Berlin

Berlin has been an extremely creative capital ever since the 1920s when the liberal spirit of the Weimar Republic allowed it to give birth to more literary masterpieces, plays, musical performances, and even films (at the film studio in neighboring Babelsberg) than at perhaps any other time in German history.

The creative spirit has continued to flourish and, thanks to Berlin’s relatively cheap standard of living and high government subsidies for the arts, the city still offers an atmosphere like no other for those looking to be creative—and for those looking to enjoy their creations.

With four opera houses, an endless number of theaters, and cinemas both big and small, Berlin has something to offer the performing arts aficionado almost every day of the week. It’s just a matter of knowing where to find what interests you.

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  • 1. Berliner Festspiele

    This venue hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, including Maerzmusik (March), Theatertreffen (May), Musikfest Berlin (September), and Jazzfest Berlin (November). ...

    This venue hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, including Maerzmusik (March), Theatertreffen (May), Musikfest Berlin (September), and Jazzfest Berlin (November).

    Schaperstr. 24
    - 030 - 2548–9100
  • 2. Berliner Philharmonie

    Tiergarten

    The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world's best and their resident venue is the Philharmonie, comprising the Grosser Saal, or large main hall,...

    The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the world's best and their resident venue is the Philharmonie, comprising the Grosser Saal, or large main hall, and the smaller Kammermusiksaal, dedicated to chamber music. Tickets sell out in advance for the nights when star maestros conduct, but other orchestras and artists appear here as well. Wednesday's free Lunchtime Concerts fill the foyer with eager listeners of all ages at 1 pm between September and June. Show up early as these concerts can get very crowded.

    Herbert-von-Karajan-Str. 1
    - 030 - 2548–8999 - ticket office
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  • 3. Deutsche Oper Berlin

    Charlottenburg

    Of the many composers represented in the repertoire of Deutsche Oper Berlin, Verdi and Wagner are the most frequently presented....

    Of the many composers represented in the repertoire of Deutsche Oper Berlin, Verdi and Wagner are the most frequently presented.

    Bismarckstr. 35
    - 030 - 343–84343
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  • 4. silent green Kulturquartier

    Wedding

    Silent green presents concerts, films, and readings in what might be the city’s most unique venue: a former working crematorium, which opened in 1910 and...

    Silent green presents concerts, films, and readings in what might be the city’s most unique venue: a former working crematorium, which opened in 1910 and shut down in 2002. Events happen in both the 17-meter-high domed former funeral hall and the underground concrete crematorium, as well as on the outdoor lawn during the summer. Occasional 90-minute guided tours cover the building’s history; see the website for scheduled times. For refreshments during both show and non-show days, the MARS Café & Bar serves a weekly changing lunch menu as well as coffee and cakes in the afternoon.

    Richtstr. 35
    - 030 - 1208–2210

    Arts/Entertainment Details

    Rate Includes: Tours €12
  • 5. Staatsoper Berlin

    Mitte

    The premier opera company in Berlin presents both traditional and contemporary productions, often with international opera stars, in their beautiful concert house on Unter den...

    The premier opera company in Berlin presents both traditional and contemporary productions, often with international opera stars, in their beautiful concert house on Unter den Linden.

    Unter den Linden 7
    - 030 - 2035–4555 - tickets
  • 6. Volksbühne

    Mitte

    The Volksbühne is unsurpassed for its aggressively experimental style, and the 824 seats are often sold out. The unusual building was reconstructed in the 1950s...

    The Volksbühne is unsurpassed for its aggressively experimental style, and the 824 seats are often sold out. The unusual building was reconstructed in the 1950s using the original 1914 plans. It also houses two smaller performance spaces—the Roter Salon and the Grüner Salon—which host everything from retro Motown nights and salsa classes for all levels to touring pop and rock acts.

    Rosa-Luxemburg-Pl. 1
    - 030 - 2406–5777
  • 7. Babylon

    Kreuzberg

    Partially hidden behind Kottbusser Tor, Babylon shows original-language films with English/German subtitles. Ticket prices vary according to the day of the week, with Monday being...

    Partially hidden behind Kottbusser Tor, Babylon shows original-language films with English/German subtitles. Ticket prices vary according to the day of the week, with Monday being the cheapest at €7.

    Dresdener Str. 126
    - 030 - 6160–9693
  • 8. Berlinale

    Berlin's biggest festival screens hundreds of films and hosts celebrities and directors from around the world for 11 days in February....

    Berlin's biggest festival screens hundreds of films and hosts celebrities and directors from around the world for 11 days in February.

    - 030 - 259–200
  • 9. Berlinale: Internationale Filmfestspiele

    In February, numerous cinemas band together to host the prestigious Internationale Filmfestspiele, or Berlinale, a 10-day international festival at which the Golden Bear award is...

