In collaboration with Jägermeister.
House parties are the shit during a certain phase of your life. A phase, where you don't have that much money in your pockets and the 15€ for the Berghain just seem a little too much to spend, just as well as going to a fancy bar and paying three Euros for a beer are eight Euros for a Gin Tonic. Most of the time, you lead an easy-going life during this phase, without mothers, wives or children making decisions for you. Most likely, there are only your roommates around you, who are also in the same exact phase of their lives. Because house parties are awesome and all of your furniture was either brought home from various flea markets or still consists of old shelves from your teenage days, you don't even have to worry about people breaking stuff. And that little bit of cleaning on Sunday will be worth it, because for the rest of the year you'll be hanging out on other people's house parties. Long story short: You're a student, you're single and: YOLO.
Oh, we almost forgot, you might only be visiting Berlin and you're usually living in some totally different city in another part of the world. You've been to the cool bars and clubs of the city, but you want to experience a part of Berlin, that a regular tourist might never experience at all: You want to dive into the party scene mentioned above. Which won't be that easy, because house parties are usually private. But it is possible. Here's a little guide for house-party-tourists:
Meet the right people
It can be really hard for a strange to end up on a cool house party in Berlin. Most locals – that should be common knowledge by now – are pretty skeptical towards tourists. But this prejudgment is mostly aimed at large groups, never on individuals. So if you manage to overcome this first obstacle, most locals are very open-minded and interested. Also, don't forget about local patriotism. If you schmooze them with stories about how great their city is, they'll be happy. If you've met your new friend at a bar, park or "Späti" you can get right to the point: Make your new buddy from Berlin take you to a house party. Especially students are very well connected and they should know someone throwing a party in the next few days. If you go to a party with a local, nothing can go wrong.
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Know the right spots
If you don't know anybody or you didn't get to know some new people on your first night out in Berlin, there is still another possibility: Find the right spot. Granted, not the easiest for someone who isn't familiar with the city at all. But if you're hanging around in an area where lots of younger locals live, and if you're keeping your eyes and ears open, you'll surely stumble upon a house party. Evidence of a house party: There are people hanging around at the front door, drinking beer and smoking. You can hear the noise form upstairs. You look up and see a crowded balcony. Bingo. You should try the Weserstraße in Neukölln (including the surroundings), the Wrangelkiez in Kreuzberg or the Reuterkiez in between the two.
Cheek gets you everywhere
You're not invited? Just go inside. Most of the people there only have third hand information on the host because they are the friends of some friend's cousin or whatever, so relax. If though someone might ask you what the hell you're doing in this apartment, just say you're here with Anna. There is always at least one Anna at every party. Or just be honest and tell people that you're a tourist form Australia and that you've heard about these legendary parties in Berlin. You will make lots of new friends that night.
Don't attract negative attention
Especially at bigger house parties, it might be helpful that nobody really cares about you at first. This will of course change with the increasing consumption of alcohol, but this is a good sign. Because it's a lot better to not attract attention at all then to attract negative attention. Think about it, you're at someone's private party where other people usually live. So it is highly inappropriate to destroy furniture, puke into to living room, dump beer all over the stereo, smash their tableware or to put the moves on the female host of this party. Remember that you're not even invited. Show some class.
Act like you're generous, even if you aren't
We've already mentioned in the intro to this article, that the primary reason for going to house parties is that they're cheaper than bars and clubs. Because house parties are so much cheaper, they work like some kind of magnet for creative and cool students in their twenties, who are too busy with their lives to make serious money. And that is a good thing, because people like that are guarantees for great parties, no matter if you personally could afford going to the Berghain. So you can save some money here. But nonetheless, you should act very generously. Hey, you're a guest and you don't even know anybody! You have to bring something. And we don't mean that 1,70€ bottle of Chianti from the "Späti" downstairs. Maybe buy something nice for 10€, which is still less than you have to pay for a taxi later. And brining a pack of smokes and sharing it with people is always a good idea. There is nothing more likeable in the world, than people who share cigarettes. Now go make some new friends.