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Berlin Sightseeing


Festival of Lights 6 - 15 October 2017 For ten days, the Festival of Lights transforms Berlin's landmarks including Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral and the TV Tower through light projections and video art. Visitors can check out what's on show through guided ‘Lightseeing' tours as the illuminations last daily from 7pm - midnight.

Berlin Art Week: Berlin Art Week runs from September 12 to 17 and is a must-visit for all contemporary art fans looking to familiarise themselves with the abundance of art and artists housed in the German capital. Exhibition openings, fairs, prize award ceremonies, artist films and numerous special events are hosted during the week as galleries, artists, collectors, and project spaces all unite to put Berlin's art scene under the international spotlight.

Karneval der Kulturen The Carnival of Cultures is a four-day urban festival reflecting Berlin's many faces. From street stages and world-renowned bands to lesser known artists and smaller locations, there's something for everyone and it's all free to the public. 2 to 5 June, http://www.karneval-berlin.de/en/english.175.html

Gallery Weekend (28th-30th April) With around 50 participating galleries, Gallery Weekend Berlin is an essential experience whether you're an art novice or expert. You'll find artworks normally hosted in private galleries, a diversity of architecture and plenty of insight into the many, varied contexts of art production.

Berlinale Running for ten days from the 9 - 19 February, the world famous 67th Berlin International Film Festival is spread across 20 venues, creating a cosmopolitan cultural hub that attracts artists and celebrities from all over the world. The extensive programme offers something for everyone including kids, film buffs and those looking for a one off experience. https://www.berlinale.de/

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week In Berlin, fashion week isn't about big brands, swanky parties or runway extravaganzas. Instead, experimentation and accessibility are the buzzwords as designers examine new ways of previewing their collections. 2015 hosted fashion films alongside 3D printed collections, this year keep an eye on the three biggest trade shows; Panorama Berlin, Show & Order and Seek to stay a part of the action.

Interfilm 31st International Short Film Festival: Running from 10-15th November, Berlin's 31st International Short Film Festival will screen 500 films across seven cinemas to bring the world of shorts to Berlin. Check the full festival programme for a great way to explore international cinema in bite-sized chunks in between sightseeing and other touristic activities.

Key Areas

Museum der Stille, Linienstraße 154A ‘The Museum of Stillness' presents artworks created for solitude, reflection and tranquility. The concept is based around the idea that fine art should draw viewers into contemplation. Regardless of your stance on this idea, this Mitte hideaway is the perfect time out.

Liquidrom German spa culture is a legendary thing and Kreuzberg's uber cool Liquidrom unites saunas, steam rooms, infusions, massages and thermal baths into one relaxing break from the real world. It's the latter that makes this venue particularly special as the superbly atmospheric warm salt water baths marry underwater lighting and music into pure, weightless, liquid sound. Check out the website for the rota of what will be playing and when.

Berlin Beer festival, 4-6 August. What better way to jump into Germany's iconic beer-drinking culture than with this weekend festival celebrating malt and hops in all their forms? This year there'll be 320 brewers from 86 countries presenting around 2000 different beer varieties on the 2.2 km long street beer festival. Don't panic either - maps and festival kits are on hand to guide your through all 22 of the different beer ‘regions' on offer.

Gay and Lesbian festival Europe's biggest street party takes place on July 15th and 16th this year, offering guests live music, a wide range of culinary treats, performances and exhibitions curated by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups as well as comprehensive information about LGBT culture in the world of sports, film and politics.

The Berlin Food Stories Berlin Food Tour Starting off in Kreuzberg - Berlin's über-cool, artistic heart, the BFS Berlin food tour invites you to eat like a local with some of Berlin's most iconic dishes at a variety of local foodie locations hidden away from the usual currywurst crowds.

