Berlin, April 2013. The capital is rich in culture. Visitors who come to Berlin from all over the world have some 1,500 events to choose from every day. The interplay of its eventful history and a vibrant creative scene which reinvents itself every day makes Berlin a fascinating and unique cultural metropolis in the heart of Europe: world-renowned museums and avant-garde galleries, virtuoso orchestras and electro beats, pop-up restaurants and gourmet festivals, prominent theatres and open-air acts – every day, every evening, every night is an event in Berlin!
The focus of the theme for 2013 is “Diversity Destroyed”, which commemorates the Nazis’ rise to power 80 years ago though various events. Other important events in 2013 include the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s visit to Berlin and the first Berlin Food Week, one of many themed weeks throughout 2013.
So many weeks, so much to do
Whether it’s fashion, film, art, or culinary delights, Berlin offers events dedicated to a theme for an entire week all year-round. Twice a year, Berlin Fashion Week (15–19 January 2013 and 1–4 July 2013) attracts fashion enthusiasts from all over the world to Berlin. From haute couture to street wear: national and international designers present their fashions for the upcoming seasons. International Green Week (18–27 January 13), the world’s biggest food, agriculture, and horticulture fair, invites visitors to take a culinary journey around the world. The eat! Berlin Festival (26 February – 3 March 2013) and the Berlin Food Week in autumn (8–13 October 2013) offer events, festivals such as the “Gastronomy Ball”, and gourmet tours through the city.
With more than 90 film weeks and film festivals a year, the “film capital” of Europe lures not only die-hard film buffs to the cinemas. The Berlinale (7–17 February 2013), the International Short Film Festival (12–17 November 2013), and cinebrasil, the festival of Brazilian cinematic art (7–12 March 2913), are just some of the many Berlin festivals covering a wide range of film genres.
Home to many IT start-ups, Berlin is Germany’s Silicon Valley and host to two events focussing on the world wide web: Berlin Web Week (6–15 May 2013) is Europe’s biggest festival dedicated to the digital scene and offers a range of events dedicated to hot topics of the digital society. The main event is re:publica (6–8 May 2013), the conference about Web 2.0 and social media. Social Media Week (18–22 February 2013 and again in September 2013) is a worldwide event focussing on social networking, which has also been held in Berlin since 2012.
In June, Berlin will be ablaze with all the colours of the raindbow: Berlin Pride Week, the week between the Gay/Lesbian City Festival (15–16 June 2013) and Christopher Street Day (22 June 2013), provides the setting for more than 200 events covering culture, politics, sports, and just plain partying. Berlin Music Week in autumn (4–8 September 2013) shows the city’s rhythmic side: concerts, long nights at the clubs, and the New Music Award are all part of the wide range of events taking place during Music Week. Berlin Art Week (16–22 September 2013), Berlin’s newest forum for artists and galleries, shows the importance of the capital as a creative hub. The Berlin Health Week (21.–27. October 2013), which takes place for the first time this year, is all about a conscious and healthy lifestyle. The week occurs around the Wolrd Health Summit, a congress where current health care issues are discussed by a medical audience. During the Berlin Health Week there will be several events accessible to a broad public (more information at a later date).
Long Nights in Berlin
Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a whole week: those who like their nights to last until dawn don’t necessarily have to spend them in a club when in Berlin. During the Long Night of Museums, visitors can get a glimpse into the capital’s many and diverse museums. Concerts, readings, and theatre performances complement the collections on these long evenings. Researchers and discoverers can spend a Long Night of the Sciences conducting exciting experiments and learning about the latest research results. Around 60 scientific institutions in Berlin and Potsdam are open on the Long Night of the Sciences, including archives, universities, laboratories, and libraries.
32. Long Night of Museums, 16 March 2013
Long Night of the Sciences, 8 June 2013
33. Long Night of Museums, 31 August 2013
Festivals and Events
Berlin International Film Festival
The Berlin International Film Festival Berlin will open its doors for the 63rd time this February. With around 300,000 tickets sold each year as well as more than 19,000 trade visitors, the Berlinale is one of the most important events in the international film industry. Around 400 films of different genres, mainly European and world premières, will be screened at the world’s largest public festival. Complete programme information will be announced in early February.
