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“Full of nostalgic ambiance”

Claerchen's Ballhaus
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Ranked #13 of 621 Nightlife in Berlin
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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.
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Full of nostalgic ambiance”
Reviewed 14 April 2014

We went to the Hall of Mirrors for a candlelit classical concert on a Sunday evening. What an amazing place and experience! It was definitely a highlight of our holiday. We could really imagine what 'old' Berlin must have been like. The tickets (10 Euro) can be bought online, or in the ticket office on the ground floor. The seats are not allocated, you just find your own table, so it makes sense to go there for 6pm. They have a bar there, so you can enjoy a drink waiting for the performance. You can also nip down to see the ballroom. A really cool place!
The nearest train station is Oranienburger Strasse (S Bahn).
Also, if you like classical music, check out free lunchtime concerts at the Berlin Philharmonic. They are at 13:00, every Tuesday in the foyer. Again, it makes sense to go early (12ish) to get in. You will not get a seat unless you are disabled. Everyone else sits on the floor and stairs. A great opportunity to experience some culture for free!

Visited March 2014
3 Thank rickrover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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248 reviews from our community

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English first
Bonn, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“You like to dance???”
Reviewed 25 January 2014

Much fun to go to - people drink champagne and have dinner while others are dancing away. Great music, great people and a dancing atmosphere far from a disco. Any ages between 20 and 80 were seen!

Visited January 2014
3 Thank Biene_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Budapest, Hungary
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“time-travel experience”
Reviewed 24 January 2014

We had the chance of enjoying a swinging Swing night at this venue dancing to vibrant live music performed by shiny, smiling and "beautiful" people. Some waiters are also as charming as if they have stepped out of a movie. The authentic Pre- World War II atmosphere makes you feel you have got into a time warp. The somewhat kitschy carnival-style decoration strangely suits the place.
I can warmly recommend Clarchen's to experience an unpretentious, down-to-earth place, enjoy good dancing, friendly ambiance and to let your hair down.

Visited January 2014
2 Thank ur75c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Very Cool”
Reviewed 6 November 2013

So it's a pizzeria and a bar and a ballroom...and why not.
The pizza's were good, not outstanding but perfectly OK. The bar was vibrant and pretty busy, and this was a Monday night. But the best thing was the dancing, it was salsa night. It started off with some teaching and then a whole bunch of people got up and it proper kicked off. Frankly brilliant. We only went in to eat and we are not exactly skilled at salsa, so we watched. Some people were great, some not, but everyone was having a load of fun, young and old, fantastic.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Ackhurst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westcott, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Welcoming retro dance venue”
Reviewed 3 October 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!

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Mark A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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