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11 Insider Tips for the Open-Air Season

Art, culture and summer bliss

Fete de la Musique 2011
© Copyright: AKUD / Lars Reimann

Die Tage sind lang, die Abende lau: Im Sommer ist , perfekt um sich einfach mal durch die Stadt treiben zu lassen und das Leben zu genießen. Berlin wäre jedoch nicht Berlin, wenn ihr dabei nicht auch mit Kunst, Kultur und Musik überrascht werdet. Damit ihr zur richtigen Zeit am richtigen Ort unterwegs seid, haben wir hier für euch unsere Insider-Tipps für die Open-Air-Saison zusammengestellt.

The days are long, the evenings balmy: Summer is the open air season in Berlin, perfect for simply drifting through the city and enjoying life. But Berlin wouldn't be Berlin if it didn't surprise you at every corner with art, culture and music. To make sure you're always in the right place at the right time, we've put together our insider tips for the open-air season.

Another tip for your summer in Berlin

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Tip 1: Experience modern and young theatre at the Open-Air on the Park Deck

Exterior view of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin
Deutsche Oper Berlin © Leo Seidel

The setting is typically Berlin - and so is the mix of plays that will be performed at the Open-Air on the Parkdeck this summer. In Mark-Anthony Turnage's GREEK, the ancient myth of King Oedipus is confronted with contemporary problems such as racism, violence and mass unemployment. A modern interpretation as an open-air spectacle, staged by the exciting young director Pinar Karabulut.

Young talent is also on stage at the Opera Lounge, where the scholarship holders of the Deutsche Oper Berlin are presented.

Septembersong is dedicated to compositions from Kurt Weill's American creative period, interpreted by the BigBand of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and singer Martina Barta.

When: 

  • Greek: 27/28 August, 3-5, 7 and 8 September at 7.30 p.m. each night.
  • September Song: 2 September 7.30 pm
  • Opera Lounge: 3/4 September 19:30

Where: Deutsche Oper Berlin, Tischlerei, Richard-Wagner Straße, Charlottenburg

Greek

Tip 2: Follow fast-paced Shakespeare adaptations at the Globe Theater Berlin

Theatre sports at the Shakespear Theater Globe Berlin
Globe Berlin: Theatre sports © Foto: Norbert Lienig

The ensemble of Berlin's Globe Theatre is performing outdoors again this summer. Based on the original in London, the Berlin Globe Theatre is dedicated to the work of William Shakespeare. The scenes take place on a round board stage that surrounds the audience. A fast-paced adaptation of the classic English verse in German.

When: 4 June - 10 September
Where: Sömmeringstraße 15, Charlottenburg

TICKETS FOR MARIA STUART


TICKETS FOR AS YOU LIKE IT

Tip 3: Let stories tell you at the African Book Festival

Bücher
Bücher © Getty Images, Foto: FabrikaCr

Three days, five stages and lots of programme. This year's African Book Festival is all about the theme "Yesterday.Today.Tomorrow". The festival will examine the influence of older generations on current authors and reflect on the form and style of global storytelling. Look forward to literature, performances and live music, comedy, poetry and, of course, food trucks with African food and market stalls with fashion, art and crafts. A children's day will be organised together with the FEZ.

When: 26 - 28 August
Where: Napoleon Complex, Modersohnstraße 49a, Friedrichshain

AFRICAN BOOK FESTIVAL

Tip 4: Celebrate summer at city and street festivals

Bergmannstraßenfest – Kreuzberg jazzt
Bergmannstraßenfest © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

In summer, all of Berlin is drawn to the streets. In all parts of the city, street festivals invite you to socialise or have a cosy chat over a good glass of wine. From the Lesbian and Gay City Festival around Nollendorfplatz to the Neighbourhood Festival at Schöneberg Town Hall to the Spandau Old Town Festival and the Lichtenrad Wine and Vintners' Festival at the idyllic village pond. In all of Berlin's neighbourhoods, festivals are celebrated throughout the summer as they fall. 

Here is a selection of city and street festivals

  • 7/8 May: Frühlingszauber street festival in the Westend in Charlottenburg
  • 26 May to 12 June: Steglitz Week with fairground rides in Bäkepark
  • 4 to 6 June: Historic Manor House Festival at Britz Castle (more at Whitsun)
  • 11 and 12 June: Pankow Art Festival with many arts and crafts stalls, acrobatics and artists
  • 17 to 19 June: Köpenicker Sommer on the Schlossinsel (castle island)
  • 21 June: Fête de la Musique, all over the city
  • 23 June to 3 July: Kenako Africa Festival on Alexanderplatz
  • 24 - 26 June: 48 Hours of Neukölln
  • 1 - 3 July: Kreuzberg Festival
  • 16-17 July: Lesbian-Gay City Festival around Nollendorfplatz
  • 17 June to 31 July: Berlin Folk Festival Summer at the central festival site on Kurt-Schuhmacher-Damm
  • 12 to 14 August: Spandauer Havelfest on the Lindenufer in Spandau
  • 27 August: Knorre Neighbourhood Festival at Knorrestraße in Friedrichshain
  • 3 September from 12 - 7 p.m.: Neighbourhood festival at Schöneberg Town Hall
  • 1 to 4 September: The music plays at the Spandau Old Town Festival. All concerts are free. The WineSummer in Spandau takes place at the same time. 
  • 10 to 12 September: Lichtenrad Wine and Vintners' Festival at the idyllic Dorfsee.


