Travelling through the city in an autonomous taxi: this is not just a vision in Berlin, but will soon be reality. On site at Berlin's research centres, you will gain insights into a wide variety of new technologies. These are already being implemented in experimental art formats, as well as in the gastronomic scene. How about a liquid nitrogen ice cream cooled to -196°C? You can experience historical moments on site during your city discovery tour using AR and VR. And with a wide variety of event formats, urban labs, tech fairs and of course the Futurium, the future can be experienced directly. Join in the discussion and let yourself be inspired.
Like all large metropolises, Berlin must face the great challenges of our time. Sustainability and climate protection will also play an increasingly important role when it comes to travel. Discover with us already established projects and visit places where impulses are set and innovative concepts are developed.
In various thematic complexes, the exhibition in Berlin's Futurium invites you to think about the future yourself. How will we live together in the cities of tomorrow? How will we get around? What will we eat? How will we define justice in the future? The latest information on the big questions of our time, such as climate change, artificial intelligence or new forms of society, is presented in an entertaining and inspiring way. The exhibition with numerous multimedia and interactive elements received the European Museum Award in 2021. "Every country should have its own Futurium," said the jury. In the Futurium Lab you can become active yourself. A trip to the future that is also suitable for families.
Other exciting places for children interested in the future and technology are the Computer Games Museum, which presents exciting interactive and innovative technologies alongside nerdy retro games. At the Science Center Spectrum of the Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum, kids assemble robots. And at the FEZ Space Club orbital, kids and teens train like real astronauts. By the way: Berlin's Technical University and some start-ups are already in orbit with numerous satellites.
Tip: Future skills for kids are taught in the workshops of the HABA Digital Workshop or the Hacker School. You can find the time and place of the next workshops on the providers' websites. Some gaming start-ups such as Wooga also offer workshops for kids and teens from time to time and show that learning for the future can be really fun. Please contact the providers directly for more information.
When art and technology come together, completely new creative possibilities arise. Pioneers in Berlin include Dark Matter, the Lighthouse of Digital Art and LAS (Light Art Space). All three offer innovative, technology-driven art experiences in which you are completely immersed in immersive worlds of light, sound and space.
If you are interested in digital art, the Julia Stoschek Foundation is the place to be. König Galerie also deals with how the art of the future will be traded digitally via Non-Fungible Token (NFT). Click here for the NFT auction Decentraland. With Open Sea, the world's first and largest NFT marketplace has been established in Berlin. The pop-up exhibition Game Over, which can be seen in a former casino at Nollendorfplatz until the end of 2021, also deals with the topics of digital art and NFTs.
Those who want to get to grips with the history and stories of Berlin will find a new level for their city exploration tour in virtual reality and augmented reality offerings. Excitingly, many innovative worlds of experience find the perfect premises in old industrial buildings, such as the Kraftwerk.
Berlin without construction sites still seems a far-off vision of the future. And yet it is precisely this constant change that allows plenty of scope for creativity and new ideas. You can get a glimpse, for example, at the Holzmarkt, the RAW site, Hangar 1 at the former Tempelhof Airport or the House of Statistics at Alexanderplatz (Otto-Braun-Straße 70). Originally, the former GDR administration building was to be demolished. Now civil society and the public sector are planning the development of the area together. Various initiatives have settled in the building itself, such as a co-art centre, an experimental cinema or a laboratory for fermentation and mushroom culture. The aim is to build alternative economies that rely on self-initiative, solidarity and community and initiate new places of encounter.
The Floating University on the site of the former Tempelhof Airport water catchment basin (Lilienthalstraße 32) regularly invites to open discussion events and the CityLAB Berlin (Platz der Luftbrücke 4, Tempelhof) offers space and support for everyone who wants to help shape a sustainable and digital city of the future with their ideas. The results are presented and exhibited publicly.
On the site of the former GDR amusement park Spreepark | Plänterwald, there is also space for joint exchange on urban practice. Under the auspices of Grün Berlin and the Berlin Club Commission, consideration is being given to how urban and social space can be developed sustainably and together, and how the environment and culture in Berlin intertwine.
Of course, not only plans are being made in Berlin. Many things are already under construction or are being implemented. One example is the Urban Tech Republic. The research and industrial park, which is being built on the site of the former Tegel Airport, meets the challenges of growing metropolises through resource-saving use of energy and materials, climate-friendly mobility, and networked and data-driven control of the infrastructure. In the planned neighbouring residential quarters, climate-neutral building and living together will be tried out right away. You can get an insight into the planning at the info point in the former canteen of the administration building.
