Whitsun is a perfect time for a city break in Berlin. The open air season has begun, the cafés have put their tables and chairs outside and the whole city is full of energy. But which events are particularly worthwhile, where are the best places for excursions and what concert highlights are waiting for you?
Marc Schnabel, concierge at the Hotel Bristol on Kurfürstendamm, gives you exclusive tips for your Whitsun holiday in the capital that you should definitely try out.
First things first: Who is Marc Schnabel?
Marc Schnabel (33) has been working as a concierge at the historic Hotel Bristol on Kurfürstendamm since 2011. In 2005, the son of a hotelier moved to Berlin and started his career as a hotel manager at the Hotel Palace Berlin. He quickly became fascinated by Berlin’s cultural world and in the concierge profession found an opportunity to bring the ever-changing Berlin scene closer to the hotel’s discerning guests. In doing so he gave the hotel a face, as the concierge is the multi-organiser in the heart of the lobby.
In addition to theatre tickets, transfer and sightseeing trips as well as last minute table reservations, he can arrange special experiences such as an unforgettable marriage proposal or a look behind the scenes at KaDeWe. Mr Schnabel is flourishing in his profession.
What events do you recommend to your guests at Whitsun?
The Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures), which takes place in Berlin during Whitsun, showcases the diversity of Berlin’s communities. In particular, the colourful street parade on Whitsunday is a must. The mixture of music, dance and culinary delights promises entertainment for everyone.
There are also concert highlights on the Whitsun weekend. These include Phil Collins, who is performing on Friday, 7 June at the Olympic Stadium, where we recommend the exclusive VIP lounges for an unforgettable concert experience.
On 8 and 9 June, Andreas Gabalier will be singing at the Berlin Waldbühne, one of the world’s most beautiful open-air stages, nestled in the forest of the Olympic Park. The Austrian singer will definitely get guests dancing there.
Whitsun with sunshine: Which boat tour would you recommend to your guests?
The historic bridge tour on the Spree and Landwehr Canal is particularly recommended. During the 3.5-hour guided tour, you will pass under more than 60 bridges and see the diversity of Berlin’s architecture on the 23 kilometres of waterways and also discover places that are not visited by the sightseeing buses. Food is also provided, of course.
What kinds of bike rides with stops for gourmets can you organise?
We regularly organise bike rides. Thanks to Berlin’s flat geography, it’s easy to cycle across the city and discover the highlights. Start in chic Charlottenburg with a stopover at The Dawg in BIKINI Haus for a gourmet hot dog made by star chef Björn Swanson.
Then ride to the Rausch Schokoladenhaus in Berlin Mitte and enjoy a delicious hot chocolate and a handmade tart. Finish your tour with a cool drink at the Holzmarkt in a trendy and creative setting.
If guests want to deviate from the tourist trail what advice would you give them?
The Botanical Garden boasts a diverse range of flowers and plants that is second to none. We recommend a visit all year round, but of course June is the best time when the flowers are in full bloom.
Berlin offers wonderful weekly markets: like Maybachufer, Winterfeldtplatz and Kollwitzplatz. Ask your concierge for his daily tip. Berlin’s diversity is reflected in the offers which change daily. And Berlin’s market halls also offer a plan B in case of bad weather.
Sunset in Berlin: Where is the best spot for a photo?
Together with a Sundowner cocktail, we recommend the hip Monkey Bar, where you can watch the sun slowly sink over the roofs of West Berlin while listening to good music.
In the heart of Kreuzberg you will find a great 360° viewing platform in Viktoriapark, which is very popular not only with Berliners and quickly conveys that urban feeling.
Last but not least, the Panoramapunkt Berlin and the Solar Bar near Potsdamer Platz are worthy of recommendation.