There is a German saying, that claims that everything is new in May ... in Berlin too, of course: look forward to culinary highlights, balmy summer evenings under the light installation of Dark Matter's Summer Lights and much more. The opening of the Forum on Museum Island has opened up a new historical area for visitors. There you will also find many gastronomic highlights. But there's also plenty on offer culturally with new exhibitions and the reopening of the Berlinische Galerie. Our top 11 new openings in May.
Tip 1: Visit the new "Forum an der Museumsinsel"
You can discover eight buildings from four centuries when you visit the newly opened Forum on Museum Island. Through the portals of the new gatehouse on Oranienburger Straße you enter this historic area, which has now been redesigned. Innovative companies and a chic hotel, including the gourmet restaurant Root, have moved into the historic, neo-baroque Telegraphenamt. The Simon Palais, which the philanthropist Ida Simon once founded as an infirmary for women and girls, now houses exclusive city flats as well as the Café Petit Bijou. The oldest surviving Freemason religious house is also part of the ensemble. Seasonal festivals, celebrations and dance evenings will also help to make this new old place a lively meeting place.
When: as of now
Where: between Monbijoustraße, Oranienburger Straße, Tucholskystraße and the River Spree
Tip 2: Experience the history of Berlin clubs - in augmented reality!
Find out why the history of Berlin's clubs is also political on this new, innovative city tour. On site, you can immerse yourself in the history of the places presented via augmented reality. Learn more about the city's rave and techno culture and what it has to do with reunification. Travel back in time to the 1970s and accompany Freddie Mercury on a visit to Chez Romy Haag in the 1970s. Founder of the club, Romy Haag was incidentally one of the most famous trans women in Germany at the time and David Bowies lover. You will visit the SchwuZ, pose with an augmented reality version of Elon Musk in front of the Berghain, go to Berlin in the 1970s with David Bowie and learn some explosive anecdotes from Berlin nightlife. The tour doesn't end in the past, but also gives an insight into current club culture.
When: from 5 May
Where: Start at the Connection Club in Berlin, Fuggerstraße 33, Schöneberg
Tip 3: Mastan - dining like in France
At Mastan you dine like in a real French bistro. Chef Yann Mastantuono grew up in Marseille and matured into a master under Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse in Paris. In Berlin, the former chef at Aux Lyonnais has now opened his own restaurant. Here he combines contemporary bistro cuisine with traditional dishes from Provence. Direct exchange with the suppliers is important to him. This is naturally reflected in the selection of dishes, which is based on the harvest at the respective seasons.
When: Tuesday to Thursday 6 - 10.30 p.m., Friday & Saturday 6 - 11 p.m.
Where: Gneisenaustraße 67, Kreuzberg
Tip 4: Meet the creative scene In the new Troya Bar
What do you actually need to be really creative? At least the night owls among you can now get inspired in the Troya bar opened by Jung von Matt - at least if the doorman lets you in. Located in the Berlin creative centre of the Hamburg-based communications agency, Troya is intended to be a place where inspiring people meet in a stimulating atmosphere. The hosts are Jonas Bailly from Jung von Matt, Anna Müller, daughter of the playwright Heiner Müller, and the actor Friedrich Lichtenstein, whom you probably know from advertising. In addition to chic interiors and high-quality cocktails, Troya offers AI art on the walls, wild nights with up-and-coming DJs and, of course, old Berlin legends, as well as talks and events all about the creative industry.
When: Wednesday & Thursday 6pm - 2am, Friday 6pm - 4am, Saturday 9pm - 4am.
Where: Brunnenstraße 10, Mitte
Tip 5: Confront Berlin's past with the new exhibition "Police Custody of a Special Kind
In the heart of Berlin lies a great mile of remembrance that attracts over two million visitors from all over the world every year: the Topography of Terror. This is precisely where the central institutions of the SS and the police were located during the darkest years of German history from 1933 to 1945. In the new exhibition "A Special Kind of Police Custody" you can see the remains of the prison where the Gestapo held thousands of arrestees, as well as photo documentaries.
