Berlin as we know it today is a bustling hub, home to events as diverse as Berlin Fashion Week and the Berliner Herbst Rummel autumn festival. But did you know that it was just as vibrant a city in the past? Thanks to an immersive VR experience in the city’s famous TV Tower and an in-depth exhibition of early modern Europe at the Neues Museum, it’s your turn to delve into the eventful past of Germany’s capital.
Tip 1: Mix with the glitterati at Berlin Fashion Week
What springs to mind when you think about fashion? Elegant outfits, impossibly tall models, innovative designs – but what about sustainability, too? This year’s Berlin Fashion Week has everything you’d expect from a headline event, from shows by established designers such as Marc Cain through to showcases of up-and-coming local talent like the graduates of the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences. But this year, the show is putting sustainability in the spotlight, with its upcycling lab and a summit on ‘Fashion for a Positive Impact’ – so you can enjoy your clothes with a good conscience!
When: various events from Monday 5 to Saturday 10 September
Where: various locations across the city (see schedule for details)
Tip 2: Satisfy your inner bookworm at the Berlin International Literature Festival
Whether you like curling up with some non-fiction or flicking through a graphic novel – to say nothing of poetry, drama or young-adult fiction – the Berlin International Literature Festival has something to satiate every bookworm’s appetite. With former attendees including heavyweights like Salman Rushdie and Elif Shafak, the festival been attracting the biggest names in the business for over two decades. It’s a truly international affair, too, with this year’s sessions looking at everything from contemporary Arabic literature to an Alice in Wonderland retrospective: a veritable literary smorgasbord!
When: events take place from Wednesday 7 to Saturday 17 September
Where: various locations across Berlin; see programme for details
Tip 3: Enjoy a film feast with not one, not two, but three film-focused events
Attention all film fans: we’ve got a bona fide movie marathon for you! If your imagination is all too active, this week’s fantasy filmfest will give you the escape from reality you’re craving, with a jam-packed schedule of international fantasy films. Feel like something a bit more down-to-earth? We’ve got you covered: the documentary film festival Let’s Dok is coming to cinemas across Berlin with a programme encompassing everything from up-to-the-minute films about the Ukraine conflict to explorations of life under the Stasi. Not for you? There’s one more option, courtesy of the Zeughauskino’s retrospective focusing on Renate Müller. This 1930s star of the silver screen died tragically young at the age of 31 – but her star quality is still dazzling today.
fantasy filmfest – various events from Wednesday 7 to Wednesday 14 September
Let’s Dok – Sunday 11 to Sunday 18 September; Renate Müller – Thursday 1 September to Saturday 29 October
Where: various locations across the city
Tip 4: Immerse yourself in Jewish culture during the Jewish Culture Days
Jewish culture is vibrant, varied and versatile, as the Jewish Culture Days prove! Feast your eyes on stunning sacred architecture on 16 September, when Berlin’s synagogues throw open their doors to visitors – and feast your stomach on 18 September at the Kosher Street Food Festival. That’s not to mention the rest of the programme, packed with everything from English-language Jewish comedy and Israeli rap through to guided tours of the Jewish Museum Berlin. No matter whether you want to delight your eyes, ears or taste buds, Jewish culture is a treat for all the senses!
When: events at various times from Saturday, 10 to Sunday, 18 September
Where: various locations across the city
Tip 5: See Shakespeare as the Bard intended
Take your pick: tumultuous tales of the disaster wrought by an unexpected storm, or a comedic caper through some woodland hi-jinks, full of love, lust and laughter? Whichever you’d be interested in, it’s your last chance to soak up some of the Bard’s best at Berlin’s Globe Theatre before its actors head for a well-deserved rest over the winter. At this open-air venue in the heart of Berlin, you can experience Shakespeare’s plays as audiences did centuries ago – travelling back to Elizabethan England without having to leave Berlin!
When: 7.30 p.m. on Friday 9 September (The Tempest) and Saturday 10 September (As You Like It)
Where: Globe Berlin, Sömmeringstraße 15 (Charlottenburg)
Tip 6: Get in the autumn spirit at the Berliner Herbst Rummel
The crunch of fallen leaves, a cool chill in the mornings, wrapping up in cosy clothes… the best bits of autumn are just around the corner! Celebrate this transitional season at the Berliner Herbst Rummel, where you can test your mettle on jaw-dropping fairground rides and stuff yourself silly with candyfloss – all to the soundtrack of toe-tapping beats. If you’d prefer a less modern approach to celebrations, Diedersdorf Castle is taking it back to the Middle Ages with its jousting festival, offering fun for all the family from 10 a.m. on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September. So, why not pop along to one or the other and ring in the changing of the seasons?
