May 2017 in Berlin

Our merry month of May... Spring feelings already bring you in the mood for summer and the spring cleaning is done. The urge to go outside or on the balcony is unstoppable...

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April 2017 in Berlin

Slowly, our capital is becoming green again and the first terraces are opening. Balconies are filled with plants, the first barbecues are taking place, and Berlin shows off its most beautiful sides...

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March 2017 in Berlin

Beginning of spring, the first greens and buds are showing: Berlin is becoming colourful again and diverse cultural events make the German capital of feelings spin…

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October 2016 in Berlin

The leaves of the trees are turning; the “golden summer” has even arrived in Berlin ... time to concentrate on cultural and culinary pleasures.

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August in Berlin not comparable worldwide… by Hagen Hoppenstedt

Waldbühne in August

The Waldbühne is traditionally one of the most beautiful open-air stages in Germany - unfortunately bringing along your picnic basket with a good bottle of wine is no longer permitted in favor of the caterers - yet a concert under the stars on a warm summer night in Berlin is unforgettable. Special highlights are for example the concert of the West Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim on August 13. Special guest this year is his childhood friend pianist Martha Argerich. The young musicians of the ensemble, all outstanding artist, come from Israel, Palestine and other Arab countries.

www.waldbuehne-berlin.de 

 

Waldbühne_Barenboim2015_© Sebastian Greuner

Foto: Waldbühne_Barenboim2015_© Sebastian Greuner

  

Summer in Berlin is full of surprises …

Starting with the dance festival "Tanz im August" from 12.8. to 4.9. Berlin is again the hotspot for all dance enthusiasts: this year the festival focuses on contemporary classics and new works by international and Berlin choreographers. At various venues throughout Berlin like the Volksbühne or Haus der Berliner Festspiele you can enjoy performances at the highest level....

 

MonbijouTheater_Strandbar_cc_Bernd_Schönberger

Foto: MonbijouTheater_Strandbar_cc_Bernd_Schönberger

If you wish to dance yourself, you have to go to the Strandbar on the banks of the Spree River on the Museum Island. The beach bar offers daily changing programs like dance classes - from swing, tango, waltz and this year's trend Zouk from Brazil. When already there, it is worth visiting the Open Air Theatre Monbijou with its spectacular performance of “The Merry Wives of Windsor”.

www.monbijou-theater.de

MonbijouTheater_Amphitheater_Ausschnitt_21.Juni2016_cc_Bernd_Schönberger

Foto: MonbijouTheater_Amphitheater_Ausschnitt_21.Juni2016_cc_Bernd_Schönberger

In case of rain you might consider visiting "Clärchens Ballhaus" in Berlin Mitte. Here you can dance on the weekend accompanied by live bands. Since 1913 dancers of all levels and style can enjoy the special charm of this place.

www.ballhaus.de

 

Missed your favorite movie? - Why don’t you try cinema under the stars?

We would recommend the Freiluftkino Kreuzberg at the Kunstquartier Bethanien on Mariannenplatz. Movies like „The Theory of Everything“, “Deadpool” or „Hail, Cesar“ are shown in their original language with German or English subtitles – and as well a good spot for a flirt.

www.freiluftkino-berlin.de

You cannot do without art even in summer? Drive to the Wannsee and visit the wonderful Liebermann Villa and its current exhibition of Liebermann's artworks of beer gardens and cafes. Afterwards enjoy a piece of the delicious cake with a sparkling drink in the villa's garden while you dip your feet into the Wannsee.

Max Uth - Der Biergarten, um 1910 © SMB – Nationalgalerie, Foto: Andres Kilger

Max Uth - Der Biergarten, um 1910 © SMB – Nationalgalerie, Foto: Andres Kilger

www.liebermann-villa.de

Speaking of sparkling drinks – with its high temperatures, after dancing, watching, enjoying, running around the city - this summer we recommend the handmade sodas and smoothies of the “Fruchtmanufaktur Proviant”. The refreshing flavors such as lemon, ginger lemon and orange are addictive.

“Prost” and enjoy your August in the most individual city in the world!!

  www.proviant-smoothies.de

Berlin Highlights in July and August

In July, open-minded Berlin comes to the fore: the whole city unites under a rainbow for Christopher Street Day.

Pride Weeks (2-24 July)

Pride Weeks take place around CSD, and consist of over 200 events related to culture, politics and sport – and no shortage of parties. The LGBTI community and their straight allies are all welcome to celebrate together and make a stance for respect and equality. Here is an overview of the biggest events:

Respect GaymesRespect Gaymes (2 July)

The Respect Gaymes feature football and beach volleyball tournaments, workshops and other competitions. Highlight: the VIP football tournament with well-known figures from politics, culture and the gay and lesbian community.

http://berlin.lsvd.de/respect-gaymes-2016/

Lesbisch-schwules Stadtfest (Lesbian and Gay Festival) (16-17 July)

Europe’s biggest lesbian and gay street festival takes place in Schöneberg around Nollendorfplatz/Motzstraße, with a party mile with food kiosks, drinks and info stands.

http://www.stadtfest.berlin/de/index.html

Christopher Street Day on the Spree (21 July)

The biggest rainbow fleet between the Rhine and the Danube & the most charming way to fly the flag! Ten ships carry the LGBTI community under the motto “flirt, party, demonstrate”.

http://shop.csd-auf-der-spree.de/

Vielfalt ist GrenzenlosGay Night at the Zoo (22 July)

Singing, swinging and partying – amongst the elephants, tigers and penguins, and the 90s popstar Luci van Org and the BVG brass band provide a raucous atmosphere.

http://www.gay-night-at-the-zoo.de/index.html

Christopher Street Day Parade (23 July)

The crowning glory of the Pride Weeks, the colourful parade begins at 12.30 on Kurfürstendamm and continues around Nollendorfplatz and the Victory Column to the Brandenburg Gate. At this demonstration, which is also an enormous party, the LGBTI community rallys for equality and against every form of discrimination.

 

pink pillowAlso: As a partner of pink pillow Berlin Collection, Hotel Palace Berlin is dedicated to increasing acceptance and openness for all guests. This initiative by visitBerlin unites all participating hotels under the ideal that “All guests are free to be themselves, and we endeavour to make them feel happy and welcome.“

More information on pink pillow: http://www.visitberlin.de/de/artikel/pink-pillow-berlin-collection

Foreign AffairsForeign Affairs (5-17 July)

Over the last few months, the Antwerp theatre group BERLIN created a documentary accompanying an elderly couple in a ghost village near Chernobyl, the Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker invites us to accompany him and a symphony orchestra on a journey into being human after darkness falls, the Nature Theater of Oklahoma films a science fiction film at a number of locations in the city with a team of non-professional actors: for the Foreign Affairs Festival, several international artists have developed projects on the topic of “Uncertainty“ – for stage, for urban spaces and a night exhibition in the Haus der Festspiele.

Information, programme and tickets at:
 

PHOTO: “DRAWING LESSONS“ BY THIS YEAR’S FOCUS ARTIST OF THE FESTIVAL, WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: COPYRIGHT: WILLIAM KENTRIDGE

Botanische NachtBotanische Nacht (Botanical Night) (16 July)

Enormous exotic fruits line the pathways, striking perfumes fill the air and the perfect accompanying music surrounds you: the event organisers promise a “Caribbean summer evening“ on Saturday, 16 July from 5 pm in the Botanical Gardens. The exhibition “Schatzinseln“ (Treasure Islands) features countless plants that only grow in Cuba. After dancing to salsa, calypso or rumba, visitors can listen to popular Cuban folk music and sip on a Cuba libre.

http://www.botanische-nacht.de/

Some more Berlin highlights in July and August:

Classic Open Air (21.07.-25.07.2016)
www.classicopenair.de
 
Holi Festival of Colours (30.7.)
 
International beer festival, Karl-Marx-Allee (5. – 7. August)
www.bierfestival-berlin.de

Europe’s biggest vegan summer festival, Alexanderplatz (19.-21. August)
www.veganes-sommerfest-berlin.de

36. Long night of museums (27. August)
www.lange-nacht-der-museen.de

Pop-Kultur (former Berlin Music Week) an Orten in Neukölln (31. August – 2. September)
www.pop-kultur.berlin
 
Open House Day of the FederalGovernment in Berlin  (27.-28. August)
www.bundesregierung.de

 

Berlin Highlights in June

The football European Championships begin in June, and will dominate the city for a whole month. But friends of contemporary art and music, as well as Berliners hungry for knowledge, will also get their money’s worth. 

9th Berlin Biennale9th Berlin Biennale (4 June to 16 September) 

Since its foundation in 1998, the Berlin Biennale for contemporary art has become one of the world’s most significant events for contemporary art. It is different to other Biennales in that world-famous artists don’t just pop in for the event, but rather decide to live in Berlin for a period to allow the city to influence their work – be it images, installations, videos, films, objects, sculpture or other forms.

http://bb9.berlinbiennale.de/

FOTO Copyright: Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

Euro 2016 Public Viewing (10 June to 10 July)

There’s nothing like a summer of football to empty the streets. For the European Championship in France, pubs and beer gardens are preparing themselves for massive crowds, and for all games involving Germany and for the knockout rounds, the Fan Mile at the Brandenburg Gate – the mother of all public viewing locations – will be open.

If you prefer to be a little more comfortable while you celebrate, suffer and drink with your fellow football fans, the Hotel Palace will be showing every game live on a big screen in the Lobby Lounge. Our nod to the host comes in the form of French gin and a French finger food buffet.

Other great locations for public viewing:

Kino Babylon (with live accompaniment from the cinema organ)
 
11 Freunde EM-Quartiere with talks, parties, concerts and films
Astra Kulturhaus: www.astra-berlin.de
Lido: www.lido-berlin.de
Bi Nuu: www.binuu.de

 

Fussballfamilienfest at the Spandau Citadel
 
Public viewing in the Kulturbrauerei

 

Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften (Long Night of Science) (11 June)

The cleverest night of the year: on 11 June more than 70 research institutes once more open their doors from 5 pm to midnight, and scientists and students put on spectacular experiments, lectures and workshops, as well as familiar but unexpected insights into their subject areas. 

If you’re interested in medicine or architecture, for example, you can embark on a voyage of discovery through the city.

Programme, information and routes: http://www.langenachtderwissenschaften.de/

Foto: Wie die Limo mit Mathe besser schmeckt. © Beuth Hochschule

Fete de la musique (21. June)

“Free and across the entire city”: with this motto, the longest day of the year reverberates around 100 stages on the streets, squares and parks of Berlin. This festival is known for giving exposure to small, unknown bands. Every district is participating, and the allure of the festival is simple: just walk out the door and enjoy good music. This year, many locations will also be showing football in combination with music for the Germany v Northern Ireland game at 6 pm.

The complete programme: www.fetedelamusique.de

Foto: Fête de la Musique 2015 in Berlin: Strassenmusik, Pirates of Percussion © Alex Laljak

Two bloggers come to visit

Morning work out at Hotel Palace Berlin's very cool gym. Check out the sexy kinesis machines”: a message from the “Nomadic Boys” to their fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on 23 March, one of five posts made by the travel bloggers over the course of their stay in the Hotel Palace Berlin.

For the Greek-born Londoner Stefan Arestis (33) and the Frenchman Sebastien Chaneac (33), it has become second nature to post photos of their food, or shots from their hotel rooms or a jacuzzi on social networks – there are a lot of fans of their highly successful blog who want to hear the latest from their current trip. Their photos and posts reach almost 10,000 fans on Facebook, 35,000 followers on Twitter and 33,500 subscribers on Instagram.

The blogger’s reach

Travel bloggers measure their success from their reach on social networks. Fans keep returning to their blog for their wide variety of culinary and cultural experiences, as well as tips for going out and places to stay. With high readership numbers, they can also finance their longer trips with the blog thanks to advertisements in the form of editorial content or affiliate marketing.

These travel bloggers with a large reach are of interest to the hotels they visit for two reasons: their authentic recommendations are meaningful for their fans, and their prominent links and mentions increase online presence. For these reasons, they are often invited to stay at hotels. This online presence is becoming more and more important for hotels: after all, it’s not just digital natives who are comparing prices online or searching for reviews and tips.

Travel trends: booking online

The short digital booking paths on tourist websites such as TripAdvisor can be quickly and efficiently navigated: according to a study by the German digital association BITKOM, 34 million Germans booked their trips online in 2014. In Europe, some 60 % of travellers book online.

