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Weekend tips 17 – 19/ 6 /22

Opera, Olympics and Poetry

Sign "Bebelplatz" with people
Bebelplatz and statures © visitberlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

This weekend is set to be a scorcher in Berlin – and you can make the most of this glorious sunshine at a plethora of events! This week’s line-up includes a huge number of outdoor activities, from Germany’s largest baton relay to a turn-up-and-listen operatic concert. Of course, if you’re keen to escape the heat, there are plenty of indoor options, too – including one very special exhibition with a unique insight into anime film. So, whether you’re looking to soak up the sun or hide from its rays, there’s something for you to enjoy!

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Tip 1: Watch the nation’s most talented athletes at the Special Olympics National Games

Olympiastadion Berlin
Olympiastadion Berlin © Reiher & Seidel

Over the week of the Special Olympics National Games, 4,500 German athletes will converge on Berlin, all hoping to win a sought-after spot in the country’s team for the 2023 Special Olympics, the world’s most inclusive sporting event. Spectators can marvel at athletes’ incredible talents across 20 sports from athletics to roller skating – and that’s not all. A drop-in cultural festival with music, theatre, art and more will complement the Games themselves. So, why choose between arts or sports when you can do both?

When: events at various times from Sunday 19 to Friday 24 June (festival from 18 to 24 June)
Where: festival at the Neptunbrunnen fountain, Mitte; sports events at the Olympiapark, Charlottenburg

Special Olympics - National Games

Tip 2: Watch Germany’s largest relay race

Group of people is running through the forest
Running group in the forest © Camera4

If running’s your thing, you’re in luck: this weekend sees tens of thousands of runners take to the trails of Berlin’s Tiergarten park in Germany’s largest relay race. Sponsored by the city’s Water Works, this 5 x 5 km race guarantees an electric atmosphere for everyone watching: who’ll enjoy a smooth handover, and who’ll drop the baton? If you’re itching to put your running shoes on, you might even be able to snap up a late registration – just club together with four friends to make a team, sign up online, then take to the start line!  

When: races take place at various times from 15 to 17 June
Where: enter via John-Foster-Dulles-Allee, Tiergarten

More about the relay race

Tip 3: Get your groove on at the Fête de la Musique

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

What’s your jam? From club hits to choral classics, brass bands to the bossa nova, this year’s Fête de la Musique will have you movin’ and groovin’ in no time at all. After a two-year hiatus where the festival took place online, its musicians are back in droves to get your toes tapping. No matter whether you feel like a laid-back outdoor sing-along session or some hard-as-nails rock’n’roll, the Fête de la Musique has something for everyone. Oh, and did we mention that it’s free?

When: Tuesday 21 June, from noon onwards
Where: More than 140 locations across the city

Fête de la Musique

Tip 4: Explore the architecture of anime at AKIRA – The Architecture of Neo Tokyo

Tchoban Foundation - Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg
Tchoban Foundation - Museum for Architectural Drawing © (c) visumate

For many anime lovers outside Japan, AKIRA was the first such film they ever saw. All around the world, it sparked interest in this unique cinematic style – and the city of Neo Tokyo, where the film’s action happens. Now, Berlin’s Riekeles Gallery has got its hands on all kinds of insider content from the film, from layout drawings to concept designs, many of which have never been shown outside Japan. So, whether you’re a devout anime lover or new to the genre, this is an exhibition you won’t want to miss!

When: Monday to Friday 2 pm – 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm, runs until 4 September
Where: Riekeles Gallery, Lottumstraße 15, Prenzlauer Berg

More about the Akira show

Tip 5: Get in touch with your inner poet at poesiefestival berlin

Haus für Poesie (House for Poetry) Berlin
Haus für Poesie (House for Poetry) Berlin © Foto: Tina Brüser

William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, and… you? If your inner poet is desperate to be released, poesiefestival berlin is just what you need! Put pen to paper and join in the festival’s collective chain poem, compiled using every submission put forward by festival visitors. And if you prefer enjoying other people’s poetry to writing it yourself, the festival’s extensive programme will leave you lost for words: from poetic walking meditations through to an exploration of Belarussian female poets, there’s something to satisfy every poetic whim.

When: various events happening from 17 to 23 June
Where: Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, Mitte

Poetry Festival

Tip 6: Encore, encore – the Berlin State Opera takes to the streets!