Berlinale Palast in Potsdamer Platz, Friedrichstadtpalast, and other venues, 7–17 February 2013
The 64th Berlinale (International Film Festival Berlin) takes place from 6 to 16 February 2014. A highlight for film fans will be the premiere of the digitally restored classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Berlin Carnival Parade
Punctually at 11:11 in the morning, the fools and jesters begin their annual Carnival parade through the German capital. About 60 cars and 100 different groups with around 3,000 participants parade in costume through the western part of the city centre. More than a million spectators are expected to watch the colourful goings-on or join in the festivities with their own original costumes.
3 February 2013
Festival of the Berlin State Opera
The city starts getting in the mood for the Easter season with the Festival of the State Opera in the Schiller Theatre. There, the audience can enjoy concerts and musical theatre accompanied by the Staatskapelle Berlin, the State Opera Chorus, and the Filarmonica della Scala from Milan. One of the soloists will be Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón, who will also be performing in a symphony concert with the Staatskapelle. As well as music by Verdi, the programme features works by Luciano Berio and Igor Stravinsky, both of whom broke new territory with their compositions. The festival concerts will be under the baton of Daniel Barenboim.
Schillertheater/ Philharmonie Berlin, 23 March – 1 April 2013
From the 26–28 April, the Berlin creative scene will be hosting a tour of discovery through 50 galleries. During the 9th Gallery Weekend, art lovers can get to know the capital’s contemporary art at exclusive openings, events and guided tours.
Various locations throughout the city, 26–28 April 2013
Carnival of Cultures
For the 18th time, the Carnival of Cultures will bring together the nations of the world in a cheery street festival. Guests will be treated to international music on four stages and some 400 stalls offering culinary delicacies and tasteful handicrafts. The culmination of the festivities is a colourful street parade on Whitsun. The audience can join in the party as floats with artists from 80 countries performing traditional dances and acrobatics pass by.
Blücherplatz, 17–20 May 2013
DMY International Design Festival
The International Design Festival is here to stay in Berlin as a platform for contemporary product design. In various exhibitions, renowned designers and young creative artists will present innovative items and product design concepts. A diverse programme of workshops, symposia, and discussions with designers complete the event. Outstanding projects are awarded the DMY Award.
Various locations in the city, 5–6 September 2013
Fête de la Musique
The summer solstice is celebrated in Berlin with the Fête de la Musique. An entire day of live music is offered at some 90 outdoor venues throughout the city. The music programme has something to offer for all musical tastes, from jazz, to pop, to rock. Those who aren’t quite ready to head home after the sun sets can go to some of the numerous clubs in Berlin as part of the Fête de la Nuit.
Various locations throughout the city, 21 June 2013
Christopher Street Day
Gays, lesbians, and transsexuals demonstrate for more equality and acceptance with this lively, quirky parade. Brightly coloured wigs, men in mesh dresses and dangerously high heels – everything goes on Christopher Street Day as long as it’s not boring. The demonstration addresses a different theme each year and attracts hundreds of thousands to the streets of Berlin. The theme for the 35th CSD in Berlin is “Discrimination”.
Kurfürstendamm, 22 June 2013
Summer in Berlin
Whether barbecuing in the park or in one of the many beach bars, life in Berlin moves outdoors in the summer. A refreshing dip in cool waters is never far away given the lakes dotting the landscape around Berlin. Sandy beaches and roofed wicker beach chairs give the Wannsee and Plötzensee an authentic Baltic coast feel. On especially hot days, it is advisable to secure a shady spot at Krumme Lanke. Tourists can see the city’s sights from the water on a boat tour on the Spree and the Landwehr Canal. The Mitte beach bar was the first of its kind when it opened in 2002. By 2012 there were already 14 beach bars along the river Spree. The beach bars offer music ranging from the reggae sounds in Yaam to electronic sounds in Club der Visionäre. The best place to dance the night away is at one of the many open-air parties.
Berlin leuchtet and Festival of Lights
In autumn, the German capital transforms into a magical world of lights. During two festivals – Berlin leuchtet and the Festival of Lights – Berlins most impressive landmarks, including the Brandenburg Gate, streets and buildings shine in colourful lights. The many light shows can be viewed on specially organised tours on foot, by bus or by boat. Various locations in the city, 4–20 October 2013, contact Berlin leuchtet infoberlinleuchtet [dot] com.
