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What to do this weekend

May 1: What to do on (and around) International Workers Day 2022

Prepare for a packed weekend in Berlin, with Gallery Weekend, May 1, Walpurgis night and more!

Demonstrations for Revolutionary May 1. Photo: IMAGO / Müller-Stauffenberg

Berlin has a long radical history and, alongside the arrival of nicer weather in the capital, May 1 is always a time for protest, celebration and getting together to enjoy some of the best cultural events around. Sadly, Myfest is cancelled this year, but what else is happening?

Revolutionary May Day

A protestor set a bin alight at the Revolutionary May 1 demonstration last year. Photo: IMAGO / Nicolaj Zownir

You can’t separate May 1 from International Workers Day and like every year, the Tag der Arbeit on May 1, 2022 will see protests move through the German capital. The largest of these is the Revolutionary May Day demonstration, which has its roots in a massive battle which broke out between police and left-wing groups on May 1, 1987. Since then, the first of May has been marked by protests (even if they’ve got more peaceful in recent years). The organisers for the Revolutionary May Day demo are Migrantifa who’ve assigned the motto of the demonstration as “Yalla Klassenkampf – no war but class war”. 

But this is not the only demonstration taking place. More than 5,000 police are expected to be on duty, with further protests organised by unions.

Walpurgis night in Mauerpark: April 30

Walpurgis night in Mauerpark. Photo: Imago/Rolf Zöllner

An even older tradition than International Workers Day is also being celebrated in Berlin this weekend. Head to Maurpark for Walpurgis Night, an evening of bonfires, fire juggling, music and dance to ring in the summer. The event is celebrated in commemoration of Saint Walpurga. Known for battling against pests, rabies, whooping cough and witchcraft, Saint Walpurga was canonised on May 1, 870 and her ascent into Sainthood has been a perfect excuse for feasts and fires ever since. 

For more information, head to the event’s website.

Dance into May at Berlin clubs

Dance into May at SO36. Photo: Imago/Travel-Stock-Image

Maybe you’re looking to Tanz in den Mai indoors. You’ll have no shortage of options: several clubs around Berlin are hosting dance events this weekend. Kulturbrauerei offers nine floors of music across genres, from R’n’B to rock to electronic, so head that way if you’re feeling non-committal. Meanwhile, SO36 will be hosting their Electric Ballroom starting at 11pm, while Quasimodo’s Disco Inferno offers a throwback to the 70s. Want something more chilled out? Astra’s got you covered with indie and Freiheit’s rock and dance Pop.arty brings on the nostalgia with a night of classic hits. Ava Club is going full on with a rave on Sunday and don’t forget to drop into Berghain’s acid-fuelled club night.

  • Kulturbrauerei Schönhauser Allee 36, Prenzlauer Berg, Sa 30.4., 21 Uhr. Visit their website for more information.
  • SO36 Oranienstraße 190, Kreuzberg, Sat 30., 23:00. Visit their website for more information.
  • Astra Kulturhaus Revaler Straße 99, Friedrichshain, Sat 30.4, 23:30. Visit their website for more information.
  • Freiheit 15, Köpenick, Sat 30, 22:00. Visit their website for more information.
  • Quasimodo Kantstraße 12A, Charlottenburg, Sat 30, 22:30. Visit their website for more information.
  • Ava Club Warschauer Platz 18, Friedrichshain, Sun 1, 14:00. Visit their website for more information.
  • Berghain/Panorama Bar Am Wriezener Bahnhof 70, Friedrichshain, Sat 30, 23:59.Visit their website for more information.

Museum sunday

Photo: David von Becker

It’s not just Gallery Weekend, but since July 2021, Berlin’s museums have been opening free of charge on the first Sunday of the month. Fancy a free trip to the Humboldt Forum or a browse through the Hamburger Bahnhof? Take advantage and book a timeslot. With nearly every museum – and several national monuments – participating in the monthly event, you won’t have any difficulty finding an exhibit that catches your eye. Don’t fret if your top choice is booked already – there’s always next month.

Click here for information on participating museums and monuments.

Spring Festival at Domäne Dahlem

Sample local food and meet the animals at Dahlem spring festival. Photo: Imago/Steinach

The Domäne Dahlem Spring Festival marks the opening of the market festival season. With a collection of stalls offering organic gastronomy, seeds and crops, the festival is a perfect place to spend the day sampling local food. Those interested in cultivation can join the Mixed Cultures in a Pot tour (and even pot your own tomato and basil), while another tour through an exhibition about water provides a traditional museum experience. Visitors will also have the chance to take part in a one hour demonstration about how the estate’s cattle are trained. With pony rides and tractor tours also on offer, Domäne Dahlem’s got all the makings of a perfect farm festival.

Domäne Dahlem Königin-Luise-Str. 49, Dahlem, Sat 30 – 1 from 11am-7pm each day. Entry €3.50, €2 for concessions, free entry for under 12’s. More information is available here.

Meet the Palace at Humboldt Forum

Rediscover the Palace of the Republic at Humbolt Forum. Photo: Imago/Herb Hardt

The Palast der Republik no longer exists, but Berliners have got the chance to experience it in a whole new way this weekend as the Humboldt Forum’s Schlüterhof opens its first exhibition. Complete with displays of lost items from Chez Company, an installation by street artist Russlan who will be painting a ten square meter mural live and two bowling alleys to honour of the lanes that used to exist inside the Palast, Humboldt’s first themed weekend is sure to be a hit. Don’t forget to stick around for Julia Menger’s evening event, The Palace of the Republic and the Negotiation of Public Places, featuring slam poets and a guest panel who discuss challenges to the status quo.

Humboldt Forum Schlossplatz, Mitte, Sat 14:00 – 22:00, Sun 10:00 – 18:00. Free entry (except for guided tours). More information is available here.