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Berlin is one of the most exciting cities in Europe when it comes to culture, nightlife and the arts, and true to its reputation, everything in the city is celebrated in style. The annual events calendar offers visitors plenty of opportunity to experience Berlin’s cultural diversity through a busy schedule of festivals dedicated to everything from classical music and jazz to film and dance. Plan your next trip around this selection of exciting annual festivals in Berlin, and you might find yourself making repeat visits. 

International Literaturfestival

Annual literary festival International Literaturfestival is a celebration of all of the literary arts. Writers, avid readers and creatively-minded guests can look forward to a diverse 10-day programme of readings, talks, workshops, panel discussions, poetry nights, and much more. Two of the most exciting segments of the festival include Literatures of the World, which welcomes leading writers from across the globe to Berlin, and Children’s and Youth Literature, dedicated to promising and established authors and illustrators in this field.

7th – 17th September 2016

Lollapalooza Festival

Each September, Berlin plays host to the European edition of Lollapalooza Festival, a popular music festival that has been running in Chicago for 25 years. Celebrating its second year in 2016, the Berlin festival welcomes to the stage headline acts Radiohead and Kings of Leon, alongside myriad performances by some of the world’s greatest alternative rock bands as well as a roster of incredible international DJs.

10th – 11th September 2016

Berlin Art Week

Berlin Art Week is the city’s premier contemporary art festival. Taking place for the fifth time this year, the festival presents an exciting schedule of exhibitions, art fairs (including abc art berlin contemporary and Positions Berlin), art awards and special events such as talks with experts and tours of private collections. It’s an essential date on the diary for art enthusiasts, collectors, curators or artists interested in exploring the latest works by international talents.

13th – 18th September 2016

Festival of Lights

Lighting up Berlin in dramatic fashion each October is the Festival of Lights. The nighttime festival transforms the city’s most famous sights and public spaces with a series of striking illuminations by light artists from around the world. See a new side to the city by booking a ‘lightseeing’ tour, or explore on foot and allow yourself to be drawn into the unique artistic displays.

7th – 16th October 2016

JazzFest Berlin

Since its inception in 1964, JazzFest Berlin has brought more than 5,000 artists and 1,000 bands to Germany. The festival is the greatest annual celebration of jazz in Berlin and attracts music enthusiasts and performers from across the globe each November. This year’s 53rd edition will be an ‘extended’ version, featuring a busy programme of more than 20 performances by leading jazz ensembles, orchestras and soloists.

1st – 6th November 2016


Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival, is an important date on the annual events calendar not only for local film enthusiasts, but also for the international film industry. Attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees and film professionals, the event, which is one of the biggest annual festivals in Berlin, screens approximately 400 premieres spanning a range of genres, as well as organising various talks, competitions and events, such as the highly anticipated European Film Market gathering.

9th – 19th February 2017

Whatever the time of year, the historic Hotel de Rome offers guests a memorable five-star experience in the heart of Berlin.

Image credits: Lollapalooza Festival © Stephan Flad, Saxophone © iStock/papa42, Festival of Lights © iStock/philipp_eder and iStock/SergeSirot

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