Berlin highlights 2020
Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace
As a cultural venue for experiencing art, meeting, exchanging and learning, the Humboldt Forum will be a unique place in the heart of the city when it opens in September 2020. The famous collections of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art of the Berlin State Museums will be presented in the Humboldt Forum. The more than 20,000 Asian, African, Australasian and American artefacts will be on display over 30,000 square metres of exhibition space. In addition, the Berlin exhibition at the Humboldt Forum will present insights into both historical periods and the world today.
A metropolis overnight: the 100th anniversary of Greater Berlin
The rise to becoming a prestigious metropolis began when Berlin transformed into the third largest city in the world practically overnight on 1 October 1920. The surrounding communities and cities became part of Greater Berlin and thus the capital city expanded 13-fold in one fell swoop and merged into a megacity.
To celebrate this anniversary, a variety of exhibitions will be on show. Especially "100 years of (Greater) Berlin. An unfinished project" in the Kronprinzenpalais and the central exhibition in the Märkisches Museum will illuminate this great historical event and also make reference to contemporary Berlin.
Berlin's cityscape is characterised by Berlin Modernism, which was recently on everyone's lips, as 2019 was the centenary of the Bauhaus movement. On the occasion of 100 years of Greater Berlin, 2020 also marks the year of industrial culture. Berlin is home to many exciting and interesting industrial buildings, which have been redeveloped for a huge variety of concepts beyond their original use and today invite you to take a diverse excursion into Berlin's districts.
Day of Liberation
On 8 May 1945 the foundation stone for the construction of Europe was laid by the declaration of unconditional surrender in Karlshorst. This marked the end of the Second World War and 8 May thus went down in history as the Day of Liberation from Nazi rule.
For the first and only time, in 2020 the Day of Liberation will be a public holiday to commemorate this event.
30 years of reunification
Following the peaceful and exuberant celebrations marking 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall all over the world, and especially in Berlin in 2019, the celebrations marking 30 years since reunification will be held on 3 October 2020. Many exciting exhibitions, activities and anniversary events will take place on this occasion. More detailed information will follow shortly.
Berlin is also a great location for art and culture. After all, 2020 will see numerous exhibitions of works by world-famous painters and artists:
Raffael in Berlin: The Madonnas of the Gemäldegalerie
On the occasion of the 500th birthday of probably the most important artist of the Italian High Renaissance, the Gemäldegalerie is showing Madonna pictures by the influential painter and architect in a cabinet exhibition.
From 29 February to 1 July 2020 at the Barberini Museum
An exhibition of 110 paintings, some of which are privately owned and therefore not normally on show to the public, unveils the works of one of the most famous impressionists: Claude Monet.
Christo und Jeanne-Claude
Christo became well known all around the world, especially after wrapping the Reichstag. As one of the most famous artist couples, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009, were very active on the art scene. Since then Christo has been working alone and producing unique works of art and events. The exhibition displays and addresses projects from 1963 to the present.
Lee Mingwei - 禮 Li, Gifts and Rituals
In this exhibition everything revolves around the giving and receiving of gifts. In the solo exhibition of the artist Lee Mingwei, the subject of rituals is examined and presented through performances and installations. By means of an open call, people were able to apply in advance to participate in the exhibition.
From 2 April to 16 August 2020 at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum for Contemporary Art
With media art works from the collections of the Nationalgalerie and the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, this group exhibition explores boundaries of all kinds. The exhibition includes works by Nam June Paiik, Charlemagne Palestine, Nevin Aladag and Nicole Wermers.
The Cool and the Cold. Malerei der USA und der UdSSR 1960–1990.
