Germany is well-known for its nightlife, and whether you're a party animal, barhound, or music lover, you should be well catered for. Here's a quick guide to the thriving nightlife in Germany.
Berlin is the place to be if you're after an eclectic range of bars. Victoria Bar is well located near Potsdamer Platz and is beautifully decked out in dark wood and leather, as well as playing host to art exhibits. Oh, and it has an extensive cocktail menu. Greenwich Bar has walls lined with fishtanks, Weinerei is a wine bar that operates a pay-what-you-want system for both food and drink, and Green Door is a laidback, retro delight.
Munich has a similar range of stylish venues - we recommend Schumann's Bar on Odeonsplatz if you're feeling flush - while Leipzig is better known for its slightly lower key pubs perfect for sampling authentic German beer. Cologne can also be a good choice for more relaxed evenings, especially in the summer as bars and cafes spill out onto the street.
The Germans love a good night out, and if you're in any major city you won't struggle to find a good club.
Berlin is considered by many to be the best clubbing city in Europe, with many there considering it akin to a religion. The best-known club in the city is the Berghain & Panorma Bar, fitted with an incredible sound system and using it to blast the finest techno all night long. It attracts top DJs every weekend. Salon zur Wilden Renate is like a hedonistic circus, with multiple dance floors and a full-size labyrinth, and Stattbad combines partying with art exhibitions and other cultural displays.
Munich's club scene is a little more humble in stature, but no less thrilling. It's the place to go for a grittier experience, with the cramped Cuban-themed Cohibar, the alternative grime of Backstage, which often doubles as a music venue, and the no frills electronica cellar club Rote Sonne.
The biggest overseas acts often won't play outside of Berlin or Munich, like the former's Max-Schmeling-Halle arena and the latter's Zenith Die Kulturhalle arena. It's worth digging deeper and finding smaller venues, like Berlin's delightfully grotty SO36, the long jazz jams of Munich's Jazzbar Vogler, the low-ceilinged thrill of Cologne's Blue Note, or Hamburg's rock 'n' roll institution LOGO.
There's so much variety, the best thing you can do is ask at your hotel or hostel, and you're guaranteed to find something to suit your tastes or mood.
Germany's nightlife scene is remarkably tolerant, and wherever you are in the country you'll find bars and clubs that cater to LGBTQ clientele. Prinzknecht in Berlin is popular for its friendly atmosphere that helps people to meet each other, while in Munich you can spend the day at Cafe Nil's street terrace before heading to Bar Jeans while the night is still young.
The scene isn't quite as vibrant in smaller cities, but still has a presence. Leipzig, for example, despite being overshadowed by nearby Berlin, still has a small selection of gay bars and clubs at the centre of its nightlife.