What's On in Berlin

If expats exhaust all the activities on the usual list of things to see and do in Berlin, they will have a whole host of annual events and festivals to keep them occupied.

Regardless of whether expats enjoy culture, film, music or sport, there is sure to be something on Berlin’s calendar for every expat.

Here is a list of the main events and festivals that take place each year in Berlin.

Annual events in Berlin

Berlinale Film Festival (February)

This is Berlin’s major international film festival and takes place each year in February. It is one of the largest film festivals and most reputable movie events on the German calendar. Moviegoers can choose from up to 400 films shown at cinemas across the city.

Carnival of Cultures (June)

This annual event is a celebration of Berlin’s ethnic diversity. It is definitely one of the city’s most colourful and vivacious festivals. Here one will find thousands of representatives from over 70 different cultures who get dressed in the national costumes and take to the streets of Kreuzberg. With a number of purpose-built stages playing host to all sorts of eclectic performances, this is an event not be missed.

German-American Festival (August)

This annual event has been in existence since 1961 and serves to celebrate American culture. The festival is based on the idea of an American county fair and includes attractions such as carnival rides, American-style food and a reconstruction of a Wild West town. Visitors are even treated to a rodeo complete with bull wrestling.

Berlin Marathon (September)

Each year in September, around 30,000 runners from across the globe gather at the Schloß Charlottenburg to take part in one of the world’s most prestigious marathon events. Participants run through ten different districts of Berlin covering the 26-mile (42.2km) distance before crossing the finish line through the historic Brandenburg Gate.

Berlin Okoberfest (October)

An event that really requires no introduction, this is a celebration of beer and German drinking culture. While Berlin’s Oktoberfest, held at Zentral Festplatz am Kurt-Schumacher-Damm, can’t be compared with the main party in Munich, this is still a fun-filled event and something that expats living in Berlin should not miss.

Jazz Festival Berlin (October)

Since 1964, Jazz Fest Berlin has brought jazz musicians from across the globe to the city. The swinging concerts and great atmosphere across the city are not to be missed. This is a must-do event for all music fans in Berlin.

Christmas Markets (late November/December)

A German tradition that should not be missed by expats living in Berlin, the Christmas markets are held throughout the city and are inevitably bustling with locals and tourists, full of Christmas cheer, Glühwein, roasted chestnuts and gingerbread. Eager shoppers will find plenty of traditional decorations and Christmas paraphernalia on sale. The biggest Christmas markets in Berlin are held on Alexanderplatz, Unter den Linden and by Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.