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Weekend tips 26 - 28 / 5 / 2023

From the latest contemporary art to fantastic film festivals, Berlin’s got all sorts in store for the long weekend!

a cyclist in front of the Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin
a cyclist in front of the Oberbaumbrücke © visitBerlin, Foto: Thomas Kierok

Berlin’s vibrant arts and culture scene and incredible diversity takes centre stage this weekend as the Carnival of Cultures makes its return to the city’s streets. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out everything from cutting-edge theatre to atmospheric light installations and a historic lakeland cruise. If you’re looking for a break from the real world, Berlin has an event for that, too: head to the incredible Illuseum and prepare to be amazed by a world of illusion.

Tip 1: Celebrate Berlin’s diversity at the Carnival of Cultures

Karneval der Kulturen
Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures) © Daniela Incoronato

This weekend marks the return of the Karneval der Kulturen, or Carnival of Cultures, one of Berlin’s most vibrant celebrations of what makes the city tick. The street party and parade are back with a bang after a few years away and the city’s residents are ready to celebrate its trademark diversity like never before. Nowhere does cultures and community like Berlin and this weekend’s festivities are set to be proof. 

Where: street party at Blücherplatz; parade begins/ends at Hermannplatz
When: street party all weekend; parade on Sunday

Carnival of Cultures

Tip 2: Catch cutting-edge contemporary performances at Theatertreffen

Haus der Berliner-Festspiele © Chiussi/Agentur StandArt; Berliner Festspiele

Head to the Haus der Berliner Festspiele this weekend to catch the end of the annual Theatertreffen festival – a celebration of the transformational power of theatre and the dramatic community that marks its 60th edition this year with some of the most daring and evocative pieces yet. On this final weekend of the festival, there’s still time to catch a contemporary take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and I Fancy You, a moving tale of friendship between two Ukrainian women writers – both staged with English surtitles.

Where: Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Schaperstraße 24, Wilmersdorf
When: all weekend


Tip 3: Embrace the power of dance at a tango festival

Tango dancing: Milonga at the Museum Island
Tango night in Berlin at the Museum Island - couples dance © visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen

It takes you to tango at Embrace, a vibrant Berlin festival inspired by the iconic ballroom dance. Venues across the city are throwing open their doors this weekend for live milonga music, tango classes, dance performances, DJ sets and more. Check the dress code and head down to your nearest tango café event to let the rhythms sweep you off your feet. Take time to tango this weekend.

Where: various venues
When: all weekend

Embrace Tango Festival

Tip 4: Discover ancient and modern arts at the Neues Museum

Neues Museum Berlin
Neues Museum Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen

Delve into times past and present this weekend on a visit to the Neues Museum. In its atmospheric surroundings you can explore permanent exhibitions covering everything from the history of ancient Egypt to Trojan antiquities, juxtaposed with modern art masterpieces in a (con)temporary show. This weekend, take the chance to catch the fascinating temporary exhibition before it closes: The Porcelain Code: One Million Pieces by Ulli Aigner charts one artist’s attempt to make one million pieces of pottery with her hands before she dies. A remarkable and inspiring feat to admire this weekend.

Where: Neues Museum, Bodestraße, Mitte
When: all weekend, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickets - Neues Museum

Tip 5: See a contemporary circus performance at Chamäleon

Chamäleon Theater Berlin
Chamäleon Theater Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen

Take prime ringside seats at the cutting-edge Chamäleon Theatre for in_between, a co-production between the visionary Berlin venue and Finnish circus company Circo Aereo. The result is a dreamlike interpolation of the circus arts that explores the liminal state between sleeping and waking and the strange effects it can have on our consciousness. Realities shift, form, dissolve and fragment before our eyes in this rich display of acrobatics, imagery, movement and music. A dream of a performance.

Where: Chamäleon, Hackesche Höfe, Rosenthaler Straße 40/41, Mitte
When: Friday 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 6 p.m.

