Berlin Travel Guide


Berlin's calendar is loaded with annual fairs, festivals, concerts and parties. The Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), the second largest in the world, is held in February. Christopher Street Day is the city's big gay parade; it hits the streets in June, while the techno Loveparade goes doof in early July. (Not in 2004, however - it's taking a rest, and will be back in 2005.) JazzFest Berlin doo-bops in November and Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) are held throughout the city in the month before the big day.

All shops, banks, government offices and post offices close on public holidays.

Public Holidays
Mar/Apr - Easter Monday
Mar/Apr - Easter Sunday
Mar/Apr - Good Friday
1 Jan - New Year's Day
1 May - Labour Day
40 days after Easter - Ascension Day
25 Dec - Christmas Day
3 Oct - Day of German Unity
May/Jun - Whit/Pentecost Monday
May/Jun - Whit/Pentecost Sunday
26 Dec - Boxing/St Stephen's Day

When to Go

Berlin is a fascinating city year-round, although most visitors arrive between May and September when the weather is the most reliable. Things are busier in high season, but despite the crowds, summer is a lovely time to be here because much of life moves outdoors. Rain is, however, possible in any month, so come prepared. From November to early March, skies tend to be gloomy and the mercury often drops below freezing. On the plus side, there are fewer visitors and shorter queues. Avoid major holidays like Easter, Christmas and New Year and special events such as Loveparade - unless, of course, that's what brings you here in the first place.

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