Club guide

Nightlife: in with the in-crowd

The nightlife in Munich is more than the cliché of the in-crowd. Of course, clubs like P1 will never lose their image and will continue to cause cold feet at the door when it comes to the question of who is allowed to enter the holy halls. In addition, an enjoyable club culture has established itself, in which seeing and being seen is secondary. An overview.

P1: The Classic

 

What started out as an officers’ club for American GIs, became more than 30 years ago the most popular club with Munich’s in-crowd. Taken over by Michael Käfer in 1984 and refurbished in 2010, this club lives up to all of the clichés associated with the Bavarian capital, inviting guests to see and be seen in its decadent surrounds. While its strict door policy is not what it once was, guests are still expected to be dressed to the nines. Better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Despite the fact that music isn’t the club’s main focus, only the best equipment will do here. The Spatial Pan System (SPS) enables DJs to incorporate three-dimensional music effects into their sets. At the same time, it runs a lighting and video system, designed to add a multi-medial effect to the sound.

Entering the club, you are immersed in a world of glitz and glamour; after all, the hotspot’s interior looks just like an iPhone 7 Jet Back – polished and sleek.

Entering the club, you are immersed in a world of glitz and glamour; after all, the hotspot’s interior looks just like an iPhone 7 Jet Back – polished and sleek. A good sense of direction is also a must otherwise you may end up getting lost in P1’s maze of corridors. There’s no shortage of bars either. Everyone’s throwing their own party here and everyone seems to know the bartenders, experts in convincing you to take a deeper swig of your drink and delve deeper into your wallet. Another of the club’s trump cards is its expansive terrace with five additional bars. The terrace undergoes a magical transformation for the venue’s legendary summer party.

During Oktoberfest, P1 is known as the After-Wiesn hotspot – because it doesn’t cringe when guests turn up in full traditional dress and three sheets to the wind. The chic venue also offers guests another unique experience: the chance to spot a celebrity every now and then. One of its hottest tickets is Blackout Munich, a hip-hop night held on Fridays. It recently launched a new service where guests can dine on the terrace between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. at the P1 Freestyle Kitchen. There’s a lot to love about P1 but you may also find a lot to hate. And even though the club has been around a long time, it shows no sign of slowing down by staying true to its roots and playing up the whole charade with charm. We recommend following suit and embracing the Bavarian bling-bling experience to the max.

Drink: Anything by the bottle – be it champagne, gin or vodka
Entrance: Depends on the event, either free or €10–15
Song: Beyoncé – Drunk in Love

Prinzregentenstraße 1 | www.p1-club.de

Heart: The Living Room

 

There are two sides to Heart. On the one hand, there is the exclusive members-only concept of Hearthouse (inspired by Soho House in New York), where membership costs upwards of €700. On the other hand, you have Club Heart, which is located on the ground floor of Munich’s former stock exchange. Anyone looking to become a member first has to be approved by a 20-strong committee of selected members. Club Heart, meanwhile, opens it doors to everyone, just like any other club. Both venues were founded by Ayhan Durak, Daniel Laurent and Nikias Hofmann, who wanted to create an exclusive space for exclusive members. Emphasis on the exclusive. It was designed as a place for the rich and the beautiful to mix, mingle, get richer, and simply indulge in the benefits of being sexy. A concept based on exclusivity.

Even if you aren’t a member of the top floor club, you’ll still manage to feel at home in Heart. Despite its somewhat cool interior design – black on black with mirrored ceilings.

It is the opposite of Club Heart, which promotes a lifestyle full of dining, drinking and dancing. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the venue is a restaurant and bar. From Thursday onwards, the club hosts DJs and sometimes even live music. It is a pleasant mix between a restaurant and club, known as a “smaller, better version of P1”. More personal, more flirty, fewer teenie boppers than in P1 and more friends. Oh, and more women, too: they are more than welcome here. It’s also a popular spot for people who like to party but have left their 24/7 party days behind them; people who value content, produce, service and quality.

Even if you aren’t a member of the top floor club, you’ll still manage to feel at home in Heart. Despite its somewhat cool interior design – black on black with mirrored ceilings – Heart is like being in someone’s living room. Guests mingle in a friendly atmosphere, that’s still just a little bit exclusive.

Drink: Gin Tonic
Entrance: free
Song: The Journey – Don’t Stop Believing

Lenbachplatz 2 | www.h-e-a-r-t.me

Charlie: The Individual

 

The happiest bar in town – that’s what it calls itself, and we think it’s pretty fitting. Everything is easy at Charlie. From the incredible buzz to a cheeky snog. However, the door staff meet every stereotype going. No other club in Munich seems to need so many so-called “Silence Boys” to keep the peace and the neighbours at bay. As long as you’re nice and not too unsteady on your feet, the bouncers will drop their aggressive stare, leaving you free to join the swarm of revellers. Passing the top-deck bar (“Shots!”), you’ll reach the stairs down into the basement, which will transport you back to the sweet days of school parties. The unique lighting is as cool as you would expect from the team who used to run the iconic Kong club.

It’s a relaxed setting for meeting new people, which is why it attracts so many merry regulars. Unlike the two venues above, Charlie has no labels. You don’t have to be anyone to have fun. Try any of that “Don’t you know who I am?” stuff and you’re sure to get laughed out. People end up whiling away the hours to the early morning at the bar, letting their inner philosopher take the reins before happily weaving their way back up the stairs.