Tickets in_between

Tip 6: Discover a sense of belonging through dance at Elision

Two dancers of the performance Elision
Elision © Charles Ménard-Wendling

Named after a linguistic concept which refers to a sound or syllable being left out when speaking, Elision is a moving and gripping dance performance examining how it feels not to belong in a society as a member of a marginalised group. Performed by a duo to a live soundtrack and video backdrop, the show draws on queer storytelling to examine how systematic oppression can affect our sense of self and how that identity can ultimately be rebuilt through expression. It’s staged as part of a weekend of thought-provoking arts performances, 275 Cubic Meters, put together by Yu Bai. Don’t miss out on this thought-provoking show.

Where: Hošek Contemporary, Fischerinsel 3, Mitte
When: Friday through Sunday 7 p.m.


Tip 7: See the Sommerlights at Dark Matter

Dark Matter Sommerlights
Dark Matter Sommerlights 2023 © WHITEvoid

This weekend marks the opening of the Sommerlights at Dark Matter. For this years light-installation under the open sky German light artist Christopher Bauder designed a three-dimensional cloud made out of 400 suspended light floats. You can sit directly under the shape shifting cloud, enjoy a drink or simply be mesmerized by this transforming art piece made up of light and sound. Composer Akiko Harunas soundtrack enhances the experience. You also can check out the indoors exhibition. Here you walk through seven pitch-black rooms featuring partly interactive light installations, performances and displays that blur the boundaries between real and digital worlds. It’s sure to be a breathtaking experience for all the senses. 

Where: Köpenicker Chaussee 46, Lichtenberg
When: all weekend, 8 pm - 12 am

Dark Matter Sommerlights

Tip 8: Explore Berlin’s lakelands on a cruise

Hop On Hop Off by boat Reederei Riedel
© Reederei Riedel, Foto: Sascha Kirchner

If you’re looking to relax and cool off while you do a spot of sightseeing, there’s no better way to spend a warm May afternoon than aboard a cruise of the Oberhavel lakes to the north of Berlin. Discover historic highlights such as the story of Spandau and the former borderlands in picturesque and comfortable surroundings on this two-hour boat trip. A wonderful way to while away your day on the water.
Where: tours depart from the Greenwich Promenade in Tegel

Where: Stern und Kreisschiffahrt, Greenwichpromenade landing stage, Alt-Tegel, Tegel
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.

Get tickets for the 2-hour boat cruise along the Havel lakes

Tip 9: Last chance: Sample the sights of Manhattan from a Berlin museum

Downtown Manhattan in the evening" by Andreas Feininger, exhibition image EMOP Berlin
Downtown Manhattan in the evening" by Andreas Feininger, exhibition image EMOP Berlin © Andreas Feininger Archiv c/o Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen

One of the 20th century’s most iconic photographers, Andreas Feininger was particularly renowned for the way he brought the streets of New York City to life through his lens. Head to Berlin’s beautiful Bröhan Museum this weekend for a look at some of his most compelling pictures of Manhattan, his muse, including dizzying street canyons and that magnificent skyline. A terrific tale of two cities.

Where: Bröhan Museum, Schloßstraße 1A, Charlottenburg
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Andreas Feinininger

Tip 10: Step into the world of the uncanny at Illuseum

Illuseum Berlin
Illuseum Berlin © Illuseum Berlin

If you’re looking for a break from the real world, step inside Illuseum and prepare to be amazed. This temple to the unreal is a place where you can well and truly fall under the spell of your own senses. Nothing is as it seems as optical illusions and believe-it-or-not interactive displays court your disbelief. A great place to get weird this weekend.

Where: Illuseum Berlin, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 9, Mitte
When: Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets for Illuseum

Tip 11: Attend an album launch party for a marvellous musical mashup

Clubbing in Berlin: Open Air Party
Party © GettyImages, Foto: Hinterhaus Productions

It might seem like an odd collaboration at first: British-German DJ Lars Moston meets New Zealand’s Leah Hinton, better known as Murmur Tooth, an electro musician with roots in metal and classical. Yet when you hear their new collaboration, the album No Time to Explain, their offbeat brand of electropop makes everything clear. See for yourself at an intimate concert and album launch party this Saturday. After all, some things need no explanation – they just need to be heard.

Where: Birgit & Bier, Schleusenufer 3, Kreuzberg
When: Saturday, 2 p.m.                                                                                                                                                 

Murmurtooth & Lars Moston

You can find more tips in our visitBerlin events calendar.