More Street festivals & fairs

Tip 5: Be out and about for a summer weekend at 48 Stunden Neukölln

48 Stunden Neukölln in Berlin
48 Stunden Neukölln © Christiane Schröder

For 48 hours, Neukölln will be transformed into a huge field of experimentation. During these two days, you can discover what Berlin's creative scene is up to on streets, squares, in backyards, parks and of course in numerous indoor spaces. Established in 1999, 48 Stunden Neukölln is now one of the city's largest independent art festivals. Discover the neighbourhood and exciting places and experience concerts, performances, exhibitions and of course one or two surprises.

When: 24 to 26 June
Where: various locations in Neukölln

48 Hours Neukölln

Tip 6: Laugh along at the Berlin laughs festival

World Time Clock at Alexanderplatz in Berlin
World Time Clock at Alexanderplatz © visitberlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

After a two-year break from Corona, Alexanderplatz will once again be transformed into an open-air stage for 16 days in July. The street theatre festival Berlin lacht! traditionally brings artists from all over the world to make the audience laugh and marvel. Look forward to acrobatics, music, acting, magic, clowning, pantomime, puppet shows and fireworks. Food trucks, a beer garden and community clean up events complete the programme. 

When: 16 to 31 July
Where: Alexanderplatz, Mitte

More about Alexanderplatz

Tip 7: Follow the protagonists of Ash Clouds through the city

Mural -Unter der Hand-
Mural: Unter der Hand © (c) visumate

The special thing about this open-air production is the combination of theatre, audio walk and urban art. You accompany two young people who have to come to terms with the death of a friend - and together they follow in his footsteps. As they move through the city, "doing things he couldn't", they grow closer.

When: 28 April - 1 July
Where: Open air around the STRAHL.Halle Ostkreuz, Marktstraße 9, Friedrichshain

Ash Clouds

Tip 8: Take great photos on a guided tour of the Spreepark

The Spreepark in the Plänterwald in Berlin
The Spreepark in the Plänterwald © visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen

From 2024, the Ferris wheel at the Spreepark is set to turn again. The attractions in the former GDR amusement park have been standing still for decades. On a guided tour, you can find out what the future of the currently disused site looks like and also learn more about the history of this enchanted place. Photography is of course allowed!

When: Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
Where: Kiehnwerder Allee 1 - 3, Treptow

Guided tours of the Spreepark

Tip 9: Get into the swing of things at the international barrel organ festival

Kiez Game - History Mystery Escape
Drehorgel © Kiez Game, Foto: Randy Witte

This year Berlin welcomes over 100 barrel organ players from many different countries to the International Barrel Organ Festival. In addition to Germany, the musical guests will come from Switzerland and Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, the USA, Japan and Chile. Together they will perform a barrel organ concert at Breitscheidplatz. The highlight is the parade on Saturday at 11 a.m. from Bleibtreustraße via Kudamm to Breitscheidplatz.

When: 1 to 3 July
Where: Breitscheidplatz, Charlottenburg

More about Kurfürstendamm

Tip 10: Get in the mood for your summer holiday at the Berlin Ukulele Festival

Ukulele
Ukulele © Getty Images, Foto: Image Source

At the Ukulele Festival you can not only listen, but also make music yourself and maybe even perform your favourite piece on stage. In any case, the strings of this small instrument are made to sound for two days. That's where the Aloha feeling comes in. Perfect for getting in the mood for a summer full of music and sunshine.

Tip: There is also a colourful music and theatre programme on the covered open-air stage during the summer months. Our recommendation: The Bound Prometheus.

When: 18 and 19 June
Where: ufa-Fabrik, Viktoriastraße 10 - 18, Tempelhof

The Bound Prometheus

Tip 11: Fall in love with the Little Mermaid

Grunewald hunting lodge: view over the lake
Grunewald hunting lodge: view over the lake © Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg

With a summer guest performance on the lakeside terraces of Grunewald Hunting Lodge, the Galli Theatre whisks you away to a fairytale world. The fairy tale of the little mermaid who falls madly in love with the prince is told. To be with him, she exchanges her beautiful voice for two legs. But then the prince does not recognise her. A dreamlike fairytale theatre for children aged 4 and up. 

When: 14 August at 1.30 pm and 3 pm
Where: Grunewald Hunting Lodge, Hüttenweg 100, Zehlendorf

The Little Mermaid

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