After their four-day stay in the Hotel Palace Berlin, including breakfast in Bon Dia, access to the Palace Spa and to the Club Lounge, the bloggers were full of praise: “This is the place to come and truly spoil yourself”, they wrote in their extensive trip report on Schöneberg, and recommended the hotel to anyone searching for a luxurious alternative.
http://nomadicboys.com/berlin-gay-area-travel-guide/

Blogging becomes a job

But how can you reach so many fans, and why do so many people read travel blogs? As well as the bloggers’ authenticity, the quality of the texts is also important. It is no coincidence that many successful bloggers have a background in PR, journalism or tourism. Online marketing also becomes relevant once a certain amount of success has been achieved.

That was the case for the “Nomadic Boys” too:  in 2014 they quit their jobs to discover Asia. The trip was a dream come true – and is one that they can now continue thanks to the rapid and unexpected success of their blog. As a lawyer and an IT specialist, they don’t have the classic blogger’s background, but their experiences and passion for travelling and other cultures are highly compelling. They also cater for a specific target group in the gay community, and the concept really appears to be taking off.

Berlin Highlights in April

Spring has sprung, and runners and bargain hunters with it: at the half-marathon and at the flea markets, everyone will be hoping to see the friendly side of the moody month of April. But for cold and wet days, Berlin also has plenty of indoor highlights to keep you entertained.

half-marathon

Berlin half-marathon
(3 April)

Over 20 kilometres through the city

The half-marathon will make its debut at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam this summer – more than enough reason for the participation of top national and international runners in the Berlin event.

http://www.berliner-halbmarathon.de/

Photo: half-marathon, © SCC EventsCamera4

 

Echo Gala (7 April)

Presentation of the German Music Awards

Album of the year, top newcomer or radio hit: the German Music Awards are presented across 20 categories to outstanding national and international artists. The 25th Echo gala of the Deutsche Phono-Akademie takes place in the Palace at the Funkturm (Messe Berlin).
This year’s nominees can be viewed here: www.echopop.de

While Echo is a regular feature on the Berlin events calendar, the Laureus World Sports Awards are taking place in Berlin for the first time on 18 April. The athletes who have been honoured since 2000 include Usain Bolt, Roger Federer, Michael Schumacher and Tiger Woods. http://www.laurens.de

International Games Week Berlin

International Games Week (19 - 24 April)

Platform for games developers, publisher and investors

This large trade fair is used by the industry visitors for networking, but there is plenty for gamers too: Last year, the “Gamefest at the Computerspielemuseum” was attended by 3.5000 gamers. More information at http://www.gamesweekberlin.de

Photo: Gameweek,© International Games Week Berlin, Ulf Büschleb

 

Achtung Berlin – new Berlin film award

Achtung Berlin – new Berlin film award (13 - 20 April)

Film festival for new German cinema from Berlin and Brandenburg

Across six cinemas, “Achtung Berlin” features 70 productions by Berlin and Brandenburg filmmakers. The competition categories are ‘feature film’, ‘documentary’, ‘medium length films’ and ‘short films’. https://achtungberlin.de

 

Velo

VeloBerlin (16 - 17 April)

Public trade fair for bicycles

‘Urban mobility’ is one of the buzz phrases of the fair, at which exhibitors present the entire spectrum of bicycles, including city bikes, single speed bikes and bikes for kids. In the general programme, visitors can learn about bike tours all over the world, e-mobility and ergonomics.
http://veloberlin.com/

Photo: Velo, © Velokonzept

 

Jetzt Berlin - Photo exhibition

Photo exhibition: “Jetzt, Berlin” (to 30 April)

Maria Sewcz delves into the rough-and-ready character of Berlin

The photographer from Schwerin tries to get to the bottom of Berlin as a city of permanent change and actively searches for places in flux. In this collection, the resulting photographs interrelate to form an essay.
http://www.hausamkleistpark.de/ 

 

janet jackson unreakable

Concert highlights

Janet Jackson, Hans Zimmer, Anastacia, a-ha

In April, some world-famous names are coming to Berlin: Norwegian synth-pop a-ha and film score composer Hans Zimmer play live in the Mercedes-Benz-Arena, as well as the multiple Grammy winner Janet Jackson (Max-Schmeling-Halle) and the soulful voice of Anastacia (Admiralspalast) all lie ahead for the enjoyment of Berlin music lovers.

Berlin Highlights in March

As Hertha BSC ride a wave of success, Berlin football fans once more have a visit from the world champions to look forward to. In addition, Berlin is getting ready to greet the arrival of springtime or party with St. Patrick.

Internationale Tourismusbörse (ITB)

The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show (Messe Berlin, 9 – 13 March)

ITB Fair

More than 10,000 exhibitors from 185 countries and all continents – and thanks to the geographical layout, the over 50,000 private visitors to the ITB will have no problems exploring new holiday destinations.

In addition, there will be 115,000 industry visitors and 23,000 participants at the ITB Berlin Convention, which has established itself as the world’s largest and most conceptually unique specialist convention in the travel industry. 

http://www.itb-berlin.de

#ITB50: „From Berlin With Love“

For the ITB’s 50th birthday, 50 Berliners who travelled to a variety of destinations around the world have collected 50 insider tips in the form of recipes, travel stories and experiences. More information and tips at http://www.itb50.com

 

St. Patricks’s Day in Berlin

National holiday of Ireland (17 March)

There are approximately 1,000 Irish people in Berlin. The national holiday of the Emerald Isle is celebrated all over the world, not only by the Irish, but by millions in every corner of the globe. There is no parade in Berlin this year, but Irish traditions will be celebrated in the form of green fancy dress, live music, Guinness and Kilkenny. You can find an overview of Irish pubs in Berlin at http://www.berlin.de/bars/irish-pubs/.    

Tip: The Irish pub in the Europa-Center isn’t just a short walk from the hotel, it is also recognised as one of the best Irish pubs in Germany. http://www.irishpubberlin.de/

St. Patrick’s Day presented in moving images:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_VWQvAmXhU

 

Spring Festival at Kurt-Schumacher-Damm

Spring has sprung in Berlin (23 March to 17 April)

Spring Festival at Kurt-Schumacher-DammFunfair rides, diverse culinary offerings and colourful marquees: for four weeks, Berliners and visitors celebrate the arrival of spring on the central fairground. Wednesdays are family days: carousels and rollercoasters are half price, and two of the Saturdays feature spectacular fireworks displays from 10 p.m. Entry is free.

http://www.visitberlin.de/en/event/04-17-2016/berlin-spring-fun-fair

Photo: Schaustellerverband Berlin e.V.

 

Germany vs England

International football friendly in the Olympic stadium (26 March)

As the official hotel partner of Hertha BSC, the Hotel Palace Berlin is closely linked to the Olympic stadium, but on 26 March, it won’t be Hertha BSC taking the field. Instead, the current world champions receive their counterparts from England for a friendly game between two of the great footballing nations.

For further information on the game and how to get tickets, visit
http://www.dfb.de/news/detail/vorverkauf-fuers-england-spiel-in-berlin-laeuft-133126/

 

Addresses for the Berlin winter

Indoors and out, with clowns and mulled wine, fairytales and sport on ice: Berlin has everything you need for the perfect winter and Christmas atmosphere. Read on to find out exactly where to find it.

Christmas magic and winter sports right outside your hotel door

Curling on the roof

Winter sports on the roof with a fantastic view of the Gedächtniskirche: at the steps of the 25hours hotel, Bikini Berlin has created a 16-metre curling rink on the roof terrace. With mulled wine and smoked game in the wood hut beside the rink, this is a dream location at the heart of the City-West, directly in front of the Hotel Palace Berlin.  https://www.bikiniberlin.de/de/events/bikini_berlin_events/die_eisstockbahn_im_bikini_berlin/

Christmas Market at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Memorial Church

Feuerzangenbowle at an open fire

The famous Christmas tree at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Memorial Church measures an impressive 25 metres and was donated by an anonymous benefactor from Lichterfelde. All around the tree, there are stalls with delicious roasted and barbequed treats, but the open fire at the Feuerzangenbowle (burnt punch) stall is a particularly delightful way to escape from the cold. http://www.barrierefreier-weihnachtsmarkt.de/

 

 

Special Christmas markets

The clear conscience Christmas market: The Green Christmas Market

12 and 13 December, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Entry: € 2 (children free)
Location: Neue Heimat, Revaler Straße 99, 12305 Berlin

Last year, Stefanie Witt developed with the idea of a vegan, vegetarian Christmas market, and so the Green Christmas Market celebrates its first birthday on 12 and 13 December in Neue Heimat in Friedrichshain. The Belgian waffles with applesauce are just as enticing as the Irish coffee, punch and mulled wine - all vegan, of course. Live jazz und swing music and workshops for kids are also on offer at this healthy event. www.greenmarketberlin.com

The Christmas market with a view: Klunkerkranich

Every weekend of Advent, free entry from midday to 4 p.m. (from 4 p.m. € 3)
Location: Kulturdachgarten Klunkerkranich, Karl-Marx-Str. 66, 12043 Berlin
Take the lift to the 5th floor, then walk up the ramps to the 6th floor.

The highest Christmas market in the city can be found at the top of the multi-storey car park on the Neukölln Arcaden. Tents and heated surfaces keep both guests and hosts warm and allow you to invest all your energy in enjoying the view. Up there on the roof is the perfect place to reflect on the year with a fruit punch or a mulled white wine, or even to look to the future. www.klunkerkranich.org

 

Pop-up Christmas market: WeihnachtsrodeoChristmas market for creative and design fans: Weihnachtsrodeo

5 and 6 December 2015, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof, Straße der Pariser Kommune 8, 10243 Berlin

The pop-up Christmas market is popping up in a new place again: over two storeys in the Postbahnhof, 150 exhibitors of art, fashion and design present their produce. After the positive response of last year, this year’s Design Christmas market will again feature small stalls with street food, announced the organiser Dennis Day. http://www.weihnachtsrodeo.de/ 

 

 

 

 

Weihnachtsmark für Aktive: HaubentaucherChristmas market for the energetic: 1st Friedrichshain Christmas Market

27 November to 20 December 2015
Thurs and Fri 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sat and Sun 12 p.m. – midnight
Location: Haubentaucher, Revaler Straße 99, 10245 Berlin (Friedrichshain)

Curling, a gingerbread bakery for kids, personalised presents made by a 3D printer: if you like being active, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth at the first Friedrichshain Christmas Market in Haubentaucher. The covered and heated pergola is the central point of the market, and offers an excellent view of everything that’s going on all around you. http://www.weihnachtsmarkt-friedrichshain.de/

 

 

For big and small:

12th Original Roncalli Christmas circus

18 December 2015 to 3 January 2016
Tempodrom - Möckernstraße 10, Kreuzberg

The circus first conquered the city 31 years ago, and now for the 12th time Roncalli is celebrating the sparkling Christmas period in Berlin. Dancing snowflakes and impressive artists take over the Tempodrom in Kreuzberg and bring their audience into a world of Christmas fairytales. http://www.semmel.de/roncalli-weihnachtscircus-20152016.html

Fairytale hut at Monbijoupark

Wintertime is fairytale time – and this year the fairytale hut at Monbijoupark is celebrating an anniversary: for ten years now, visitors both big and small are swept up in the magical world of fairytales. Two fairytales feature in the one-hour show, accompanied by mulled wine for the adults and tea for the kids. But don’t hang about! The tickets usually sell out quickly. www.maerchenhuette.de

High-speed winter fun

Winter and ice-skating: for most Berliners, they are an inseparable pairing. If you don’t fancy waiting about for the lakes to freeze over, there are plenty of opportunities to get your skates on.

At the Ice Rink at Neptunbrunnen (http://www.berlinerweihnachtszeit.de/) you can skate right in front of the Rote Rathaus (Red Town Hall) at the foot of the TV Tower.

Winter Village at Arena Berlin

At the Winter Village at Arena Berlin (http://www.arena.berlin/veranstaltungsort/winterdorf/) in Treptow, you can take part in curling in addition to skating.

 

More links: complete overview of the ice rinks in Berlin from the city portal BerlinOnline (http://www.weihnachteninberlin.de/erleben/eisbahnen/)
For tobogganing, these parks and hills invite you to take off: http://www.tip-berlin.de/kultur-und-freizeit-berlin-fuer-kinder/schlittengaudi-berlin

 

Each ending is also the start of something new:

While we are all exciting about baked apples and mulled wine, Christmas songs and ice skating, the preparations for the first Berlin highlights of 2016 are already well underway: in January, amongst other things, both the International Green Week (http://www.gruenewoche.de/) and the Berlin Fashion Week (http://www.fashion-week-berlin.com/kalender.html) are waiting for us.

Photos:
© Weihnachten-Gedächtniskirche-2012, Photo Huber
© Winterdorf-Berlin, Markus Nass

Sightseeing on wheels: A bus trip through Berlin

Berlin is a huge city and there is so much to see. If you don’t have a lot of time, a city tour is a good option, and the bus number 100 of the public transport services represents an affordable alternative to organised tours. It goes past all the major sights, but visitors should make sure that they have a guidebook at hand, since the bus driver won’t be volunteering interesting stories about the attractions. You can, of course, simply get off, have a look around, and continue the tour with the next 100.

