My Top Ten Berlin Events — Movies, Museums, Masquerades

Berlin is a massive metropolis with a lot to offer, with hundreds of cultural events occurring all the time. Regardless of what time of year you make your trip to Berlin, you’re sure to enjoy...

My Top Ten Favorite Berlin Events

1. International Berlin Film Festival

Taking place annually during mid-February, the Berlin Film Festival serves as a showcase for more than 400 films. Taking place in the middle of the city at Potsdamer Platz, the Berlin Film Festival attracts 400,000 visitors annually and is one of the most popular and important film festivals—who knows what famous actors and eccentric directors you’ll see!

2. Berlin Marathon

40,000 runners loop around Berlin during the last weekend in September, showing off their speed as they compete on the ultra quick course of the Berlin Marathon. With more than one million spectators showing up to cheer on the competitors, the Berlin Marathon is a pretty spectacular sporting event; even better, it’s free to watch! ;-)

3. Festival of Lights

Berlin, like most cities, is filled with monuments and buildings of historical and cultural significance. Every October, for two weeks, its top sites are decorated with bright, colorful lights that highlight the most interesting and beautiful places to visit within the city.

4. Christopher Street Day

At the end of June, when the warm Berlin summer has finally emerged, the Christopher Street Day parade takes place. Attracting somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 people, the parade celebrates gays, lesbians, transponders, and bisexuals and attempts to eliminate discrimination.

5. Long Night Of Museums

Twice yearly, on the last Sunday of August and the last Sunday of January, the Lange Nacht der Museen a.k.a. Long Night Of Museums takes place, where nearly all the museums in Berlin are open into the early morning hours for visitors to enjoy.

A major event, the museums are always sure to be packed, but if you plan your visits carefully, you’ll be able to see many museums for one affordable price.

6. Berlin Fashion Week

During late June and early July, Berlin is flooded with fashion designers, buyers, celebrities, and models who come into town for Berlin Fashion Week. Although not nearly as chic and popular as other fashion weeks, such as those in New York and London, the Berlin Fashion Week nevertheless serves as an important and large display of the current art scene and deserves a place in my top ten list of Berlin events.

7. JazzFest Berlin

In early November, Berlin is host to JazzFest Berlin, one of the largest and most respected jazz festivals in the world. The five day long festival brings many huge names in jazz into Berlin to perform and discuss their music while visitors to the festival are treated to excellent music and a great time.

8. Original Berliner Oktoberfest

Although the world’s most famous Oktoberfest takes place in Munich, Berlin throws a much smaller celebration yearly, attracting somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 visitors all excited to sample various German and European beers. Be sure to put on your drinking cap before visiting this event! ;-)

9. Carnival Of Cultures

Although Kreuzberg has a tendency to seem out of this world year-round, in late May and early June it becomes even more wild with the Carnival of Cultures or Karneval der Kulturen. With groups from more than 70 countries parading through the district in masks, and DJs playing music to get you in the dancing mood, the Carnival of Cultures is a spectacularly fun event to watch and participate in.

10. Berlin Six-Day Race

Over 100 years ago, in 1909, the first Berliner Sechstagerennen took place, making it the first ever six-day bicycle race to take place in Europe. Since then, the race has taken place nearly every year, with breaks being taken during times of war.

The race usually takes place in late January headed into early February, and happens inside the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Prenzlauer Berg.

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