Let Lauren Oyler take you on a tour of one of the city’s most popular stretches for bars, clubs, and revelry that can only be described as “so Berlin.”
Watch the sunrise from Warschauer Straße bridge after partying all night.
F or a certain class of Berliners, the most beautiful sunrise the city can offer is a panorama of pink and yellow above a mess of train tracks, commercial buildings, and a few patches of overgrown grass, with the TV Tower smack in the middle as if someone has cut-and-pasted it there. It’s not exactly the Alps, but watching the day come in from Friedrichshain’s Warschauer Straße bridge sets the scene for many fond Berlin memories – especially because when you see it, it usually means you haven’t gone to bed yet. The street is at the epicenter of what makes Berlin’s bar and club scene infamous, and there’s something wild happening every night of the week.
Start the evening with a cocktail at the effortlessly trendy Michelberger Hotel (Warschauer Str. 39- 40), where locals and tourists alike mix with the international musicians and characters who end up at the reception-area bar.
If you aren’t sucked in by one of the hotel crew’s spontaneous parties, cross the street. Before ruining your hair with hours of dancing, you’ll want to squeeze as many friends as possible into one of the “Photoautomat” booths that line the east side of the bridge. At €2 for a strip of four, the black-and-white photos make a great souvenir.
And when it’s time for the main event, you don’t have to go far. Housed in a series of vaults under the U-Bahn tracks, Matrix Club (p. 66) is open 365 days a year and home to nine bars and five dance floors – that means music for everyone, from electro obsessives to lovers of RnB. If singing’s more your style, there’s also Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke (Warschauer Str. 34, www.karaokemonster.de), where Mondays are a free-for-all public affair and private booths are available every other day of the week. Check the schedule for performances by local artists – just like the sunrise, they’re not to be missed.
“Watching the day come in from the bridge sets the scene for many memories.”