Politics

Hack your night out

Berlin's start-up scene plays as hard as it works, so of course they've developed plenty of homegrown sites and apps that promise you the best night ever.

Image for Hack your night out

Berlin’s start-up scene plays as hard as it works, so of course they’ve developed plenty of homegrown sites and apps that promise you the best night ever.

You’re a marketer by day, but your inner artist gets unleashed with a few beers? Start-up Artnight is just what you need to get your creative juices flowing. Since September, they’ve been offering English-language art lessons at Berlin bars, clubs and restaurants, from Haubentaucher to Royals & Rice, for €29 and up including materials. You book a ticket online and head to the Holy Heimat Christmas market, where you and some 20 other wannabe Künstler render the Berlin skyline in beautiful watercolours in the space of two hours. Your creative itch is scratched. What next?

It’s Saturday night after all, and you’re feeling ready to get your groove on. Since you’re in Friedrichshain it’d be rude not to check out the big B, but will it be crazy busy? You remember that someone launched an app for just this moment, Is There a Line at Berghain? So you get out your phone and tap in to see that the answer is yes. But wait… the last update was six months ago? Hmm. Everyone must’ve been having far too much fun at Panorama Bar without you to keep it current. But let’s just assume that duh, there’s a line. You check out the app for techno Bible Resident Advisor (iPhone only), and see that there’s a killer line-up at About Blank. A glance at Qfriend, a site launched in February that posts Berlin club tips and realtime reports about queue lengths, confirms that the wait’s only 20 minutes at the moment. Off you go!

But first, you’re feeling a bit parched and fancy a travel beer. Where’s the nearest Späti? You turn to the Durst app by Kreuzberg design bureau Ape Unit, which uses location services to pinpoint all the nearest late-night shops, and find one just round the corner. Phew.

Beer in hand, by now it’s getting late and you don’t fancy the walk to Ostkreuz. Your friend who’s visiting from London suggests a cheap Uber – not an option in Berlin. At least there’s the MyTaxi app, which lets you order and pay for a registered ride with a few taps. Within minutes your ride is here and you’re on your way to dance through the night.

After pulling all those moves, you’re feeling peckish. But you don’t fancy a döner or pizza. So you go to Find Your Food Truck to try and find a tasty alternative. Despite having over 50 trendy street stalls registered, it seems that it hasn’t been updated in a while – and there’s nothing nearby. Kebab it is then.

By now you’ve spent all your money so you hop on the next S-Bahn, just in time thanks to your trustworthy BVG app. Of course, right as you’re starting to snooze, the ticket controller pops up to say hello. You take great pleasure in rubbing your phone, with the ticket you purchased on it, in his face. Ha! You’re not going to get me this time!

Having reached your stop, you notice a few missed calls from your boyfriend. You were only going out for an art class. Whoops! You reassure him by checking in to the slightly stalker-esque Companion app, which tracks your progress home and will tell him if anything happens en route. The motion sensor picks up a jolt and the app asks if you’re okay. All good, just a little trip.

Finally, you’re at your door. You’re so ready for bed, but where the hell did you put your keys? Luckily, your parents sent you a Lupo smart keychain as an early Christmas present. The linked-up app sets it buzzing – they were in your pocket all along, and at last you’re home safe. What a night!