• Berlin
  • What to do in Berlin this December: The best end-of-year events


What to do in Berlin this December: The best end-of-year events

Berlin has got tons of events taking place this December, from Around the World in 14 Films, Christmas Markets, incredible concerts and the World Cup Final. We round up the very best.

Photo: IMAGO / NurPhoto

Around the World in 14 Films

Kino Delphi Lux. Photo: IMAGO / Jürgen Ritter

Cap off the year with a cinematic globetrot. The festival – a must for those unable to attend the likes of Cannes and Venice – kicks off with Mia Hansen-Løve’s critically acclaimed and much-awaited Un beau matin. This festival never disappoints, so book early.

  • Kino in der KulturBrauerei, delphi LUX and Neues Off
  • Dec 1-10. OV with English subtitles.
  • €10

Auf Wieder Bye Bye

Heimathafen. Photo: Sabri Patzelt

In post-war Berlin, radio station AFN provided US soldiers with news and music from home, growing popular beyond its target audience. This show looks back at that time with acrobatics, dance, live music and comedy.

  • Heimathafen Neukölln, (Saal Karl-Marx-Strasse 141)
  • Dec 2-4. In English
  • €26 / 18.50 reduced

Lila Lied

An international group of queer artists takes a musical journey back to the Weimar Republic. The show revisits figures like Anita Berber and Claire Waldoff through the contemporary story of migrants in Berlin.

  • Ballhaus Prinzenallee, (Prinzenallee 33)
  • Dec 2-4. In English with German and Polish surtitles.
  • €15-25

Orankelichter Christmas Market

Enjoy a lively program of live music, fire and LED performances, Xmas karaoke, handmade gifts and street food trucks at Strandbad Orankesee in Berlin-Lichtenberg – just one of the many, many great Christmas markets taking place around the city.

Hyäne Fischer: The total musical

Photo: Elsa Okazaki 

This absurd new piece from Volksbühne’s music curator Marlene Engel is about the heroines who have shaped Germany. Do not expect a straightforward ride; this feminist show challenges just as much as it entertains.

  • Volksbühne, (Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz)
  • Dec 3-31. In German with English subtitles.
  • €16-47

DakhaBrakha Ukraine

Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha performing in Estonia. Photo: IMAGO / Scanpix

One of Ukraine’s most famous bands, DakhaBrakha are known for their unique style of “ethno-chaos”, combining influences of traditional Ukrainian folk songs with experimental improvisations, the roots of which can be traced from Africa to Australia.

  • Tempodrom, (Möckernstr. 10)
  • Dec 5
  • €53


Shygirl attending the Music Photography Awards in 2022. Photo: IMAGO / agefotostock

This young UK rapper is the real deal. That they’re returning to Berlin so soon is a sign of their arc of stardom – if you manage to get a ticket, believe that it will go hard!

  • Astra Kulturhaus, (Revaler Str. 99)
  • Dec 6
  • €29

Viagra Boys

Viagra Boys in Copenhagen, May 2022. Photo: IMAGO / Gonzales Photo

What’s not to like about a band described as ‘fucking shamanistic techno rave repetition’? Seriously, Viagra Boys are incredible live – they know how to do atmosphere.

  • Astra Kulturhaus, (Revaler Str. 99)
  • Dec 7
  • €27

Underground Institute Festival

Limpe Fuchs. Photo: Mia Karic

Three days of sonic exploration, custom-built instruments, sound art and avant-garde pop treats. Limpe Fuchs, Lolina and Alexandra Cárdenas on day two are not to be missed among the stellar line-up. Expect sound sculpture and deconstructed beats in the former Wedding crematorium’s gorgeous, intimate Kuppelhalle.

  • Silent Green, Panke and gr_und gallery
  • Dec 8-10
  • €0-30 depending on the day

Cinema! Italia!

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the itinerant review looks back over Italian film history with classics old and new.

  • Babylon, Bali and Klick
  • Dec 8-14. OV with German subtitles
  • €5-10

Sandra Mujinga: I Build My Skin With Rocks

Photo: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Sandra Mujinga / Mathias Völzke

Winner of the 2021 Preis der Nationalgalerie, the artist starred in this year’s Venice Biennale with her green shadow figures. This show develops her research into science fiction and animal survival strategies.

  • Hamburger Bahnhof, (Invalidenstraße 50-51)
  • Dec 9-May 1
  • €8 / 4 reduced

Reflux Festival

Specially tailored to the acoustics of the location, the year’s third and last installation of Reflux brings you three electroacoustic concerts: two contemporary compositions and a classical one.

  • Uferstudios, Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek and Theater im Delphi
  • Dec 10-13
  • €15 / 10 reduced or Festival pass €90 / 60 reduced

Torture Garden Winterball

Enforcing a strict head-to-toe dress code (if you don’t get stared at on the way there, don’t bother), TG invites “fetish freaks to indulge in delight and perversity” in five themed rooms. Jingle balls truly jingle all the way here.

