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  • Tanzbars in Berlin: The best bars for dancing until dawn

Dance bars

Tanzbars in Berlin: The best bars for dancing until dawn

Berlin's dance bars are a low-key, budget-friendly way to let loose at the weekend.

Not quite a club, not quite a bar. There isn’t really a word for Tanzbar in English, but in Berlin there are plenty of venues where eventually the chairs are pushed aside and the bar becomes a dance floor. Here’s where you can dance the night away almost seven days a week, without having to queue or pay €20 Eintritt

Better to be wild today; Süß war Gestern

The dance bar with the machete-wielding bunny: Süß war Gestern. Photo: Karsten Schmidt

An ever-changing roster of DJs play almost every day at Süß war Gestern (‘Cute was yesterday’) in the heart of Friedrichshain. Mostly a mixture of electronic downtempo and funky beats – it’s always super danceable here. Once the bar fills up, the thick sofas and armchairs are pushed aside to create a dance floor. Admission to the bar is free, but a donation of one to three euros for the DJ is usually requested.

  • Süß war Gestern Wühlischstraße 43, Friedrichshain, Mon-Sat 19:00-05:00, closed on Sundays, website

Boogie down in the Fitzcarraldo basement 

Unfortunately closed during peak Covid timea, Fitzcarraldo is back to close-quarters dancing.

Fitzcarraldo defies definition. Is it a film archive? Is it a bar? Is it art? Who knows. In any case, it is undeniably fun to dance between the DVD shelves. During the week it’s more dignified. You can enjoy a beer at the bar and browse the extensive DVD library. Occasionally they even screen arthouse films. But come the weekend, the narrow, inconspicuous staircase leads to a sauna-like dance cave, which practically guarantees two kilos of weight loss due to heavy sweating. 

  • Filmkunstbar Fitzcarraldo Reichenberger Straße 133, Kreuzberg, Mon-Sun 17:00-6:00, website

Experience Berlin pub culture at August Fengler

It’s only a few steps from the sofa to the dance floor at the August Fengler in Prenzlauer Berg. Photo: Imago/Steinach

A wooden counter, lots of colourful fairy lights and plump red sofas: the former August Fengler bowling room is now a bar with a dance floor. “Cosy rocking instead of big disco numbers” is how they describe themselves on the website. We think that’s a bit of an understatement – if you wind up here, you’ll see just how wild things can get. From Thursday to Sunday there is everything from live music to DJs at Fengler – from Monday to Wednesday you can also play table tennis or fußball with a beer or wine in hand. 

  • August Fengler Lychener Straße 11, Prenzlauer Berg, Mon 18:00-3:00, Tue+Wed 17:00-3:00, Thu 17:00-4:00, Fri+Sat 18:00-5:00, Sun closed, website

The dance floor at the end of the beanstalk: Bohnengold 

Still a dance bar or already a club? Disco ball, red light, (still) plenty of room to dance: what more could you ask for? Photo: S.Schweizer/Bohnengold

Bohnengold on Reichenberger Straße is a classic among dance bars. Unplastered walls and dim lighting are part of the charm here. In the side room there’s a fußball table and pinball machine. From there a narrow staircase leads straight to the dance area amid a pleasingly underground vibe. From techno to house and rock to jazz, every kind of music gets some play time. The bouncers at this dance bar have the knack of being personable but firm. In the end, the oxygen can be a bit scarce, but the mood more than makes up for it!

  • Bohnengold Reichenberger Straße 153, 10999 Kreuzberg, closed Mon-Wed, Thu-Sun 20:00-6:00, website

Rub shoulders at KumpelNest 3000

Start the evening in the dim light of the Kumpelnest 3000. Photo: Imago/Charles Yunck

Kumpelnest 3000 is not officially a dance bar. The cult pub in the Tiergarten district on the border with Schöneberg does not have a dance floor, but at some point a dance floor always seems to spontaneously form. The name says it all (Kumpel = Buddy, Nest = nest, 3000 = the approximate number of people per square metre inside) it’s usually packed and smoky, like a night among good buddies inside in your own living room but someone turned the heating up to 3000º.  It’s possible to get a little over-served here, but don’t stress: it’s so packed that it isn’t even possible to trip over. 

  • Kumpelnest 3000 Lützowstraße 23, Tiergarten, Mon-Wed 19:00-5:00, Thu-Sat 19:00-7:00, Sun 19:00-2:00, website

Zu mir oder zu dir? Nah, stay!

The perfect image detail for the red-lit Zu dir oder zu mir in Prenzlauer Berg. Photo: Imago/David Heerde

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to have a sexy German ask you this question, you’ll know it means “My place, or yours?”. In this case though, it’s the name of the bar itself, and it’s actually better to stay in these red-lit rooms on the comfortable armchairs and sofas and soak up their charming retro character. Unlike cafés like Oberholz, which have undergone a hipster transformation in recent decades, ‘Zu mir oder zu dir’ feels like travelling back 20 years into the past. Everything is more relaxed, less obtrusive. There is regular live DJing and when the mood changes from cosy to lively, and there is also dancing.

