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  • What to do in Berlin this December: The best events


What to do in Berlin this December: The best events

Berlin in December is something special. Get ready for Xmas markets, long club nights and New Year's Eve.

Photo: IMAGO / NurPhoto

December 1

Around the World in 14 Films

Still from Green Border © Agata Kubis

This is consistently one of the best film festivals in the Hauptstadt. Around the World in 14 Films brings a wide range of indie cinematic talent to the kinos of Berlin. Each screening is accompanied by a conversation between the director and a leading figure in the German film industry. This is an incredible opportunity to discover films from all over the world and be immersed in the world of filmmaking.

  • Kino in der KulturBrauerei, delphi LUX and Neue Off, Dec. 1  – 9, details

December 2

African Food Festival Berlin

Discover over 50 black-owned businesses and creatives at the African Xmas Shopping, Food and Music Festival, part of African Food Festival Berlin. The perfect place to stock up on gifts, eat delicious food and celebrate in style.

  • Kuehlhaus Berlin, Luckenwalder Str. 3, Gleisdreieck, Dec. 2 – 3, details

Zero Waste Christmas Market

The Zero Waste Berlin festival this year presents Berlin’s first sustainable zero-waste Christmas market. This is an incredible chance to minimise your environmental impact when buying Christmas presents for loved ones. You will also be able to enjoy delicious food, music and workshops.

  • Atelier Gardens, Oberlandstr. 26-35, Neukölln, Dec. 2 – 3, details

December 3

Museum Sunday

Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Ritter.

Every first Sunday of the month, admission is free to a wide range of museums and cultural institutions across the city. This December you can enjoy The Christmas House at the Knoblauchhaus Museum, cultural conversations in the Alte Nationalgalerie, a wintery welcome in the open air Düppel Museum, plus much more.

  • Various locations, Dec. 3, details

Exotic Spices Tour

Photo: IMAGO / Pond5 Images

Twice this month you can enjoy a tour of the Botanical Gardens that focuses on exotic spices. Breathe in the delicious smells and learn about the origins of some of your favourite flavours, including some beloved Christmas spices like star anise, cloves and cinnamon.

  • Botanical Gardens, Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Dec. 3 & 6, details

Sunday shopping

Photo: IMAGO / Emmanuele Contini

Everyone knows the pain of waking up on a Sunday morning with nothing in the fridge and realising you have to get an S-Bahn to the Hauptbahnhof Rewe for a loaf of bread. Well, luckily there are two Sundays in December when all shops are permitted to open, a particular blessing in the run-up to Christmas, no excuses to not get presents now!

  • Various locations, Dec. 3 and Dec. 17, details

December 5

Aerocircus: RambaZamba + Tomás Saraceno

aerocircus, RambaZamba Theater & Tomás Saraceno, Photo: Phillip Zwanzig

At the beginning of December, the RambaZamba Theater and Tomás Saraceno invite Berlin audiences to aerocircus – a circus carnivalesque with covered wagons that defies definition. The setting is both dystopian and full of possibility: an ecologically devastated earth is presented on stage. But Saraceno’s visions open up space for a new beginning: a flying circus, which has preserved humanity’s wildest dreams.

  • Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Schaperstr. 24, 10719 Berlin, premieres on December 5 with three further performances on December 6, 9 and 10, details

December 6

Wanted! Strong Civil Societies

Photo: David von Becker

This event brings together people from all over the world to discuss and express experiences and ideas on the subject of “civil society”. Come to Futurium and listen to the words of those at the forefront of the fight for democracy, and find out how you can help.

  • Futurium, Alexanderufer 2, Mitte, Dec. 6, details

December 7

Belles Choses, Art Nouveau

Photo: Martin Adam

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bröhan Museum, there will be a major exhibition entirely focused on its primary theme, French Art Nouveau. Come and revel in the splendour of this renowned movement and learn about the artists who defined the Belle Epoque.

  • Bröhan Museum, Schloßstr. 1A, Charlottenburg, Dec. 7 – Apr. 14, details

December 8

Flashback Friday

Photo: Tobias Ahlbrecht

Kink and nostalgia come together in this homage to the 90s at Insomnia, so make sure you dress to theme in a sexy take on the decade’s iconic style. Listen to guilty pleasures on the dancefloor or head to the jacuzzi for some guilt-free ones.

  • Insomnia, Alt-Tempelhof 17-19, Tempelhof, Dec. 8, details

Alt-Rixdorf Christmas market

Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Held

Set upon the historic cobblestones of Richardplatz, every stall at the Alt-Rixdorf Christmas market is run by a non-profit organisation. Stock up on beautiful handmade gifts and festive treats and bask in the light of the eco-friendly oil lamps that give this Christmas market its unique glow.

  • Richardplatz 28, Neukölln, Dec. 8 – 10, details

Klub Verboten x Untertage III / III Berlin

Photo: Zbigniew Kotkiewicz

Club Verboten is hosting its last event at the legendary queer club Untertage, which is closing for the first quarter of next year for construction work.  A self-described “pro pervert” party, Klub Verboten provides a safe and joyful space to enjoy BDSM and fetish. 

  • Untertage, Mehringdamm 32, Kreuzberg, Dec. 8, details

December 9

English Christmas Market

Photo: IMAGO / Wirestock

St Georges Church in Charlottenburg presents a Very British Christmas. With a bagpipe performance, a raffle and classic British Christmas foods, such as mince pies and Christmas puddings. It’ll make for the day for hungry anglophiles and homesick expats alike. 

