Cold weather is upon us, but don’t be tempted to hide out in your blanket cocoon. You can’t afford the gas bill anyway, and Berlin has so much to offer in autumn. We’ve put together a list of events and activities to try this month, from the German Unity Day to Berlin food week, open mosque day and the city’s favourite porn festival, there’s plenty going on this October.
Schöneberg Pumpkin Festival
At the Schöneberg Pumpkin Festival, everything revolves around pumpkins. On October 1 and 2, more than 10,000 pumpkins in every shape and form will be on display in the Akazienkiez. It’s best to arrive with an empty stomach so you can sample as many soups, cakes and quiches as possible.
- Sat Oct 1. 11-20:00 / Sun Oct 2. 10-20:00
- Akazienstraße and Belziger Straße, Schöneberg
- free admission
go drag! festival
As drag becomes more mainstream, go drag! festival aims to represent the people that the art form has left behind – BIPOC, trans and non-binary artists will be offered an exclusive stage. A whole raft of exhibitions, lectures, films and parties are on offer this year. There are five cabaret nights, a fascinating historical piece, and an intimate look at climate change and biodiversity loss conveyed through, you guessed it, the medium of drag. Go celebrate diversity and inclusivity with these talented performers and artists.
- Oct 1-9
- English Theater, UfaFabrik and other venues
- cost will vary, some events are free
Lucia Moholy – The Image of Modernity
Lucia Moholy is an important, often overlooked figure in the history of Bauhaus. Her clean black-and-white photographs of Bauhaus buildings and their interiors immortalised the modernist movement, brought the ideas and reputation of the institution to a wider public, and were instrumental in turning it into the most influential art and design school of the 20th century. This solo exhibition zeroes in on her time in Berlin, takes her out of the shadow of her more famous husband, László Moholy-Nagy, and shows her immense achievements as an artist in her own right.
- Oct 1 through Jan 22, 2023
- The Bröhan Museum, (Schloßstraße 1a)
- €8 / €5 reduced
Farm Feast #4
It’s your last chance this year to hang out with Berlin’s hippest hoteliers at their regenerative farm in Spreewald. The afternoon programme includes a tour of the grounds and a lengthy lunch celebrating the bounty of the season. Make the excursion into a day trip by taking a bike tour or renting a canoe to see more of the area.
- Sun Oct 2. Starts 12:30
- Michelberger Farm, shuttle pickup from Vetschau station
- €50, drinks sold separately
Open Mosque Day
Mosques throughout all of Germany are opening their doors and offering guided tours, lectures, exhibitions and invitations for food during the Tag der offenen Moschee: a perfect opportunity to peek behind the curtains and have tea with your neighbourhood imam. The motto this year – ‘Scarce resources, great responsibility’ – focuses on how our choices impact the environment.
- Mon Oct 3
- 17 mosques in Berlin
- free admission
German Unity Day
Since 1990, October 3rd has been the official German Unity Day. This year, the holiday (and the corresponding street party) falls on a Monday, and you can expect balloons, bands and beer trucks on the main boulevard leading from Siegessäule to Brandenburg Gate. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your day off of work.
- Mon Oct 3
Talk Union Berlin with author Kit Holden
Since their surprising promotion to the Bundesliga in 2019, Union Berlin has continued defying the odds by becoming one of Germany’s most successful (and likeable) clubs. Join this discussion of all things football and Berlin with sports writer Kit Holden, author of a fascinating new book (Scheisse! We’re Going Up!) that interweaves the story of Union’s rise with the recent history of the city itself.
- Oct 4. Start 19:00
- Dussmann English Bookshop (Lesezimmer, 1st floor, Friedrichstrasse)
tipBerlin Food Festival
Our sister publication tipBerlin is putting on a multi-day celebration of food and the people who bring it to our tables. All week long, hand-picked restaurants across town – from Michelin darlings to up-and-comers – will be hosting exclusive dinners as well as workshops and lab events where chefs reveal their secrets. It all culminates in a blowout weekend at Clärchen’s Ballhaus (Oct 8-9). Head to the courtyard for a Food Market where partner Edeka presents the city’s most exciting local producers and start-ups; go for a day of panel discussions with chefs and food experts (Oct 8) and get hands-on with a full day of workshops and a show kitchen (Oct 9). If you leave hungry, it’s your own fault.
- Oct 3-9
Week of Club Culture
This year, Berlin will celebrate the Day of Club Culture for an entire week instead of just one day. This project was launched in 2020 to highlight the multifacetedness and diversity of Berlin’s club scene. The motto of the event this year is “Growing Roots – Shaping Spaces”, and the programme could not be more diverse. More than 40 clubs and collectives invite visitors to plunge deep into Berlin’s nightlife with parties, concerts, readings, discussions and much more.
- Oct 3-9
ARGUMENTS. An approach
Few people enjoy arguing, but it is a deep-rooted part of human communication. Beginning October 7th, the Museum of Communication is dedicating an entire exhibition to the topic. Be it in a political, economic or social context – the significance of disputes will be staged with around 150 exhibits.
- Starting Oct 7
- Museum of Communication (Leipziger Str. 16)
- €6, reduced €3, free admission up to 17 years
Festival of Lights
For an autumnal pick-me-up when it gets dark at 7pm, make your way towards one of Berlin’s many landmarks. The Festival of Lights will turn Berlin into a vast open-air gallery with monuments and buildings acting as canvases for light installations, projections and 3D-video shows – from Museum Island to Gendarmenmarkt. This year’s motto is “Visions of our Future”, and the installations will use 75 percent less energy than in previous years.
