Clubs in Munich

From Blitz to Bahnwärter Thiel

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

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

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. 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.

When you enter the club, you are immediately bathed in glamour, because from the inside the Stüberl looks like the iPhone 7 Jet Black from the outside - polished and graceful.

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.

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.

Prinzregentenstraße 1www.p1-club.de

Also good: Lucky Who

 

Rote Sonne: The successor

Drink: Gin Tonic
Entrance: from 15 euros
Song: Vergil – Reclaim Your City

Off to the cellar and no frills please! Since 2005, the Rote Sonne in the city centre has been a home for dance enthusiasts. The electro and techno club is considered a worthy successor to Ultraschall, a techno institution of the 1990s. In the year it opened and twice after, the Rote Sonne was voted one of the best clubs in Europe by the readers of the music magazine De:bug. To this day, the rooms at Maximiliansplatz are a safe place to go for anyone who prefers the quality of the DJ sets and performances to an unusual location - it is totally unpretentious, a no-gimmicks industrial basement: a winding room with black, scrawled walls, two bars, and the underground charm is complete.

But the programme of the makers is all the more colourful, diverse and surprising. Time and again they manage to set new standards and at the same time preserve the musical roots: From multi-day techno raves to indie-tronic parties, performance theatre and Japanese drum shows, there's almost everything to experience - true to the motto of a subcultural institution.

    A winding room with black, scribbled walls, two bars, and the underground charm is complete.

Incidentally, the club is named after the 1967 film "Rote Sonne" (Red Sun) with Uschi Obermeier, who lives in a shared flat with several women and takes her ex-boyfriend home from the bar at sunrise. But what the ex-boyfriend doesn't know is that the girlfriends have taken an oath to kill their current lover after five days at the latest. Fortunately, it is not that dangerous for anyone who visits the Red Sun - but dancing until sunrise is a must!

Maximiliansplatz 5www.rote-sonne.com

Also good: Harry Klein

 

Charlie: The Individual

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Schyrenstraße 8www.charl.ie

Also good: Goldener Reiter

 

Bahnwärter Thiel: The Circus

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

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.

All in all, you can speak of the other, the more "Berlin" Munich. With a love of detail, swings and chips in the club, you can dance to renowned DJs.

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.

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.

Alter Viehhof / Tumblingerstraße 45 | www.bahnwaerterthiel.de

Also good: Import Export

 

Blitz Music Club: The Wild Young Thing

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

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.

The party people who can be found there are really interested in music and do what there is intrinsically to do in a club: dance and smooch. In this sense: LOVE IS THE MESSAGE, MUSIC IS THE ANSWER.

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.

Museumsinsel 1, via Ludwigsbrückewww.blitz.club

Also good: Palais Club

 

Muffatwerk: The all-rounder

Drink: Beer
Entrance: depends on the event
Song: Mola - Vino Bianco

First you have to find it - the somewhat remote Muffatwerk in the rooms of a former steam power station. If you turn off the Ludwigsbrücke onto the small, cobbled Zellstraße and follow the murmur of the Auer Mühlbach, you will find yourself in front of the cultural institution, which has been around since 1993.

Opposites attract and in the Muffatwerk they complement each other particularly well. In the smaller venue, the Ampere, it is worth taking a look at the ceiling, where the old wooden beams of the former "Brunn-Haus" are still in place. This cosy look is interrupted by modern light art installations and exposed ventilation pipes, which is why the architecture already shows: The Muffatwerk is multifaceted. The Ampere not only hosts DJ events, but also concerts with a living room ambience or readings. If it gets too crowded in front of the stage or you want to take a breath after hours of singing along, you can go up to the gallery with a fresh drink from the bar and take a look at the goings-on below. Because the Ampere makes pretty much everything possible: relaxed conversations at the foosball table in the corner, sweaty dance frenzy or blissful crowd-watching.

    Few venues manage to come across as nonchalant and still offer the right thing for all tastes.

In the largest area of the factory, the Muffathalle, you can dance, party or listen on more than 640sqm. In addition to concerts by regional and international musicians such as Uriah Heep, Biffy Clyro, Granada or Herbie Hancock, there are also magical spoken word events where the audience reverently tries not to drop a pin. A popular meeting place for different scenes, from "youth culture to avant-garde", as the operators themselves write - and you can feel that here in particular, because few venues manage to come across as nonchalant and still offer the right thing for all tastes.

Those who ask twice to come inside during the hot months of the year can end the day with a Maß Bier in the adjoining beer garden. The gastronomic offer of this green meeting place is eco-certified and a perfect starting point to start the evening: the dancing leg can already start bobbing under the beer table.

Zellstraße 4 | www.muffatwerk.de

Also good: Feierwerk

 

 

Text: Nansen & Piccard; Photos: Frank Stolle

Covid-19: current regulations

Hotels and accommodation establishments, shops, indoor and outdoor catering, and also clubs and discos are open. However, restrictions apply. All other important information on the coronavirus and your stay in Munich can be found here.

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