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September in Berlin

Berlin is happening! New concepts for festivals and major events

Dom und Fernsehturm beim Festival of Lights in Berlin
Beleuchteter Dom und Fernsehturm beim Festival of Lights © Artfully Media, Foto: Sven Chr. Schramm

Autumn in Berlin starts with a September full of festivals and events - but with a significantly lower number of participants, as well as detailed safety and hygiene concepts. We are especially looking forward to these events, concerts and exhibitions in September.

Please show responsibility, wear your masks and follow the hygiene rules of the organizers. Don't be shy, but show your love for Berlin with d i s t a n c e - in support of everyones safety.

Tip 1: 16. Festival of Lights and "Lichterfest" Berlin

Law Faculty of the Humboldt University on the Berlin Festival of Lights
Law Faculty of the Humboldt University on the Berlin Festival of Lights © visitBerlin, Foto: Sarah Lindemann

Under the motto "Together we shine" the Festival of Lights broadcasts this year's colorful projections all over Berlin's neighborhoods. Besides the usual light paths, you can also go on a neighborhood tour this year. In addition, a truck will bring the light art works to other neighborhoods daily via mobile projector. This year, you can also be there digitally for the first time.

When: September 11th - 20th
Where: Everywhere in the city

Festival of Lights & Berlin shines

Tip 2: Boros at Berghain

Eingangsbereich des Berghain Berlin, ein ehemaliges Heizkraftwerk
Berghain - die härteste Tür Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Nele Niederstadt

New concepts for the capital: From September 9, Berghain will become STUDIO BERLIN, and the collector couple Christian and Karen Boros will transform the world-famous techno club into an exhibition house. The works of 85 artists* living in Berlin will be shown, including Katharina Grosse, John Bock, Wolfgang Tillmanns, Ólafur Eliasson and Anne Imhof. Normally, media entrepreneur and collector Christian Boros presents art in his high bunker in Mitte. Until the Berghain can reopen as a club, however, art lovers instead of party guests are supposed to wait in line.

When: from September 9th
Where: Berghain, Am Wriezener Bahnhof, Friedrichshain


Tip 3: IFA Berlin

international consumer electronics exhibition in Berlin
international consumer electronics exhibition in Berlin © Messe Berlin GmbH

With a revised concept, distance and hygiene rules, IFA Berlin invites you to four physical live events on the exhibition grounds. In addition to a press conference at which the latest innovations will be presented, there will be the network event Global Markets. As part of IFA NEXT, the international tech community is invited to present innovative mobility concepts. There is also a marketplace for new products and technologies. All live events can also be experienced digitally.

When: September 3 - 5
Where: Messedamm 22, Charlottenburg


Tip 4: Happy Birthday Futurium

© Futurium

The Futurium celebrates its birthday and invites all interested parties to celebrate. The program includes discussions on the future, speed dating, an exhibition rally for children and a feedback cabaret from the best of last year's audience ratings. In addition, to celebrate the day, all guided tours are free of charge.

When: September 5 from 10 - 22 o'clock
Where: Alexanderufer 2, Mitte


Tip 5: 11. Berlin Biennale for contemporary art

9. Berlin Biennale
© visitBerlin, Foto: Peggy Gallert

Under the motto "The crack begins inside", this year's Berlin Biennial is "exploring the many cracks we carry, the fissures that keep us apart and those that bring us together". All of the invited artists also deal with this theme in an overarching sense. The creation of this common space for the exchange of artistic experiences is particularly explosive because many of the participating artists are currently in a corona lockdown.

When: September 5 - November 1
Where: Various places in Berlin

  • KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Auguststraße 69, Mitte
  • daadgalerie, Oranienstraße 161, Kreuzberg
  • Gropius Bau, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, Kreuzberg
  • ExRotaprint, Bornemannstraße 9, Wedding


Tip 6: international literature festival berlin (ilb)

ilb - Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin
© Hartwig Klappert

At the international literature festival berlin (ilb) the whole city is transformed into a reading stage. From Allegro Primary School to Futurium and Silent Green to Weinmeisterhaus, numerous venues invite you to readings, workshops and discussions. Neil Gaiman, Hilary Mantel, Isabel Allende, and Richard Ford are among the participants. It is best to reserve tickets online right away!