- Oct 7-16. 19-23:00
- free, or €23 guided tour
Berlin Food Week
Take a glimpse at the future of food at this week-long culinary extravaganza. Sample Germany’s most promising food-and-drink-focused startups at the House of Food in Bikini Berlin, learn from the city’s hot chefs at the Miele Cooking School or splurge on a ‘Stadtmenü’ at some 20 participating restaurants. This year’s theme: alternative protein (fake meat).
- Oct 10-16
A giant of the genre, there are few other names in hip-hop that could pull the crowd Kendrick Lamar will at Berlin’s landmark venue. Mercedes-Benz Arena. Make sure to listen to his newest album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers before attending.
- Mercedes-Benz Arena
- Tue Oct 11. Doors open 18, start at 20
- tickets starting €64.15
Human Rights Film Festival
Every year, the Human Rights Film Festival Berlin showcases a diverse array of outstanding documentaries from all over the world. As bearers of uncomfortable truths, they exhume unofficial narratives, marginalised experiences and untold histories while raising awareness of human rights abuses. This celebration of bravery, both behind the camera and in front of it, seeks to bring unsung heroes to the limelight, people who are going more than the extra mile to uphold justice, or who, as the festival organisers say, are “risking a lot for change – standing up to those in power and proving that a better and more just society is possible”. The 42 films shown this year will be accompanied by discussions and Q&As with filmmakers, activists and experts.
- Oct 13-23
- Sputnik Kino am Südstern, ACUDKino and other venues
Berlin Art Prize Exhibitions
This is your last chance to check out the Berlin Art Prize, which returned after a two-year hiatus with its own independent and democratised version of traditional art awards. The Art Prize is open to every Berlin-based artist. The competition ignores career achievements and focuses solely on the artist’s most recent body of work. This not-for-profit initiative boasts a line-up that reflects the enormous diversity in Berlin’s art scene. The nine exhibitions, spread around the city, are full of readings, performances and discussions.
- Now until Oct 14. Open Fri-Sun, 15-19:00
- 8 exhibitions in Berlin
- free admission
“Too Drunk To Watch” Punk film festival
The poster for this event declares, ‘love movies, hate fascism”, and we can’t think of a better way to sum up this festival. Come join the anarchy at ‘Too Drunk to Watch’, the 9th edition of the Punkfilmfest. The numerous films, documentaries, live performances by various bands and open discussions with directors guarantee visitors some deep insights into the world of punk. Don’t forget your leather pants.
- Oct 20-25
- Lichtblick-Kino (Kastanienallee 77, Prenzlauer Berg)
The Reading: Leon Craig
Local legends Jane Flettand and Rebecca Rukeyser – in association with The Reader Berlin – present a new literary series named ‘The Reading’. In each instalment, one established author of poetry, fiction or nonfiction will promote their book alongside readings by emerging writers and artists based in Berlin. To kick things off, Leon Craig will present her “queer horror” book Parallel Hells.
- Oct 25. Starts 19:30.
- Das Gift (Donaustraße 119, 12043 Berlin)
This month marks the 17th annual edition of the Pornfilmfestival Berlin, an indie film extravaganza that approaches its topic – pornography – with an emphasis on feminist and queer perspectives and a tendency to showcase the more artistic forms within the genre. A spiritual home for all things pornographic, the festival explores the intricate nuances and artful reification of sex and sexuality on screen. For five days, it will explore all the medium’s nooks and crannies while upending taboos and encouraging a progressive and positive dialogue. Leave your hang-ups at the door!
- Oct 25-30
- Moviemento, Babylon Kreuzberg
- tickets on-site at the box office or online
Mush is a Leeds-based punk band. On their third album, Down Tools, they take a marked sonic from their breakout sophomore album Lines Redacted. Swapping simmering post-punk for blissed-out psychedelia, this is a change of pace but a continuation in spirit for one of the real underrated gems grafting through the much-lauded Northern English scene. Tickets are a seriously good deal, so go and enjoy the music!
- Oct 24. Doors open 19, starts 20
- Schokoladen, (Ackerstraße 169, Mitte)
EXBlicks – Ithaka: In the name of the son
EXBlicks’ monthly film rendezvous serves up the latest film contribution in the struggle for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s liberty. Ithaka is Ben Lawrence’s first-hand exploration of the family dynamics behind the noble fight to free the world’s most famous political prisoner. Watching Assange’s father John Shipton as he accepts and embodies the role of supporter and parental guardian is a lesson in humility and perseverance. Stay on for a discussion with the EXB team and a glass of wine. This film has English surtitles.
- Oct 27. Starts 20:00.
- Lichtblick Kino, (Kastanienallee 77)
Halloween for the kids in Filmpark Babelsberg
Filmpark Babelsberg offers lots of fun events for Halloween, but on the day itself, there is a spooky festival just for kids. Children can try their hands at carving pumpkins into eerie lanterns, cook up some witch recipes, get spooked by a scary children’s film or try something called a ‘crazy eyeball run’. We don’t know what that is, but we’re sure your kids will love it.
- Oct 31. 10-17:00
- Filmpark Babelsberg (Großbeerenstraße 200, Potsdam)
- €19.70, children up to 16 years €13.70 and children up to three years free
Kids Culture Month
Every Saturday and Sunday in October, various museums and cultural spaces across Berlin welcome families with special events and workshops. Hunt monsters at the Berlinische Galerie or learn how to code self-driving cars at the Futurium!
- Events are scheduled every weekend in October
- free admission for children (ages 4-12)