When: Berliner Herbst Rummel is open from Wednesdays to Saturdays from 9 September to 9 October, 2 to 10 p.m. (late closing at 11 p.m. on Fridays & Saturdays, Sunday hours: 1 – 9 p.m.)
Where: Zentraler Festplatz Berlin (Mitte)
Tip 7: Travel through the history of Berlin (virtually, of course!)
Take your seat, fasten your seatbelt… and strap on your VR headset! In this virtual odyssey through Berlin’s past, you can explore the city’s history over the course of nine centuries. Watch how the metropolis transformed from a Medieval stronghold into the buzzing hub as we know it today, exploring its imperial pomp and Cold War intrigue on the way. It’s the journey of a lifetime!
When: bookings available 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., year-round (opens from 10 a.m. November to February)
Where: TV Tower (Mitte)
Tip 8: Hang out with dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum
Dinosaurs walked all four corners of the earth many thousands of years ago – and now they’ve come to Berlin! The city’s Natural History Museum is celebrating the return of its T-Rex skeleton Tristan Otto with a special exhibition. In the ‘Dinosaurs! Age of the Giant Lizards’ exhibition, visitors can get up close and personal with dinosaurs from three geological eras at once: a first for the museum. It’s perfect for little (and not-so-little) explorers – and with our online day pass, there’s no need to queue at the ticket office, either!
When: open all year round (Tuesday to Friday 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Where: Natural History Museum (Mitte)
Tip 9: Explore Europe’s earliest beginnings at the Neues Museum
The Neues Museum, Berlin’s museum for prehistory and early history, boasts an enormous collection of historical artefacts, from papyrus fragments to Trojan sculptures, with something for every history buff. Its new exhibition ‘The Crown of Kerch – Treasures from the Dawn of European History’ traces the earliest days of the European continent via exquisite finds including silver clasps from early Medieval tombs and gold jewellery from the Black Sea. It’ll have you thinking about European history in a whole new light!
When: Open year-round (Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., late closing on Thursdays at 8 p.m.)
Where: Neues Museum (Mitte)
Tip 10: Explore historic buildings large and small on Open Monument Day
What do Hohenschönhausen Castle, the Spandau Central District Library and the remnants of the Berlin Wall have in common? They’re all protected monuments! At this week’s Open Monument Day, you can check out cemeteries, peer inside palaces and be bowled over by a bell (the World Peace Bell, to be precise). You’ll come away having seen stunning sights – and with an interesting fact or two, thanks to the expert guides at each location. PS – if you’d like to see how these spaces are used today, artists based in six historic courtyards in Berlin’s Wedding neighbourhood are opening up their studios to the public over the same weekend.
When: Saturday 10 to Sunday 11 September; times vary for each monument
Where: various locations across the city
Open Monument Day
Tip 11: Gain a deeper understanding of the war in Ukrain
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent shockwaves around the world – but in the enormity of the geopolitical situation, it’s all too easy to forget the human aspect of the conflict. This outdoor installation revolves around the shell of the car in which Tamila Mishchenko, her daughter and two other women tried to flee Bucha. This Ukrainian city was occupied at the time by the Russian army – and, tragically, the group were unable to make it out alive. This important installation offers a touchingly poignant exploration of the ongoing war and the Bucha massacre.
When: runs until Thursday, 15 September
Where: George-Grosz-Platz (Charlottenburg)
Extra tip: At the Climate Day Berlin you can inform yourself, network and of course get involved with the climate. The programme on Saturday, 10 September 2022 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the RAW grounds in Friedrichshain offers a variety of creative and political events and workshops, but also shows you how you can become active yourself in the future.
And another green tip: The green café in Britz says goodbye to summer with a big courtyard party with a flea market, arts and crafts and barbecue delicacies. You are all invited to Mohriner Allee 71 in Britz on 10 September.
You can find more events on the topic of sustainability in our calendar of events.