Premiere: War Horse in Stage – Theater des Westens
It’s one of the most successful shows in the world, deservedly winner of six Tony Awards and acclaimed in London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne. On 20 October 2013, the theatre sensation from London will have its German première at the Stage Theater des Westens in Berlin. War Horse tells the poignant story of a friendship between an English boy Albert and his horse Joey during the First World War. A special feature of this production is its unique, life-size horse figures, so realistic to the smallest detail that they appear to the audience like real horses on stage. Première: 20/10/2013
BerMuDa – Berlin Music Days
The stars of the electronic music scene will come together during the Berlin Music Days in November. The BerMuDa Festival consists of the BerMuDays, BerMuNights, and Fly BerMuDa. Workshops, lectures, exhibitions, and fashion events centred on the theme of electronic music and lifestyle will take place during the BerMuDays. Showcases, parties, and label events are being organised in Berlin clubs for BerMuNights.
Various locations in the city, November 2013
Berlin Christmas Markets
The aroma of candied apples and toasted almonds drives Berliners out of doors during the cold season into their city’s Christmas markets. With more than 400 stalls at the weekend, the Christmas market in the old town of Spandau is the largest in the city. Sensual concerts, unique handicrafts, and culinary delights from top chefs are part of the winter magic at the Gendarmenmarkt. A romantic Christmas market is held in Charlottenburg. The illumination of the castle and the castle park create an enchanting backdrop. Winter sports enthusiasts head to Winter World in Potsdamer Platz. At the Christmas market, you can go ice skating and sledging on the largest mobile toboggan run in Europe.
Approx. 80 markets throughout the city, from mid-November 2013
New Year’s Eve at the Brandenburg Gate
The celebration will last until the wee hours at the city’s largest New Year’s Eve party, stretching for more than a mile from the Brandenburg Gate. The closing hours of the old year are spent watching a variety of shows on several stages, in numerous party tents, or enjoying a variety of culinary offerings. When the sky between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column lights up at midnight in a gigantic multi-coloured firework display, the turn of the year is truly unforgettable.
Straße des 17. Juni, 31 December 2013
The Wall – Asisi Panorama and Black Box at Checkpoint Charlie
360° view of the Berlin Wall:with his panoramic view, Asisi takes visitors back to divided Berlin. An autumn day in the 1980s, dilapidated façades, children playing, and GDR border guards on patrol – the artist dedicates himself to detailed scenes of everyday life long before the Wall fell. Viewers can look at the 16-meter high canvases of steel rotunda from a platform. Coinciding with the Panorama, the Black Box offers a temporary exhibition space with information about the Cold War in an international context.
Friedrichstraße / Zimmerstraße, until the end of 2013
In the Light of Amarna: Centenary of Nefertiti’s Discovery
The most beautiful woman in Berlin celebrates her centenary: the world famous bust of Nefertiti was unearthed on 6 December 1912. To celebrate this occasion, the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection on Museum Island will be presenting a special exhibition on the Amarna period. On display are some 400 artefacts, including international items on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, and the British Museum, as well as finds from the Berlin inventory that are being presented for the first time.
New Museum, Egyptian Collection 12 July 2012 – 13 April 2013
Destroyed Diversity – Berlin in the National Socialist Period.
Berlin is characterized by a great variety of different lifestyles. This environment is a great source of inspiration for ideas and projects in the arts and on stage as well as in the cityscape and everyday life. This diversity reached its peak in the Berlin of the 1920s, until the Nazi dictatorship began enforcing conformity in 1933. To commemorate the unimaginable extent and the fatal consequences of this tyranny, the theme year will present the results of recent research and studies in numerous exhibitions, provide insights into the everyday life of the time through staged readings of private letters, and confront young Berliners with eyewitnesses in several films. In addition, markers and memorial signs in many public spaces throughout the city will raise questions. They will help to increase contemporary awareness of a dark chapter of German history and show how important and worthy of protection Berlin’s vaunted diversity was and how it remains an important hallmark of the city on the Spree.
