The vibrant city of Berlin is host to a great range of annual events and festivals, with everything from jazz festivals, to light shows, to film festivals. Whether you are in the city to sight-see over the weekend or on a trip for business, plan your stay right to make sure it coincides with one of these unique festivals in Berlin.
Festival of Lights
Every October, millions of visitors flock to Berlin to see the city lit by amazing illuminations. The city is majestically transformed as artistic lights are placed around landmark architecture and venues for the Festival of Lights (Berlin Leuchtet). The festival aims to tell stories and draw attention to unique, hidden and essential spots in Berlin. The Festival of Lights is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. Since 2015, the World Championship of projection mapping has been a permanent feature. Head to the Kohlhoff Tower at the Potsdamer Platz to witness some of the world's most talented video mapping artists compete against each other. Before you go, check out the two walking routes to plan your itinerary and download the illumination map. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes! You'll be walking a few kilometers.
Towards the end of autumn, the city of Berlin turns in to a hub for fans of jazz from around the world. For 44 years the Jazzfest Berlin (Berlin Jazz Festival) has been held in a variety of locations around the city. It showcases the diverse talents of international jazz musicians and ensembles. The popular Jazzfest Berlin takes place from the 31st of October to the 3rd of November. Check out the full programme.
The Berlin International Film Festival, also known as the Berlinale, has become one of the most important international film festivals, second after Cannes'. Taking place in February every year, it features over 400 films, has sold over 335,000 tickets, and welcomes nearly 20,000 professional visitors from 127 countries. Access the full programme as of January, but you'll want to book your stay at the Radisson Blu Berlin in advance as this is a very popular event.
Carnival of Cultures
The diversity of Berlin is celebrated early every year at the Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures). This 4 day urban festival shows the many faces of Berlin with its free and open programme of events. Throughout the Carnival, visitors can celebrate cultural and ethnic diversity with a range of events around Blücherplatz. There are hundreds of market stalls with tasty food, traditional craft, art and gifts, local and international bands performing, and street performers showing their skill. A highlight of this colorful festival in Berlin is a huge street parade that takes place on Pentecost Sunday in the Kreuzberg district. The parade will feature performances by music and dance groups, from children to adults, amateur to professional. Stay tuned for more details on next year's programme.
International Berlin Beer Festival
Around 2,400 different beers from around the world can be sampled at the annual Berlin Beer Festival. The popular Berlin Beer Festival takes place in the first weekend of August each year. The so called Berlin Beer Mile of the festival is otherwise known as Karl-Marx-Allee in the centre of Berlin. This world-renowned Beer Festival gathers around 350 international breweries from around 90 countries.
Lange Nachte der Museen
One of Berlin’s most famous cultural events takes place across the city later in the summer. The Lange Nacht der Museen (Long Museum Night) is an annual event, now in its 40th year. Around 75 museums open their doors to the public for this special after-hours event. Way after midnight museums will give special access to exhibitions and collections, along with tours and unique nighttime events. Stay tuned to learn what the 2020 event's theme will be!
The sophisticated Radisson Blu Hotel Berlin is within easy walking distance to Altes Museum, DDR Museums and hotspots of this festival. A shuttle bus will be on hand to help people get around the city and make it to as many museums as possible. Many exhibitions and events on the night will be in English, so it’s a great event for international visitors.
IFA - Electronic Fair
A huge range of innovative products goes on display at the annual IFA - Electronic Fair in Berlin, taking place in autumn. Visitors can browse displays from hundreds of exhibitors at this leading trade show. This event gathers more than 1'800 exhibitors and sells all the latest digital goods. Expect to see leading names in digital communications, home cinema, photo, games, televisions, household appliances and other technology innovations. Check back in to learn more about this year's edition.
Experience the buzz of festivals in Berlin and stay in the heart of all the action at the memorable Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin!
Psst! In case you needed more inspiration to travel to Berlin, check out these top photo spots by photographer Levanterman!