 

The trip begins at Zoologischer Garten train station, just around the corner from the Hotel Palace. From here, the bus continues along Kurfürstendamm, past the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, affectionately called the ‘hollow tooth’ by Berliners because of its roof that was partially destroyed in WW2. Then, we head towards Tiergarten, an enormous park of 210 hectares. With birds chirping and bunnies bouncing around, it’s hard to believe that you’re in the centre of a busy and noisy city. If the weather is good, a stroll around this calm oasis is highly recommended.

“From a bridle path to a boulevard”:  You can find out more about the history of Kurfürstendamm in this previous blog post.

Next, the bus drives around the Victory Column. The top of the almost 150-year-old war memorial is adorned with the Viktoria, the Goddess of Victory – casually known in Berliner vernacular as Goldelse because of her radiant colour. If you fancy scrambling up the 285 steps in the tower, you can go pay her a visit.

A trip through history

Past the home of the Federal President, Bellevue Palace, the journey continues along the Spree to the Reichstag, with its glass dome. From there, it’s just a short step to the most important landmark in Berlin – the Brandenburg Gate.

Along the famous avenue Unter den Linden, you can see the main building of the Humboldt University, the State Opera and Bebelplatz, where the book burnings organised by the Nazis took place. The German Historical Museum and the Armoury are other interesting sights along this boulevard. The journey ends at the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz, the landmark of the former GDR. The route goes from the heart of the former West to the centre of the former East – a ride through the history of Germany’s capital city in just 30 minutes. It’s really worth the trip.

Info: Line 100 operates daily and departs every five minutes. The entire trip takes about half an hour. The ticket costs €2.70, is valid for two hours and you can get on and off at any stop.

There are plenty of bus tours with commentary in Berlin. Some offer additional entertainment, such as the Comedy Bus, which generally avoids the tourist routes and features stand-up comedians as tour guides. Or the Music Tour, which visits the locations associated with Iggy Pop and David Bowie, Die Ärzte, Nina Hagen and Seeed. If the weather is good, a boat tour is a great idea – have a look at our previous post called Discover new perspectives from the water for an overview of how to discover Berlin from the Spree.

 

Photos:
 
Reichstag: Reichstag (1) © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
Brandenburger Tor: Brandenburger Tor/Brandenburg Gate (4) © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
Fernsehturm: Fernsehturm/TV Tower © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
Goldelse: Siegessäule/Victory Column (1) © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
Berliner Dom: Berliner Dom/Berlin Cathedral (2) © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
Hohler Zahn: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche/Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
 

Berlin highlights in October

We can’t always promise a golden autumn, but one thing is for sure – this October, Berlin will once more be illuminated with a very special kind of light.

Day of German Unity

... for everyone

Fest zum Tag der deutschen Einheit (Day of German Unity, 2 - 4 October, Brandenburg Gate)

The Day of German Unity is a celebration for the whole family, with street theatre, music, comedy, choirs, folk music and a wide range of gastronomical delights. On the 25th anniversary of unification, annual events will take place all around the Brandenburg Gate.

 

Berlin leuchtet / Berlin illuminates

... for illuminating illumination, part I

Berlin illuminates (2 - 18 October, Berlin)

 

At the ‘Berlin leuchtet’ festival, light artists put the city’s buildings in the limelight using spectacular lights and projections. This year, seven tram stations will also be included in the event, which stretches from Alexanderplatz across a large part of the city, in particular the districts of Mitte-Tiergarten, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Steglitz-Zehlendorf. www.berlin-leuchtet.com

Bar Convent Berlin - Drinks trade fair

... for quiet connoisseurs

Bar Convent Berlin: Drinks trade fair (6 - 7 October, Station Berlin)

 

Since its foundation in 2007, Bar Convent Berlin has become one of the leading international trade fairs for the bar and drinks industry. Over two days, the who’s who of the German and European bar and beverage industry meet in Berlin to network, find out about new innovations, and to attend seminars.
www.barconvent.com

... for illuminating illumination, part II

Festival of Lights (9-18 October, Berlin)

For the last 10 years, the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS in October has transformed Berlin into a world of light art. International light artists use brilliant projections, 3-D video mapping and light installations to present their messages, themes and ideas.
http://festival-of-lights.de/en/

Long Night of the Families

... for wide-awake families

 Long Night of the Families (10 October, Berlin)

After-supper night walks through forests; evening tours through parks, churches and museums; workshops in university laboratories; technical and artistic workshops and cooking with nightshades: 152 diverse surprises await the night owls, young and old, at the Family Night Berlin between 5 p.m. and midnight on 10 October 2015.
www.familiennacht.de

 

Photos:

© Tag der Deutschen Einheit - "Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-1003-400, Berlin, deutsche Vereinigung, vor dem Reichstag" by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1990-1003-400 / Grimm, Peer / CC-BY-SA 3.0. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-1990-1003-400,_Berlin,_deutsche_Vereinigung,_vor_dem_Reichstag.jpg
© Berlin leuchtet - Fotoagentur Baganz
© Bar Convent Berlin 2014 - Gili Shani

Enormous diversity in a small space

Directly in front of the Hotel Palace, the Zoo, with more species and history than any other zoo in the country, is a special place for an autumnal stroll.

Zoo Berlin Elephant Gate

Two stone elephants silently greet visitors to the zoo at its entrance on Budapester Straße, and above them towers an Asian-style roof with golden ornamentation and a red-green arch. Both this Elephant Gate and the Lion Gate at the other side of the zoo on Hardenbergplatz attest to the long and exotic history of the Berlin Zoo. Not only does it have the largest number of species of any zoo in the world (some 1,500 species live here and in the adjacent aquarium), it was also the first animal park in Germany, and is therefore the oldest zoo in the country.

Hippos in the Berlin Zoo

Doch damit nicht genug: Die Zoo Berlin AG, zu der ebenfalls der größere Tierpark im Osten der Stadt gehört, zählte mit 4,4 Millionen Besuchern 2014 zu den beliebtesten Freizeit-Einrichtungen in Berlin und Brandenburg. „In der Gesamtleistung sind wir mit rund 500 Mitarbeitern der größte Zoobetrieb Europas mit dem größten Zootier-Bestand der Welt und den weltweit meisten Artenschutzprogrammen“, betont Andreas Knieriem, der Direktor für beide Zoos. Viele Berliner favorisieren den Tierpark im Osten der Stadt – die Touristen den zentral gelegenen Zoo in der City-West.

Chimpanzee, Zoo Berlin

They have the generosity of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV to thank for the great location: in 1841, he handed over a part of his city-centre pleasure grounds, Tiergarten, for the creation of the zoo. Zoologische Garten Berlin opened its doors on 1 August 1844, the ninth zoo in Europe, and quickly became a crowd-puller. Today, 17,107 animals from 1,443 species live on 35 hectares, including in Europe’s most modern bird house, where visitors can walk around with the birds in the free-flight halls. The hippo house is also an incredible spectacle: thanks to panorama windows that stretch all the way to the floor, visitors can observe the hippos even when they go for an underwater stroll. And the nocturnal animal house offers insight into the activities of nocturnal creatures by using light effects to swap day and night.Petting Zoo for kids

For families with young kids, the petting zoo and the adventure playground are definite highlights, and for older kids, there are activities that help them understand and appreciate the world of animals with quizzes and games.

 

 

 

 

Asian elephants, Zoo Berlin

The new zoo director Andreas Knieriem is planning ways to increase comfort for both visitors and animals: the carnivore house is under redevelopment until 2017, and the entry gates are being enlarged to shorten waiting times. Our tip: buy your tickets in advance online with your smartphone – this allows you to skip the queue. The zoo is open 365 days a year, and only on Christmas Eve does it close early at 14:00. Even the lions, elephants and hippos get to call it a day early once a year!

 

Berliner Zoo / Zoologischer Garten Berlin
Hardenbergplatz 8
10787 Berlin,
Deutschland
www.zoo-berlin.de

Info number: 030/ 25 40 10

Prices: Adults from € 20
Children from € 6.50, family tickets from €2 2 (1 adult, 2 children)

Opening hours:
9:00 - 18:30 (to 24 October)
9:00 – 17:00 (25 October - 31 December)

 

Fotos:
© Elefantentor Querformat Zoo Berlin Mai 2014 – Carlos Frey
© Asiatische Elefanten Zoo Berlin Juli 2015 – Steffen Freiling
© Zoo Flusspferd und Jungtier – Broeseke
© Streichelzoo Zoo Berlin September 2014 – Christian Wyrwa
© Schimpanse Zoo Berlin Juli 2015 – Steffen Freiling

Berlin highlights in September

At the beginning of the month, the heavens light up, but then we turn to sport and the digital world. Berlin in September also has something to offer for art lovers.

... for firework enthusiasts

Pyronale

Pyronale-Feuerwerkmeisterschaft (Fireworks World Championship) (4 & 5 September, Maifeld)

For the ninth time, the world’s best pyrotechnists arrive in Berlin to thrill their audience with colourful shows and imaginative effects in the skies above their heads. Before the individual freestyle section comes the compulsory section, in which the teams have one minute to make the most impressive show they can, without musical accompaniment and with a specific colour scheme – this year it is purple and green.
www.pyronale.de

 

... for futuristic networkers

IFA Funkausstellung Messe

IFA (4 – 9 September, Messe Berlin)

90 years of future: the IFA has become the global fair for the digital world – and it’s not just the wider public that marvels at the innovations. Traders, buyers and experts on entertainment electronics and electronic household devices are only too happy to come to Berlin – for them, the IFA is a marketplace, a trend barometer and a communication platform all in one.
www.ifa-berlin.de

 

 

... for the relaxed athlete

ISTAF Sport

ISTAF (6 September, Olympiastadion)

At the 74th International Stadionfest Berlin, spectators can take their seat and enjoy peak sporting performances across many different disciplines, and maybe there will even be another world record. We are guaranteed at least one highlight: the Berliner and Olympic medal-winning discus thrower Robert Harting intends to make his comeback after a year-long injury break at the ISTAF. www.istaf.de

 

... future explorers

Reisemesse

Berlin Travel Fair (19 & 20 September, Spandau Arena)

Cruises and health spas, long-distance trips and nature tourism, active holidays with the motto ‘fit & healthy’, or relaxation anywhere in Germany: for the 24th time, around 300 exhibitors fulfil the travel dreams of more than 10,000 visitors to the Berlin Travel Fair, organised by the travel agency DERPART in Spandau. Entry is free. http://www.berliner-reisemesse.de/

 

 

 

... for trendy collectors

Berlin Art Week

Berlin Art Week (5 – 20 September, several locations)

For the fourth time, Berlin Art Week collects exhibition openings, award ceremonies, panel discussions and performances, artist dialogues and tours into an exciting programme. In addition, it allows insight into private collections and into the city’s project space scene. For six days, Berlin becomes a centre for the international art world, and collectors, gallerists, art and culture lovers flock to the German capital.

 

... for endurance athletes

Berlin-Marathon

Berlin-Marathon (27 September)

 

The Berlin Marathon is always likely to feature a new world record – especially if there is a double winner and the current half-marathon world champion in the line-up. The performances of the world’s best runners aren’t the only highlight of this huge event: children’s events over 500 or 1000 metres, a mini-marathon and the events for inline skaters, wheelchair users and handbikers complete Berlin’s most sporting weekend of the year. http://www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com/

 

 

Photos:
Ⓒ Camera4/ISTAF
Ⓒ Kulturprojekte Berlin, Berlin Art Week 2014, Foto: Antje Schröder
Ⓒ SCC EVENTS/PHOTORUN

Berlin – the capital city of ‘Pop-Kultur’

Music Week as the music industry festival is no more, but, at the end of August, Pop-Kultur opens its doors, and you may be surprised by the number of artists and their original new concept.

For three days at the end of August, Berlin will be dedicated to pop when the first ever ‘Pop-Kultur’ takes place, a festival with DJ sets and lectures, discussions and concerts. More than 60 artists make up the extensive programme, including Sven Regener, singer and author, who, together with Andreas Dorau, will read from their co-written book “Ärger mit der Unsterblichkeit” (Trouble with Immortality). Also present will be the Swedish singer Neneh Cherry, who will appear with her band RocketNumberNine, and the neuroscientist Tom Fritz, who, together with the painter Norbert Bisky, will speak about the effects of techno on the human brain. And if you knew that the Hollywood actor Elijah Wood had an alter ego as a DJ, you can check him out behind the turntables with his partner Zach Cowie under the pseudonym Wooden Wisdom. Young, less well-known acts will also have the chance to perform their art to the general public over the course of the three days.