Vom 25. April bis 6. September 2020 im Gropius Bau
To coincide with 30 years since reunification, the group exhibition "The Cool and the Cold/Paintings from the USA and the USSR 1960-1990/Ludwig Collection" can be seen in the Gropius Bau. The works shown here all originate from the period of the Cold War
Chaos & Departure - Berlin 1920 | 2020
100 years of Greater Berlin is one of the top themes in 2020. What effects did the doubling of the population practically overnight have in Berlin? Which municipalities and previously independent cities now formed part of the second largest city in the world in terms of area? The exhibition "Chaos & Departure - Berlin 1920 | 2020" at the Märkisches Museum sheds light on these questions.
Alicja Kwade: In Abwesenheit (In Absence)
As one of the most sought-after contemporary artists of the day, Alicija Kwade plays with the perception of space, time and matter in a room-sized installation at the Berlinische Galerie.
Pablo Picasso. Les Femmes d'Alger
"The Women of Algiers" by Eugène Delacroix inspired Picasso to create his own interpretation. In response to Delacroix's most famous representation, Picasso created a series of 15 oil paintings, which did not survive long as a coherent collection. One of these works can be found in the Museum Berggruen, which is the only establishment with a painting from this series in Europe. Further
She is the superstar of contemporary art in Japan and opened her own museum in Tokyo two years ago: Yayoi Kusama. Here in Germany, too, her works influenced by polka dots are in great demand and so the Gropius Bau is dedicating the first comprehensive retrospective in Germany to the 90-year-old artist.
With an average of 1,500 events per day, Berlin is probably the most exciting, thrilling and interesting city in the world. To view all events and filter daily tips and top events, please click here to access our calendar of events.
Festivals and concert highlights 2020
International superstars, legendary stage shows and national top-class performers will ensure huge variety on Berlin's stages in 2020:
January, February and March 2020
The year gets underway with Howard Carpendale touring with "50 Years - The Show of My Life" (30 and 31 January and 1 and 2 February 2020, Verti Music Hall). The concert year continues with one of the world’s most successful singers and she will also be performing her new album: Lana Del Ray will be stopping in Berlin as part of her European tour (2 March 2020) Fans of classical music will not be left out either, with Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov and their "Italian Nights" in the Philharmonic (2 March 2020). And on 5 March 2020, the programme continues with another superstar of classical music: André Rieu will be coming to Berlin (Max-Schmeling-Halle) for a big concert. With the Hamburg collective Deichkind the best atmosphere and a visual spectacle is guaranteed (6 March 2020, Max-Schmeling-Halle).
April, May and June 2020
Santiano have received multiple platinum awards and will of course make a stop in the capital with their MTV unplugged tour (16 April 2020, Mercedes-Benz Arena). Udo Lindenberg is coming to Berlin for two further dates (29 and 30 May 2020, Waldbühne Berlin). Grammy winner Bon Iver will strike subtle tones in the Mercedes-Benz Arena (20 April 2020). In the middle of the year with "Here to love", Lenny Kravitz will be rocking the Max-Schmeling-Halle on 17 June 2020. Taylor Swift is one of the most successful female artists in history, having sold over 170 million records, and in June she will grace the German capital with a concert at the Waldbühne (24 June 2020).
July, August und September 2020
The tickets were sold out within minutes, as Rammstein are famous for their spectacular and sensational stage show (4 and 5 July 2020, Olympiastadion). She is the most aspiring artist of the last two years, international superstars love her and she is only 18 years old: Billie Eilish. For her second visit to Berlin, the US singer will perform at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on 17 July 2020. Two days later the Spandau Citadel welcomes Lionel Richie. Shortly afterwards, another global star will be performing, none other than Céline Dion (22 July 2020, Waldbühne Berlin). Things get heavier in August with Slipknot (7 August 2020, Waldbühne) and the Toten Hosen at the Waldbühne (18 August 2020). Things will get a little more classical on 15 August 2020, when the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim will perform works by Brahms and Strauss (Waldbühne Berlin). On 5 September The BossHoss will perform at the IFA Sommergarten. Seeed will play eight concerts in "their city with the Big B" (11, 12, 14, 15 and 16 August 2020 at the Wuhlheide and 17, 18 and 19 September 2020 at the Waldbühne).
