11 Berlin Highlights for 2016

Fernsehturm © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

Fernsehturm © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

 

What will be the highlights in the German capital this year? Which festivals, spectacular exhibitions, or film premières will be this year’s must-do’s? We say: who cares? After all, everyone has their own list of Berlin highlights.

Here are the exclusively personal highlights for 2016 as chosen by our authors:

1. The Berlinale

The absolute highlight for fans of film comes early on every year: the Berlinale International Film Festival will run this year from 11 to 21 February and feature some 400 films from around the world. And George Clooney might even be in attendance! – Kristin

Berlin im Februar

Der Berlinale-Palast am Eröffnungstag © Berlinale

2. Germany against England

26 March: I’ve been looking forward to this day for months now, since I’m going to get to attend my first international football match! And it’s likely to be one for the record books! In preparation for this summer’s European Championships, the German eleven will be going up against England at Berlin’s Olympic stadium. And one thing is clear: whether the goal at Wembley goal or the historic 5:1 defeat of the Germans in 2001, these are matches that often go down in history. –Kathrin

Olympiastadion © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

Olympiastadion © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

3. Cycling

It’s January and the Berlinale’s just around the corner (which I love), but I am, of course, already looking forward to spring, when I can once again take off on my bike to the next table tennis match or check out the spring flowers in Berlin’s palace gardens. Even riding to work every day always includes a bit of sightseeing: every time I catch sight of the Victory Column etc., I am reminded of why I love living in Berlin! You can find tips for your perfect bicycle tour on our website– Maxi

Reichstag bei Nacht © Oliver Lang

Reichstag bei Nacht © Oliver Lang

4. A (half) marathon of sightseeing

On 3 April, I and 30,000 other participants will be at the starting line for a 21.0975 km run across the capital. The Berlin Half Marathon route will once again take us from Karl-Marx-Allee to Charlottenburg Palace and back, past the Brandenburg Gate, the Victory Column, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Potsdamer Platz, and the perhaps the best onlookers in the world. – Allyn

©visitBerlin, Foto: camera 4

©visitBerlin, Foto: camera 4

5. Summer in Berlin

My highlight is one that’s guaranteed to return every year: summer in the city! And what’s absolutely essential to any hot day in Berlin is ice cream. Thankfully, there’s plenty of that to go around. My favourite flavour is definitely peanut butter from Fräulein Frost, available in Charlottenburg, Neukölln or Tempelhof. More ice cream tips can be found here. – Kathrin

6. The first day on the water

Whether it’s on a canoe, a raft, a boat, or doing some stand-up paddling, I’m already looking forward to rock riding Berlin’s many waterways later this year. With the sun shining and legs dangling in the water as we slowly make our way across the city: there’s no better Berlin highlight for me. To find the quickest S-Bahn or U-Bahn route to the waterway of your choice, just check out our Berlin Swimming Map. Allyn

Club der Visionäre © visitBerlin: Foto: Philip Koschel

Club der Visionäre © visitBerlin: Foto: Philip Koschel

7. DADA in Berlin

100th anniversary of the Dada movement: definitely an event worth celebrating. To mark the anniversary, the Berlinische Galerie will be featuring the major exhibition DADA Africa from August. And afterwards I’ll head over to the Anna Blume café for a coffee. – Kristin

Berlinische Galerie, Foto: Nina Straßgütl

Berlinische Galerie, Foto: Nina Straßgütl

8. Autumn in Berlin

Yes, summer in Berlin is amazing! But I think it gets even better as the chill sets in and autumn knocks me off out of my socks. With so many parks, Berlin is one of the “greenest” cities in the world and the autumn light, the leaves changing, and the clear, crisp autumn air make the streets of Berlin magical. I particularly like going for a walk in autumn, taking pictures and am enjoying a lovely piece of cake with coffee at a café such as the Schleusenkrug on the edge of the enchanting Tiergarten. The Tiergarten’s charms are due to the work of 18th century horticulturalist and landscape designer Peter Joseph Lenné, who will be getting his due this year in an exhibition on his work. –Maxi

Tiergarten © visitBerlin, Foto: Schuleit

Tiergarten © visitBerlin, Foto: Schuleit

9. Festivals of Lights

We don’t yet know the exact dates, but I’m definitely going to keep the weekends in late September/early October free. Although that’s just about the time when we start to mourn the loss of the long summer nights, Berlin has the cure with its Festival of Lights! I can barely wait for the return of dark evenings because Berlin will be lit up in thousands of bright colours and people will be strolling the streets in the cool autumn air while photographers seek the perfect shot and the crowd stands in front of Berlin Cathedral to watch projections. Truly my personal highlight each year. –Elisabeth

© berlin-lights.com, Foto: Verworner

© berlin-lights.com, Foto: Verworner

10. Berlin Philharmonie

No matter when, I intend to finally go to a concert at the Berlin Philharmonie, where phenomenal acoustics meets truly unique architectural design, not to mention a top-notch musical programme. I’m looking forward to it. – Maxi

Philharmonie © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

Philharmonie © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

11. Christmas carolling at 1. FC Union Berlin

Christmas 2015 might just be over, but I’m already looking forward to my personal highlight for 2016 on 23 December: The Christmas carolling at 1. FC Union at the Alte Försterei! Every year on the eve of Christmas Eve, about 20,000 fans, friends and families gather with candles and songbooks to sing carols together in the football club’s stadium. And as the entire stadium intones “Silent Night”, this will mark the perfect end to what I am sure will be a wonderful year for me. –Sarah

Fussballspiel des 1 FC_Union Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

Fussballspiel des 1 FC_Union Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

What will be your Berlin highlights in 2016? Drop us a comment or get inspired at visitBerlin, because one thing is certain: there’s always some way to have fun in Berlin, 24/7, 365 days a year!

 
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About the Author

Maxi-Lena Schuleit

Kentucky, Paris, Lisbon. These are just a few stops on this globetrotter's journey, but only one city has been able to conquer her heart fully: Berlin, of course, because nowhere else can you cycle along a canal in the evening sun and swing over the rooftops where the Iron Curtain once divided the city. Exploring the city with open eyes: that's her mission for the blog.

 

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