“It is very important to us to bring together the widest possibly variety of musical trends in our programme,” says Christian Morin, who, along with Martin Hossbach, curates ‘Pop-Kultur’ under the direction of Katja Lucker, “in particular in the form of world premieres or German premieres, often also in the form of collaborations”. The organisers aim to create “space for otherwise quite unlikely encounters and productive exchange”.

Melting Pot Berghain

These encounters will take place in the world famous Berlin club Berghain and in its surrounding buildings, such as the Schlackehalle or the Panorama Bar. Over the course of the three days of the event, guests can choose individual modules depending on which events they would like to see. The tickets for these blocks cost between 5 and 25 Euro and allow everyone to create their own individual festival schedule.

With Pop-Kultur, which is expecting up to 10,000 guests, the organisers want to distance themselves from Music Week, which took place in Berlin from 2010 to 2014. “More art, fewer canapés", clarifies Katja Lucker, and thereby underlines the spectator-orientated nature of the festival, at which there will even be a newcomer programme with workshops with music industry professionals.

This new format is a new beginning and an experiment – but one that all participants are excited about. “We want to be a laboratory and to come up with, discuss and realise new ideas,” says Katja Lucker. “We don’t know what the result will be – but that is part of what makes the experiment so exciting.”

Info: Pop-Kultur takes place from 26.8.2015. – 28.8.2015. Further information and tickets at www.pop-kultur.berlin.

Photos:
(c) Frederik Schulz - Popkultur Berghain
 

Berlin Highlights in August

Who says nothing happens in the summer? Even during the holidays, there is something happening in Berlin for just about everyone. Our highlights are musical, convivial, cultural and political.

... for curious fans of classical music

MICE; Meeting Place Berlin, Hotel Palace Berlin

Young Euro Classics in the Konzerthaus (6 – 22 August)

The Berliner Morgenpost calls it “Bayreuth for a young generation” – a reference to the legendary Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. In its 15th year, the “Young Euro Classic” is a summer festival for young orchestras in the splendid surroundings of the Konzerthaus in Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most important platforms for young classical musicians. Top young orchestras from all over the world perform a striking selection of pieces for the sophisticated Berlin audience.

www.young-euro-classic.de

 

... for convivial bon vivants

Classic Open Air, Gendarmenmarkt, Musik

Beer festival on Karl-Marx-Allee (7 – 9 August)

Oktoberfest in Munich may be bigger, but tradition dictates that the longest beer garden in the world can be found on Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin for a weekend in August. For 2.2 kilometres along the street, around 340 breweries from 87 countries present more than 2,400 beer specialities. The hoppy enjoyment is accompanied by live music on a number of stages.

www.bierfestival-berlin.de

 

 

... for innovative music lovers

You, Messe, Berlin

"Pop-Kultur" Festival in Berghain - formerly Berlin Music Week (26 – 28 August)

Many Berlin tourists (as well as Berliners) dream of partying in the legendary Berghain, which is still one of the best clubs in the world. At this music festival in August, instead of bouncers, entry tickets will be freely available to buy for around 60 exceptional musical acts on six stages in the former heating plant in Friedrichshain.

www.pop-kultur.berlin

 

... for cultural night owls

Open Air Gallery, Berlin, Kunst, Oberbaumbruecke

Long Night of Museums (29 August)

There are around 150 museums in Berlin, which, ranging from fine art to highly unusual collections, offer a unique cultural and scientific spectrum for the general public. Once a year, a civilised trip to the museum becomes a happening, as the “Long Night of Museums” (founded in 1997 in Berlin) features unusual tours, performances and presentations in around 80 locations. Tickets are valid until 2 a.m. for all participating museums and for the bus lines that connect them.

www.lange-nacht-der-museen.de

 

 

 

 

 

... political ramblers

Classic Open Air, Gendarmenmarkt, Musik

Open Day at the Federal Government (29 / 30 August)

Berlin has been the capital city of reunited Germany since 1999. At the traditional “Open Day at the Federal Government” (actually two days), the relatively new government buildings can been seen from the inside, and the Chancellery, the Federal Ministers and the Federal Press Office invite you to take a look at where, how and on what the Federal Government is working. In addition to fascinating behind-the-scenes guided tours, this year also features a large programme of additional events to celebrate 25 years of German unity on 3 October.

www.bundesregierung.de

Photos:
(c) Kai Bienert - Young Euro Classic
(c) Frank-Peter Buerger - Bierfestival
(c) Frederik Schulz - Popkultur Berghain
(c) Promo - Lange Nacht der Museen
(c) Bilan - Bundesregierung
 

Discover new perspectives from the water

Despite not being on the sea, Berlin still has a lot of contact with water: 7% of the surface of the city is water; the banks and shorelines of all the rivers, lakes, and canals extend for over 600 kilometres; and the navigable waterway network branches in all directions for more than 180 kilometres. It therefore makes sense to explore the city from the water. There’s nothing like being on one of the 130 passenger ships of the “Weiße Flotte” (White Fleet), which set sail from around 50 Berlin piers and cruise along 30 routes on the Spree, Havel, and Dahme rivers, as well as on Berlin’s canals. 

 

The classic sightseeing introductory tour is the one-hour Historical City Tour on the Spree. Sitting comfortably on deck with a cool drink, the passengers pass the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (known locally as the ‘pregnant oyster’), the government district and the chancellery, Hauptbahnhof (completed in 2006 for the football World Cup at a cost of €1.2 billion) and the Berliner Dom, which was built from 1893 to 1905 in the style of the Italian High Renaissance. As life on Friedrichstraße pulsates, the tourists on board head for Museumsinsel and Nikolaiviertel – a district of somewhat different high-rise apartments. Almost completely destroyed in World War II, it was reconstructed in the 1980s for the 750th anniversary of Berlin’s foundation – mostly as tower blocks, but the facades of the new buildings were based on those of the old, destroyed ones.

Too short to really be able to enjoy sightseeing from the water? Then maybe the three-hour Spree cruise is the one for you. The ship sails from the government district and historical centre to the East Side Gallery in the east, to where remains of the Berlin Wall still stand, and to Schloss Bellevue in the west, home of the President of Germany.     

The short trips begin from the piers at Friedrichstraße, Nikolaiviertel, chancellery or Alte Börse, and also end there. Price: from 10 Euro. The longer Spree cruises begin (depending on the shipping company) at the Schlossbrücke in Charlottenburg, at Jannowitzbrücke or at Treptow harbour, amongst others, and cost around €20.

 

Passengers cruise under more than 60 of the 1,000 bridges in Berlin during the Bridge Tour, a 23-kilometre cruise along the Spree and Landwehr Canal. On this three- to four-hour trip (times vary depending on the company) passengers can take in modern Berlin architecture as well as the venerable old Berliner Dom. And while some passengers on deck will have to watch their heads on the low bridges on the 12-kilometre stretch of the Landwehr Canal, they will cruise by the Research Institute for Shipbuilding and Hydraulics, founded in 1901 and with enormous pink pipes on the exterior; the Bendlerblock, the current seat of the Ministry of Defence; the Neue Nationalgalerie; the State Library and the Technology Museum – easily identifiable thanks to the ‘Raisin Bomber’ suspended over the building. Doesn’t sound romantic enough? Then ‘cast off’ on the evening bridge tour instead.

The bridge tour is a round trip and can be started and ended at a number of piers. It goes clockwise through Berlin. Price: around 20 Euro. 

 

If pure relaxation is your priority, the two-hour Seven Lakes Round Tour is highly recommended. From the pier at Wannsee, you cruise around the large and small Wannsee lakes, Pohlsee, Stölpchensee, Griebnitzsee and Glienicker Lake to Jungfernsee, then back to Wannsee via the Havel. There are villa colonies on the route, and you can see the former villas of the painter Max Liebermann on the western shore of Wannsee, the publisher Carl Langenscheidt, the manufacturer Herz or the banker Arons, as well as the location of the Wannsee Conference of 20 January 1942. While cruising in Griebnitzsee, passengers see Babelsberg Castle, once the summer residence of Kaiser Wilhelm I and a Unesco World Heritage Site, as well as the former residences of Ufa movie stars like Heinz Rühmann, Anni Ondra or Lilian Harvey in New Babelsberg. And before reaching Jungfernsee, the boat goes under the Glienicke Bridge, where agents used to switch sides during the Cold War.      

The tour starts and ends at the Wannsee pier and costs around €10.

 

A variety of tours are offered by (selection):

 

Stern und Kreisschiffahrt 

www.sternundkreis.de

Reederei Riedel  

www.reederei-riedel.de

Reederei Bruno Winkler

www.reedereiwinkler.de

Berliner Wassertaxi-Stadtrundfahrten

www.berliner-wassertaxi.de

Berliner Wassersport und Service GmbH

www.bwsg-berlin.de

Reederei Grimm & Lindecke

www.spreehavelschiffahrt.de

 

In total, there are around 50 piers for passenger ships in Berlin.

Examples of piers in the city centre are:

Alte Börse, S-Bahn station Hackescher Markt

Treptow harbour, Puschkinallee, S-Bahn station Treptower Park

Wannsee station, Königstraße, S-Bahn and regional train station Wannsee

Märkisches Ufer / Jannowitzbrücke, S- and U-Bahn station Jannowitzbrücke  

The same but different

The Alte Nationalgalerie has collected the opposing concepts of impressionism and expressionism into one excellent exhibition that even illustrates that they have more in common than you’d think.

Imex, Kunst, Alte Nationalgalerie, Ausstellung

The ‘Bather’ (1903) by Auguste Renoir sits naked on a white sheet. She is holding her long brown hair out of her face, but her eyes are directed shyly downwards. Soft, tender, fluid – this is how the French impressionist painted her body.

Beside it hangs its counterpart by the German expressionist Max Pechstein: his ‘Sitting Girl’ (1910) looks directly, almost provocatively, at the observer. Thick black contours frame her glowing yellow body, which was literally “thrown onto the canvas”, as the artist himself said. Impressionists (such as Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Claude Monet) painted their impressions; expressionists (like Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Marc and Emil Nolde) were primarily concerned with subjectively expressing something with their images. Remembering this will help visitors on their way through the “Impressionism – Expressionism” exhibition.

Role models and blossoming life

IMEX, Alte Nationalgalerie

The show, with its 60 works, is not merely a contrast of the directions taken by both styles, which intersect both temporally and spatially. Both have more in common than you’d think: they are both currents of the societal upheaval from 1870 to 1914 that began in Europe’s largest cities. In France, the impressionists first painted the blossoming Parisian life: cafés with their small concerts, bars and vaudevilles with their seductive dancers. The expressionists in Germany were fascinated with the new role models of man and woman, as well as the temptations of the pulsating Berlin nightlife. However, impressionists, just like expressionists, were strongly drawn to nature and the representation of private moments.

An awakening into modernity

The aim of the exhibition is to present these similarities and differences side by side, explain Udo Kittelmann, director of the Nationalgalerie, and Philipp Demant, manager of the Alte Nationalgalerie. Both groups of artists worked with outdoor painting, were focused on their immediate living environment and saw themselves as an awakening into modernity. It’s not by chance that it’s the Alte Nationalgalerie that is displaying both styles: in 1896, as the first German museum, it acquired work by impressionists, and later added expressionist works. Items loaned from all over Europe unite these pieces into an absolutely unmissable exhibition. Our tip: factor in a waiting time of one hour at the weekend. If you buy VIP tickets online, you can skip the queue. And if you treat yourself to the audio guide, you can ramble around the rooms on the second floor with the gentle tones of the actress Natalia Wörner telling you everything you need to know.

Both styles sadly came to an abrupt end in 1914. “When World War I broke out and tore the veil from the face of humanity, the carefree, the ephemeral and the apolitical could no longer be the answer”, said the exhibition organisers. Impressionism and Expressionism – they had become outdated.

Impressionism – Expressionism (ImEx)

Imex, Kunst

 

until 20 September 2015

 

www.imexinberlin.de

 

Alte Nationalgalerie, Museumsinsel,
Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin-Mitte

 

Opening hours:
Tue, Wed, Sun: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thurs – Sat: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Entry: €12, reduced €6

 

VIP ticket: €30, available at www.imexinberlin.de

Photos:

ImEX Wortbildmarke, Logo: © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie

ImEx Presse Installation4: Installationsansicht Alte Nationalgalerie - © David von Becker

ImEx Presse Anzeigenmotiv 2 - Montage: Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Badende mit blondem, offenem Haar, um 1903, Detail
© Belvedere, Wien - Max Pechstein: Sitzendes Mädchen (Moritzburg), 1910, Detail
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie
© 2015 Pechstein Hamburg/Tökendorf. Foto: bpk / Roman März

Berlin Highlights in July

“Priority: before the summer holidays!“ seems to be what the July event organisers are thinking: there is something for every Berliner in the first couple of weeks of the month.