Unlike the two venues above, Charlie has no labels. You don’t have to be anyone to have fun. Try any of that “Don’t you know who I am?” stuff and you’re sure to get laughed out.

It’s a relaxed setting for meeting new people, which is why it attracts so many merry regulars. Unlike the two venues above, Charlie has no labels. You don’t have to be anyone to have fun. Try any of that “Don’t you know who I am?” stuff and you’re sure to get laughed out. People end up whiling away the hours to the early morning at the bar, letting their inner philosopher take the reins before happily weaving their way back up the stairs.

Unfortunately, Charlie doesn’t have the best sound system in the city. Though, as the dance floor seems to be more of a stop-off point between two bars, this doesn’t really matter. It’s a place to hop from drink to drink. Another aspect adding to its familiar feel is the choice of DJs, most of whom are local. Munich-based record labels, such as Public Possessions, help shape the soundtrack in Charlie.

Drink: Munich Mule
Entrance: 10 Euro
Song: Lil Louis – French Kiss

Schyrenstraße 8 | www.charl.ie

Bahnwärter Thiel: The Circus

 

Bahnwärter Thiel is named after a fictitious railway guard; in his latest guise, he is watching over the party scene in Viehhof and will hopefully continue to do so for a long time to come. And he will, for the next five years at least. This venue is not only home to a container club but also a range of other formats, supporting both major events and smaller groups of artists from the Munich scene. The combination of theatre, concerts, readings and club nights is setting the course for new cultural concepts. Fantasy knows no bounds here.

For instance, every Wednesday it hosts concerts in an abandoned train for unknown artists looking for a chance to share their music with a wider audience. Admission is free. Since the cultural venue first opened its gates, it has been broadcasting radio programmes from the railway carriage on an irregular basis. In autumn 2016, the free online radio station DUBLAB began broadcasting every Tuesday.

Thanks to the venue’s unique setting with run-down and/or botched together elements, it has become a mixture of wonderland, circus and junkyard.

Bahnwärter Thiel also has space for a wide range of exhibitions, workshops, a station cinema and theatre performances (from burlesque to kids’ shows and improv groups). If you like, you can even host children's’ birthday parties here. Thanks to the venue’s unique setting with run-down and/or botched together elements, it has become a mixture of wonderland, circus and junkyard.

The backdrop for the club’s events is also from the realms of the artistic, theatrical and thrilling: The space uses curtains and installations that interact with visitors to excite and intrigue. It has even been known for the music to suddenly stop to make way for a pantomime performance.

All in all, you could call it a different side to Munich, a more Berlin-inspired one. With its passion for detail, swings and chips, this club plays host to some big-name DJs. The only small black spot is its sound system, which is too quiet. And male guests may find that giving up a urinal in favour of a bathtub takes some getting used to.

Drink: Bier
Entrance: 10 –15 Euro
Song: Louie Austen – Hoping (Herbert’s High Dub)

Alter Viehhof / Tumblingerstraße 29 | www.bahnwaerterthiel.de

Blitz Music Club: The Wild Young Thing

 

Blitz is the latest member of the Hype Club chain. In theory, the new Blitz Club is supposed to be all about the music. The owners have spared no costs or effort to make sure the club is kitted out with a top-class sound system. The customized 4-point Incubus system by Void Acoustics isn’t the only thing that helps to create an incredible sound experience; it is also enhanced by the unique room-in-room structure designed by Munich-based architects Studio Knack.

At Blitz, you surrender yourself to a journey of discovery as you are confronted with a small number of unexpected spaces. Its claim of sophisticated design seems to be true: The floor, built like a music studio, creates a very warm and organic effect. Thanks to the mixture of materials and colours (natural oak, black matt steel and matt green tweeters), you don’t feel like you’re in a dark, dank club. On top of that, it is filled with pure analogue lighting, some of which is put together using old theatre lighting. As a sharp contrast to all this, you have the much smaller Plus Floor.

Here, the walls are jet black and enhanced with an unusual structure, reminiscent of the sandbox in a zen garden. It’s not there for you to play with, however; it’s there to help create the perfect sound.

Here, the walls are jet black and enhanced with an unusual structure, reminiscent of the sandbox in a zen garden. It’s not there for you to play with, however; it’s there to help create the perfect sound. Apart from an enormous bass speaker in the corner, an inconspicuous-looking DJ booth next to it and colourful neon lights in the ceiling, you won’t discover anything here. The largest and tallest area may just be Munich’s most creative toilet vestibule.

Blitz pursues a strict no phones policy on its dance floor. This is designed to put the focus back on real-life socialising, celebrating the music and the here-and-now without having to reach for your phone. Reality through virtuality as it were. Nevertheless, this is the only rule you have to look out for. The door policy welcomes everyone. For a bite to eat before the party, you can visit the South American-inspired vegan-vegetarian Blitz Restaurant. They now also run a small side-line in lunches, which guests can enjoy on a charming terrace.

The revellers you meet at Blitz are – quite atypical for Munich – true music lovers and do exactly what you’re supposed to do in a club: dance and couple up. So all that’s left to say now is: LOVE IS THE MESSAGE, MUSIC IS THE ANSWER.

Drink: Wodka Soda
Entrance: 15 Euro
Song: Celeda – Music Is The Answer (Dancin’ And Prancin’) (Danny Tenaglia’s Tourism Mix)

Museumsinsel 1, via Ludwigsbrücke | www.blitz.club

 

 

Text: Nansen & Piccard; Photos: Christian Kasper