For all those who like to be out and about on 24 December, want to meet people or simply want to immerse themselves once again in Berlin's cultural and nightlife, we have put together 11 tips for Christmas Eve. Whatever you decide to do: The editorial team at visitBerlin wishes you a Merry Christmas!
Tip 1: Immerse yourself in magical places
If you don't have your loved ones close by and are an avid cineaste, then Europe's only Christmas film festival is just the thing for you. Away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas Eve, the festival highlights all the wonderful and strange facets of Christmas: in addition to comedies, you can also see critical, tragic, satirical and gruesome films. Get involved in a magical programme and enjoy a wonderful, contemplative and entertaining festive season at the cinema.
Where: Moviemento cinema, Kottbusser Damm 22
When: 9 pm
Tip 2: Enjoy a musical cabaret
The Berliner Kabarett Anstalt, or BKA Theatre for short, has always offered a combination of sophisticated, quirky and political entertainment. In more than three decades, it has become synonymous with the finest entertainment in the genres of chanson, cabaret, comedy, music and musical theatre. And so the BKA Theatre is also offering a special programme on Christmas Eve: the life of Claire Waldoff, who discovered her passion for the stage via detours and thus landed in cabaret in Berlin in 1907. From 1907 to 1935, she was the star on the stages of the big cabarets and vaudevilles. Her songs were popular hits and were sung in the streets. Experience Sigrid Grajek, who brings the songs and life of this remarkable woman to the stage with great passion.
Where: The BKA Theatre - Berliner Kabarett Anstalt, Mehringdamm 34, Kreuzberg
When: 8 pm
Tip 3: Experience virtual worlds
In the Computer Games Museum, you travel interactively through the cultural history of games and immerse yourself in virtual worlds around functional classics, rarities and 3-D simulators. Of course, there are also some to try out - including rare originals and milestones of computer history. Among the highlights of the more than 300 exhibits are the GDR game machine Poly-Play, the PainStation Pong and the legendary Nimrod from 1951. And so much more! Drop by on 24 December until 8 pm.
Where: Computerspielemuseum Berlin, Karl-Marx-Allee 93a, Friedrichshain
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tip 4: Celebrate ‘Christmas in Ukrainian’ with an uncompromising artist
This Saturday, celebrated author Wladimir Kaminer brings a call to arms for the arts to the Volksbühne with his ‘Christmas in Ukrainian’. In a world that seems increasingly beset with disasters, toppling on the edge of apocalypse, he asks just what art can do to help rescue humanity from disaster of its own making. The answer, he believes, is not much: but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to try. After all, creativity holds up a mirror to our hypocrisy, our anger, our pain and our shame, helps us express who we are – and without artists, life would be too boring for words. A challenging and compelling twist on Christmas entertainment from a radical thinker.
Where: Volksbühne, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Mitte
When: 9 p.m.
Tip 5: Visit animals in the zoo
Europe's largest zoo is also open on Christmas Eve. Why not shorten the time until Christmas with your loved ones and stroll through the vast grounds of Tierpark Berlin until 2pm? You can visit over 160 hectares of more than 650 different animal species - from the Malayan bear to the polar bear - before Christmas Eve.
Where: Tierpark Berlin, entrance Bärenschaufenster, Am Tierpark 125, Friedrichsfelde
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tip 6: Enjoy the view over Berlin
Take a quick 365-degree look over Berlin before heading home for the presents. In just 40 seconds, the lift will take you to the viewing platform of the Berlin TV Tower, from where you can admire the capital from above. At the top, orientation boards with panoramic views will help you find your way around, and if you still have time, take a seat in the Sphere restaurant and indulge in some culinary delights. It's best to book a time slot in advance.
Where: Berlin TV Tower, Panoramastraße 1a, Mitte
When: until 3 p.m.
Tip 7: Encounter Berlin's history
The Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie is also open every day of the year from 10 am to 8 pm. This also applies to Christmas Eve. Here, GDR refugees talk about their experiences, and cars and hot air balloons bear witness to successful escape attempts. Get an overview of the history of the Berlin Wall and immerse yourself in the drama of the exhibition highlights: an escape car with a boot hiding place, fake and real travel documents, a miniature model of a section of the Wall and also various suitcases prepared as escape props'.
Where: Mauermuseum at Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstraße 43-45, Mitte
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tip 8 : Relax away from the Christmas hustle and bustle
In freezing winter weather, many dream of a visit to the sauna. So why not take a dip in the water? Simply leave the Christmas stress behind and enjoy a warm sauna bath in the middle of nature. The best recipe for a peaceful and relaxing evening and thus an unforgettable Christmas.
Parties are a tradition in Berlin:
Tip 9: Tradition at the Ritter Butzke Party
Christmas traditions are something wonderful. At Ritter Butzke, the Knusperparty has been one of them for many years. This is where the Berlin techno scene celebrates Christmas Eve. For all those who want to have a cosy party after the family reunion or just because, with a line-up that is well worth seeing: Gunnar Stiller, Kollek,tiv Ost, Modest Crow, MoeHeCan, Mømentum, Phonique, Ramy Hasnawe, among others. What does Ritter Butzke say: "A nice little rave."
Where: Ritter Butzke, Ritterstraße 24 -27, Kreuzberg
When: from 10 p.m.
Tip 10: Once again tradition at Suicide Cirucus
Even more techno starts shortly before midnight at Suicide Circus - it is considered one of the most traditional and established techno clubs in Berlin. The show TRANSMI:ION BERLIN #31 - CHRISTMAS SPECIAL is dedicated to the musical underground in Berlin. Celebrate Christmas on a big dance floor with innovative electronic music. Early Bird tickets are already available from 12 €.
Where: Suicide Club, Revaler Straße 99, Friedrichshain
When: from 23.59
Tip 11: ...and even more tradition at HOLY ESCHSCHLORAQUE
The artists' club Eschschloraque has also revived a cherished tradition: Here, the night will be duly celebrated and Vela and Ed2000 will provide the festive dance ritual with their DJ set! Dangerous Drums stands for the "Drum Driven Bass Empowered Dancefloor Ritual". Dance and party through the night!
Where: Eschschloraque, Rosenthaler Straße 39 - 2nd backyard, Mitte
When: from 10 pm