... for organisers and attendees of meetings

MICE; Meeting Place Berlin, Hotel Palace Berlin

Meeting Place Berlin (2 – 6 July)

Berlin is becoming more and more interesting as a host city for congresses and events, and since 2005, Meeting Place Berlin has helped encourage this positive development. Here, up to 50 congress industry providers from the capital present their services and exchange information with national and international event organisers. As a host location for events up to 1,000 people or as accommodation for visitors to external events, the Hotel Palace is also present as an exhibitor:

https://www.meeting-place-berlin.de/

 

In our post "Of MICE and men" you can read more about Berlin as a congress metropolis and the Hotel Palace as an event location.

... for fans of classical music

Classic Open Air, Gendarmenmarkt, Musik

Classic Open Air Festival (2 – 6 July)

‘Highlights of Classical, Film and Pop Music ‘, ‘An Italian Summer Night’ or ‘Magical Romantic in Light and Fire’: the Classic Open Air Festival is back again with diverse concerts in the unique surroundings of the Gendarmenmarkt. At ‘Cicero sings Sinatra’ on 6 July, spectators can look forward to a musical homage to one of the greatest entertainers in the world.

http://www.classicopenair.de/

 

 

... for adolescents

You, Messe, Berlin

Jugendmesse YOU (3 – 5 July)

The “leading trade fair for youth culture” is a Berlin institution. It is both informative and entertaining, and attracts young people year after year. In the ‘Education.Career.Future’ segment, employees of the Employment Agency, HR associates and apprentices offer insights and tips. In the “music.sports.lifestyle” section, there are many events, including championships in water sports and street dance.

http://www.you.de/YOUBerlin/

 

... for rambling art lovers

Open Air Gallery, Berlin, Kunst, Oberbaumbruecke

Open Air Gallery (5 July)

It is one of the most famous and spectacular of the 50-odd Berlin Spree bridges and once a year it is particularly inviting for rambling art lovers: Oberbaumbrücke doesn’t just connect Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, it also facilitates exchange between artists of different disciplines, such as painting, sculpture and photography, as well as those who view their works. The 13th OpenAirGallery was conceived and organised by Stadtteilausschuss Kreuzberg e.V, and entrance is free.

http://www.openairgallery.de/

 

... for the fashion conscious

Fashion Week, Mode, Berlin

Berlin Fashion Week (7 – 11 July)

Fashion, fashion, fashion: the Berlin Fashion Week has also long since become a Berlin institution. For five days and nights, the city becomes an international stage for fashion und lifestyle. With over 200,000 professional visitors and around 200 events (of which around 100 are fashion shows), countless trade show platforms, receptions and showrooms, Berlin has established itself among the top 5 fashion locations in the world.

http://www.fashion-week-berlin.com/

Further information on the Berlin Fashion Week and Berlin as a fashion location can be found at: http://www.berlin.de/projektzukunft/kreativwirtschaft/mode/

Photos:
(c) DAVIDS 2 - Classic Open Air 2014 am gendarmenmarkt

Legs, bums and tums – without equipment

Have you heard that fastest way to get fit is in the gym using their equipment? Nope! Your own body is just as effective at getting you into shape.

When the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising, it’s not easy to force yourself into the gym. Who would prefer to sweat inside in the dark with all the muscleheads when there are so many reasons to stay outside? Thankfully there are plenty of effective exercises without equipment to help you keep fit or to get rid of the last couple of pounds of winter excesses. They are perfect for working out at home or in the fresh air, and travellers who don’t want to miss out on their fitness regime while on the road can easily do them in their hotel room.

As well as endurance sport, balanced strength training is also important. It’s the only way for motivated athletes to achieve a toned, healthy body – and it’s well known that muscles burn more calories.

90 degrees, arched back: the right way to do press-ups

The press-up is the mother of all exercises: it strengthens the entire body. Done correctly, press-ups are a workout for the shoulders, arms, back, abdominal muscles as well as the leg muscles and glutes. To ensure that you’re doing it correctly, don’t allow your back to hollow, and don’t raise your bum too high – instead, your body should be straight and your arms should be bent to 90 degrees. Beginners may prefer to keep their knees on the ground, while superfit athletes could try a one-hand press-up. But hang on a minute! You’re not finished if you managed two press-ups. You should aim for three sessions of 15 press-ups – and don’t be afraid to drop to your knees if it’s proving to be too difficult.

There are other classic exercises for training without equipment, such as squats for legs and bum, as well as sit-ups or planks for stomach muscles. There are also more difficult versions of these exercises, such as the squat on one leg or the side plank. These variants ensure that the exercise regime always remains challenging.

Safety first

With all exercises, it’s important to ensure that they are done correctly to avoid injuries or long-term joint damage. Before beginning training, it’s a good idea to look at a few videos online and to check your form in the mirror. It’s also important to avoid doing too much too soon – just because there is no equipment involved doesn’t mean that the exercise is easier. The back exercise begins on all fours, then bring opposite elbows and knees diagonally together underneath your body. It seems really easy, but after 30 repetitions – on both sides – you’ll notice that your muscles are doing some work.

There are also apps that can provide you with a variety of training sessions, including a video – and also allow you to document your progress. Variations on the press-up are also an important part of the session, such as the burpee, in which the ‘mother of all exercises’ is combined with a jump.

We’ve saved the most important thing for last: don’t forget to stretch, relax and reward yourself – for example, with a visit to the sauna or a massage at the Palace SPA. It relaxes the muscles and the next training session will be a little easier as a consequence.

Info:

As well as countless videos on YouTube, the sport magazine Fit for Fun (http://www.fitforfun.de/videos) and the lifestyle magazine Jolie (http://www.jolie.de/bildergalerien/fitness-videos-2249853.html) provide instructions for workouts at home.

Fitness apps such as Freeletics, the 7-minute-workout or RückenDoc allow you to load exercises and training schedules onto your phone. Many apps offer a limited free version, which is usually suitable for beginners.

Rising from the ruins

After a break of one year, the Berlinische Galerie is celebrating its reopening with an accomplished exhibition: “Radically modern – Urban planning and construction in 1960s Berlin”. 1960s-style buildings still characterise the city, and thankfully many bizarre designs never left the drawing board.

Engelbert Kremser,  Europa-Center, Fotomontage, 1969,  © Engelbert Kremser/Berlinische Galerie, Repro: Markus Hawlik

In the draft by Engelbert Kremser (1969), the Europa-Center on Breitscheidplatz extends upwards like an organic growth. It is reminiscent of a Hundertwasser building – but without the bright colours. It looks more like a gloomy bastion from ‘Lord of the Rings’, towering threateningly into the sky. Happily, this design never saw the light of day: the ‘mound-building’ would have wreaked havoc on the layout of the square. 

 

The 1960s were a relatively short period in architecture, but for Berlin, they were exceptionally formative: no other era combines so many impressive monuments and so many hideous architectural travesties. The exhibition “Radically modern – Urban planning and construction in 1960s Berlin” is therefore an excellent way to open Berlin up to tourists, and also offers a great opportunity to make sense of a period in which the understanding of architecture was so diametrically opposed to our current thinking. These days, we prefer to move into beautifully renovated pre-war buildings, and Berlin is currently meticulously rebuilding an old Prussian castle. In the 1960s, however, tall buildings shot up into the air as architects turned radically away from the past and focussed on the future – interestingly, despite the Cold War and the desires it brought to forge clear and separate identities, to a similar extent both in East and West Berlin. The scars of World War II were covered everywhere with radical new buildings and completely redesigned squares: the GDR State Council building and the GDR Foreign Ministry, Alexanderplatz with the TV tower, which was almost constructed without its distinctive sphere; and on the other side of the wall, the Kulturforum with the New National Gallery and the new Breitscheidplatz.

Museum-Berlin_Radikal-Modern, Heinz-Lieber, Panorama-Alexanderplatz

Rolling pavements and satellite towns

Some designs thankfully never saw the light of day: for example, a ring motorway directly through Kreuzberg across Oranienplatz to relieve increasing motor traffic, or the enormous terraced housing blocks by Josef Kaiser in East Berlin, which were intended to house 22,000 people. Today, they would probably be dead satellite towns. For other projects, it’s a pity that they were never realised, like the ‘rolling pavements’ around Ku’damm, which were designed to carry pedestrians in tubes over two kilometres. Other gigantic projects, however, did come into existence: the high-rise settlements in Märkisches Viertel and Gropiusstadt. Back then, they were seen as much-desired responses to an extreme housing shortage.Georg Kohlmaier, Barna von Sartory, Rollende Gehsteige am Kurfürstendamm, Repro Bildcollage, 1969, © Georg Kohlmaier/Elisabeth von Sartory/Berlinische Galerie, Repro: Markus Hawlik

This is an accomplished exhibition, which provides information on this decisive epoch in a variety of ways, including with plans, models and photos, and ceremoniously reopens the Berlinische Galerie after a ten-month renovation. By the way: even though Engelbert Kremser’s ‘mound-building’ never came into being, two of his designs of ‘organic architecture’ exist in Berlin: the Spielhaus in the Märkisches Viertel and Café am See in Britzer Garten.

Berlinische Galerie, exhibition: Radically modern, until 26 October 2015, Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, 10969 Berlin (Kreuzberg), daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (except Thursdays), www.berlinischegalerie.de

 

Photos:

Berlinische Galerie, Haupteingang © Foto: Nina Straßgütl

Georg Kohlmaier, Barna von Sartory, Rollende Gehsteige am Kurfürstendamm, Repro Bildcollage, 1969, © Georg Kohlmaier/Elisabeth von Sartory/Berlinische Galerie, Repro: Markus Hawlik

Heinz Lieber, Panorama Alexanderplatz, Fotografie, 1972, © Rechtsnachfolger Heinz Lieber, Repro: Kai-Annett Becker

Engelbert Kremser, Europa-Center, Fotomontage, 1969, © Engelbert Kremser/Berlinische Galerie, Repro: Markus Hawlik

Berlin highlights in June

This June, the football champions of Europe will be decided, and then Berlin will cycle for better cycle paths. But June in Berlin also has plenty to offer for digital natives and fans of classical music.

... for football fans

Champions League Final (6 June)

It weighs 8.5 kg and it is 75.5 cm in height: the Champions League trophy is the most important cup in European club football, and the excitement in anticipation of the Champions League Final in Berlin is correspondingly high. The cup was escorted into the city by famous Berliners such as Sabine Lisicki and Arne Friedrich, and was accompanied by a UEFA motorcade and a police entourage. The tennis player’s desire to see FC Bayern in the final was not fulfilled: the last remaining German team in the competition was knocked out in the semi-final by Barcelona, who will now meet Juventus in the final.

... for young people:

trade fair for apprenticeships and studies (10 + 11 June)

10,000 well-prepared youngsters from Berlin and Brandenburg are expected in June in STATION-Berlin at Gleisdreieck for the twelfth vocatium Berlin. There, 160 training organisations, technical colleges, universities and institutions will present their training and study programmes. The fair is organised by the IfT Institut für Talententwicklung GmbH, the Berlin Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Berlin Chamber of Trade. Entrance is free.

http://www.erfolg-im-beruf.de/vocatium-berlin-i.html

The trade fair and conference industry in Berlin is growing steadily. Read more about it in our blog post on this development, which also has a positive effect on hotels in the capital: Of MICE and Men

... for cyclists:

Bicycle rally (14 June)

Up to 250,000 people have helped make this rally one of the biggest bicycle demonstrations in the world, and this year will be no different. Cyclists from Berlin and its surroundings will cycle to the Victory Column in Tiergarten over 19 different routes, including the Avus and the Südring autobahn. The rally traditionally ends with Environment Festival at the Brandenburg Gate.

www.adfc.de

... for digital natives:

tools – trade fair for digital economy

This new trade fair focuses on the growing importance of IT for department managers and their specific requirements, and dedicates two days to web-based business applications that are user-oriented and have the digital economy at their core.

www.tools-berlin.de

... for friendship:

German-French folk festival (19 June – 19 July)

For a month, Kurt-Schumacher-Damm will be transformed into the central fairground of a huge German-French village. Over 150 fairground rides guarantee fun for the entire family, while original Alsatian tarte flambée, frog’s legs and French cheese and bread provide the finest culinary delights.