When: September 9th - 19th, some workshops start already on September 7th
Where: Various venues in Berlin

international literature festival berlin

Tip 7: Berlin Art Week and Art Essenz at Sony Center

Berlin Art Week: Art exhibitions in Berlin
The Berlin Art Week © Edgard Berendsen

Many partners of Berlin Art Week 2020 have moved their formats to the outside world or created digital offerings for this first major cultural event since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. For exhibition openings and also for some visits you should book a time slot online in advance this year. Look forward to open air unveilings, façade projections and cinema experiments.

When: September 9th - 13th
Where: Various venues throughout Berlin



22 artists present their works at the Art Open Air "ART ESSENZ" in the Forum of the Sony Center this year. By the way, you can also purchase them. You can find paintings, photographs, collages, sculptures and object art for every budget. The aim of the art fair Art Essenz is to create a direct and low-threshold access to contemporary art.

When: 10 - 12 September from 14 to 21
Where: Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz, Center


Tip 8: Day of the open monument

Bötzow Brauerei in Berlin
Bötzow Brauerei in the evening © Foto: Bernd Blumrich

This year, the open day of the open monument (Tag des offenen Denkmals) is under the motto Denk_Mal sustainable. Unfortunately, this year's day cannot be quite so open due to the occasion. More often than usual you have to register for the tours and visits. To be on the safe side, you should also check in advance if the respective event or tour can take place - and of course bring your everyday masks with you. But the offer is again so big that there will be something for everyone.  Additionally, you can visit many of the participating places digitally. One of them is the TXL airport.

When: September 12 - 13
Where: Everywhere in Berlin


Tip 9: ISTAF 2020

ISTAF INDOOR at Mercedes Benz-Arena Berlin
ISTAF INDOOR at Mercedes Benz-Arena Berlin © Camera4

As one of the first major sporting events where spectators are allowed to participate again despite the Corona restrictions, this year's ISTAF expects 3500 fans in the Olympic Stadium. Normally there are up to 45,000 spectators. But despite all the restrictions imposed by the detailed protection and hygiene concept, there will be numerous highlights. For example, the Swedish pole vault world record holder Armand "Mondo" Duplantis has confirmed his attendance.

When: Sunday, September 13th
Where: Olympic Stadium, Olympic Square 1, Charlottenburg


Tip 10: Musikfest Berlin

Philharmonie am Kulturforum
© visitberlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

Also at this year's Musikfest (music festival) within the Berliner Festspiele, there have been some changes due to Corona. For example, guest orchestras from other European countries that have already been announced cannot perform, and yet: there are numerous highlights on the program. Cellist Nicolas Altstaedt will play all eight solo suites by Bach, Igor Levit the 32 piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven. And together with the Digital Concert Hall of the Berliner Philharmoniker you can listen to concert recordings as well as talks and essays about the music festival.

When: until September 23
Where: different places all over Berlin


Tip 11: Human Rights Film Festival

In the cinema
In the cinema © Getty Images, Foto: David Saium/EyeEm

It is about fear, joy and hope, about justice and responsibility, about war and exploitation and about courageous people who find new perspectives. The aim of the Human Rights Film Festival is to open our eyes to human rights issues and humanitarian crises. An appeal for empathy and tolerance as a foundation stone for a better world. It also deals with climate and environmental issues. Because we all live in one world. The festival will be opened by human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

When: 30 September - 10 October
Where: on- & offline in Berlin

Human Rights Film Festival

And what else?


  • In case you didn't get a ticket for the open air concert on Bebelsplatz as part of "Staatsoper für Alle" (September 6th at 8 pm): Click here for the livestream. The ZDF will show the concert on September 13 at 10:15 a.m.
  • Those who like to look into the abyss and are not afraid of the dark sides of life and crime should not miss the exhibition on Belgian Symbolism in the Old National Gallery. Decadence and Dark Dreams can be seen from September 18.
  • On the opening weekend of the exhibition "Chaos & Renewal Berlin 1920|2020" at the Märkisches Museum, admission is free.
  • More tips and events in September can be found in our calendar of events.
Josefine Köhn-Haskins


ist in München aufgewachsen, hat dort studiert und bei der SZ volontiert. Auf der Suche nach neuen Abenteuern entdeckte sie erst New York, dann Miami und berichtete als Trendscout und Korrespondentin für verschiedene Publikationen. Ihr Zuhause fand sie dann aber in Berlin. Fasziniert von den vielen Facetten der Stadt ist sie kreuz und quer in den Kiezen unterwegs und beschäftigt sich gerne mit Zukunftsideen und Smart City Konzepten für ein innovatives Berlin.