October, November and December 2020
The hearts of rock fans will beat faster, because Deep Purple will be in Berlin for an exclusive concert (13 October 2020, Max-Schmeling-Halle). After this tour it is officially all meant to come to an end: Elton John is back in Berlin for three shows (17, 18 and 20 October 2020, Mercedes-Benz Arena). "Take on me" was one of their global hits and in November 2020 a-ha will repeat their debut concert of 1985 (6 November 2020, Mercedes-Benz Arena). Roland Kaiser has long been proving that Schlager music enchants young and old alike, and he is reappearing on stage (21 March, 24 July and 28 November 2020, Mercedes-Benz Arena and Waldbühne). At 71 years of age and "No More Tours 2", Ozzy Osbourne has something to prove once again and is returning to Berlin (30 December 2020, Mercedes-Benz Arena) with Judas Priest as special guest. Probably for the last time the self-proclaimed "best band in the world” die Ärzte will perform two concerts in the capital (18 and 19 December 2020).
Festivals in the neighbourhoods
2020 will be colourful, diverse and exciting in the neighbourhoods! For the 66th time spring will blossom again in colourful splendour at the traditional Britzer Baumblüte festival on the Parchimer Allee festival grounds at Gutspark Britz (3 to 19 April 2020). In Schöneberg, spring is celebrated with the Primavera festival (9 and 10 May 2020), before Myfest on May Day invites visitors to experience live music and performances at Mariannenplatz, Heinrichplatz and Oranienplatz. During the Steglitzer Woche (21 May to 7 June 2020, Festpark am Teltowkanal and Bäkepark) over 60 show and ride operators will offer attractions for the whole family. In Pankow things will get jazzy from 31 May to 1 June 2020: Jazz im Park - Musikalisches Pfingsten im Bürgerpark provides music, culinary delights and art for an exuberant get-together. In the picturesque Schönhausen Palace Gardens, June revolves around art: on two days an art festival with a stage programme, acrobatics and handicrafts takes place here. In Spandau, by contrast, live concerts with fireworks at the 26th Havelfest (5 to 7 June 2020, between the Juliusturm and the Eisenbahnbrücke) will set the mood.
New show in Berlin
Cirque du Soleil's first permanent show in Europe starts on 28 October 2020 in Berlin! Nysa, a spectacular performance of dance, acrobatics and artistry, will be on show at the Theater am Potsdamer Platz. The creative director of Nysa was inspired by Berlin and its inhabitants and as a result the show has a universal character which people from all over the world can identify with.
Laureus Worlds Sports Award
The 20th anniversary of the Laureus World Sports Awards will take place in Berlin in 2020.
Verti Music Hall
137th Congress of the German Society
21/04 - 24/04/2020
The European Human Genetics Conference 2020
Die Europäische Humangenetik-Konferenz ist die wichtigste Veranstaltung auf dem Gebiet der Humangenetik und der medizinischen Genetik.
06/06 - 09/06/2020
This year the first InfraSPREE 2020 will take place, the congress of experts for water management and technical infrastructure.
9 and 10 September 2020 Kosmos Berlin
28th International Complement Workshop
13/09 - 19/09/2020
Free University of Berlin - Henry-Ford-Bau
93rd Congress of the German Neurological Society
4 to 7 November 2019
Berlin Fashion Week 2020
From 13 to 17 January 2020, Berlin Fashion Week will attract up to 70,000 visitors. The three leading trade fairs Panorama Berlin, Selvedge Run and Neonyt have also found a new location: In 2020 they will take place in the halls of Tempelhof Airport.
International Green Week
The 85th edition of the International Green Week Berlin will take place from 17 to 26 January 2020 and it is unique worldwide as an exhibition for food, agriculture and horticulture.