The festival traces back to the signing of the German-French Friendship Treaty of 1963, and you can drink to the 53 years of friendship in the beer and wine garden.

volksfest-berlin.de

... for opera fans:

open air concert at the Staatsoper (21 June)

“Staatsoper für alle” (State Opera for Everyone), the open air concert conducted by Daniel Barenboim on Bebelplatz at the Berlin Staatskapelle, signals the beginning of the season for the State Opera on Unter den Linden. With free entrance, this superb Sunday concert is open to the general public – and guarantees magical moments as 40,000 people reverently listen to the quieter, more delicate passages.

www.staatsoper-berlin.de

... for political activists:

Christopher Street Day (27 June)

CSD commemorates the first known riots against police violence by members of the LGBT community on Christopher Street in New York in June 1969. At the colourful CSD parade in Berlin, around one million people take to the streets to demonstrate for gay, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, intersex and bisexual rights, and against all forms of discrimination in society. But that’s not to say that it’s a bit of a downer – the CSD is also always a huge celebration of everything that has been achieved over the last decades.

csd-berlin.de (http://csd-berlin.de/)

Shaken or stirred – juniper from the bottle

Ku'damm, Berlin, Charlottenburg, Boulevard, Einkaufsstraße

Dark leather armchairs, old trunks as tables, and swing music playing softly in the background – as soon as you enter the House of Gin, all traces of hectic daily life and the throngs of tourists on Kurfürstendamm are immediately forgotten. The bar is part of the Hotel Palace Berlin complex, and it immerses its guests in a stylish and tasteful world – one that is reminiscent of the 20s at first glance, but thanks to modern photographs and elegant table decorations, is very much anchored in the here and now.

Behind the wood-panelled bar, Marcus Wolff and his team aim to fulfil their guests’ every desires – in particular when they have to do with gin. There are over 150 different types of the juniper drink to choose from: from fruity and sweet, with notes of cinnamon, to dry, no-nonsense tastes, there is a gin here for everyone. And head barman Marcus Wolff can tell you a story about each and every one: “First of all, I try to understand the guest’s preferences – then I can serve the perfect drink for them. Sometimes people are surprised how multi-faceted a single spirit can taste.” The host, who has won several awards for his craft, always encourages his guests to try something new – like a straight gin with an iced slice of cucumber; or with a tonic, garnished with frozen strawberries. Gin lovers can choose an entire tasting menu at the House of Gin, and compare and contrast the wide variety on offer.

Typical Berlin: Gin and currywurst

For those interested, there are menus on the bar counter in which every gin is listed, along with its place of origin, taste profile and a suitable cocktail recommendation. They are lovingly handwritten, and every guest is certain to find out something new about the wonderful world of gin. The palette varies from classic English tastes, to variants from India, Canada and Belgium. There are even some Berlin gins available, as Marcus Wolff is a big fan of regional producers.

The bar team serves finger food to accompany the drinks: the menu features mini-burgers or snack-sized currywurst. This way you have everything you need to spend a pleasant evening at the bar or on one of the huge upholstered sofas – after all, you’ll need plenty of time to sample all 150 gins.

The House of Gin also offers champagne and other spirits, but for those of you who haven’t yet been convinced by gin: give it a try! As Marcus Wolff shows with his enthusiasm and background knowledge: gin isn’t just gin.

From a bridle path to a boulevard

From a bridle path to a boulevard - the history of Kurfürstendamm

Ku'damm, Berlin, Charlottenburg, Boulevard, Einkaufsstraße

Fifth Avenue in New York, the Champs-Élysées in Paris – and Kurfürstendamm in Berlin. It may not be as grand as the other two, but Kurfürstendamm still counts as one of the most famous streets in the world. There is a clear link to the Champs-Élysées in that the design of Berlin’s magnificent boulevard, which is 53 metres wide and surrounded by luxurious Wilhelminian-style buildings in the adjacent streets, was based on the French model at the behest of the Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

Bridle path for the Electors

Construction work began on 5 May 1886, which is why Berlin held a big celebration in 2011 for the 125th anniversary of the 3.5 kilometre street. But in reality, it is actually much older: ‘Ku’damm’ was created in 1542 as a bridle path for the Electors, connecting the Berlin city palace with the Grunewald hunting lodge.

Ku´damm was already known as a popular promenade in the imperial period, and in the 1920s it garnered a reputation as Berlin’s entertainment strip as artists, writers and actors gathered in the countless cafés, bars and vaudeville theatres. After the war, Ku‘damm developed quickly into the place to be for shopping and commerce, becoming the largest retail area in Berlin. Kurfürstendamm had it all: exclusive fashions and extravagant design, magnificent carriages, expensive perfumes and high-carat jewellery – anyone who was anyone was there.

The Kranzler-Eck re-ignition

Kranzlereck, Kurfürstendamm

The demonstrators of 1968, for whom the luxury was nothing more than a representation of the establishment that they despised, also gathered at Ku´damm. The street had become a prime location for demonstrations: at Christopher Street Day in 1979, homosexuals protested for their rights for the first time in Germany. Ten years later, the thumping beats of the first Love Parade shook Ku´damm.   

After the fall of the Wall, Kurfürstendamm calmed down. Tourists were drawn to the boulevards in the eastern part of the city, amongst them ‘Unter den Linden’. Suddenly there were empty shops on the boulevard in the west, and the Europa-Center on Breitscheidplatz couldn’t keep pace with the shopping centres that were springing up all over the city. The historic Bikini-Haus – opposite the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche – was subjected to the ravages of time. The years passed. The construction of the new ‘Kranzler-Eck’ – the new glass building that is today the location of the tradition-steeped Kranzler Café – rang in a change of fortune for the area. The futuristic structure was the spark that re-ignited Kurfürstendamm. A renovation of the Gedächtniskirche tower ruins followed, as did a facelift for the Bikini-Haus, which was reinvented as a ‘concept mall’ and now houses boutiques and temporary shops, and a makeover for the Europa-Center, which is now a listed building.

The beating heart of west Berlin

The newest project near Ku´damm is the Zoofenster (Zoo Window). The 32-storey structure reaches 118 metres into the air, and its completion will add yet another luxurious element to the area. Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) on Tauentzienstraße, not far from Ku´damm – the most famous department store in Berlin, and not just because of its gourmet foods department – is therefore once more in the best of company. A strong pulse beats anew in the heart of west Berlin.

 

Pictures: „Bundesarchiv Bild 204-003, Berlin, Kudamm, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis Kirche“ von Bundesarchiv, Bild 204-003 / CC-BY-SA. Lizenziert unter CC BY-SA 3.0 de über Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_204-003,_Berlin,_Kudamm,_Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ged%C3%A4chtnis_Kirche.jpg#/media/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_204-003,_Berlin,_Kudamm,_Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ged%C3%A4chtnis_Kirche.jpg

When the River Rhine meets the River Spree – 9th Big Bottle Party

This year, Germany‘s largest big bottle event is dedicated to the best vintners and chefs from the Rhineland-Palatinate region. Following this year’s theme, “Rhineland-Palatinate meets Berlin”, the “first floor” restaurant‘s host duo, Gunnar Tietz and Matthias Diether, present the Rhineland-Palatinate region‘s top-tier culinary stars: 40 vintners and four master chefs.

In honour of our theme, this year‘s party is shaking things up: Instead of being celebrated in its typical location, the Hotel Palace Berlin, the Big Bottle Party will take place in the Rhineland-Palatinate State Representative Building in Berlin‘s Ministerial Gardens.

As always, top chef Thomas Martin**, chocolatier Gerhard Skrovanek and cheese affineur Bernard Antony will lend their talents to the evening.

 

Culinary:
Wolfgang Becker (Becker’s, 2 Michelin Stars)
Frank Buchholz (Buchholz Restaurant, 1 Michelin Star)
Stefan Neugebauer (Schwarzer Hahn, 1 Michelin Star)
Daniel Schimkowitsch (Ketschauer Hof, 1 Michelin Star)
Thomas Martin (Louis C. Jacob, 2 Michelin Stars)
Matthias Diether ("first floor" 1 Michelin Star)
Wolfgang Otto (Otto Gourmet)
Chocolatier Gerhard Skrovanek, Skrovanek Edelpralinen Manufaktur
Käseveredler Maître Bernard Antony, Elsass

Big Bottle Party Bookazine 2015 here as an eBook

Reservations can be made at +49 30 2502 1126 or via Email a.vos@palace.de.

Berlin highlights in May

The outdoor season is here: colourful street festivals and top-class sporting events characterise Berlin’s cultural offerings for May.

... for everyone

MyFest

MyFest (1 May)

Dancing & playing, eating & strolling: May Day in Berlin is becoming increasingly peaceful and that’s widely attributed to the fact that MyFest has been taking place there since 2003. At this huge street festival, more than 100 bands and DJs appear on countless stages around Kottbusser Tor, Heinrichplatz and Oranienstraße. If you’re in need of refreshments, you can sample the varied culinary treats for sale on the street stands.

This peaceful celebration is rounded off by a variety of performance artists and a wide range of options to keep the kids entertained.
http://www.myfest36.de/

... for art lovers

Gallery Weekend Berlin

Gallery Weekend (1 - 3 May)

Exhibitions everywhere: at the Gallery Weekend, more than 50 galleries open their doors for visitors. The word is out about this tour of Berlin creativity – and with 1,000 guests, it has become one of the best-selling events on the art market. Many collectors even travel to Berlin from Russia, the USA and China especially for Gallery Weekend.
http://www.gallery-weekend-berlin.de

...for sporty types

Berliner Frauenlauf

Berliner Frauenlauf (16 May)

Up to 18,000 female athletes, 5 or 10 km, start and finish on Straße 17. Juni: on 16 May, Tiergarten is getting sporty. The organiser of the 32nd Avon Running Berliner Frauenlauf is SCC EVENTS GmbH, founder of the famous Sport-Club Charlottenburg.

Disciplines: running, power walking, Nordic walking – each over 5 or 10 km, and mothers and daughters can register as a team. There is also a kid’s run over 800 m for the little ones (born 2005 or later).
http://www.berliner-frauenlauf.de/

 

... for planners and experts

Metropolitan Solutions, specialist congress and trade fair for urban traffic and supply concepts (exhibition grounds, 20 – 22 May)

A new trade fair in and for Berlin: Metropolitan Solutions consists of approximately 25 concurrent international conferences and workshops focussed on smarter and more sustainable urban development. Here, energy efficiency in public buildings is on the agenda, as well as sustainable energy supply and intelligent traffic systems, water management and waste recycling.
http://www.metropolitansolutions.de

... for those with a lust for life

Carnival of Cultures (22 – 25 May)

Carnival of Cultures

Magnificent costumes, spectacular make-up and original masks: during the carnival parade on Pentecost Sunday, Berlin’s many different cultures take over Kreuzberg and show how open, diverse and full of life Berlin is. It could be a well-rehearsed dance, a wild coming-together or a celebratory stroll alongside the huge floats, but one thing is for sure: colour is the name of the game. This is true from Friday onwards at this street festival around Blücherplatz, with concerts, creative arts and crafts, and culinary delights from all over the world, from coconuts to sweet potatoes: more than enough reasons for the million people that visit the Carnival of Cultures every year.
http://www.karneval-berlin.de/en/english.175.html

 

... for fans of motor sport

Formula E race (23 May)

17 bends over 2.47 kilometres, over 220 km/h and 100% electric: on 23 May, the former airport at Tempelhof will be one of ten worldwide venues for the Formula E race season. With no combustion engine, these cars have no emissions and are no louder than a traditional family car. The tickets costbetween € 10 and € 45.
http://berlin.fiaformulae.com

... for footy fans

DFB Cup Final (30 May, Borussia Dortmund v VfL Wolfsburg)

After the league title, the DFB Cup is the most important trophy in German club football. Since 1985, the final has been played in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, and for the 72nd cup final, Borussia Dortmund face VfL Wolfsburg. For fans of both teams, we have an exclusive offer for the trip to Berlin for the final:

10% discount on a hotel room, free Wi-Fi, 1 free beer and sausage per person on matchday at the hotel, city tax included. To book, simply click here: http://bit.ly/1J8jCqJ.

By the way, Breitscheidplatz, directly in front of the Hotel Palace Berlin, is traditionally the meeting point for the tens of thousands of Dortmund fans expected in Berlin for the final.

... for cyclists

Velothon Berlin

Velothon (31 May)

With up to 13,000 participants and 250,000 spectators around the city’s main attractions , the Garmin Velothon Berlin is a cycling event for everyone. The event organisers recommend the 60km for beginners, while “ambitious endurance cyclists” can test themselves over double that length.

At this fourth edition of this elite race, some 120 pros will be cycling the same route, followed by spectator-friendly circuits though the centre of Berlin to decide the overall winner.

Course highlights: Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz, Tempelhof airport, Eastside Gallery, government district, Victory Column, Straße des 17. Juni
http://www.garmin-velothon-berlin.de

 

Photos: Daniel Incoronato (1x), Hochzwei (1x)

Of MICE and men

The conference industry in Berlin is growing constantly. This is a positive development – especially for hotels in the city.

