Bootshaus Köln
Bootshaus: ready to party at the no. 5 club in the world. Photo: jomothan

Germany’s best club: Bootshaus

Bootshaus has again been ranked the no. 1 club in Germany. And this year there'll be another party-to-the-max summer at the country's best club.

You might be forgiven for thinking summer’s a bad time for clubbers, what with all that hot and sticky weather. But you’d be wrong. Summer is when Cologne’s club-goers make a beeline for Bootshaus in the Mülheim harbour area, where a mix of electro house, dubstep and drum’n’bass sails through the air. There are flame and fog machines and lasers. Smiling faces and sweaty bodies. It’s loud. So it’s a good thing you can party outside and inside here without having to worry about annoying the neighbours – there aren’t any to speak of. Every now and again, a breeze wafts up from the Rhine onto the dance floor.

Germany’s best club – in a poll of 600,000 people
Bootshaus has just been named Germany’s best club – for the third time in a row, might we add. The poll was run by UK’s DJ Mag, in which 600,000 readers voted. In the same survey, Bootshaus managed to defend its spot as the fifth best club in the world – which it’s held since 2021. That’s unusual, not least because it’s located on what locals like to call the “wrong” side of the Rhine.

People hardly ever come here by chance, which means that the partyers on the Bootshaus dance floor are there because that’s exactly where they want to be – chiefly due to the music. You don’t have to be cool, young, hip or wearing the latest styles. The policy on the door is simply, “If you can behave, you can come in”.

Bootshaus Köln
Summer just got hotter – and louder. Photo: jomothan

A capacity of 1,900
One of the first generation of techno clubs, Boothaus was originally an offshoot of Warehouse, which was founded in 1991 and was one of Germany’s first techno culture hubs. In the mid-1990s, the spin-off club relocated to its current harbour site, inspiring its new name of Bootshaus as of 2005.

With three dance floors in three rooms and one large outdoor area, the music runs the gamut of electronic music, from underground to a more radio-friendly club sound. The clientele include people who’ve been coming from the beginning as well as an increasing number of younger dancing feet.

I still go out a lot myself. I enjoy going to other clubs too, staying in touch with clubs all over the world and constantly exploring innovative ideas.

Tom Thomas, manager of Bootshaus Cologne GmbH

Festival appearances by Bootshaus
When popular live acts like Armin van Buren, dance and electro pop DJ David Guetta or multiple award-winning Robin Schulz are doing the set, as many as 1,900 people take to the dancefloors. Only a few clubs boast a Funktion-One sound system like the one at Bootshaus, providing crystal-clear sound and a rich bass.

Yet Bootshaus has fans who’ve never actually set foot in the place. They know it from various techno festivals such as BigCityBeats World Club Dome, which is held in Frankfurt each spring, or the three-day Parookaville Festival in Weeze. Bootshaus has also staged two festivals of its own and they’ll be making a comeback this year after a two-year Covid-induced break. Nibirii takes place at the Dürener Badesee lake and the Blacklist Festival is at Turbinenhalle Oberhausen.

Oliver Magenta im Bootshaus Köln
Resident Bootshaus DJ Oliver Magenta getting the crowd going. Photo: jomothan

Summer nights at Bootshaus
Luckily, Bootshaus survived the pandemic unscathed – thanks, to a large extent, to manager Tom Thomas’ decision to invest in the technology needed to create a digital version of the club, allowing fans around the world to join in on-screen raves. Thankfully, however, those days are over for now.

That’s a good thing because Boothaus has quite a lot planned for this summer. Another legendary club, Berlin’s KitKatClub, will be doing a guest set soon, for instance. A sure guarantee of more booming bass and beaming faces.

Here are just some of the dates when you can try Germany’s best club for yourself:

Nibirii Festival, 19 August, 7pm

KitKatClub @ Bootshaus, 20 August, 10pm

Bootshaus on a ship, 28 August, 3pm

Sommerfest closing, 24 September, 10pm

Blacklist Festival, 8 October, 8pm

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