Top 5 times to visit Berlin
5) Karnaval der Kulturen
Food stands are aplenty, music is ubiquitous and the streets are gorged with every sub-culture from Punk to Bohemian. It sounds like a German World cup victory, but it is none other than Berlin’s Karnaval Der Kulturen that happens during May (it moves around from year to year). Various ethnic groups let it all out for a weekend long feast that leaves everyone with a few extra pounds and the memory of a virtual journey around the world.
4) May 1st celebrations:
In the same vein as the Karnaval der Kulturen above, May 1st celebrations are a weekend long affair with food and dance with a political agenda to complement the whole thing. May 1 st is both the time when Nazis walk down in Berlin and when the Anti-Nazis create a huge party to draw all the attention away from the haters.
This February event is the most important film happening in Germany and without a doubt one of the most valued film festival in Europe. Thousands of movie buffs make their way to the capital in order to watch one of the 400 features projected in cinemas scattered all over the city.
It may seem like an obvious one, but Christmas spirit is no joke around here. It’s usually snowed in and cold: conditions are perfect for some traditional Glühwein. The Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market is an absolute must. They sell every type of comfort food you can imagine – try käse spätzle, it’s a German version of gnocchi drowned in cheese. Unter Den Linden, the big avenue leading up to the Brandenburg, is sparkling with Christmas light and there is a giant tree specifically designed to make everyone feel like a child again.
From May – or rather June this year because of the volcano eruption – to August, the sun is out, along with the multi-colored bikes and the low cut dresses. What’s Berlin got the most of? Parks! Berlin is a green city and the best time to enjoy is, well, when everything is green. At the first ray of sunshine, all the chairs and tables are set up on terraces and ice cream stands are blossoming like Hydrangeas.
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