Over 180 countries will be presenting themselves this year at ITB Berlin 2020, which is considered the leading trade fair for the global travel industry. From 4 to 8 March 2020 up to 160,000 trade fair visitors are again expected at Messe Berlin. Visitors from the general public are able to attend the trade fair on the weekend of 7 and 8 March 2020 from 10 am to 6 pm!
Chef Culinar 2020 Berlin
On 29 and 30 March 2020 restaurateurs and hoteliers will come together at Messe Berlin.
As a congress metropolis, Berlin has a diverse range of congresses, trade fairs and conferences. Take a look here at the congress calendar of the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office to get an overview of all upcoming events.
Berlin and sport - they belong together: every year the capital city hosts international competitions and major sporting events with global appeal. Here are a number of highlights which await you:
DFB Cup Final
The DFB Cup Final will take place in the Olympiastadion on 23 May 2020.
European Football Championship 2020
The European Football Championship will take place from 12 June to 12 July 2020 in twelve different European cities. In Berlin, football fans can follow the matches live on the fan mile or during public screenings at many locations in the city.
Around 10,000 cyclists will come together from 13 to 14 June 2020 for one of the largest cycling events in Europe. Following the cancellation of the Velothon cycling event in 2019, this new event format celebrates its debut. The most diverse range of cycling sports are to be staged on routes of 60 and 120 kilometres - a unique concept across all of Europe!
From 13 to 21 June 2020 the women of the WTA Tour will meet at the Grass Court Championships in Berlin. Chancellor Angela Merkel is acting as patron of the event.
Grass Court Championships Berlin 2020
In preparation for Wimbledon, the Grass Court Championships will be held for the first time in the Steffi Graf Stadium from 13 to 21 June 2020. Chancellor Angela Merkel is acting as patron of the event.
BERLIN E-PRIX - ABB FIA Formula E Championship
Lots of horsepower but without the noise: For the first time, the world's fully electric racing series will take place in the city of electric mobility - Berlin. The ABB FIA Formula E Championship will come to Tempelhof on 21 June 2020 for the sixth Berlin E-Prix in succession. Other major cities such as London and New York are included in the 12-race global series. The race will be broadcast live on television in 180 countries.
Yngling Worlds 2020
Sailing fans will get their money's worth from 18 to 25 July 2020. This is when the World Championship for Yngling sailors will take place at Müggelsee in Berlin. The Berlin Grünau Yacht Club is hosting this international event.
200 of the world's best athletes will compete in 16 disciplines at the Internationales Stadionfest (ISTAF). On 13 September 2020, 50,000 spectators are expected in the Olympiastadion.
As part of BTHVN2020, concerts, exhibitions, readings and other events to mark Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday will take place throughout Germany on 16 and 17 December 2020. Berlin is also participating with an exciting programme at the Konzerthaus, the Komische Oper and the Pierre Boulez Saal.
The BER airport is scheduled to open on 31 October 2020. A big opening ceremony is not planned, but Tegel Airport, which will close one week later, will be bid farewell with dignity.
Under the name LCD Berlin, visitBerlin and Leading Culture Destinations (LCD) are developing an initiative launched by the City of Berlin to create a strategic and sustainable ecosystem for cultural and tourism professionals from Berlin and beyond. The patronage of LCD Berlin has been taken over by Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.
The LCD Awards will thus be presented for the first time on 4 March 2020 at the Kulturforum in the German capital, parallel to the world's largest tourism trade fair, the ITB. The "Oscars for museums", according to the New York Times, have been awarded annually in London since 2014. Funded by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, globally renowned tourism and culture makers will also be holding discussions for the first time at the LCD Berlin Academy on 5 March 2020.
The global cultural metropolis of Berlin owes its enormous soft power to a multitude of actors. LCD Berlin wants to promote networking between these influential institutions, the companies involved, visionary cultural practitioners and the urban society in order to create fresh momentum - based on Berlin's core values: Freedom and tolerance.