When: until 12 November 2023, daily 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Where: Topography of Terror, Niederkirchnerstraße 8, Kreuzberg
Tip 6: SFERA - enjoy plant-based treats
Sfera is a tip for all those who focus on plant-based cuisine and still don't want to miss out on delicious pastries. Since the end of April, they've been serving brunch, good coffee and vegan pastries. Be sure to try the semolina porridge with elderflower butter, strawberry dust and puffed caramelised buckwheat. But also the walnut brownies and the vegan whipped cream are just incredibly delicious.
When: Thursday to Sunday 10 am - 4 pm
Where: Schudomer Straße 44, Neukölln
Tip 7: TENSOR
TENSOR is a large-scale light sculpture that will begin to glow at sunset in the courtyard of Dark Matter as part of Summer Lights 2023. For this, light artist Christopher Bauder has created a graphic cloud of light bars that float above the audience and change colour and frequency from moment to moment - sometimes hypnotisingly beautiful, sometimes frightening and oppressive. The atmospheric art experience is accompanied by a specially composed soundscape by Akiko Haruna.
When: May to Semtpeber at sunset.
Where: Dark Matter, Köpenicker Chaussee 46, Köpenick
Tip 8: Il Piccolo Pasta & Wine Bar
Strong flavours and bright colours define the menu at Il Piccolo. Here you can enjoy blue cacio e pepe pasta, risotto with red cabbage or lamb ribs coated in pistachios. Chef Matteo Finetti, who also runs the nearby Pizzeria Partenope 081, focuses on original Italian cuisine with special touches. Enjoy a wide selection of wines to go with it.
When: Monday to Friday 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 12 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Where: Gärtnerstraße 15, Friedrichshain
Tip 9: Retail garage - discover the future of retailing
Automatic age recognition at the self-checkout, transparent supply chains through RFID or purchase advice through artificial intelligence: all this is already possible and much more. The Retail Garage, which opened at the end of April in The Playce at Potsdamer Platz, shows which innovations could revolutionise retail in the future. The future at your fingertips, so to speak. The offer includes guided tours as well as workshops and events.
When: Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Where: Alte Potsdamer Straße 7, Mitte
Tip 10: KiezPizza
KiezPizza serves you classic pizzas fresh from the oven. What makes it special is the dough made from a special spelt-wheat mixture - and there are also exciting flavour variations in the toppings, such as Gorgonzala walnut-pear or mushrooms with pine nuts truffle oil and bersaola or guacomole and provola cheese. The Vegan version comes with yellow tomato sauce, colourful vegetables and pine nuts. And for dessert, order a vegan Affogato al Caramelo or a classic Tiramisu.
When: Monday to Sunday 4pm - midnight
Where: Uhlandstraße 47, Wilmersdorf
Tip 11: Chai Wala
In India, the chai wala prepares tea for guests - and is thus a symbol of hospitality and an open, friendly house. Accordingly, you can feel welcome at Mr. Chai Wala, the new hot spot for South Indian cuisine on Kantstraße. The décor is simple and cheerfully colourful. The dishes are full of fresh flavours and absolutely authentic, prepared by a young kitchen team that flew to Berlin directly from South India - and has already gained experience in 4-star hotels and restaurants back home.
When: Monday to Sunday 12 - 11 pm
Where: Kantstraße 31, Charlottenburg
Reopening: Take a day trip - to the Berlinische Galerie
The impressive building has been closed for a while, now in May you are invited to experience five exciting new exhibitions, all in the light of the brand new lighting system. See a multi-layered video film on Armenian culture and marvel at the playful series of images on the human species on planet Earth. Artists such as Pınar Öğrenci, Julius von Bismarck, Nasan Tur and Böhler & Orendt guarantee exciting art experiences.
When: from 26 May
Where: Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, Kreuzberg