Berlin has a rich history with music that can still be found in the multitude of venues today. From roaring cabaret to classical grandeur and even pulsing rock clubs and bars, there is a sound for every taste. Here are the best rock and roll bars and clubs in Berlin.
This Kreuzberg-located legendary nightclub has been at the heart of Berlin’s thriving punk and rock culture since 1978. Frequented by big names like Iggy Pop and David Bowie, SO36 rivalled New York City’s famous CBGB as a pop-punk and new-wave venue in the 1980s. These days, the club stays true to its alternative roots, showcasing a well-rounded mix of punk, metal, rock and roll, as well as techno and electronic beats. SO36 remains an important Berlin institution and exciting nightclub as one of the city’s most well-known party destinations.
Opening its doors in 2005 at a former brewery, Roadrunner’s Paradise is the shabby-chic rock venue in Mitte. The atmosphere is edgy and unpolished, but somehow still stylish, as tattooed men and women pile into a grand building complete with arched windows and high ceiling. The programme is an electric mix of rock n roll nights, live bands and tribute nights, honouring legendary artists like Johnny Cash. Pulsing, wild, and always fun, this club has been providing rock and roll fun for over a decade.
Located in the heart of the city, Sage Club has been a part of Berlin’s nightlife scene since 1997. Spanning across three floors, the large, multi-leveled club is an electric venue hosting wild nights and live music that always delivers a good time. Every Thursday the club opens for its infamous Rock at Sage night, offering cheap beer, rock and roll-fuelled tunes and BBQ food. The weekly concert calendar includes a mix of Berlin-based acts and bands, as well as larger, well establish artists.
KØPI is the epitome of punk culture in Berlin. A former squat the 28-year-old institution has survived forced closure and decades of changes, and remains a self-managed residential and cultural project. Housing 50 or so residents, the house also doubles as a cultural and entertainment space and it regularly holds workshops, screenings, live band performances and parties. The programme is an eclectic mix and can be a little irregular, however for in-the-know visitors and locals, this is also the spot to see unrivalled, old-school punk shows.
A legendary underground venue in Berlin, Schokoladen has been located in Mitte for more than 25 years. Hosting a range of events including parties, author readings and, of course, live concerts, this old-school spot is a cultural hub in Berlin. The atmosphere of this venue/club/bar is laid-back and edgy, while their music programme is a wonderful mix of indie, rock, the 80s, garage, and so much more. Offering a window into the city’s past as well as a plethora of live music shows, this is a must-try rock spot in Berlin.
Since 2009 Astra Kulturhaus has been a popular concert and party venue, putting on a range of live music and cultural events. The venue dates back to the 1950s, but its program is contemporary, including the beatbox world championships, a monthly party titled ‘Epic Fail’ and a wealth of rock concerts and larger name bands. Complete with a large beer garden and plenty of space to rock out, the Astra Kulturhaus is the self-professed rock venue with a club atmosphere.
Housed in a former 1950s’ cinema, Lido has been an important part of rock and indie music culture in Berlin. Opening its doors in 2006, this spot is located in the edgy neighbourhood of Kreuzberg and the large venue has a diverse range of concerts, with a focus on newcomers, indie bands and alternative rock. Complete with hardwood floors, cosy couch area and a large outside garden, nights here never disappoint. Music lovers and rock fiends looking to discover the latest and greatest in Berlin’s alternative and indie scene should head here.