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“Welcoming retro dance venue”

Claerchen's Ballhaus
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Ranked #14 of 635 Nightlife in Berlin
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: On September 13th 1913 Fritz Bühler opened the dance hall “Bühlers Ballhaus” (Bühler’s Ball- room) in the backyard of another building. It became known as “Clärchens Ballhaus” after Bühler was killed in WWI and his widow, Clara, took over the business. When exactly the fabled buildings were erected no one knows – official records were lost during WWII. It could be that they were commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II’s butler. But that might be just one of the many legends that surround the house, its inhabitants, and its patrons. Clärchens Ballhaus is, as it were, a kind of story machine, a site of conjecture. The German illustrator and photographer Heinrich Zille had his regular place at the bar, where he used to sit and draw. And Otto Dix painted the poster in 1931, which is still used today. Until the 1940s there were two halls: While the crowds swayed along to the popular ballads of the time in the great ballroom on the ground floor, the dignified ladies and gentlemen of the Spandauer Vorstadt would dance with aristocratic pomp in the mirrored ballroom upstairs. There was also a bowling alley in the cellar. After WWII the mirrored ballroom remained closed, and the bowling alley was used to store coal. The front building was so badly damaged by bombing that it had to be torn down. This made the entrance to the Ballhaus visible from the street - and it looks much the same today. The dancing started up again in the ground floor ballroom – Clärchens defined nightlife in Berlin Mitte for more than 100 years. In January 2005 the previously low rent was raised to meet Berlin Mitte standards, and the Ballhaus changed hands. The new operators have left its interior largely untouched. In 2005 the mirrored ballroom opened for the public for the first time since WWII.
Reviewed October 3, 2013

We visited this place on a short city break to Berlin and it is our highlight memory of the trip. Through the large tree lined garden you enter the slightly run down looking imposing building to find a large ballroom filled with dancers. On the stage is a DJ playing an eclectic mix of music that differs each night - the night we were there was their Cha-Cha and Waltz night, but you don't need to be an expert to get up on the floor and throw a few moves. The client varied from well dressed older couples gliding around in a world of their own, to groups of youngsters enthusiastically jiving to the music. You can have a lot of fun just watching the crowds, but if you want to get the most out of it grab a partner and go cut a rug!

2  Thank Mark A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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100 - 104 of 265 reviews

Reviewed August 23, 2013

Pizza, schnitzel and beer in the garden, tango lessons in the ballroom. Why wouldn't you go? All kinds of fun!

2  Thank texan_down_under
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

We didn't see this place on Trip Advisor, but did happen to walk past one night just as they were closing the outside garden. So we came back the next day for lunch, and had a lovely meal of pizza, wiener schnitzel, and beer.

The food was above average, but what really made it great was the atmosphere of the huge outdoor garden.

Didn't make it for any of the late night party activities, so can't comment on that, but this place is definitely worth a stop if it's a nice day and you'd like a beer and/or a meal!

1  Thank lookatfinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

We visited the Ballhaus after reading recommendations on TripAdvisor. It is a hybrid Biergarten, Ballhaus, wine cellar, fantastically weird mess. The staff isn't particularly helpful, welcoming nor nice, probably because they don't have to be. There was a long line to wait for a table (supply and demand, people), and it was completely worth the visit and the wait anyway.

2  Thank erica c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

A colleague and I stopped in the garden for a beer and ended up staying for dinner. The place has a great ambiance, great service and the food was very good. Prices are very reasonable. Even if you sit outside you must stick your head indoors to see the old ballroom and the couples enjoying a dance.

2  Thank Swiss_voyagerII
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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