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What to do this weekend in Berlin

You're in Berlin, yet you don't know what to do? Don't worry. We've asked around and here are our picks of the best events happening this weekend in the city.

Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia

There’s so much going on each weekend in this city, it’s easy to get spoiled for choice trying to find something to do. That’s why we’ve picked out some highlights: the best parties, events, exhibitions going on in Berlin right now.


Thursday 

Transmediale

Image: Transmediale, design by Bárbara Acevedo Strange

Transmediale is Berlin festival for art in the post-digital age. Don’t miss this Thursday’s lecture on colonialism and portals, “Planetary Portals: Diamond Power”, at the Akademie der Künste at 18:00. While you’re there, check out Transmediale’s exhibition Or So It Seems, which interrogates the technical and socio-political implications of computer-vision technologies.

  • Akademie der Künste, 18:00, other events throughout the day and weekend, details

Performing Spaces with Kvirtet and Untitled Tbilisi 

Photo:  © Anastasia Bobrowa (cyberpes)

Kvirtet is an artist’s collective of non-binary performers, upcycle designers, singers and entertainers, founded in 2021 in Kyiv. As a consequence of Russia invasion, Kvirtet is now based in Berlin, but remains active throughout Europe. The collective’s extravagant shows feature live music, lavish dress and vocals in Ukrainian and English. Be sure to stay after the performance for a conversation with Kvirtet and Untitled Tbilisi Admission to the space in Hamburger Bahnhof is free the first Thursday of every month. 

  • Hamburger Bahnhof, 17:30, details

Replay

Photo: IMAGO / Martin Mueller

The gloriously named Olympia Bukkakis has been a camp titan of the Berlin drag scene for over a decade. In her new show, she takes a critical look at high culture’s obsession with dying women, the dehumanisation of pop culture, and the oppressive hetero- and cis-normativity that lurks on the drag stage. Sure to be as thought-provoking as it is riotously entertaining, expect a mix of opera, video art and, of course, a legendary drag performance.

  • Sophiensaele, 20:00, runs through Feb 5, details

Friday

Acid Arab

Photo: IMAGO / Gonzales Photo

Techno, house, trap, dub and disco are only the starting point – from there, Acid Arab bridges traditional Middle Eastern sounds with hedonistic party vibes. The fusion of North African and Middle Eastern instrumentation and rhythm with electronica sounds is sure to get you moving, and you won’t soon forget its unmistakable sound. 

Strom: Electronic Music Festival

Image: Philharmonie Berlin promo

When you imagine the Berlin Philharmonie, you might picture an octogenarian sipping white wine and accidentally falling asleep during the performance – forget about that. The Philharmonie knows how to throw a party. If you’ve never graced the cultured halls of Berlin’s classical forum, then Friday is a good time to start, with DJ sets from Marcel Dettmann, upsammy, Juan Atkins and more.

  • Berlin Philharmonie, 20:00, details

Metropolis & Babylon Orchestra Live

Image: Babylon Kino Berlin

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is one of the greatest films of the Weimar era, and a milestone in the history of cinema. Like no other film, Metropolis represents the heyday of German silent films made in Berlin: 310 days of shooting, 36,000 extras, 200,000 costumes and what was then an enormous budget of five million Reichsmarks. Don’t miss a special screening this Friday at one of Berlin’s historic Kinos, accompanied live by the Babylon Orchestra. 

  • Babylon Kino Berlin, 19:30, details

CTM Fest: The Ghosts Are Returning

Photo: CTM Festival 2023 – Portals, key visual/design by Vojd

Group 50:50 is a collective of artists from Congo, Switzerland, and Germany that explores the historical and current economic and political interconnections between their countries. As part of this year’s CTM festival, they will present The Ghosts Are Returning, a post-documentary music performance about seven pygmy skeletons brought to Geneva from Congo by a Swiss doctor in the 1950s.

  • HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU1), 19:00, details

Saturday

Gallery Power LTD

Photo: courtesy of ChertLüdde and Kasia Fudakowski

Kasia Fudakowski’s playful work includes sculpture, film, performance and writing that explores social riddles through material encounters, surreal logic and comic theory. Her new interactive exhibition features motors and lights controlled by visitors – the more that come, the more energy it will require to run the exhibition. Eventually, the power will run out. This all begs the question: who’s really in control, the individual or the unseen corporations?

  • Chert Lüdde, reception at 18:00, through Apr 15, details

Wein Berlin

Photo: Imago/Popeye

At the Wein Berlin wine fair, over 900 wines will be available to sample. Try one from the German wine regions, or one from the wineries of Italy, Spain, France, Australia, South Africa, or Chile. After finding a new favourite wine, you’ll have the chance to order directly from the supplier! Even if you aren’t a connoisseur, you can simply enjoy spending time in the historic imperial telegraph building. And at 20 euros, playing rich has never been cheaper.

  • Telekomrepräsentanz, 12:00-17:00, details

Vintage & Preloved Kilo Popup

Image: Second Life Fashion

Explore sustainable fashion at this Saturday’s Vintage Kilo popup shop. The prices are based on €25 a kilo, which roughly equates to €9 for denim, €7 for a dress and €4 for a t-shirt. Come sort through thousands of quality, vintage garments, and see what an alternative to fast fashion looks like. Pre-book your preferred time slot for free online beforehand.

  • “we are. Warehouse” Colditzstr 28 BAU 6 12099 Berlin, 12:00-18:00, details

Sunday 

Museum Sunday

Photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia

It’s that time of the month again! Reserve your time slot and enjoy Berlin’s vast cultural offerings at all state-owned museums and galleries, completely free of charge. Take a look at our favourite current exhibitions if you can’t decide where to start.

CTM Closing Party

Image: courtesy of Amnesia Scanner & Freeka Tet

One of CTM’s most-anticipated events is always the closing party, and what better act to finish things than the always reliable electronic-performative duo Amnesia Scanner. Always provocative, thought-provoking, and riotously entertaining, the duo will premiere a new, AV performance at Radialsystem. The showcase will bring together narratives about isolation and capitalist survivalism, all wrapped into a grotesque carnival of bright lights, digital effects, and gnarly beats and sounds.

Museum Cafés

Photo: Baret

Since it’s Museum Sunday, why not check out some of the museum cafés while you’re at it?

Baret, the Humboldt Forum’s in-house restaurant and café, has an excellent lunch and dinner menu, and some of the best views of Berlin. The Margarete café in the Documentation Center for Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation is also known for an excellent lunch menu, with sandwiches and salads to go. Another favorite is the Café Dix, named for expressionist painter Otto Dix. This spot features an excellent and eclectic menu, but the German meatballs and cakes shouldn’t be missed.

Bon Appétit!

  • Locations vary

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