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Foreign Affairs at Haus der Berliner Festspiele at night
Haus der Berliner Festspiele © C.Hewitt

Haus der Berliner Festspiele

A vibrant location for festivals and events

A vibrant mix of festivals and culture across the arts spectrum – all year round, and all at the renowned European location of the Haus der Berliner Festspiele!


The Haus der Berliner Festspiele is an innovative location for cultural events. Here, new standards have been set in presenting inventive and original contemporary arts – from classical music to jazz, from theatre to dance, from discourse to discussion. In this dynamic laboratory for music, theatre, art and literature, the festivals and formats at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele cast a fascinating light on the future of the arts.

The most renowned annual festivals are:

  •  the MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues in spring, investigating all aspects of time in its socio-political, philosophical and artistic dimensions,
  •  the Theatertreffen in May showcasing ten invited stage productions,
  •  the Musikfest Berlin in September with 19 days of the entire spectrum of classical music,
  •  the Jazzfest festival Berlin in November with top jazz musicians from the US and Europe (and especially Berlin) and
  •  Immersion and Circus, two new program series running from July to October

And if that’s not enough, the programme for children and young people, students, teachers and the new generation of artists includes the theatre festival Theatertreffen der Jugend (May/June), the Tanztreffen der Jugend (end of september),  a young musicians platform Treffen Junge Musik-Szene and a format for young authors Treffen Junger Autoren (both in November).

Haus der Berliner Festspiele is also home to the Berliner Festspiele arts organisation. Not only does the Berliner Festspiele create and manage these festival formats, but organises special exhibitions at the Martin Gropius Bau as well – for example, on archaeology and cultural history, or modern art and photography.

Tip: The Haus der Berliner Festspiele also hosts films in the programme of the Berlinale, the city’s famous film festival. Tickets for the screenings are much in demand – and are available here.

Haus der Berliner Festspiele – History and Architecture

The building in Schaperstraße housing the Haus der Berliner Festspiele today was originally opened in 1963 as the Theater der Freien Volksbühne. The generous glass façades, clear lines and unadorned spaces exemplify post-war architecture in Germany. In its design, the large auditorium put the principle of democracy into practice by ensuring that all 999 seats offer an equally good view of events on stage.

As a ‘display window for the West’, the theatre, founded in then West Berlin, was also intended to promote a cultural exchange between West and East Germany. In retrospect, Dr. Thomas Oberender, present managing director of the Berliner Festspiele, has called the theatre at that time “the Cold War’s premium flagship store of culture”. A few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the original theatre was closed. In 2001, it was reopened as the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. Since then, it has developed and hosted festivals reflecting many different facets of the arts. Its programme plays a major role in Berlin’s cultural calendar – and shouldn’t be missed!

Limited parking is available next to the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Schaperstraße. The venue is also easy to reach on the U3 and U9 tube lines, and by bus.