Another exciting new urban quarter is Siemensstadt². Where Siemens first established industry in 1897, an open campus of the future is now being created. By 2030, a digital and sustainable urban quarter is to be created here in Spandau, where people will live, research and work. Various tour providers offer guided tours of the area. By the way: the neighbouring ring settlement Siemensstadt (Ringsiedlung Siemensstadt) is one of six Berlin modernist settlements to be listed as a World Heritage Site.
Flughafen Tempelhof – Highway
The future also meets the past at Tempelhof Airport. Today, the building complexes and hangars of the former airport building are used for events and exhibitions, for study and research. At the same time, new concepts of urban coexistence are being tried out. A history gallery with a 360° view is also being built on the roof. On the expanses of the field, kitesurfers meet grazing sheep, skylarks and amateur gardeners.
To ensure that this idyll remains intact in the future, numerous companies and start-ups on the EUREF Campus are working on green ideas for the urban infrastructure of the future. The countdown is already on. Big red digital letters on the Schöneberg Gasometer show how much CO2 we can still consume in order to achieve the climate goal of a maximum global warming of 1.5 degrees. You can explore the area on pre-booked group tours. Spontaneous visitors will find a selection of restaurants and cafés. Currently, the Gasometer is being redesigned. In addition to office space, rooms for presentations and events as well as a skylounge with a terrace are to be built by 2023.
FUBIC - The future innovation centre in Dahlem
On the site of the former US military hospital at Fabeckstraße 60-62 in Dahlem, a new innovation centre for Berlin's researchers and entrepreneurs will be created in the next few years: FUBIC. The driving force is, among others, the Freie Universität Berlin, which also contributed the first two letters for the name of the new tech and start-up park. Directly opposite, they see the so-called Mäusebunker, which was formerly used as the FU's animal testing laboratory. Now a listed building, the building with its dystopian-looking architecture is now to be converted.
A guided tour of the science city Adlershof (Wissenschaftsstadt Adlershof) in Berlin's Treptow-Köpenick district will give you a good impression of the innovative power of the capital. In addition to the technology park, which is the largest in Germany, you can also visit the Adlershof campus or the television studios. Take a journey through 100 years of aviation history or learn more about current sustainability issues and prototypes of the energy transition.
8000 square metres of reflective glass give the Cube on Washingtonplatz its futuristic look. With 3800 sensors, the 11-storey "smart" office building is ready for the working world of the future, in which the Internet of Things is fully integrated into everyday working life. With the right angle, spectacular images can be conjured up in front of the Cube's façade, reflecting the sun, sky and surroundings.
Directly behind the Cube, a veritable quarter of the future is being built in the form of Europacity. Some of the futuristic-looking building complexes have already been completed. Examples include the EDGE, which is considered the most intelligent and innovative office building in Europe. Other complexes feature sustainable energy concepts; 50Hertz, for example, generates its own energy with a wind farm on the roof.
Built in 1909 as a shopping arcade, the Tacheles established itself as a creative nucleus of Berlin's cultural scene after reunification. After being evicted in 2012, the complex fell into disrepair. Now new life is being brought to Berlin's famous ruin. Flats, offices and shops are planned for the arcades, along with a little bit of art, with a Berlin branch of the Fotomuseum Fotografiska. The move-in is planned for 2022.
The future is also being built and designed in Berlin's "Neue Mitte". You can already visit some of the highlights, such as the Neue Nationalgalerie or the Humboldt Forum. We have compiled a general overview for you here.
Every year, several conferences in Berlin also deal with questions and issues of the future. For example, the annual Berlin Questions addresses the questions of urban coexistence in the future and is dedicated to local solutions for global challenges.
At the annual Greentech Festival, innovative and sustainable technologies are presented and pioneers in this field are honoured. The initiator of the festival is the former Formula 1 champion Nico Rosenberg.
Berlin is also home to re:publica, Europe's largest conference on the internet and digital society. Representatives from science, media, politics and business, hackers, NGOs, bloggers, activists and creatives will discuss the future and current issues over three conference days.
The organisers of the TOA Berlin Festival are interested in knowledge exchange and cooperation in order to support both people and organisations to start safely into the future. TEDx Berlin brings visionary thinkers to the capital. Tech and digital experts meet at Hub.Berlin to network and exchange ideas. And with Gründerszene's Heureka and Startup Night, the young entrepreneurial scene also has its own conferences.
