Built for the 1936 Olympic Games, the Olympiastadion conjures up memories of fanatical fans and Jesse Owens sprinting and leaping for four gold medals. Today, the Olympiastadion is home to Berlin's premier soccer club, Hertha BSC, and hosts major sporting events like the ISTAF Athletics Meeting. International performers like Michael Jackson, Beyonce, The Rolling Stones and U2 have taken the crowds by storm with their dazzling concerts here. Designed to impress the world, this monumental multi-purpose arena has done just that since its reopening in 2004. Visitors can wander around the stadium on event-free days, or choose to go on a guided tour of the massive arena. The visitor's center is perfect to learn more about the fascinating history of this monumental structure.
Stop by and admire the windowless concrete 1960s facade that is the Deutsche Oper Berlin, but once you step inside you'll discover some of the best entertainment in Berlin. Deutsche Oper Berlin is Germany's second largest opera house and its repertoire is extensive and features classic German and Italian works as well as contemporary pieces. Along with opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin also has ballet performances, orchestra concerts, and more.
Home to the Berlin Symphony and National Symphony Orchestras, the Konzerthaus on Gendarmenmarkt plays host to some of the best in classical music. The original building was constructed at the request of King Friedrich II and later became the National Theater, following renovation by Carl Gotthard Langhans. After it was gutted by a fire, the theater was rebuilt by the Berlin architect, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and renamed Schauspielhaus. The building was badly damaged during World War II but was restored to its former glory and reopened in 1984. The building we see today is a perfect reconstruction of Schinkel's original.
The Admiralpalast Grand Hall or Theatersaal, the jewel of the Admiralpalast complex, is a restored historic performance hall which now caters to audiences eager to see major theatrical productions, such as Grease and The Phantom of the Opera. Established in the year 1910, it remains one of the last surviving performing arts venues that were built before World War II. Originally, the facility was comprised of bowling alleys, a public bath and skating rink.
Velodrom is an indoor cycling track and multi-purpose stadium in Prenzlauer Berg. Velodrom hosts a variety of events, including cycling competitions, concerts, and swimming events. Open since 1997, the building was erected under the supervision of architect Dominique Perrault and can seat more than 5,500 people and host up to 12,000 depending on the type of event.
Located on the Kulturforum in the heart of the city, the Philharmonie is home to one of the world's greatest orchestras: the Berlin Philharmonic. The original building was destroyed in World War II and its replacement was designed by Hans Scharoun and opened in 1963 by legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan. Concert goers can always expect fantastic performances in this bright yellow and tent-shaped concert hall. Large concerts take place in the Großer Saal, while smaller concerts take place in the next-door Kammermusiksaal (Chamber Music Hall), which is joined to the main building by a foyer.
Nestled in the heart of the city and overlooking the St. Mary's Church (Marienkirche), Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower) and Neptunbrunnen, Haus ungarn is indeed in an enviable location. It is also near the DDR Museum and Berliner Dom. Set in the former Hungarian cultural center, this modernized event venue offers flexible spaces for a variety of events such as concerts, parties, galas, shoots, product launches, fashion shows, workshops and exhibitions. Their terrace is a much sought after place for its panoramic views.
While middle-aged, middle-class Berliners tend to head for the Wintergarten, the Chamäleon attracts a younger and more alternative crowd. Situated in the fashionable Hackesche Höfe, this popular variety theater has managed to preserve much of its original charm, even though the theater itself (plus the whole area around it) was modernized. The shows feature the likes of tap dancers, trapeze acts, magicians and clowns.
If you are into arthouse films, then Hackesche Höfe Kino will certainly interest you. Established in 1996, it comprises of five halls and a huge foyer. It showcases German as well as international independent flicks in their original language. Their wide list of programs make it an exciting place for not only film students but anyone who love these niche movies. Take a sip of wine, a Budweiser or a Coca-Cola and munch on some crunchy popcorn to complete your cinematic experience.
Haus Schwarzenberg might be a tacky building and off the tourist track but for those looking out for something different in Mitte, this 19th-century decrepit structure is home to a few artsy establishments. One such is Kino Central. Set in its courtyard, it is a haven for indie film lovers. They regularly run art house cinema in their original language with German subtitles. Featuring two halls, this intimate theater also shows classics and children's movies. Definitely an interesting set-up to watch independent flicks.
The spacious and versatile Clinker Lounge in der Backfabrik is a haven for cultural activity. The venue hosts a variety of cultural shows, including concerts, fashion shows, art exhibitions and film screenings, alongside festivals and fairs. The lounge features modern technologies to help enhance any event, and an industrial chic decor that allows for flexibility of purpose. Adjacent to the main hall you will find a bar and lounge area where a live telecast of the event can be screened if required. The Clinker Lounge is also available for use as a private event venue for celebrations, parties and banquets.
Comedy Club Kookaburra is the perfect place in the city to enjoy stand-up comedians and cabaret shows. There is a different show each night, featuring respected comedians in Berlin and their famous acts. If you are an English speaker, make sure you come on the first Tuesday of every month for English Comedy Night where all of the jokes are in English. Many shows are interactive with active audience participation. After a performance, one can head to their on-site restaurant to grab quick snacks, tapas platters and a choice of spirits. This venue can also be hired for private parties and functions.