  • Zu mir oder zu dir Lychener Straße 15, Prenzlauer Berg, Mon-Sun 19:00-4:00, website

Take a whirl on a revolving stage: Mein Haus am See + Cosmic Kaspar

Under Haus am See you will find Cosmic Kaspar. Photo: Sarah Humeniuk

The Haus am See programme spans the entire day. Coffee and pastries are available from 10am, the first beer can be opened in the afternoon (or for breakfast, your choice, no judgement here) and in the evening the drinks are paired with a DJ or live music. Admittedly, due to the central location on Rosenthaler Platz and lots of positive Google reviews, it’s become somewhat touristy.

But that makes it all the easier to meet new people! And when Cosmic Kaspar, the bar’s revolving dance floor opens, nothing stands in the way of a whirlwind night of fun.

  • Mein Haus am See and Cosmic Kaspar Rosenthaler Platz, Brunnenstraße 197 and 199, Mitte, Mon-Sun 10:00.-6:00, website and website again

In Berlin’s cult club, Monarch rocks country to electro

With a wide view over Kotti: the Monarch in Kreuzberg. Photo: Imago/Pop Eye

Did you really spend your 20s in Berlin if you never made it to Monarch? It’s doubtful. The bar, which is on the same level as the ‘underground’ trains at Kottbusser Tor, has a simple unpretentious ambience. The drinks are… passable and the clientele is relaxed. The styles of music vary between country and electropop, so you never know what’s in store for you. Our advice? Just go with it! 

  • Monarch Skalitzer Straße 134, Kreuzberg, closed Mon-Thu, Fri 19:00-23:00, Sat 22:00-6:00, Sun closed, website

It’s Britney, bitch! Nostalgia nights at Promenaden Eck

Disco, disco, party, party: clear weekend motto in Promenaden Eck. Photo: Promenaden Eck

On the edge of Tempelhofer Feld in Schillerkiez there are quite a few rustic pubs with a 1960s/1970s flair. The Promenaden Eck also retains this nostalgic charm, plus some pretty intense dancing. Those not ready to bust a move can first warm up at the table tennis table or with some solid mojitos or whiskey sours. To further heat up, the dance bar will be filled with music from live DJs. The tracks range from hip hop to electro to classics from the 80s and 00s. PS: Just like at ‘Süß war Gestern’, it seems to be the rule here that you don’t go home alone. Oops, I did it again!

  • Promenadeneck Schillerpromenade 11, Neukölln, Mon-Thurs closed, Fri+Sat 19:00-7:00, Sun closed, website

At Schokolade treat each other and dance

There is always a good atmosphere at Schokoladen, which may be due to the great crowd, but also to the good drinks. Photo: Imago/Sven Lambert

Schokolade used to be a factory that made, well, chocolate. It is now an alternative cultural centre where, in addition to exquisite drinks, there is also live music of all kinds. From reggae to power pop and ska to indie and rock, everything is here. Schokoladen sees itself as an integrative place for everyone who wants to experience culture. In addition to karaoke and queer punk-electro nights (what a fusion btw!) and readings, people will usually have a dance once the live music starts. 

  • Schokoladen Ackerstraße 169, Mitte, closed Mon, Tue-Thu 19:00-2:00, Fri+Sat 19:00-3:00, Sun closed, website

Rock out to good drinks in the Sharlie Cheen Bar

Experimental wall hangings and cosy sofas: the Sharlie Cheen in Mitte. Photo: Sharlie Cheen Bar

Sharlie Cheen doesn’t claim to be a dance bar, but the music here is so good that people at least rock in their chairs. Sharlie Cheen is a fictional playboy born somewhere in Europe in 1915. At least according to their website. The bartenders – dressed in black of course – serve high-quality liquor every day of the week. In honour of Sharlie Cheen, who is said to have a penchant for alcohol, the glasses are filled to the brim every evening from 18:00. With a retro-chic ambience and ornate ceilings, the bar has a spacious indoor area in addition to good drinking culture and a street terrace.

  • Sharlie Cheen Bar Brunnenstrasse 196, Mitte, Mon-Thu 18:00-2:00, Fri+Sat 18:00-3:00, Sun 18:00-2:00, website

Mice and cats alike dance on the tables at Soulcat

The Soulcat policy: vinyl only. Photo: Wowbagger T

Much of Soulcat is tone on tone: the walls, the chairs, the light, everything is in a rich Bordeaux red. Combined with the real candles at the counter and the fact that ‘Vinyl only‘ is the policy at this 50s & 60s music bar, you have a full recipe here for cosiness and some toe-tapping good fun. In addition to R’n’B and rock, soul is also played regularly – as the name somehow suggests. What else is going on in the bar is best described by the chalk board at the entrance: “Music bar… best Mexikaner shot in town…and sometimes soccer.”

  • Soulcat Music Bar Pannierstraße 53, Neukölln, Mon-Wed 18:00pm-1:00, Thurs 18:00-2:00, Fri+Sat 18:00-3:00, Sun closed, website

Need more than a Tanzbar? Check out our guide to the weekend’s best Berlin club nights.