When to go to Berlin

Bode Museum, Berlin

By Paul Sullivan, your Berlin expert

I write for A Hedonist's Guide, .... Read more

The best time to visit Berlin

Berlin has a relatively temperate climate; it’s snowy, cold and grey when you’d expect (December to February) and - more often than not - nice when it should be (May to September). Fall and spring are mild times, depending on what sort of frontal systems are blowing through. And while July and August are generally not too hot, there is the occasional heatwave. Fall also brings attractive foliage, and rain is possible any time of the year, though there’s no particularly wet season. In terms of things to do, there are plenty of events all year round.

Spring - milder temperatures takes the action outside

Spring is often a great time in Berlin as the winter temperatures lift and people begin to move outdoors a bit more. Berlin’s contemporary music fest, MaerzMusik (www.berlinerfestspiele.de) is held in March. April brings Achtung Berlin (www.achtungberlin.de), a film festival only showing movies about Berlin and produced by Berliners.

Summer - busy with beer and music

The summer is by far the busiest time in the city, with events like Christopher Street Day (www.csd-berlin.de) and the annual Fête de la Musique (www.fetedelamusique.de), which features hundreds of free concerts from local musicians and DJs, drawing throngs in June. And summer wouldn’t be complete without the Berliner Bierfestival (www.bierfestival-berlin.de) in August of course.

 Autumn - events and festivals-a-plenty

Autumn is still a busy time for events and festivals in the city. For two weeks each September, world-renowned classical musicians and conductors converge on Berlin during Musikfest Berlin (www.berlinerfestspiele.de). In October there’s the Festival of Lights (www.festival-of-lights.de), when historical landmarks are lit up with fireworks and lighting, and November brings the famous Jazzfest Berlin (www.berlinerfestspiele.de).

Winter - best time for foodies

New Year’s Eve in Berlin is busy, despite the usually hideous weather. There's plenty to do in terms of nightlife and events but mostly it's about drinking sekt (sparkling wine) and watching the fireworks. Foodies should check out the Internationale Grüne Woche (www.messe-berlin.de) in January, a week-long food fair full of delicious samples. Also in January is the Lange Nacht der Museen (www.lange-nacht-der-museen.de), when 100 museums stay open until at least midnight. February brings Berlinale (www.berlinale.de), Berlin’s International Film Festival. If you’re planning to go to a screening, book early; they often fill up quickly.

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