Specific Events Guide for Expats

Berlin has an endless calendar of sporting events, concerts, street parties, trade shows and festivals that celebrate everything and anything, providing cultural enjoyment for all. While some events are widely published, others requiring keeping your finger on the pulse and religiously reading the listing magazines such as Zitty and Tip.

Below is a list of major events that occur throughout the year. You can also consult the tourist office at http://www.visitberlin.de to find out more.

Timing Description
International Grüne Woche Mid Jan http://www.gruenewoche.de This week long food, agriculture and gardening fair promotes the latest products, food trends and culinary delicacies from all over the world.
Transmediale End Jan http://www.transmediale.de One of the world’s largest events for the media and digital arts. Works on video, television, computer, animation, internet and other visual media and digital technologies.
Bread & Butter Late Jan http://www.breadandbutter.com A cutting edge fashion expo for independent designers and retailers. Certain events available to the public.
Lange Nacht der Museen Late Jan http://www.lange-nacht-der-museen.de This popular event draws huge crowds. Berlin’s major museums collaborate and stay open until the wee hours of the morning. Shuttle buses move visitors between the various sites so that they can make the most of it.
Berlinale Mid Feb http://www.berlinale.de Berlin’s infamous film festival draws many of the A-listers from the world of film. For two weeks, this star studded event of film screenings and parties takes over the city. Tickets sell out, so you need to book early.
ITB Berlin Mid Mar http://www.itb-berlin.de This is the world’s largest international travel expo. Open to the public on the weekend.
MaerzMusik Late Mar http://www.maerzmusik.de A contemporary music festival offering everything from orchestral symphonies to experimental sounds for over 3 weeks.
Festtage http://www.staatsoper-berlin.org This high profile event is 10 days of gala concerts and operas with an emphasis on works by Wagner.
May Day Riots May 1 An annual event since 1987. This is not one for the faint-hearted. Politically motivated anti-capitalism street parties with violent clashes between protesters and police are the norm.
Karneval der Kulturen
Mid June http://www.karneval-berlin.de Celebrating the city’s multiculturalism, this festival embraces parties, exotic cuisine and a colourful street parade.
Fête de la Musique 21 June http://www.lafetedelamusique.com (in German) Hundreds of free concerts are held during this international music festival.
Christopher Street Day
Mid June http://www.csd-berlin.de Berlin’s version of Mardi Gras.
Classic Open Air Early July http://www.classicopenair.de (in German) A brilliant series of outdoor concerts within the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt square.
ISTAF Mid Aug http://www.istaf.de This spectacular international track and field meet brings together top athletes.
Popkomm http://www.popkomm.de This is Europe’s live music trade fair, conference and festival. Here you will find new bands and record labels.
Berlin Marathon Last Sun Sept http://www.berlin-marathon.com With over 50,000 runners, this is one of Germany’s biggest street races. Since 1977, 9 world records have been set during this event.
You Berlin End Sep http://www.you.de (in German) Officially Europe’s largest youth fair covering fashion, sport, beauty and lifestyle. Throughout the fair there are live concerts, live TV recording and casting agents on the look out.
Art Forum Berlin Start Oct http://www.art-forum-berlin.com
Tag der Deutschen Einheit 3 Oct This national holiday celebrates German reunification.
Jazzfest Berlin Start Nov http://www.jazzfest-berlin.de Since 1964 this Jazz festival has been going strong. Performances throughout the city showcasing top rated performers.
Verzaubert http://www.verzaubertfilmfest.com This festival showcases the best of homosexual cinema.
Musikfest Berlin End Nov http://www.berlinerfestspiele.de World famous orchestras and soloist come together for two weeks to perform a series of concerts.
Christmas Markets All Dec http://www.visitberlin.de Throughout Berlin there are dozens of markets selling beautiful Christmas ornaments, toys, food, mulled wine and live entertainment.
Berliner Silvesterlauf 31 Dec The traditional New Years Eve Pancake run.
Silvester 31 Dec New Years Eve. Berliners love to embrace the festivities by tossing firecrackers and launching rockets throughout the city. At Brandenburger Tor thousands gather to watch the official fireworks display.