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U1: The Thin Green Line Between You & The Club


Let's make an assumption: you’re in Berlin, you’re new, and you may as well have no idea how to break the ice and get a quick taste of the nightlife of the capital.

Let's say then that the only place you've heard of is Berghain, and yes, you've been online and seen and read of the longest queue known to mankind, and the stern bouncers depicted as hellspawn guarding Dante's last bolgia. Like that, your courage has vanished, your steadiness has faltered, and your heart is now filled with the tragic truth that you are only a tourist, and the secrets of Berlin are obscure to you the same way mercy is unknown to a BVG ticket controller.

Fear not, because I’m here to give you a tip, for a tip is exactly the thing you need.

First thing: Yes, the Berghain is indeed amazing, but it's not the only place worth visiting in this city. And let me assure you, here you’ll find a place for every taste. And Berlin is a place for people of peculiar tastes. Hell, there's even people who like the Matrix (not the movie, but the club at Warschauer Platz 18, known to my posse to be filled with rude tourists—hey, I've never been there, so please don't take my word on that!). That said, my tip for you is quite straightforward, cheap, and easy to put into practice.

First, leave your laptop be.

Second, go to Warschauer Straße and head for the U1 Metro station on a Sunday morning.

Yes, I said Sunday morning. Preferably between 6am and 7am. Why? Back when I was working the weekends I noticed that, during this particular time interval, Berlin is empty. Empty but already full of sunlight, the air not yet punctuated by the tweeting of the occasional bird, but by the half-drunken jokes exchanged between partygoers making their way back home.

In contrast with the gloomy atmosphere the capital's U-Bahn sometimes offers, they’re a real multicultural crowd of half-dazed but generally very happy people sharing stories and beers along the way. The Warschauer Brücke zone is packed full of bars, pubs, clubs and disco floors – among them the RAW bunch (Cassiopeia, Suicide Circus, Astra, UrbanSpree), the Matrix, the Watergate, and of course the infamous Berghain, as well as a dozen others.

Since Warschauer Straße still respects the old Cold War division (the wall cut the zone right into two sections) the people have to divide as well. Those going to the East take the M10. Those going to the West take the U1.

Now, for the third and final step, have something to drink and prepare to mingle. I've met the most open and straightforward people on that ride, and you could just walk up and down along the line—just don't forget to buy a ticket, so as to avoid the displeasure of the most feared guy in Berlin after Berghain's famous bouncer, Sven Marquardt: the previously mentioned ticket controller, sponsored by BVG.

By Guido Mori

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