Terroir Berlin Internationally acclaimed chefs in the likes of Esben Holmboe Bang, Ana Ros and Matt Orlando will be descending on Berlin in mid-May for the first edition of this eclectic food symposium. The internationally renowned chefs will be paired up with Berlin's finest restaurants during workshops, forums and dinners all alongside journalists and producers working to elevate Berlin's innovative and youthful food scene to the next level.

Record Store Day (22nd April) Berlin's music lovers all come together on April 22nd for Record Store Day which sees about 20 stores host in-house gigs, parties and club events. Those participating also offer limited editions of Record Store Day releases which make great collectables.

The Bauhaus Archive Numerous documents as well as photographs, design items and revolving exhibitions provide a comprehensive view of the infamous Bauhaus legacy and its importance to modern-day design. If you get stuck, audio guides and tours are on hand to help you find your way, and the gift shop is stocked full of everything you might need to turn your home into a Bauhaus original. www.bauhaus.de/en/

transmediale For the last 30 years, Berlin's transmediale festival has encouraged us to consider the aesthetic and speculative positions between art, technology and culture, inviting participants to reach an understanding of technology as being more than just the digital world. This year's anniversary exhibition kicks off on February 2nd, well worth a visit if you want to experience something out of the ordinary. https://transmediale.de/

Fairy Tales at the Tadjik Tearoom As the temperatures drop to a Baltic sub zero, head indoors to The Tadjik Tearoom on Oranienburger Tor. This Soviet gem serves teas, pierogi, blini and pelmeni housed in a stunning building steeped in history. Every Monday from 7.30pm guests are treated to a Soviet fairy tales read by professional storytellers. A real treat for cold ears.

Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt (Kulturbrauerei) Berlin in December means Christmas Markets and nowadays there are dozens to choose from. One of the most beautiful is the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in Prenzlauer Berg's Kulturbrauerei which is dedicated to the Nordic-Scandinavian countries. Visitors can warm up with Swedish glögg, buy gifts, eat the obligatory German sausage and bunker up on plenty of festive spirit.

Markthalle Neun: The culinary epicentre of Berlin's food scene, this beautiful market hall is home to Berlin's most famous butcher (Kumpel & Keule), U.S.style barbecue (Big Stuff), Italian baker (Sironi) and craft beer brewer (Heidenpeters). Check out the weekly Street Food Thursday market, or the lesser known Breakfast Market held on every third Sunday of the month.

Day Trips

Grunewald The Grunewald or ‘Green Forest' region is the largest forested area in the western part of the Berlin, making the 3,000-hectare location one of the most relaxing and beautiful places to while away the time in. Once there you'll find lakes, woodland, ponds and hills to explore, and the whole area is easily accessible with regional trains running frequently from central Berlin.

Spreewald Boasting waterways and forests as far as the eyes can see, Spreewald was announced a biosphere reserve by the UNESCO in 1991 and after a visit here it's not difficult to see why the area is utterly beautiful. Take a break from Berlin's bustle to explore this wonderful corner of Germany and the customs and cultures native to it.

Berlin Botanical Garden Hiding out in Steglitz is Berlin's very own Botanical Garden spread over 43 hectares with over 22,000 different plant species and a Grand Pavilion to rule them all. Second only to London's Kew Gardens, the Berlin Botanical Garden is actually one of the world's largest, making it one of the Berlin's best kept secrets.

Teufelsberg Teufelsberg (German for Devil's Mountain) sits atop a manmade hill in West Berlin and was purpose built by the allied forces using rubble at the end of WWII. Used as a listening post by the U.S. during the Cold War, a trip to the area is an eerie reminder of Berlin's very recent divided history.

Vabali Spa A little piece of Bali by way of Berlin is exactly as heavenly as it sounds. This massive oasis of tranquillity offers eleven saunas and steam baths, massages and all manner of other treats designed to restore your wellness and regenerate your energies, right in the middle of the city. Guests can either buy hourly packages or day passes to fully immerse themselves in this heavenly getaway - if they can stomach the ‘material free' house rule. https://www.vabali.de/online/

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