Various venues, 30 January – 9 November 2013
Tutankhamun – His Grave and Treasures
The treasures in Tutankhamun‘s grave are considered some of the most important discoveries of archaeology. The Arena Berlin will reconstruct the fascinating moment in 1922 when Howard Carter discovered the Pharaoh’s grave in the Valley of the Kings: an educational, exciting, and entertaining monumental replica, covering 4,000m2, will show the burial treasures as they were originally found, including a total of 1,000 objects, graphics, films, and audio guides.
Arena Berlin, 09.03.2013 – 01.09.2013
Uruk. 5000 year-old Megacity
For the past 100 years, unique finds from an archaeological dig in modern-day southern Iraq have been making a splash in the world of science: in 1912, archaeologists started unearthing the evidence of the ancient Mesopotamian city Uruk (now Warka). To mark the centenary of the on-going excavation project, the Near Eastern Museum of the Berlin State Museums and the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums of Mannheim are presenting this special exhibition in close cooperation with the Oriental Department of the German Archaeological Institute and the German Oriental Society.
Near Eastern Museum, 25 April – 8 September 2013
50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s Visit to Berlin
To mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech , various institutions in Berlin are organising a programme designed to recall the importance of the President’s visit. The history of Berlin is set in the context of this important international political event. The diverse program rangesg from hosted bus tours, exhibitions, readings, lectures, film screenings, and special tours to eyewitness interviews and panel discussions on and around 26 June 2013. The highlight of the programme is a ceremony to be held in front of the Schöneberg City Hall (site of the original speech) on 26 June 2013.
Various venues, on and around 26 June 2013,
Expansion of the Berggruen Museum
The Berggruen Museum is being thoroughly renovated until spring 2013 and will be expanded to the neighbouring officers’ barracks. A glazed arcade will connect the two buildings and provide a view of a newly created sculpture garden. The extra 1,000 m2 of display space will be able to accommodate about 50 additional works by classical modern artists. The Berggruen will supplement its collection with paintings by Picasso, Matisse, and Cézanne when it reopens.
Museum Berggruen, Spring 2013
The Jewish Museum Expands
Since opening in 2001, the Jewish Museum Berlin has welcomed seven million visitors, making it one of the most visited museums in Berlin. Originally, the operator expected 300,000 visitors a year, but actually 750,000 guests have come. For this reason, the JMB is expanding to the former wholesale flower market across the street. The archive, the education department, a library, and an event hall will be located there. The expansion designed by Daniel Libeskind was opened on 17 November 2012.
Jewish Museum Berlin, January 2013
33rd Vattenfall Berlin Half Marathon
Live bands, performance artists, and an enthusiastic audience of around a quarter of a million help create an atmosphere along the 21 kilometre route. In addition to the athletic entertainment, the route of the Vattenfall Berlin Half Marathon also offers a tour of Berlin’s sights. Those who would rather take a shorter walk or run can choose from the 3.5 km Fun Run or the over 7km 5th Berlin Nordic City Walk.
Start: Karl-Marx-Allee, 7 March 2013
DFB Cup Final
The DFB Cup is a championship cup contest for German football clubs which started in 1935. It is organised annually by the German Football Association (DFB) and is the second most important national title in German football after the German Championship. Since 1985, the DFB Cup Final has been played in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.
Olympic Stadium, 1 June 2013
Garmin Berlin Velothon 2013
The Garmin Berlin Velothon is cycling for everyone at the highest level. Since its premiere in May 2008, it has become the second largest cycling event of its kind in Europe. The city marathon tour follows along an attractive route passing the city’s main attractions has attracted more than 12,000 participants to the starting line, turning the capital city into a fantastic festival of cycling.
Start/Finish: Brandenburg Gate, 9 June 2013
40th BMW Berlin Marathon
It will be another exciting BMW Berlin Marathon. In addition to well-known athletics stars, the 42.195 km course will attract runners of all ages from all over the world, as well as wheelchair users and hand cyclists, who will be cheered on by friends, enthusiastic spectators, and music. For athletes and spectators alike: the journey is the destination and the atmosphere unique. The marathon of in-line skaters and races for children will be held on Saturday; runners start on the same course on Sunday.
Start: Straße des 17. Juni, 29 September 2013
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