How to Get Into Berghain

All black outfit

Have you been to Berlin? OK, did you queue for Berghain? … And did you actually get into Berghain?

I feel like no trip to Berlin is complete without getting into Berghain: one of the most famous, and exclusive clubs in all of Europe – if not the world.

Why Should You Try to Get Into Berghain?

I’m going to be totally honest here: my friend Sarah and I tried to get into Berghain… and failed. Yet, I feel like that’s all part of the Berlin experience. Getting into Berghain must be that much more special to know you were rejected once.

Now, I’m not saying you definitely should try to get in, but if you don’t attempt to, then I’ll probably judge you and reason that you know you won’t get in, so you won’t bother with the queue. Fair enough, that’s up to you.

However, my friend and I wanted to at least give it a go. To give ourselves the “best possible chance” of getting into Berghain, we read up on the all the rules so we could follow them ourselves. However, standing in the queue for an hour (not that long I know, it’s because we went on a Sunday night), meant we got to survey the crowds in front of us, and also monitor the two people who were allowed in before us.

From that, we realised that perhaps not all of the rules were meant to be followed. In fact, that may have been our downfall. After analysing the whole situation on our trip back to the hotel (and the train to the airport… and the ride on the plane), we came to three possible conclusions as to why we got rejected from Berghain:

  • We followed the rules way too much. We did EVERYTHING that was asked of us, and it still wasn’t enough. Maybe the bouncers could tell it was our first time to Berghain? Maybe we needed to bring something a little unexpected to the front of the queue?
  • We looked like posers. OK, so the rules state you should look like you’re into the music. We memorised the band playing, but how are you supposed to look like you’re into the music? Maybe we just looked like we were there for the Gram.
  • We didn’t look like sex addicts. I mean, what can I say, I’ve never been into Berghain so what would I know – but from what I’ve heard it’s full of a load of people having sex. Maybe the bouncers thought we weren’t those kind of people. Then he’d be right. And actually, that’s not a bad thing.

I guess we’ll never know the real reason why we get rejected from Berghain, but by trying again, we can at least begin with a process for elimination.

For now, I’m going to ask the question that everyone who visits Berlin asks: how do I get into Berghain?

These are the rules that we followed – I reckon some of them don’t need to be followed, if you want to be granted access into the super exclusive venue.

Getting ready for Berghain

1. Wear All Black

This was not hard for me in the slightest, as that’s basically all I wear. I opted for a black denim Weekday skirt, sheer black top, leather jacket, tights, boots and bum bag. It’s what I would wear for a night out in Nottingham: slightly dressed up, slightly edgy, but still casual.

However, I guess not edgy enough for Berghain. I think it was a safe outfit. Like, the bouncers could tell my friend and I found out the way to get into Berghain was to wear black head-to-toe.

One of the guys who got in was wearing bright yellow. Probably he got in because of that, because in a sea of black he stood out. So perhaps the rule is you shouldn’t wear all black to Berghain.

Sometimes I think what else I could have done to my outfit to make it Berghain-worthy. Maybe rip my tights, or take off the vest from under my top. Wear my faux fur ice blue coat. Or perhaps have forgotten that particular outfit altogether, and just gone in latex.

My point is, if you’re wondering how to get into Berghain, maybe you shouldn’t stress out about wearing all black.

Berghain queue

Ya, I took one picture. That guy in front? He got in.

2. Don’t Talk. Or Look Interested. Or Take Pictures.

OK, three points in one here, but these were all mentioned in all of the guides. Pretty much everyone followed these rules, and the two people who got in followed them too.

It was pretty funny when we turned up to the queue actually: it was a sea of black (apart from the guy in yellow). The sea of black was virtually silent – with the exception of two English girls just ahead of us, who we knew didn’t stand a chance of getting in (and we were right, they didn’t).

So my friend and I stood in silence, with straight faces (not hard to do, when you’ve got a resting bitch face). We took one picture of the building, which was very eerie, considering it was an old powerplant, and the only thing you could see were red lights flashing.

Considering the picture was taken at the back of the queue, I highly doubt that’s the reason why we got rejected. But I’d imagine these are all rules to be followed.

3. Look Interested in the Music

OK, this one got me. Because how do I physically look interested in the music? If I was going to a gig, I’d clearly be excited, but you’re not supposed to look interested, so I feel like these two points kind of conflict with each other.

Sure, if the bouncers asked who were playing and you could talk a bit about the DJ, then they would be able to tell if you were there for the music or not, but they don’t talk to you.

Like I said before, this may have been our downfall. Except I don’t know how to make myself look interested. And besides, I’m pretty sure most people inside Berghain don’t go for the DJs. Or maybe they do, I could be wrong.

4. Go Alone

Rumour has it that if you queue up by yourself, you’re more likely to get in. I can neither confirm nor deny that this is the case, but the two people I saw get in were both by themselves (that would be yellow guy, and the guy who was stood right in front of us).

We didn’t particularly fancy breaking up though, in case one of us got in and the other one didn’t – because that would be awkwarddd.

Perhaps the whole point of going by yourself is to show that you’re interested in the music? Or perhaps it hints that you’re a sex addict? Both of these could hugely go in your favour to get into Berghain – so if you’re desperate to get in, perhaps you should go solo.

If you don’t, then maybe you just don’t want it enough.

5. Go at Awkward Times

Berghain opens up at 12am on Saturday morning, and stays open through until Monday morning. Once you’re in, you’re in, and you can stay there for the whole weekend.

Everyone who’s never gotten into Berghain will go when it first opens, or on a Saturday night, and that’s when the queue can take hours and hours (and the bouncers get more selective).

It’s recommended that you try quieter periods like a Sunday morning. Perhaps we should have done that – I often think if we had, we would have gotten in. we went on a Sunday night at 10pm – so not the busiest time, yet not the off-peak.

Street style Berlin

TBT to when I was optimistic

So, How Do You Get Into Berghain?

From these five rules – and the fact we got rejected – I’ve come to the following conclusion:

  • Don’t be concerned with wearing all black – wear whatever you want. Something outrageous or unexpected, ideally.
  • You probably should look uninterested, and be quiet (and not take pictures). If you don’t, you’re going to stand out in the worst way possible.
  • Look into the music – if you can figure out how to do that.
  • Queue up by yourself, or at the most in groups of two. Perhaps being by yourself does give yourself a better chance though.
  • Don’t go at night – Sunday mornings may be the new thing when it comes to “nights out” in Berlin.

Still wondering how to get into Berghain? Well, so am I! Next time I’m in Berlin, I’ll be trying again, and this time I’ll be taking my faux fur jacket. If you do manage to get in, then let me know – I’d love to hear how you did it.

Elle Pollicott

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