On this summer weekend there is a lot going on in Berlin: Chancellor Angela Merkel and the federal government roll out the red carpet for you, Sanssouci in Potsdam turns into an illuminated Italian wonderworld on the Schlössernacht and there is a lot of classical music, street music, rock music and choral singing to listen to. Here are our 11 tips for the weekend in Berlin.
Tip 1: Open Days of the Federal Government
This weekend Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 14 Federal Ministries will open their doors and show you their jobs. Exciting participation actions, informative lectures and an interesting supporting programme awaits you on Saturday and Sunday in the Federal Chancellery, in the Federal Press Conference, in the Europa Experience, in the ARD Capital Studio and in the 14 Federal Ministries. Experience politics up close in Berlin.
Note: Security checks will be carried out, so take as little luggage as possible with you and don't forget your photo ID or passport!
When: 17 and 18 August, 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Federal Chancellery, Federal Press Conference, 14 Federal Ministries, Europa Experience and ARD Capital Studio
Tip 2: Potsdamer Schlössernacht (Potsdam Castle Night)
This weekend is perfect for a trip to Potsdam, because the Schlössernacht (Castle Night) is happening. The Sanssouci park landscape will be transformed into a magically illuminated world. Elaborate light installations immerse buildings, water features and the landscape in a unique atmosphere that inspires you to dream.
This year's motto of the Schlössernacht is "Una Notte Italiana" and thus everything will be revolving around Italy. In addition to live music and other performances, your physical well-being will also be well catered for. So let's go on a short holiday in Italy to Potsdam!
A little hint: if you have a Berlin Welcome Card or a BVG-Ticket for the AB area, don't forget to buy a connection ticket!
When: Friday and Saturday, 5 pm
Where: Park Sanssouci, Potsdam
Tip 3: WEST-EASTERN DIVAN ORCHESTRA on the Waldbühne
Founded in 1999, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the world-renowned top orchestra of Israeli and Palestinian musicians, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. At the same time, it opens the musical prelude to the Beethoven Year 2020 with its concert on the Waldbühne. The orchestra will be conducted by founder Daniel Barenboim and his son Michael Barenboim will shine as solo violinist. Enjoy first-class music in a very special atmosphere on the Waldbühne in Charlottenburg.
When: 17 August, 5 pm
Where: Waldbühne Berlin, Glockenturmstraße 1, Charlottenburg
Tip 4: Summer in the City
Already starting at 9 August, the ninth Summer in the City fair is taking place around Breitscheidplatz in the City West. For three weeks, the 25th anniversary of the urban partnership between Berlin and the Chinese capital Beijing will be celebrated with a colourful cultural programme. The summer festival also has a lot to offer in terms of culinary delights and handicrafts. You can visit the street fair all weekend long!
When: the whole weekend
Where: On and around Breitscheidplatz, Charlottenburg
Tip 5: East Side Music Days
At the Mercedes Platz next to the East Side Gallery everything revolves around street music: the East Side Music Days, Berlin's Street Music Festival, is finally back this weekend. More than 40 national and international music acts will heat you up on the banks of the Spree. Admission on both festival days is free you can enjoy the music with cool drinks and tasty snacks for free and outside!
When: Saturday 2 pm to 10 pm, Sunday 2 pm to 7 pm
Where: Mercedes Platz, Friedrichshain
Tip 6: Cosoa Festival
Watch out singing birds and choral music lovers: The crème de la crème of the European and Berlin choral scene will come together in the ufaFabrik this weekend to entertain you for two days with wonderful modern choral music. The family-friendly choir festival also offers play corners, workshops and delicious street food.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 3 pm
Where: ufaFabrik, Viktoriastraße 10-18, Tempelhof
Tip 7: Deep Web – last weekend
Deep Web, the monumental audiovisual light installation at Kraftwerk Berlin, is going into its final round this weekend. Take the chance again and let yourself be taken into the world of colours, light and sound by light artist Christopher Bauder and musician Robert Henke in the old industrial charm of the Kraftwerk.
When: until 23 August
Where: Kraftwerk Berlin, Köpenicker Straße 70, Kreuzberg
Tip 8: Woodstock Variety Show
Exactly 50 years ago, the legendary Woodstock Festival took place in Bethel, New York. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Wintergarten Varieté is reviving the myth. World-famous artists perform to songs by Woodstock legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker and Janis Joplin. Enjoy an unforgettable evening in the Wintergarten Varieté with the sound of Peace, Love and Happiness.
On 15 August - the day on which the Woodstock Festival began 50 years ago - the piece will celebrate its premiere. So get your tickets for this weekend shows online fast!
When: Friday 8 pm, Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 6 pm
Where: Wintergarten Varieté, Potsdamer Straße 96, Mitte
Tip 9: Brandenburger Spezialitätenmarkt (Brandenburg specialities market)
You can discover culinary specialities from Brandenburg this weekend at the Brandenburger Spezialitätenmarkt (Brandenburg specialities market) at the Domäne Dahlem. Various meat dishes, special fruits and vegetables, wild herb pestos, fresh bread, schnapps and liqueurs and other delicacies from the region, mostly in organic quality, are waiting for you here. Live music, rides with the cow-drawn carriage and riding on cold-blooded horses round off the programme. Enjoy a day in the country in the middle of Berlin!
When: Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Dahlem domain, Königin-Luise-Strasse 49, Zehlendorf
Admission: 3€ general, 1.50€ reduced, children under the age of 12 years are free of charge
Tip 10: Dido & Aeneas
On Saturday evening the only opera by Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas, will take you on a journey to mystical Carthage:
Aeneas, the hero who fled from burning Troy to North Africa, meets the beautiful Queen Dido. Despite love at first sight, the two cannot come together because Aeneas has to go to Italy to found a new empire. But since Dido cannot live without him, she sees no other way out...
Enjoy the passionate opera in English with brilliant ballet scenes by Sasha Waltz & Guests at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden on Sunday evening.
When: Sunday, 6 pm
Where: Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Unter den Linden 7, Mitte
Tip 11: Night hike in the Grunewald forest
Are you interested in an adventurous night hike through the Grunewald forest with flashlights? Then this Friday you have the opportunity to get to know the popular destination from a completely different, mysterious side. Sign up in advance and enjoy the magical atmosphere in the dark forest.
When: Friday, 9 pm
Where: Grunewald (exact meeting point will be named after registration), Charlottenburg
For even more information about what’s on, you can always check our day-by-day tips on Berlin’s biggest event calendar.