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“Had a wonderful time ”

Claerchen's Ballhaus
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Private 2-Hour Jewish Heritage Walking Tour with a Local in Berlin
Ranked #11 of 600 Nightlife in Berlin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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 Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Had a wonderful time ”
Reviewed 30 July 2014 via mobile

We booked for the Gipsy Orchestra evening. €11 pp entrance, plus the a la carte dinner which was averagely priced - €5 appetisers, €16 mains, €5 desserts. The atmosphere was fantastic - shared tables, a complimentary shot of something like schnapps on arrival, the room is truly unique - ornamental, gilt, mirrors, but all damaged from bombs, feels like being in one of those haunted house movies. The orchestra (3-4 piece) was very talented and played a wide range of music from swing to jazz to pop, and quite a few people got up and danced.

The food was quite good although there was a long delay bringing my main course which meant that by the time we came to order dessert they told us they had run out and closed the kitchen, which was annoying. They did rustle us up a nice plate of fruit though (although they still charged us!). Food was mainly Italian- type, quite substantial portions, and good quality. Everybody was there to have a good time, and the atmosphere was great.

1 Thank cb140
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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217 reviews from our community

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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Epitomises Berlin!”
Reviewed 16 July 2014 via mobile

This place is a disjointed restaurant, kitsch dance hall and historical ruin. Go here to eat pizzas or some decent German cuisine and dance to Abba, whilst imagining the place in the Weimar years and under the Nazis. This is Berlin. Service is a little slow but food is good and offers reasonable value for money. Give it a try.

Visited July 2014
3 Thank Paul853
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A quirky, fun Berlin experience”
Reviewed 1 June 2014

We went only for meal, not dancing, and sat outside. It's a busy place and service took a while. The food and the atmosphere were both good, and the staff friendly. Aside from a good selection of German beers, there are both Pizzas and traditional German food. The courtyard is a great place to each when the weather is warm enough, and it's worth taking a peek into the ballroom even if you're not going to dance. There is a if you want to dance.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank Itinerantflaneur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brasilia, DF
Level Contributor
44 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Do not believe the reviews - É uma cilada, Bino!”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We went there after reading the great reviews here. It is a crowded ballroom, and the average age of the attending public was 60 years old.
The reviews make it sound like a quirky place. It is not. Really just a ballroom filled with old people.
They charge a 5 euro entrance fee, which wasn't returned when we left 5 minutes after going in.


Visited May 2014
2 Thank RENATA A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Lots of fun!”
Reviewed 19 May 2014 via mobile

Friends who live in Berlin suggested to visit this place and I can say that the evening we spent there was lots of fun!
We booked a table in advance and went there for dinner. The food is nice and the staff is friendly. We attended a dancing class, which was also fun. After that we had drinks, joined the people on the dancefloor and spent six hours at Clärchens Ballhaus without realizing... I will definitely go again!

Visited May 2014
2 Thank Minsol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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