Alte Bibliothek am Bebelplatz in Berlin-Mitte
Bebelplatz © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien


Prince Calaf falls in love with the beautiful Princess Turandot… but before he can marry her, he has to solve three riddles – and if he gets an answer wrong, he’ll be immediately executed. Want to know if he ends up happily wed or loses his head? Check out the Berlin State Opera’s free, unticketed screening of Puccini’s opera on Saturday evening to find out! And on Sunday lunchtime, the opera’s finest singers and musicians will head outdoors to perform a public open-air concert showcasing some of the genre’s best-known tunes. Don’t forget to bring a fold-up chair so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

When: 6 pm on Saturday 18 for the screening of Turandot, 1 pm on Sunday 19 June for the concert
Where: Bebelplatz, Unter den Linden, Mitte


State opera for all

Tip 7: Journey back in time at The Grand Gatsby

Babylon Berlin: Ilja Tretschkow (Tim Fischer) in the Dutchman
Ilja Tretschkow (Tim Fischer) in the Dutchman © Frédéric Batier / X Filme 2017

Swanning around a beautifully designed room in a glitzy flapper-inspired outfit, sipping on a coupe of the finest champagne: the stuff dreams are made of? Well, dreams come true this weekend as Vox travels back to the Roaring Twenties for its lavish Grand Gatsby party. This ultra-luxe restaurant in the Grand Hyatt hotel is sure to pull out all the stops. Expect live twenties-inspired music, a champagne pyramid, mouth-watering food – and a chance to let your hair down in style!

When: from 6.30 pm onwards, Friday 17 June
Where: Vox Restaurant, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 2, Mitte

The Grand Gatsby

Tip 8: Celebrate 30 years of the Wintergarten theatre

Wintergarten Varieté
Wintergarten Varieté © Wintergarten Varieté

Berlin’s Wintergarten theatre is famed for its variety shows FLYING DREAMS and GOLDEN YEARS – and it’s now time to mark some golden years of its own. This weekend, the theatre celebrates its 30th birthday with an open-air festival for all to enjoy. Performers from its headline shows will strut their stuff, while comedians, magicians and jugglers ensure that even the youngest of guests (and the young at heart!) are kept well-entertained. You can even take a peek behind the curtain on a backstage tour: now that’s magic! 

When: 1 pm to 7 pm on Saturday 18 and 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday 19 June
Where: Wintergarten Varieté, Potsdamer Straße 96, Mitte

30 years Wintergarten Varieté

Tip 9: Set sail along the River Spree in a solar-powered catamaran

Katamaran Stern und Kreisschiffahrt
Katamaran © Stern und Kreisschiffahrt GmbH

You’ve done the walking tours, climbed up the Reichstag’s dome, and now it’s time to see the city from a different perspective as you cruise silently along the River Spree. Why silently? Because this luxury boat’s solar-powered engine creates a fraction of the noise (and emissions!) of regular riverboats. Get up close and personal with the art of the East Side Gallery or the stunning architecture of Museum Island, while the multi-language audioguide fills you in on everything you need to know. It’s an unmissable – and eco-friendly – experience! 

When: every day, departing at 10 am, 1 pm or 4 pm
Where: Jannowitzbrücke landing stage, Rolandufer 4, Mitte

Tickets for the Solar Katamaran

Tip 10: Peace, love & unity: see how Woodstock’s values hold true today

Neues Kranzler Eck
Kranzler-Eck © visitBerlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

When it hit the headlines in 1969, Woodstock marked a pivotal moment in the history of popular music – and photographer Elliot Landy was there to capture it from every angle. Now, 160 of his photos are being displayed in Berlin so visitors can step back in time to an age where peace & love reigned supreme. Don’t forget to immerse yourself in the sounds of the 60s at the audiovisual psychedelic show, too. And if you’ve worked up an appetite after all that time travel, catch a bite at the Woodstock Café. Now that’s groovy, man!
When: every day from 12 pm to 7 pm, until 30 June
Where:  Kranzler-Eck, Kurfürstendamm 22, Charlottenburg

Elliot Landy's Woodstock Vision

Tip 11: Beat the line and see Berlin from above

Blick auf Berlin-Mitte mit Fernsehturm
Blick auf Berlin-Mitte mit Fernsehturm © © JR Photography

Love sightseeing – but hate standing in line? We’ve got you! With Fast View Tickets, you can whizz 203 m into the sky and soak up Berlin’s skyline from the panoramic observation deck of the city’s iconic TV Tower. Marvel at the sights on the ground below, from the Olympic Stadium to Tempelhof Airport, during your 360˚ vantage point over the city. It’s a doddle to book your queue-jump ticket online– and with your skyward journey taking just 40 seconds, there’s hardly a more efficient way to see the city!
When: every day from 9 am to 11 pm in the summer months
Where: TV Tower, Alexanderplatz, Mitte

Get your tickets now

Berlin Blogger: visitBerlin Blogger can be found here: visitBerlin.de/blog

Berlin Blogger

Fans of fine dining, recreational sports nuts, dog lovers: our guest bloggers see Berlin from their own, completely different perspective. Read for yourself and see where they take us.