Berlin is becoming more and more attractive as a host city for congresses and events: in 2014, around 131,200 MICE events with a total of 10.9 million visitors took place. MICE stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events and therefore includes events such as conferences or congresses as well as events like Fashion Week. Since records began on the Berlin MICE market in 2002, the field of conferences and congresses has developed dynamically. The number of providers increased from 245 in 2002 to 346 in 2014, which corresponds to an increase of 41 %, while the number of participants has increased by 58 % over the last ten years.

Seven million overnight stays in 2014

This increase isn’t just good news for the event locations: hotels and B&Bs also profit from the rising number of visitors. For conferences and congresses alone, around 7 million overnight stays were registered in Berlin in 2014. In comparison to the previous year, this signifies an increase of approximately 4.5%.

Meeting Place Berlin has been helping to encourage this positive trend since 2005. Over four days, up to 50 service providers in the congress industry based in Berlin make presentations together with national and international event organisers, with the aim of exchanging knowledge and presenting various event locations and hotels in Berlin. The number of service providers from Berlin is limited, as are the number of industry experts visiting from outside Berlin (150). The latter must also fill out an extensive questionnaire and guarantee that they are planning for an event with more than 100 participants.

Meeting Place Berlin: Hotel Palace is there too.

The Hotel Palace Berlin will have an exhibition at this year’s Meeting Place Berlin. With over 17 modern conference and banquet rooms with a total area of 2,400 square metres, it is perfect for events for up to 1,000 people. The hotel, with its location in the heart of west Berlin, is also perfect for hosting visitors to external events. The Hotel Palace Berlin team will be once more presenting this and other perks at this year’s Meeting Place Berlin – not least to further increase the attractiveness of Berlin as an event location. 

Information: Meeting Place Berlin takes place from 2 to 6 July 2015. It is organised by visitBerlin Partnerhotels e.V. in cooperation with the Berlin Convention Office of Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH and visitBerlin Partneragenturen Berlin e.V.


Further information at www.meeting-place-berlin.de.

Berlin highlights in April

Blick in den Glashof_intonations_13_: Das Kammermusikfestival »intonations - das Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival« im Jüdischen Museum Berlin 2013 © Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Foto: Monika Rittershaus

 

The weather in April is notoriously unpredictable, but that doesn’t matter when the events on offer are as varied as they are in Berlin. For children, art lovers and culture vultures, there is plenty to choose from this month.

 ... for film lovers

 15 – 22 April
achtung berlin - new berlin film award

With a focus on filmmaking in Berlin, achtung berlin has succeeded in establishing itself as Berlin’s third largest film festival with 14,000 visitors. The programme for the eleventh festival consists of around 90 films that were produced or filmed in and around Berlin.

These films include both expansive projects with well-known actors and low budget productions, and the event organisers promise “jewels with local colour that are well worth seeing” amongst the documentary films and the internationally recognised films on show. Medium-length and short films complete the menu for film lovers. 
http://achtungberlin.de/

... for friends of classical music

18 – 23 April
Intonations (Jerusalem music festival)

The late works of Brahms, Beethoven and Bach, international soloists, top musicians and young talents, all against a breathtaking backdrop: all of this is on offer at the Jewish Chamber Music Festival called ‘intonations’ from 18 to 23 April in the glass atrium of the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

‘intonations’, the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, is one of the most important cultural events in Israel. In the glass atrium designed by Daniel Liebeskind, artists from all over the world share cultural dialogue and a love of chamber music with a Berlin audience for the fourth year running.
www.jmberlin.de

 ... for the kids

25 – 26 April
23 Nisan (Children’s festival at the Brandenburg Gate)

With drawing competitions, a mini-marathon, a football tournament and Olympic Games, countless visitors are expected at the Brandenburg Gate on the final weekend in April for a huge festival for children.

The name of the festival comes from the date of the foundation of the state of Turkey: on 23 April (Turkish: 23 Nisan) 1920 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk dedicated the day to the young, saying “children are our future“. Since 1979, it also carries the title “international children’s festival“, which underscores the desire to encourage mutual integration and understanding of other cultures as well as brotherhood and friendship between children.
www.23nisankinderfest.de

 

... for house hunters

25 – 26 April
Berliner Immobilienmesse (Berlin real estate show, BIM)

Berlin is growing. Living space is in demand, real estate prices are rising. Experts see real value in the Berlin market, and therefore advise renters to buy. At the Berlin real estate show at the former airport in Tempelhof, visitors can gain an overview of what is available in the city: all the large and many small Berlin construction companies will be offering over 5,000 apartments, houses and plots.

In specialist lectures and podium discussions, experts offer insights into the real estate market of the capital city. Since the decision to invest in real estate involves a great deal of financial issues, banks and other institutions will also be present to provide advice on their products. 
www.bim-messe.de

 ... for fans of comics, animation and design

29 April – 3 May
Pictoplasma (Festival for figure design)

Even in the first King Kong film in 1933, typography was used as a dramaturgic device in a motion picture. Since then, the design of such motion graphics, as well as the design of figures, has developed enormously. Since 1999, the Pictoplasma project in Berlin has been collecting ‘character designs’ that extend beyond mascots, advertising vehicles and comic book heroes.

This year’s Pictoplasma Festival features the work of over 40 artists, illustrators and designers in the former crematorium Silent Green in the city district of Wedding. In addition, a second exhibition at Urban Spree presents the talents of the graduates of the Pictoplasma Academy. Entry to both exhibitions is free. For moving pictures, it’s worth taking a trip to Mitte: for the duration of the festival, animated short films, motion graphics and experimental animations will be shown at Babylon cinema. 

Bowing to beauty

City-West is becoming a hub for modern photography in Germany, and the Museum of Photography and C/O-Berlin are its focal points. On display is the legacy of the renowned photographer Helmut Newton.

Strong, self-confident, independent – this is how the “Big Nudes”, photographs of five naked women in the foyer of the Museum of Photography present themselves. Ironically, Helmut Newton hung them exactly where once portraits of military officials used to hang in the former Landwehr officer’s mess. This is a key component of Newton’s work – he loved to display his models with a cheeky wink and with a pinch of nudity, sass and glamour. Helmut Newton was born in Berlin in 1920 as Helmut Neustädter, the son of a Jewish manufacturer. He had it all: he was in bed with Andy Warhol, went swimming with Elizabeth Taylor, and photographed Catherine Deneuve while her husband held a gun in her face. Just before the Second World War, Newton fled from the Nazis to Australia via Singapore with a suitcase that consisted of nothing more than a couple of socks, shirts and suits – and two cameras. Later, he went to the US, where he became a celebrity photographer for jet setters, the Hollywood dream factory and covers of fashion magazines.

His legacy is presented by the Museum of Photography at the Zoologischer Garten train station, exactly the location that was, according to anecdotes, his last memory of Berlin. In the “Permanent Loan Selection”, portraits, nudes and fashion shots are displayed in separate spaces. In addition, the Kaisersaal hosts a collection of images from the 19th and 20th centuries selected by the Kunstbibliothek: from 24 April 2015, the photos by the photographer Willy Maywald from Cologne, one of the most important photographers in Paris from the 1930s to the 1960s, are on display.

According to the Helmut Newton Foundation, more than 1.3 million people have visited the location since its opening in 2004, soon after Newton himself passed away in a tragic car accident. More than 100 posters, countless publications and the temporary exhibition of 200 photographs on the first floor reveal his striking nudes and portraits: a bow to feminine beauty and a homage to masculine fame in popular culture.

The foundation is confident that the flow of visitors will not tail off in the near future. To ensure this, spokeswoman Nadine Dinter explains that close collaboration is underway with the second photography institution in the building and with the new neighbour, C/O Berlin. At the moment, City-West is home to a photography hub with no equal in Germany. Time and again, temporary exhibitions featuring Newton’s contemporaries, such as Frank Horvat and Szymon Brodziak in summer 2015, succeed in attracting visitors. "We haven’t yet unveiled all of Newton’s treasures”, promises the Helmut Newton Foundation, with the exciting prospect that “in the future, we’ll be displaying many more works that have never been seen before."

Museum of Photography
Jebensstraße 2
10623 Berlin (behind Zoologischer Garten train station)

http://www.berlin.de/museum/3109973-2926344-museum-fuer-fotografie-helmut-newton-sti.html
www.helmut-newton.de

Telephone: 266 42 42 42

Entry fee: 10 Euro (ticket for the entire house), discounted 5 Euro

 

Opening hours:

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
Thursday: 10 am to 8 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 11 am to 6 pm

Berlin highlights in March

March can wait with its highlights until early spring up. But then, Berlin has a lot to offer for athletes, fans and music lovers. Moreover, Easter is around the corner.

19 – 24 March
11mm (international football film festival)

As an official partner of the Bundesliga team Hertha BSC, the Hotel Palace recommends 11mm, the international football film festival at the Kino Babylon in Mitte, to both Berliners and visitors to the city. Now in its twelfth year, the festival aims to increase visibility for outstanding and original productions.

This year’s Champions League Final is taking place in Berlin, and the focus of the festival is therefore on films concerned with the legendary history of the European Cup, and also features a look back at the World Cup 2014 in Brazil from a German point of view.
www.11-mm.de

 

20 – 29 March
MaerzMusik (festival for contemporary music)

With concerts, installations, performances, film projects and discourses, the MaerzMusik festival is focussed on a central question: our relationship to time. “Time”, according to the new artistic director Berno Odo Polzer, “is understood as a central category of politics, as a phenomenon that significantly determines our way of life, of work and of creating – which includes contemporary music.“

www.berlinerfestspiele.de

http://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/de/aktuell/festivals/maerzmusik/ueber_festival_mm/aktuell_mm/start_maerzmusik.php

 

27 March – 6 April
State Opera ‘Festtage’ (Philharmonic Hall and Schillertheater)

Richard Wagner’s ‘Parsifal’ under the musical direction of Daniel Barenboim is just one of the highlights of this year’s FESTTAGE at the Berlin State Opera. In addition to Wagner, the organisers are focussing on the great French composer and director Pierre Boulez and his works on the occasion of his 90th birthday on 26 March 2015. With the Vienna Philharmonic, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the Staatskapelle Berlin, three orchestras are participating in this homage to the honorary conductor of the Staatskapelle in Berlin’s Philharmonic Hall.

http://www.staatsoper-berlin.de

 

29 March
Berlin half-marathon

Spring is coming and this means that runners, walkers, inline skaters, wheelchair users and handbikers are springing into action. The Berlin half-marathon has become an important fixture in Berlin’s repertoire of running events and attracts both professionals and amateurs from over 100 nations. Over 30,000 athletes are expected to cover the 21.0975 km circuit this year, and will be enthusiastically cheered on by the supportive Berliners on the streets.

www.vattenfall-berliner-halbmarathon.de

If you’d like to achieve your perfect beach body by combining an outstanding nutrition plan and a individualised sporting regime, we recommend taking a look at our “Time to tackle those extra holiday kilos!“ blog post. (http://www.palace.de/de/blog-pages/articles/ran-an-den-winterspeck.html)

 

3 – 6 April
Easter in the Hotel Palace Berlin

This year, if you’re not planning for Easter by March, you’ve already missed out: the Christian festival to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ is taking place on the first weekend in April.

The Hotel Palace has plenty of culinary delights to offer over the long weekend, from a fish menu on Good Friday to an Easter Sunday family brunch with live music. For the perfect relaxing Easter weekend, have a wellness day with the whole family in the Palace Spa. Adults will be greeted with a glass of champagne and the kids will enjoy a yummy fruit cocktail.

Further information on the various offers can be found on our culinary calendar:

http://www.palace.de/de/kulinarischerkalender.html 

The freedom of the fenced-in island

In the retrospective “West:Berlin – An Island Searching for Mainland”, the Stadtmuseum traces West Berlin’s approach to life between 1945 and 1989.

Student protests, the Charlottenburg in-crowd, Harald Juhnke and Knautschke the hippo are all part of the collective memory of West Berliners. On the occasion of the 25-year anniversary of the fall of the Wall, the Stadtmuseum der Geschichte is hosting an exhibition to mark the division of the city that is now the capital of Germany. The exhibition in the Ephraim Palais includes posters, private photos, works by West Berlin artists and even a stuffed panda, as well as more bizarre pieces like the Amphicar, a car that could travel over both water and land, produced in 1961 in Berlin-Wittenau, or a bra manufactured for the potential emergency situation of a further blockade. The objects are arranged thematically rather than chronologically, across politics, economy, society and culture. “We wanted to communicate West Berlin’s approach to life and allow the visitors to stroll through the exhibition like a flâneur”, explains Thomas Beutelschmidt, the co-curator of the exhibition along with Julia Novak.