Tip: At the Long Night of the Sciences (langen Nacht der Wissenschaften) you can gain insights behind the otherwise closed doors of Berlin's universities and research centres. Next date is 2 July 2022
Everything you want to know about events in Berlin can be found in our Meeting Guide.
Sustainability and innovation belong together in Berlin. Trendsetters get their money's worth at "The Latest" (Kurfürstendamm 38). Discover product innovations and try them out right away. You should know that your "experience" with the products is evaluated for the respective manufacturers and displayed on your digital dashboard in real time, anonymously of course.
Tech enthusiasts who like to try out new things but don't want to buy right away are in good hands with Grover. The Berlin-based start-up offers gadgets such as smartphones and VR glasses for rent instead of buying.
Sustainability is a priority in the unpacked shops (Unverpackt Läden). And the Berliner Stadtreinigung has established NochMall, a department store for second-hand goods. Of course, you can also shop sustainably at Berlin's numerous flea markets.
Sustainable Fashion in Berlin
Microsoft invites you to discuss and experiment at the digital eatery (Unter den Linden 17, Mitte). Here you can have lunch and take part in free workshops or even an Xbox party. O2's BASECAMP (Mittelstraße 51, Mitte) also sees itself as a debate space for digital culture and serves coffee and small dishes on the side. At the Factory Kitchen you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and coffee and get infected by the entrepreneurial spirit of this largest German start-up campus (locations: Rheinsberger Straße 76/77, Mitte and at Lohmühlenstraße 65 at Görlitzer Park in Treptow). If you're interested in Berlin's young entrepreneurial scene, you should also stop by for a coffee at Berlin's oldest coworking space, St. Oberholz at Rosenthaler Straße 72A in Mitte.
Berlin Cuisine: Healthy, Sustainable & Innovative
Berlin's restaurant scene is not only multicultural, but also innovative. AERA bakes gluten-free sourdough bread, WoopWoop Icecream makes fresh ice cream in seconds by mixing fresh ingredients with -196°C liquid nitrogen. The FREArestaurant returns food scraps to supplier farms as valuable compost, and Café Botanico grows the fresh ingredients of its dishes in its own permaculture garden.
The ECF farm on the grounds of the Malzfabrikcombines urban farming with aquaponics and uses the fresh capital perch to fertilise the aromatic capital basil that thrives magnificently above the aquariums. Both fish and basil are available for sale directly on site, or at the local supermarket. In many EDEKA stores, you can also harvest lettuce and herbs fresh from the vertical gardening facilities of the Berlin start-up Infarm. And the startup SPRK.global has developed an algorithm by means of which surplus food can be located and redistributed and used accordingly. You can taste the delicious soups, bowls and wraps that result at the SPRK Deli in Berlin's Akazienstraße.
Anyone travelling in Berlin can easily do without a car. The city, start-ups and the Berlin Transport Authority (BVG) have jointly set up a tightly knitted mobility network that works equally well for Berliners and visitors to Berlin. The best thing to do is to download the Jelbi app onto your smartphone before your trip to Berlin. Here you will find all public transport connections paired with offers for the last mile, such as electric scooters, rental bikes, e-mopeds, car sharing, electric cars, taxis and of course the BVG shuttle service BerlKönig.
Tip: With the Berlin WelcomeCard, you not only travel for free on all public transport, but also receive discounts to numerous attractions in Berlin.
You'll be surprised how fast you can get around Berlin. Thanks to numerous initiatives, Berlin is also steadily advancing its plans for cyclists. Numerous pop-up cycle paths that were created during the Corona pandemic are now firmly established. Cycle express links from Berlin to other cities, such as Leipzig, are planned.
Together with partners from the city, research and business, Berlin's BVG has been testing the use of autonomous electric minibuses for several years. The project is called SHUTTLES&CO and is intended to complement the existing route network in the future and make local public transport more attractive.
The TU Berlin is also conducting research in the field and has already equipped the Straße des 17. Juni between Brandenburger Tor and Ernst-Reuter-Platz as a test route for autonomous driving. In 2021, the digital test track was expanded and further networked in the direction of Kurfürstendamm and the Berlin Reichstag with the corresponding sensor technology and 5G communication infrastructure.
Since 2019, the Berlin start-up Vay has been on the road in Berlin with its remote-controlled cars. From 2022, the Vay taxi service will also be launched with autonomous vehicles.