Alternative New Years Eve

Simply Google, “New Year’s Eve in Europe” and there is one name you will always find with each click, our very own Berlin. Even now the resounding bangs and booms of fireworks have begun, alluding to the insane party which is to come on Tuesday. But being at the top of every list of best party places isn’t always a good thing–as celebrations commence we can inevitably expect crowding in the Ubahns and long queues for all of the major clubs and events. So if you plan on going out but would rather not count yourself one of the million revelers packing in around Brandenburger Tor, grab a glass of sekt and check out our list of alternative and unusual ways to spend New Years in Berlin.

1. Get Sexy

Hey you already have to find somebody to smooch at midnight right? Why not take it a step further. The horror rock bar, The Last Cathedral will be hosting a sexy masquerade party featuring fire dancers & vampire Goth table dancers, plus a hot and cold buffet if you are feeling peckish. Or sit back and be entertained at Lilly’s Wonderland Bar in Köpenick, a burlesque club where “no eye stays dry and no shirt unbuttoned” at their annual New Year’s show. But if you really want to go all out, try for the annual Silvestergala at KitKat–the world-famous sex club will open up three dance floors to a great DJ line-up and will even feature living erotic artwork. Just be aware, only the finest fetish gear and costumes will make it past the infamous doorman.

2. Embrace Culture

It’s no secret that Berlin has a large ethnic community–particularly in areas like Neukölln and Kreuzberg which have a high population of immigrants–especially of Arabic and Turkish descent. These districts are also focal points of the NYE celebrations (although many actually sound more like a demilitarized zone when the clock strikes 12…be wary of falling bullets) Turkish culture has many great New Year’s traditions–from exchanging small gifts to even decorating Christmas trees (Santa Claus and other such things are more associated with NYE than Christmas). The famous Maybachufer Türkischer Markt will be open till 4pm where you can find everything you need to make your own celebration (traditional holiday treats include warm pide, börek, baklava, and various eggplant dishes). Or if you would rather leave the work to someone else, head to the Egyptian/Arabian restaurant club Marooush in Charlottenburg or Al Hamra in Prenzlauerberg. But for a more laid-back evening, try a night relaxing with friends around a water-pipe at one of Berlin’s many shisha lounges–information can be found at

3. Pretend it’s Summer

Sure we can all gripe and moan about how we’ve all been wearing coats since the end of September, but let’s face it…it might have started early but this has been an unseasonably warm winter. Take advantage of the above-freezing temps and bring your celebrations outdoors. There’s an outdoor rave and beach party (yes you heard right, beach party) at Weissensee complete with a fantastic fireworks show and views of the city. Or if you would rather go it alone, simply grab some friends, some cheap champagne, and a disposable grill and head to one of Berlin’s many cool abandoned spots (we suggest one with a rooftop view of the city) fire up some brats and simply sit back and enjoy the show. Just remember, if you are partying in an abandoned site please be respectful of history–in other words don’t be a cunt–skip the vandalizing and take your trash with you! For info and locations check out Abandoned Berlin.

4. Check out some  Local Jams

Skip the crowded Euro-pop concert at Brandenburger Tor and head to one of Berlin’s local joints to hear some of the city’s best unheard-of talent. Local Berlin artist Stephen Paul Taylor will be performing a special NYE concert at a local Kreuzberg tea bar, T Berlin which will be followed by a DJ line up well into the wee morning hours. For some more exotic tunes, check out the reggae and soca line up at the caribbean beach bar and community center YAAM which will be holding a big celebration including multiple dance floors and a bonfire on the beach. Also hosting concerts on New Year’s are the local music hall, Lido and Bade Haus. Check websites for complete details.

Article by Kirsten Hall


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