin, what a city!). So, it’s a nice way to hang out and introduce yourself to others who are relaxing in these green spaces. Some of the best places are Treptower park, Volkspark, Viktoria park, and the East-side gallery park – though there are soooo many you could just walk in a straight line until you reach one. Many of the parks have beer gardens in them too.
• Join a free walking tour during the day – as well as being the perfect introduction to the city, the history, the sights and the stories of Berlin with a local guide, it is a great way to meet people. We see so many people who meet on a free tour and end up having a great night out together.
We've got a few recommendations for bars and clubs that are great to visit as a solo traveller below, but first, some handy phrases to know when meeting Berliners and some tips for when you’re going out in Berlin at night.
Handy German phrases in Berlin
Everyone will have a good grasp of English in Berlin, so don’t let worry about the language barrier hold you back. That said, it can be impressive to demonstrate some knowledge of the local lingo when meeting the Berlin locals. Here are a few simple phrases to make it easier to get talking with Berliners:
- Entschuldigung – this means “excuse me” and is pronounced as “ent-shool-dee-goong”; handy for when you first approach someone.
- Sprechen Sie Englisch? This means “do you speak English?”, pronounced “shprek–en-zee-eng-lish”. Okay, so it’s kind of a redundant question – if they speak English they’ll understand the question asked in English, but it’s always nice to show you’re trying and Berliners will appreciate the effort.
- Ich heiße - means “my name is” and pronounced “ik-hi-sah”.
- Ich komme aus – means “I come from” and is pronounced as “ik-kom-me-ows” – of course, when travelling, where you’re from is always an interesting topic for locals.
- Bitte – this means “please” and is pronounced “bit-tah”; nice to be polite in the local language.
- Danke – this is “thanks”, pronounced “dan-ka”; good to be courteous.
This isn’t necessarily unique to Berlin, as a solo traveller in any city will need to venture out of your shell a little bit to make connections and new friends – be it with locals or other travellers, but in Berlin it is, arguably, a little bit easier to express yourself than in other cities.
There’ an almost NYC-like vibe here; Berlin is a progressive city, a multi-cultural melting-pot of personalities who celebrate diversity and embrace individuality as an important trait. So, don’t be afraid to be yourself – unless you’re a real asshole, then maybe be someone else.
While the Berliners you’ll meet out and about at bars and clubs are generally all about good times - this is after all an absolute party city, dancing ‘til dawn or for days on end at the weekend is the norm for many – there is an underlying reserved German sensibility when it comes to social etiquette so, while it’s fine to be as ‘out-there’ as you like, good manners and politeness are always respected.
Tips for partying in Berlin as a solo traveller
• Berliners don’t go clubbing before midnight, at the earliest! If you’re venturing out in Berlin before midnight, you’ll find Berliners frequenting pubs, bars, and beer gardens. There’s not really a curfew or closing time in Berlin clubs, indeed many don’t close at all over the weekend, so dancing and partying here is a long-game and as such, there’s no sense starting too early.
• Bouncers in Berlin are famously tricky – often, there doesn’t seem to be any discernible logic to who they turn away and who they let in. Don’t take it personally if you’re rejected, chances are if you returned the following night looking the same to the same bouncer, they’d let you in without so much as a second glance. It’s a game of odds really. While staying calm and showing them you’re ‘cool’ may (and I emphasize “may”) change their minds, there’s no point arguing or getting hot under the collar.
One club that is notorious for being difficult to get into in Berlin is Berghain; you’ll likely have already heard about it, and if not it’s another great conversation starter with Berliners. While it is a great club if you love hardcore techno, it isn’t worth queuing and the likely rejection if you’re not bothered seeing a particular DJ or don’t particularly want an all-out techno party – and even if you do, there’s plenty of other, and dare I say better, clubs in Berlin for a great night.
• Of course, when you’re queuing for clubs in Berlin, try not to look shit-faced drunk – being sloppy AF is a sure way to be left outside.
• Dress-code for Berlin clubs doesn’t follow the same rules as you might be used to; it’s a casual city, and this extends to attire too. Many clubs, especially the more alternative-leaning venues, will have a more low-key dress preference; high-heels and fake nails, fancy shirts and shiny shoes will be few and far between. Hipster-esque, shabby-chic is the way to go. I mean, don’t look like a complete slob or anything, but don’t try too hard and you’re chances of entry will be greater.
Cool Berlin bars & clubs for solo travellers
There’s plenty of bars and clubs in Berlin that will make for a great night out for solo travellers, here are a few of our favorites:
The name might suggest a café where you’ll get a burger, but it’s not. Named after the Burger family who ran the venue from 1936 until 1999, this is a proper authentic Berlin dive bar, it’s small and cozy, nurtures a cool 70s vibe, and really caters to the diversity of tastes in the city. From live music ranging from blues to thrash, techno-nights, open-mic, theatre, comedy and always a great party – Kaffee burger in the vibrant Mitte district is fun, friendly and comfortable; ideal for the solo traveler on a night out in Berlin.
This is actually a combination of bars and clubs located in a disused tram repair industrial complex. It’s an expanse of graffiti-covered buildings which include a number of cool beer gardens, bars, and nightclubs in close proximity, lending itself well to easy solo exploration. Our pub crawl visits RAW and one of our favorite bars here is Badehaus Szimpla
, a sister of the famous Budapest ruin pub. It’s a relaxed vibe, nice beer garden area, cool décor, friendly people and staff and great live music too – ideal for the solo traveller to meet and hang out with others. RAW is located in Friedrichshain, a very cool neighborhood in former East Berlin and home to lots of great clubs and bars.
This is a stylish 19th-century mansion,
and it feels like it too. Its grand and antiquated décor gives this place a unique charm and character, and it’s a great club for the solo traveller in Berlin. Two expansive floors to wander and a truly remarkable beer garden makes for a fun night in a laid-back atmosphere in Kreuzberg, arguably the hippest up-and-coming district of Berlin.
Housed in a former factory, Sisyphos is a happy club to party hard in. Gated by two large ducks (not literally, the gates are recognizable by the ducks on them, part of the Sisyphos brand identity I guess), this huge and sprawling club complex is a wonderland of fun with a quirky festival vibe. It’s kind of a Berliner secret, they tend not to announce their acts in advance, and they aren’t open every weekend – but when it does open on a Friday, it doesn’t close until the following Monday. Check it out, it’s a cool place to meet people and party the night away.
There you have it, brave wanderer, our top tips on Berlin nightlife, ways to meet others, and the best bars and clubs for solo travellers in Berlin. There are lots and lots of things to do in Berlin alone, and thankfully going to a bar alone or clubbing solo in Berlin are great experiences here because even if you arrive as a lone traveller, you won’t be partying solo for long – unless you want to, obviously. See you in Berlin soon. Have fun, kids.