Berlin: Cheapo events calendar for February – June 2012

Posted in: Berlin Planning


Thousands celebrate LGBT rights on Christopher Street Day in June. Photo: OK23
Thousands celebrate LGBT rights on Christopher Street Day in June. Photo: OK23

We’re always ready to head to Berlin. However, a number of Cheapo-friendly events taking place over the next several months has us ready to jam, dance, put on a wig and check out some art. (In other words, we’re ready for Berlin.)

Here’s a quick run-down of free or cheapish events to attend in Berlin in the first half of 2012:

The 62nd Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)
February 9-19, 2012

The Berlinale is the city’s largest cultural event, bringing in tens of thousands of film professionals, journalists and fans. Up to 400 films will be shown during the ten-day festival.

Make it a gallery weekend in April. Photo:

Carnival in Berlin
February 12, 2012

The 11th Annual Berlin Carnival Costume Parade, featuring 60 floats, multiple marching bands, and 3,000 participants, is expected to attract about 600,000 spectators. The fun starts at 11:11 am. Dress up!

Gallery Weekend Berlin 2012
April 27-29 2012

Get closer to Berlin’s booming art scene, as 44 influential galleries offer openings, tours and parties during the Gallery Weekend.

Extended Opera and Theater Night: 1 Ticket, 50 Stages
April 28, 2012, 7 p.m. – 1 a.m.

50 of Berlin’s opera and theater companies takes center stage, offering 30-minute shows throughout throughout town for the Extended Opera and Theater Night. Shuttle buses take audiences from one stage to the next.

Berlin Biennale at Kunstwerke/Institute for Contemporary Art
April 28 until July 1, 2012

An important event for the contemporary art world, the Berlin Biennale focuses on international artists with varying artistic and political orientations. Polish artists Artur Zmijewski curates this year’s event.

Celebrate cultural diversity in May at the Carnival of Cultures. Photo:

Carnival of Cultures
May 25-28, 2012

The Kreuzberg neighborhood attracts nearly 1 million visitors to the Carnival of Cultures, an annual celebration of cultural diversity, performance and food. The parade (on May 27) will feature 4,000 dancers and musicians from 80 countries.

DMY International Design Festival
June 6-10, 2012

The DMY International Design Festival, celebrating innovative and contemporary design, takes place at Airport Tempelhof and includes exhibits and panel discussions.

Lesbian and Gay Street Festival
June 16-17, 2012

Nollendorf Platz in Schöneberg hosts Berlin’s Lesbian and Gay Street Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012. Expect fun music, performances and plenty of partying at this event, taking place just one week before the Christopher Street Day Parade.

Jamming in Kreuzberg during the Fete de la Musique. Photo: silviaN

Fête de la Musique
June 21, 2012

Who doesn’t love the Fête de la Musique? Free concerts fill the night with music, with performances taking place at more than 50 (mostly open-air) venues.

Christopher Street Day
June 23, 2012

Half a million people cram the streets between Kurfürstendamm and the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate LGBT rights on Christopher Street Day. It’s guaranteed to be a fabulously fun, music-thumpin’ good time.

Classic Open Air Berlin Gendarmenmarkt
July 5-10, 2012

Classical music and opera fans descend upon Gendarmenmarkt for the Classic Open Air Berlin, a series of free outdoor performances.

Also in our guide: Heading to Berlin this year? Check out our reviews of the best cheap hotels in Berlin, all visited, inspected and photographed by our editors. Read more in our Berlin hotel guide.

About the author

Tom Meyers

About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]

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