    In February, numerous cinemas band together to host the prestigious Internationale Filmfestspiele, or Berlinale, a 10-day international festival at which the Golden Bear award is bestowed on the best films, directors, and actors. Ticket counters open three days before the party begins, but individual tickets are also sold on each day of the festival, if you're willing to wait in line for what can be hours. Film buffs should purchase the season pass, or act quickly when tickets are sold online.

    Arts/Entertainment Details

    Rate Includes: 10 days in Feb.
  • 10. Berliner Ensemble

    Mitte

    The excellent Berliner Ensemble is dedicated to Brecht and works of other international playwrights....

    The excellent Berliner Ensemble is dedicated to Brecht and works of other international playwrights.

    Bertolt Brecht-Pl. 1
    - 030 - 2840–8155
  • 11. CineStar im Sony Center

    Tiergarten

    Mainstream U.S. and British movies are screened in their original versions at the CineStar im Sony Center. Tuesday is a discount evening....

    Mainstream U.S. and British movies are screened in their original versions at the CineStar im Sony Center. Tuesday is a discount evening.

    Potsdamer Str. 4
    - 0451 - 7030–200
  • 12. Deutsches Theater

    Mitte

    The theater most renowned for both its modern and classical productions is the Deutsches Theater....

    The theater most renowned for both its modern and classical productions is the Deutsches Theater.

    Schumannstr. 13a
    - 030 - 2844–1225
  • 13. English Theatre Berlin

    Kreuzberg

    The English Theatre presents dramas and comedies in English as well as hosting independent productions, concerts, events, and comedies for Berlin's international community....

    The English Theatre presents dramas and comedies in English as well as hosting independent productions, concerts, events, and comedies for Berlin's international community.

    Fidicinstr. 40
    - 030 - 691–1211
  • 14. Grips Theater

    Tiergarten

    For children's theater, head to the world-famous Grips Theater, whose musical hit Linie 1, about life in Berlin viewed through the subway, is just as...

    For children's theater, head to the world-famous Grips Theater, whose musical hit Linie 1, about life in Berlin viewed through the subway, is just as appealing for adults.

    Altonaer Str. 22
    - 030 - 397–4740
  • 15. Hebbel am Ufer Theater

    Kreuzberg

    This theater consists of three houses (HAU 1, 2, 3) within a five-minute walk of one another. Fringe theater, international modern dance, and solo performers...

    This theater consists of three houses (HAU 1, 2, 3) within a five-minute walk of one another. Fringe theater, international modern dance, and solo performers share the stages.

    Stresemannstr. 29
    - 030 - 2590–0427
  • 16. Komische Oper

    Mitte

    The operas performed here are sung in their original language (with English subtitles available on a display on the seats), but the lavish and at...

    The operas performed here are sung in their original language (with English subtitles available on a display on the seats), but the lavish and at times over-the-top and kitschy staging and costumes make for a fun night even if you don't speak the language.

    Behrenstr. 55–57
    - 030 - 4799–7400
  • 17. Konzerthaus Berlin

    Mitte

    The beautifully restored hall at Konzerthaus Berlin is a prime venue for classical music concerts....

    The beautifully restored hall at Konzerthaus Berlin is a prime venue for classical music concerts.

    - 030 - 2030–92101
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  • 18. Maxim Gorki Theater

    Mitte

    With the radical slogan More Love!, the Maxim Gorki Theater produces eclectic plays about our society in transition, touching on economic crises, identity conflict, and...

    With the radical slogan More Love!, the Maxim Gorki Theater produces eclectic plays about our society in transition, touching on economic crises, identity conflict, and the human condition in contemporary times. Under the guidance of artistic director Shermin Langhoff, the theater mixes live music, dance, and theater—almost every show with English subtitles.

    Am Festungsgraben 2
    - 030 - 2022–1115
  • 19. Neuköllner Oper

    Neukölln

    The small and alternative Neuköllner Oper puts on fun, showy performances of long-forgotten operas as well as humorous musical productions. It also is more likely...

    The small and alternative Neuköllner Oper puts on fun, showy performances of long-forgotten operas as well as humorous musical productions. It also is more likely than other Berlin opera houses to stage productions offering modern social commentary and individual takes on the immigrant experience—which is fitting for this international neighborhood.

    Karl-Marx-Str. 131–133
    - 030 - 6889–0777
  • 20. Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz

    Wilmersdorf

    The rebellious actors at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, once the city's most experimental stage, have mellowed somewhat but still put on great performances, frequently...

    The rebellious actors at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, once the city's most experimental stage, have mellowed somewhat but still put on great performances, frequently with English and French subtitles. Their regular, avant-garde stagings of well-known Shakespeare plays provide a wonderful opportunity to enjoy German theater, even if you don't know a word of German. (You can always brush up on the story beforehand and follow along with your own English text.)

    Kurfürstendamm 153
    - 030 - 890–023

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