  • Metropol, (Nollendorfplatz 5)
  • 21-7am
  • €33

Game of Thrones: The Concert Show

A detail of the Iron Throne. Photo: IMAGO / NurPhoto

If you’ve ever watched GOT, you’ll know that the score ain’t playin’. This concert, with an orchestra, a choir and solo artists performing compositions from all eight seasons, is definitely not just for fantasy fans.

  • Tempodrom, (Möckernstr. 10)
  • Dec 11
  • €47-77

Doc Berlin

The last hurrah of the year at Babylon is a four-day long showcase, including around 30 short and long documentaries.

  • Babylon, (Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 30)
  • Dec 12-15. OV with English subtitles.

Embroidered Gardens

Towel with rich embroidery of silk, silver threads and gold lantern (detail), Turkey, 18th/19th century. Photo: Claus Uhlendorf

Marvel at the lavish Ottoman textiles from the Borg Collection – including extravagantly decorated towels, carpets and hangs – as well as the craftsmanship that went into making them.

  • Pergamonmuseum, (James-Simon-Galerie, Bodestraße)
  • Dec 16-April 16
  • €12 / 6 reduced

Phantoms of the Night: 100 Years of Nosferatu

Still from Nosferatu. Photo: IMAGO / United Archives International

Exploring the legacy of cult classic German vampire film Nosferatu on contemporary art and culture, this show celebrates F. W. Murnau’s silent classic 100 years after its premiere.

  • Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg, (Schloßstraße 70)
  • Dec 16-Apr 23
  • €8 / 4 reduced

Insults on stage

Photo: Aysima Ergün / Esra Rotthoff

The title says it all – Bühnenbeschimpfung by Sivan Ben Yishai confronts the audience with uncomfortable questions about the nature of the relationship between viewers and actors, power and authority.

  • Gorki, (Am Festungsgraben 2)
  • Dec 17 & 25. In German with English subtitles.
  • €14-42

World Cup Final 2022

Photo: IMAGO / Uwe Kraft

It’s been a controversial World Cup, to say the least, with plenty of lefty Kneipen across the city boycotting the proceedings – but the giant blood-stained spectacle will come to a close on December 18 with the World Cup Final. Who will lift the trophy? Check out our where to watch guide, with one spot for each participating team.

Andrej Hermlin & The Swingin’ Hermlins

The Swingin Hermlins during a performance in Dresden. Photo: IMAGO / Andreas Weihs

Not your normal black tie Weihnachtskonzert as the Berliner Philharmoniker welcomes the swing band to its hallowed stage. Now’s the time to let loose, Philharmonie-style!

  • Philharmonie, (Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1)
  • Dec 18
  • €25-55

Christmas Film Festival

Each year, the festival curates a selection of the most unexpected Christmas films from all over the world. Expect comedies and satires as well as critical, tragic and even scary movies.

  • Moviemento, (Kottbusser Damm 22)
  • Dec 22-26. OV with English subtitles.

Swan Lake

Ballet dancers performing Swan Lake. Photo: IMAGO / ITAR-TASS

We think we know Tchaikovsky’s music and yes, we’ve seen Natalie Portman’s big worried eyes in Black Swan. But there is something new for all the family in the Berlin Staatskapelle’s version, choreographed by Patrice Bart.

  • Staatsoper unter den Linden, (Unter den Linden 7)
  • Dec 23-Jan 20
  • €16-130

EXBlicks: Love, D-Marks and Death

Turkish Music Festival in 1984 in Dortmund Germany. Photo: IMAGO / Jochen Eckel

This year’s winner of the Berlinale Publikum prize, Cem Kaya’s documentary traces the Turkish Gastarbeiter music scene from the 1960s to the 1990s. Rare footage brings the subculture into a new light. Stay on for a Q&A with the filmmakers and a glass of wine.

  • Lichtblick Kino, (Kastanienallee 77)
  • Dec 26. In German with English subtitles.
  • €5-8.50

PornBlicks presents: Narcissism

Narcissus seeing his reflection in a Fountain becomes enamourd of himself, 1775. Artist: W Walker. Photo: IMAGO / Heritage Images

The year’s last EXBlicks rendez-vous presents a handpicked gem from Berlin’s Pornfilmfestival. Awarded best documentary for 2022, Toni Karat’s film explores gender identity, self-love and narcissism. Stay for the Q&A and a glass of wine.

  • Lichtblick Kino, (Kastanienallee 77)
  • Dec 29

New Year Eve: Welcome 2023!

Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia

Looking for Silvester fun? The big party at Brandenburg Gate is back. After the countdown, head to Clärchens Ballhaus for more intimate Weimar charm, or join the queer party on three floors at SchwuZ.

Want more Berlin tips? Subscribe to our newsletter.