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Why we look forward to 2023 in Berlin

Tips for our favourite Berlin highlights

visitBerlin, kulturellen Mitte Berlin
© visitBerlin, Foto: Mo Wüstenhagen

The past year was not easy, but despite the difficult times, many things could take place again: Festivals, concerts and shows have inspired us. In these first days of the new year, however, we don't want to look back, but share with you what we are looking forward to in 2023. There are a whole lot of highlights next year in Berlin. We have put together our personal favourites for the New Year for you here.

Watching films at the Berlinale

Berlinale - Facade of cinema  Zoopalast
The facade of Zoopalast © ©2016 Scholvien

Kristin: I'm especially looking forward to the Berlinale in the grey month of February, when the film world is back in Berlin and the city lights up. Last time it took place under difficult conditions, but now the cinemas can be fully occupied again. And it will be a guest in cinemas all over the city. Two big stars have already been announced. Kristen Stewart will be president of the international jury - the youngest ever. And Steven Spielberg will receive the Golden Bear of Honour - the homage will be dedicated to him. As every year, I will report daily on the Berlinale in our blog, about the stars, the films and a look behind the scenes of the festival.

When: 16 - 26 February
Where: everywhere in the city's cinemas

More about the Berlinale

Experiencing concerts in Berlin

Open-air concert in the Parkbühne Wuhlheide Berlin
Open-air stage Parkbühne Wuhlheide © Tourismusverein Berlin Treptow-Köpenick e.V. (www.tkt-berlin.de)

Josefine: Already at the end of January, Berlin starts the concert season with Transmediale and CTM. You'll hear a lot of adventurous and experimental music here. Music as a bridge between history and cultures, as a link for shared experiences and sensations, as a gateway to unknown spheres.

Besides all the sound adventures, contemporary classical music and many small, creative gigs, I am of course also looking forward to many of the big and well-known stars who have announced themselves for 2023. You will be thrilled in 2023 by Phillip Boa, Fury in the Slaughterhouse, Depeche Mode, Wanda, Sido, Cro, P!nk, Birdy, Herberg Grönemeyer, Helene Fischer, Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne, Céline Dion and many, many more! Even for the Lollapalooza Festival the first acts are already confirmed. We will keep you up to date!

More concerts in Berlin

Listen to the visitBerlin Podcast Berlin Unboxed

Viewpoint on the Berlin Cathedral
Viewpoint on the Berlin Cathedral © visitBerlin, Foto: Mo Wüstenhagen

Josefine: I'm looking forward to many episodes of our podcast Berlin Unboxed. In 2023, we'll take a look into the future with the head of the exhibitions at the Futurium. Listen in right now! Go on a journey through time by bike, take a look behind the scenes of the Theater des Westens and think about how and where new spatial concepts can create new spaces for new ideas in Berlin with Dimitri Hegemann, spatial researcher and founder of the legendary club Tresor.

When: anytime
Where: on Spotify, Deezer, Apple, Googe Podcast, YouTube and in our ABOUT BERLIN App

Berlin Unboxed: Der visitBerlin Podcast

Going to photography exhibitions

Visit of an art gallery
Visit of an art gallery © Getty Images, Foto: JGI/Tom Grill

Dagmar: Photos, photos, photos! Berlin 2023, that's photography. Not only that we already have great museums and exhibition houses for world-famous photographers with the C/O Berlin and the Museum für Fotografie am Zoo Berlin or with the Camera Work gallery and also in the Berlinische Galerie. For a whole month in March, international photography is celebrated at many cool locations in Berlin: at the European Month of Photography EMOP. And also in spring, the great new Swedish photo museum Fotografiska opens in the heart of the capital.

When: 2 March to 31 March 2023
Where: Museums, galleries, institutions, project spaces and photography schools in Berlin and Potsdam.

More about EMOP

Skating and competing in the Berlin Half Marathon

Berlin Marathon with inline skaters at Potsdamer Platz
Skater Marathon at Potsdamer Platz © Camera4

Catrin: What is the skate season without starting the Berlin Half Marathon? Only half the fun. That's why I'm particularly happy to be able to start the season again with many other skate enthusiasts on the first weekend in April. On 2 April, the inline skaters will start with the 21 kilometres through Berlin's city centre, followed directly by the runners, who will also be cheered on by thousands of Berliners on their sightseeing tour. To help you train, we have put together a list of the 11 most beautiful routes.

When: 2 April
Where: across Berlin

11 Skating tracks in berlin

Enjoying exciting views at Tempelhof Airport

ehemaliger Flughafen Tempelhof
© Claudius Pflug

Dagmar: Everyone knows Tempelhofer Feld! But can you see it from the top and watch the skaters? I'm looking forward to being able to climb the former airport tower from May 2023. Then you can sunbathe on the new roof terrace with the best view. And admire the new exhibition rooms in the tower! You only get that in Berlin.