  • St George’s Anglican Church, Preußenallee 17, Charlottenburg, Dec. 9, details

yeule live at Zenner

Photo: Vasso Vu

See the Sinaporean experimental-pop “glitch princess” yeule perform her latest album soft scars live at Zenner. The album represents a soft of slo-motion version of hyperpop and was named one of the most important albums of the year by Pitchfork.

  • Zenner, Alt-Treptow 14-17, Treptow, Dec. 9, details

December 10

Richard Frater, What Remains of a Naturalist

Photo: Richard Frater, What remains of a naturalist, 2023. Courtesy the artist

Berlin-based artist Richard Frater presents a site-responsive structure and video study into the spaces occupied by various avian species, investigating how these have changed over time.

  • Klosterruine Berlin, Klosterstr. 73a, Mitte, Dec. 10 – Apr. 27, details

Christmas in Swing

Photo: Uwe Hauth

Andrej Hermlin and his Swing Dance Orchestra bring a revue of classic Christmas tunes from the 1930s, 40s and 50s to the iconic Philharmonie Berlin. Romance and humour imbue this joyous Christmas romp, where orchestral brilliance meets festive warmth.

  • Philharmonie Berlin, Herbert-von-Karajan-Str., Tiergarten, Dec. 10 – Dec. 26, details

Hanukkah 6: The Girl Group Gala

Image courtesy of: Collage Collective

Collage Collective has partnered with Brighter Agency to bring their annual Hanukkah benefit show to LARK Berlin. This year the theme is Girl Groups past and present, with familiar and new faces from the Berlin indie scene covering hits by beloved girl groups, from the Shangri-Las to the Sugarbabes. You can also enjoy a delicious range of Hanukkah food and drink. All profits are going to Doctors Without Borders.

  • LARK Berlin, Holzmarktstr. 15-18, Mitte, Dec. 10, details

December 11

Doc. Berlin

Photo: Doc.Berlin

At a time when the very notions of “truth” and “facts” have never been more unstable or contested, this festival showcasing documentaries by up-and-coming filmmakers from all over the world offers a vital space to watch, discuss and question. 

  • Babylon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, Mitte, Dec. 11 – 14, details

December 16

Kolorit Festival

Photo: Silent Green

This festival at Silent Green brings together contrasting musical genres and in doing so creates a unique synergy. Six artists will intertwine non-classical and live electronica, filling the space and creating something truly unique.

  • Silent Green Kulturquartier, Gerichtstr. 35, Wedding, Dec. 16, details

December 21

Black Land, Red Land, Restitute

Photo: Lutz Knopse

An interdisciplinary festival exploring the idea of the restitution of stolen artefacts in museums and institutions. Dismantling understandings of colonial systems of knowledge and power, and interrogating structures of preservation and heritage, this exhibition takes place across several of the city’s cultural venues.

  • Various locations, Dec. 21 – 28, details

December 22

Sonarloft – Hören Neue

The concrete atrium of the Kühlhaus is the perfect setting to experience Sonar Quartet’s experimental classical compositions. With their chamber music series Hören Neue, the group put the spotlight on an evolving piece or a particular composer.

  • Kühlhaus Berlin, Luckenwalder Str. 3, Kreuzberg, Dec. 22, details

December 23

Christmas Carols at Union Berlin

Photo: Union Berlin

Urs Fischer may be gone, but the tradition lives on. 20 years ago, 89 FC Union fans jumped the fences of the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, and — consumed by festive cheer — they started singing carols. This has become an annual tradition at the stadium every December 23rd, although it is now much more official, with a large choir and recitation of the Christmas story. You can’t help but be moved by this heartwarming tradition.

  • Stadion An der Alten Försterei, An d. Wuhlheide 263, Köpenick, Dec. 23, details

December 29

Critical Mass

Photo: Critical Mass

On the last Friday of every month, all over the world thousands of cyclists come together and ride as one as a symbolic display of the power of collective action. Get involved this December and feel the wonder of moving in unison for the last time in 2023.

  • Various meeting points, Dec. 29, details

December 30

Nosferatu Live with Babylon Orchestra

Photo: Imago/UnitedArchives

Watch the classic 1922 silent expressionist horror film, brought to life with the accompaniment of the Babylon Orchestra. Experience F.W Murnau’s iconic work in a whole new way as live music intensifies every beat of this Vampiric tale.

  • Babylon Berlin, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, Mitte, Dec. 30, details

December 31

Berliner Silvesterlauf

Photo: IMAGO / Camera 4

End the year on a high with the New Year’s Eve Run. You’ll see all kinds of wild costumes and the palpable sense of community makes running through that biting Berlin wind just about worthwhile. Everyone who finishes is rewarded with sweet pancakes and other delicious food.

  • Meet at the car park at Harbigstr. and Waldschulalee, Grunewald, Dec. 31, details

Merry Stripmas and a Happy New Queer

Photo: Berlin Strippers Collective

From the Berlin Stripper Collective and produced, written and performed by sex workers themselves, this show is dedicated to destigmatising sex work and stripping. Eroticism, humour and politics converge in this festive event that both entertains and educates.

  • Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Linienstr. 227, Mitte, Dec. 31, details

New Year’s Eve

Photo: IMAGO / Marius Schwarz

Berlin on New Year’s Eve is something special. Brave the streets and you’ll see more fireworks being exploding than you can imagine, or head to the club for one of the many, many parties happening until well into 2024. Whatever you end up doing, enjoy Silvester and Frohes Neues!

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