West Berlin between 1945 and 1989 is brought to life by over 500 pieces from everyday life and cultural history, as well as by media installations. The curators aim to provide an overview of the entire ‘half-city’ of West Berlin rather than focussing on thematic excerpts such as the Allies, the ‘economic miracle’ years or the squatter scene. These events are all part of a bigger picture. That this is no easy task is not lost on Thomas Beutelschmidt, who moved to the western part of the city in 1974: “We want to work through the many particularities and the heterogeneity of West Berlin without mythologizing the city any more than it already is.”

A visitor strolling through history at the exhibition will continuously encounter one word in particular: Freedom. As the central issue of the fenced-in city, it is the leitmotiv of the exhibition. It became part of the names of the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University Berlin) and Senders Freies Berlin (Radio Free Berlin) as a defiant declaration to the East, and is also part of the RIAS (‘Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor’; ‘Broadcasting in the American Sector’) radio station, which considered itself the “free voice of the free world”. The term encapsulates the city’s democratic self-perception, but also the possibilities for individual development and self-realisation that West Berlin uniquely provided then and still does today as a reunified city.

“All in all,” says Thomas Beutelschmidt as he summarises the idea behind the exhibition, “we want our multi-perspective ‘tour d'horizon’ to invite visitors from near and far, long-time residents and newcomers, westerners and easterners, to make up their own mind and to embark on a search for traces of the essence of West Berlin.“

The exhibition runs until 28.06.2015 in the Ephraim-Palais, Poststraße 16, 10178 Berlin-Mitte. Opening hours: Tue, Thurs – Sat: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Wed: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Entry:  € 7 / disc. € 5 incl. booklet, free entry under 18 years, free entry every first Wednesday of the month (booklet € 3).

More information: www.west.berlin or www.stadtmuseum.de

Time to tackle those extra holiday kilos!

It’s been a few weeks since New Year and those resolutions have almost entirely fallen by the wayside. Beach season is almost upon us again, but having the kind of body you’d want to show off at the beach doesn’t have to be as miserable as you’d think.

Spring has almost sprung again – the days are getting longer and the trousers are getting just a little too tight. The cookies, goose and mulled wine were impossible to resist over Christmas, and time spent on the couch in January could be easily justified with a look at the temperatures outside. But if you want to look good in time for summer and not huff and puff quite so much when going up the stairs, now is the time to get training.

Fad diets and extreme workouts only rarely do the trick – they are difficult to endure and usually only result in massive weight fluctuations. So where to begin? How to overcome the lazy swine that lies inside you?

“It’s extremely important to set goals and to start training slowly”, says Stephanie Weißflog, spa supervisor in the Hotel Palace Berlin. “Otherwise, your motivation will disappear quite quickly and you’ll be back on the couch before you know it.”

Sport and nutrition are equally important

The first step is to find out which sport is the best one for you. There is a wide selection – from team sports with a club, to fitness courses in a gym, to jogging in the park or dancing with a partner. The ideal combination is one that includes strength training, endurance training and flexibility exercises. For example, training on machines can be helpful for building muscle, which in turn burns more calories. Supplement this with an aerobics course for better endurance and yoga for increased flexibility and suddenly you’ve created a perfect and varied training regime.

The right nutrition is imperative to help you get fitter and drop some pounds. The simple fact is that it’s only possible to lose weight when the intake of calories is less than the calories burned. The recipe for long-term success is therefore a combination of sport, nutrition and patience.

Only eat every four hours

It’s a big help to ban all of the unconscious snacking that we indulge in during the day. “It happens so often that we grab a small bar of chocolate, some nuts or some bread to keep us going in the office,” says Stephanie Weißflog. “This keeps our blood sugar level constantly high so we don’t burn any calories.” She advises to leave at least four hours between meals so the body has a chance to process the previous meal. This, however, doesn’t mean you have to starve.

The most important things is to eat consciously and healthily – fewer carbs, more fruit, vegetable and protein. “You do need to be disciplined,” says the Palace employee, “but you should reward yourself for small successes – for example with a trip to the spa or a massage.”

Berlin Highlights in February

5th –15th February


Berlin International Film Festival
In immediate proximity of the Hotel Palace, the success story of the Berlin International Film Festival began exactly 65 years ago. Here in the heart of West Berlin, the “Berlinale” has developed into one of the most important festivals in the world. In the nearby Zoo Palast, an architectural icon of the 1950s, world-famous stars and directors presented their latest films for decades. Even after the relocation to the Berlinale Palast on nearby Potsdamer Platz in 2001, the Zoo Palast, which has now been lovingly renovated, still remains a centre of festival activities.
At the 65th Berlinale, about 450 feature films and documentaries will be presented in various categories. In the “Competition” category, world and European premiers by Terrence Malick, Isabel Coixet and Andreas Dresen compete for the coveted silver and gold bears.
For more information about the programme and ticket bookings, please visit: www.berlinale.de

If you can’t get hold of the much sought-after cinema tickets, you can still immerse yourself in the cinematic atmosphere of Berlin:

13th February


TEDDY Gala in the Komische Oper
The presentation of the TEDDY Award for outstanding gay and lesbian films has long been considered a secret glamour highlight of the festival. The traditional prize ceremony with public after-show party is being hosted in the stylish ambiance of the Komische Oper in Mitte for the second time.
www.teddyaward.tv

Museum of Film and Television
The world-famous collection of the Filmmuseum on Potsdamer Platz, to which the estate of Germany’s greatest global star Marlene Dietrich belongs among others, is exhibiting highlights from the history of European cinema. In the special “Bigger than life” exhibition, which runs until 17th May, you can see the spectacular film sets of set designer Ken Adams, who became world-famous for his designs for the James Bond films among other movies.
www.deutsche-kinemathek.de

Famous film locations in Berlin
The historically and architecturally fragmented metropolis has wowed international directors with its extraordinary film locations for decades. Film enthusiasts can reminisce in many parts of the city and bring to life their favourite scenes from “Octopussy”, “The Bourne Supremacy” and “Run Lola Run”.
www.berlin.de/tourismus/insidertipps/1018728-2339440-filmdrehorte-in-berlin-den-stars-auf-der.html

21st February

Gala of the Tanzolymp Dance Festival
Over the course of five days, state and private dance schools will be presenting their best young dancers at the renowned international competition. Extraordinary talents under the age of 21 will try to scale the heights of the Tanzolymp light-footedly and take home one of the coveted prizes from the categories of Classic Dance, Modern Dance, Folklore, Jazz, Pop and Tap. The best of the best will go through to the public gala finale on 21st February in the Berliner Festspiele arts center.
www.tanzolymp.com

26 th February to 1st March

100 Degree Theatre Festival
Stage diversity for fans of the theatre with great endurance is offered by the 100° Festival. On the last weekend of February, more than one hundred free groups will perform at three venues. Over 120 current fringe theatre productions are running parallel and at hourly intervals, promising unbridled acting fever and an imposing range from theatre to performance to video installation. Shuttle buses connect the venues, which are strewn across the city, from Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensaele and Ballhaus Ost. A blog, updated daily, provides guidance on the content. At the end, a jury chooses the finds of the festival – and has been creating careers in the established theatre business in this way for years.
www.hebbel-am-ufer.de/programm/spielplan/100grad-festival-2015/

Mall of Berlin

 

Mall of Berlin: Recollections of Georg Wertheim’s vision 

The centre of Berlin has gained an attraction: in the vicinity of sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and Potsdamer Platz, Berliners and tourists can shop and stroll in the capital’s second largest shopping centre – in the ‘Mall of Berlin’, open since September. It contains 270 shops over 76,000 square metres, as well as offices, 270 apartments, a hotel, and a car park with 1,000 spaces. An entirely new city district has been created, commended Berlin’s then-Mayor Klaus Wowereit – and on a historical site, too. Before the Wall cut through Berlin, the famous Wertheim department store stood at this location. With its enormous front windows and 24-metre high atrium, it was the most beautiful department store in all of Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. In the ‘Mall of Berlin’, the arcade arches invoke the erstwhile ‘cathedral of consumption’, and historical photos recall the Wertheim building, which was destroyed in World War II and later torn down completely. The project developer Harald Huth – who also built the ‘Gropius-Passagen’ and ‘Das Schloss’ shopping centres in Berlin – aims to “bring Georg Wertheim’s vision back to life” with the Mall of Berlin and to remind us of the splendour of bygone times.  

Over three storeys, visitors can stroll through this bright temple of goods, along a beautifully lit passage under a curved glass roof connecting the two buildings of the mall between the Bundesrat  (Leipziger Straße) and the Holocaust Memorial (Voßstraße). On the passages to each floor, you can cast your eye over the view – over the visitors taking a break with a latte macchiato in the cafe in the arcade, and of course over the countless shops.

With its large choice of brands, the mall appeals to a broad base of customers. If you’re looking for a stylish outfit, you’ll find what you’re looking for at shops like Peek & Cloppenburg, C&A or H&M, as well as shops whose names promise exclusivity, such as Karl Lagerfeld or Armani. The kids will probably make their way straight to the second floor, where the latest teen trends are catered for. The perfect accessories, shoes, jewellry – all of these can be found, as well as goods for daily use and electronics. And no one has to shop with a rumbling stomach: there are over 30 restaurants in the mall. You can also burn the calories straight off with a visit to ‘Hard Candy’, a fitness studio chain founded by the singer Madonna.

Still not enough choice? There are already plans for expansion. Fifty more shops in the neighbourhood have already been announced by investors – fifty more shops with style.   

Opening hours:

All shops                                             Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm

Open before 10am:

Kaiser’s and Aldi                              8am to 9pm

Berliner Sparkasse

SB service centre                            24 h

Customer service                           Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 6pm

Hard Candy Fitness Women       Monday to Friday from 7am to 11pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 8pm

C/O in the Amerika Haus

Germany’s most-loved gallery has a home again

If you’ve ever wanted to be photographed by a famous photographer, now’s your chance at the C/O gallery in Berlin – well, sort of. In the newly reopened cultural hotspot at the Amerika Haus, visitors can sit in specially made photo booths and have a portrait made in the style of Paolo Pellegrin and co. But that’s not all you can expect.

It’s taken a while for Berliners to get their favourite gallery back – and for the gallery to have visitors once more. “We’ve missed them sorely over the last year and a half,” said Stefan Erfurt from the board of the C/O foundation at the press conference on October 30th, one day before the reopening. Along with designer Marc Naroska and architect Ingo Pett, Erfurt founded the gallery in 1999. With exhibitions from well-known photographers such as Martin Parr, Peter Lindbergh and Herlinde Koebl, the location in the former imperial post office in Berlin Mitte drew more and more visitors – 110,000 came to the Annie Leibowitz show in 2009.

The whole neighbourhood blossomed and the former Jewish quarter of Berlin became a cultural centre right beside the Museumsinsel. But then came the shock: after endless to-ing and fro-ing, C/O Berlin was required to vacate their location in March 2013. The owners of the building had changed, and the gallery had to move on. For Stephan Erfurt and the team, a long and frustrating period of reorientation began.

From Mitte to Charlottenburg

C/O Berlin has found a new home in the Amerika Haus near the Zoologischer Garten train station. The renovation of the listed building cost €2.5 million, which was partially funded by private donations through crowdfunding. It was built in 1956/7 and until 2006 served as an information centre and meeting place. Its intention was to show visitors the ‘American way of life’.

That the gallery reopens with Will McBride’s exhibition ‘I fell in love with this city’ fits perfectly with the building’s history. The photographs are from McBride’s time in Berlin at the end of the fifties – and he was the first photographer to have his work displayed in the Amerika Haus. It was an honour for him to return, he said at the opening.

Old colleagues meet again

“I’m delighted to see Will McBride back here again, I’ve known him for such a long time,” said Thomas Hoepker, who worked on the current Magnum exhibition. There’s yet another link to history: “Before, there was no place for Magnum retrospectives in Germany – that’s why we founded C/O,” said head curator Felix Hoffmann, “and now we’re starting again with Magnum.” In the exhibition, the world-famous photo agency provides rare insights into the working methods of photographers. The contact sheets are displayed, which illuminates the process through which a well-known photograph like Hoepker’s 9/11 photo is created. The contact sheets are, themselves, art – a form that has become obsolete in this digital age.

Exhibitions:

Will McBride, I fell in love with this city, 31.10.14 - 16.1.15

Magnum Contact Sheets, 31.10.14 - 16.1.15

Picture Yourself, 31.10.14 - 16.1.15

Talents 30, Working on Myth, Luise Schröder / Hannah Petersohn, 31.10.14 - 16.1.15

Daily, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

10 Euro, reduced 5 Euro

www.co-berlin.org

 

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