When: May 2023
Where: Tower THF, Tempelhof Airport

more about Tempelhofer Feld

Driving out into the countryside and jumping into the lake

Children jumping into a lake
Children jumping into a lake © Getty Images, Foto: FatCamera

Josefine: Are you also looking forward to being able to put your coat, scarf and hat in the back of your wardrobe again? When the days start to get longer in June, all of Berlin is drawn outside. First to the parks and gardens, the beer gardens and the many beautiful places along the Panke, Spree and Landwehrkanal. And in summer it's time to cycle out into the countryside to the lake. Many of the bathing lakes in Berlin and the surrounding area can be easily reached by bike or public transport.

map of swimming lakes

Cheering on at the Special Olympics in Berlin

Olympiastadion Berlin
© Reiher & Seidel

Catrin: Finally, the Special Olympics World Games are coming to Germany. The World Summer and Winter Games alternate every four years and after more than 50 years they are finally taking place in Berlin. In 1968, Eunice Kennedy-Shriver, a sister of US President John F. Kennedy, founded the Special Olympics and today they are represented by the incredible number of 5.2 million athletes in 174 countries.
From 17 to 25 June 2023, 26 sports and two demonstration sports under the motto #ZusammenUnschlagbar will now inspire in Berlin. At the world's largest inclusive sports event, we will celebrate thousands of athletes and I am looking forward to great days full of emotions and exciting sports.

When: 7 - 25 June 2023
Where: several sports venues

More about the Special Olympics

Celebrating at Kultursommer in Berlin

Visitors celebrate at an open air festival
Open Air Festival © Getty Images, Foto: svetikd

Josefine: Discovering new places in Berlin and experiencing culture at the same time - that's something I'm particularly looking forward to in 2023. Especially because after the successful start last year, the Berlin Summer of Culture will take place again this summer. And that means 90 days of programme, music, theatre, dance, spectacle and everything, of course, for free and outside, all summer long!

More about Kultursommer

Discovering Prussian history from a new perspective

The park of Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin in springtime x
Spring at Charlottenburg Palace © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

Dagmar: In Berlin, the topic of "coming to terms with the German colonial era" is a very big one, at the latest with the opening of the Humboldt Forum. Now the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg will be showing a critical exhibition next year in Charlottenburg Palace entitled Palaces. Prussia. Colonial. Biographies and Collections in Focus which will present exciting works of art from the colonial era. From portraits of enslaved people and their touching biographies to candelabra figures and colourful glass beads: things you've never seen in this light. Exciting!

When: 4 July to 31 October 2023
Where: Charlottenburg Palace, New Wing

More about the exhibition

Getting goose bumps at the Musikfest Berlin

Kirill Petrenko conducts the Berlin Philharmonic
Kirill Petrenko conducts the Berlin Philharmonic © Foto: Monika Rittershaus

Kristin: When, after long months of digital concerts and theatre productions, the Philharmonic Orchestra was finally able to give a live concert again, it was an unimaginable moment of happiness. And so I also particularly enjoyed the Musikfest Berlin last late summer, when the really big international orchestras played. Special highlights have already been announced for 2023. Sir Simon Rattle will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra and play Mahler's 9th Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Iván Fischer will open the festival, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons will make the Philharmonie swing with Gershwin.

When: 26 August - 19 September
Where: Philharmonie

More about Musikfest Berlin

Reading (and buying) books at the international literature festival berlin

ilb - Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin
© Hartwig Klappert

Kristin: Most of the time we bookworms are alone, lost in books, immersed in our fantasy worlds, but once a year we get together for the international literature festival berlin (ilb). Then we listen to the readings together and look forward to seeing well-known and popular authors and poets live and discovering new ones. And of course we'll storm the book tables to stock up on new reading material.

When: 6 - 16 September 2023

More about lectures in berlin

Discovering new works at Berlin Art Week

Berlin Art Week: Pavillon im BAW Garten
Berlin Art Week: Pavillon im BAW Garten © visitBerlin | Josefine Köhn-Haskins

Josefine: Last year, the Uferhallen in Wedding were the starting point for exciting explorations around the Berlin Art Week. There were workshops for children, discussions, music, neighbourhood tours and much more. I'm already excited to see what the organisers come up with for 2023, when contemporary art is presented all over Berlin for five days in September. There are always new things to discover on the tours for art novices and experts alike. Open project spaces, off-spaces and an open supporting programme for all ages show: Art in Berlin is for everyone!

When: 13 to 17 September 2023
Where: everywhere in the city

More about Berlin Art Week

For even more event tips, you can click through our tips for every day throughout the year in Berlin's biggest events calendar.

Kristin: visitBerlin-Bloggerin unter visitBerlin.de/blog

Kristin

doesn't smile on fotos. But in real life she enjoys with a smile in her face Berlin's rich cultural life - the metropolis both in front of and behind the scenes. Her favourite season is the Berlinale, then she spends 10 days watching movies and writing about them in the blog.