From the clash of the footballing titans in tomorrow’s UEFA Champions League final to the musical mayhem of Lollapalooza and artistic masterpieces of Botticelli, Berlin’s got a lot going on over the next few months.
The giants of European football are preparing to descend on the German capital tomorrow as FC Barcelona get ready to take on Turin’s Juventus in the hotly-anticipated UEFA Champions League Final. And accompanying the teams, there’ll be a distinctly Latin buzz in the Berlin air as football fans flock in their thousands from Spain and Italy, all adding to the excitement and energy enveloping the city as the hours tick down to kick-off.
And yet, football final aside, Berlin offers a wealth of cultural attractions and historical landmarks, not to mention a wide variety of festivals and events which, put together, make the German capital an enduringly popular city break destination. For the ultimate short break experience in Berlin, why not try and combine your stay with one of the special events taking place in the city? Here’s a little look at just a few of the events taking place in Berlin over the next few months…
Until 20 September: ImEX Impressionism Expressionism
On display at Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie, this is a unique, large scale exhibition devoted to Impressionist and Expressionist works of art. Comparing the two styles side by side, the exhibition will seek to explore the differences of the two artistic genres as well as their common traits. There’s be a large number of big-name masterpieces will be on display, including those by Manet, Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, Monet and Cézanne representing the Impressionist school, whilst Expressionism is championed by the likes of Kirchner, Pechstein, Heckel and Nolde. Closed Mondays, the exhibition is otherwise open daily from 10am.
2 – 6 July: Classic Open Air 2015
Now in its 24th year, this annual Classic Open Air Festival takes place in the beautiful setting of the Gendarmenmarkt, one of Berlin’s most striking historical squares. Each evening has a different theme, starting off with highlights of classical, film and pop music, moving on to Italian operatic greats such as Aida and La Traviata, and favourite French songs by the likes of Édith Piaf and Jacques Brel. You’ll also hear the musical works of Chopin and Brahms, and a big band culmination devoted to Frank Sinatra.
6 – 10 July: Berlin Fashion Week
The second of the city’s annual fashion shows, Berlin’s summer fashion week unveils the trends ahead for the autumn-winter season on the catwalk, at trade fairs and exhibitions. The great and the good of both the German and international fashion world head for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, held at the Brandenburg Gate, or the Expocenter at Messedamm for Panorama Berlin, yet you can also get in the sartorial swing by hanging out at one of the many public shows.
7 – 9 August: International Berlin Beerfestival
Now in its 19th year, the International Berlin Beerfestival hits the streets of the German capital (Karl-Marx-Allee to be precise) and is renowned for holding the world record for the longest beer garden (2.2km). Over this weekend, some 340 breweries from 87 countries present around 2,400 different beer specialities and each year, there’s a different focus (previous years have seen the beers of the Czech Republic, Poland, the Baltic nations and even Vietnam take centre stage). With live music to add to the atmosphere, the event takes place from midday to midnight on Friday, 10am to midnight on Saturday and 10am to 10pm on the Sunday and best of all, it’s free to enter.
12 – 13 September: Lollapalooza
Taking place at the former Tempelhof Airport site, today a popular venue for concerts and festivals, Berlin hosts the first European edition of the revered US music festival. This year’s inaugural line-up includes Muse, Bastille, Sam Smith, Stereophonics, James Bay and Fat Boy Slim.
15 – 20 September: Berlin Art Week
The fourth Berlin Art Week, art lovers from around the world will gather in the German capital to celebrate all things art. This year’s theme is ‘ABC’ – Art Berlin Contemporary and around the city you’ll find some 20 institution exhibitions, private collection viewings, gallery nights, performances, screenings, talks and project spaces.
25 September – 24 January (2016): The Botticelli Renaissance
For fans of the Florentine painter, Botticelli, the Gemäldegalerie is the place to be this autumn as a fabulous collection of over 100 of his Renaissance masterpieces are brought together from the world’s greatest cultural institutions and put on display in the German capital, 20 of which for the first time in public.
27 September: BMW Berlin Marathon
The world’s fastest marathon course and arguably one of the largest and most popular, the BMW Berlin marathon first started in 1974 and this year’s event marks its 42nd year. Starting and finishing near the iconic Brandenburg Gate, the mostly-flat course covers both the east and west sides of the city and passes by or near some of Berlin’s most famous and historic landmarks including the Reichstag building, Berliner Dom and Potsdamer Platz, with an estimated one million spectators and bands lining the route.
28 September – 4 October: Berlin Food Week
In only its second year, the Berlin Food Week offers a promotional platform for regional and international cuisine, whilst also highlighting nutritional awareness, sustainability and the simple pleasures of good food.