Summer is amazing. It’s even better in a city like Berlin.
The fantastic things that you can do and the places that you can go. I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again, it’s time to get out there and do stuff!
Some time ago, I wrote a post about doing things right NOW instead of leaving it to another day. Yes, there’s a financial crisis going on, yes, things might be a little tight in the budget department, and that is why a city like Berlin, is a city to visit. It’s safe, it’s cheap, and there’s always a lot of stuff going on. So what the heck, do it and come!
Some of those fantastic things are open air events and festivals. A large number of them will either be at a ridiculously low price, or a wonderful price of €00.00!
In fact, in the last fortnight, we’ve had four (4) world international festivals that have taken place in our city.
The Carnival of Cultures or Karneval der Kulturen a brilliant event which ran from 06.06.14 – 09.06.14.
The 22nd Lesbian and Gay City Festival which took place between 14.06.14 – 15.06.14.
Fête de la Musique an open-air street music performance day, which took place all over Berlin, on 21.06.14.
Berlin’s Mardi Gras the 36th CSD – Christopher Street Day Gay Pride festivity, which also took place on 21.06.14.
Now even I can’t be at all places at once so I went to the Carnival of Cultures or Karneval der Kulturen and the Christopher Street Day (CSD) Gay Pride parade, and didn’t someone have a wonderful time? Of course, I did. I’m fabulous and so are you! If you want to go to any of the many interesting and intriguing festivals in Berlin you need to:
1. Make sure you’ve got the right date: You don’t want to be surprised to find that 06.12.14 is the 6th of December when you thought that it was the 12th of June!
2. Take a map of your festival destination: Take the map with you or get the App and put it on your phone! How many times have you and your mates argued because nobody really knows where anything or the meeting point is. Don’t say “outside the station” as many of our train stations have 4 or more exits!
3. Take note of the weather: Berlin isn’t London and our weather is fairly predictable but at the CSD festival yesterday, we had dark clouds in the morning, it got windy in the afternoon, the sun began to shine by the late afternoon and we all took off our jackets and tops, and 3 hours later, we regretted that, as it began to rain heavily! Luckily, I had my umbrella in my bag and shared it with my friends and a random stranger!
4. Make sure that you know how to move around the city and what transport is available or not: Even though I’m The British Berliner and have lived here for yonks, I still fell into that trap of not checking the route. I wanted to go to the CSD festival and meet my friends who I was leading, and automatically went my normal route. Halfway through my journey, I realized that it wouldn’t be the best route at all, as all the transport had been diverted and all the roads were blocked by festival floats, tourists, and seemingly, most of Berlin! Too late. I wasn’t there to meet them and kept my friends waiting, wondering, and slightly worried!
5. Take some snacks: Most places will have food but how many times have you been hungry. I mean really hungry, and there hasn’t been a kiosk or shop nearby, the queue is really long, or you don’t want to move from your “spot” as it’s a nice one, and was difficult to find. Wouldn’t it be nice to take out your sandwich, bag of crisps or biscuits and chew away in the comforting thought that you won’t starve!
6. Take. A. Drink: Don’t mess around with this one. Going to a festival is thirsty work. You need bottles of water so that you don’t get dehydrated from all the shouting, screaming, dancing, and jumping around. You need beer because you are in Germany and German beer is the best. And you need bottles of champagne because you’re fabulous, you’re with your friends, and you want to have a really good time. At the CSD, we had cocktails and champagne galore. Yeah baby!
7. Don’t forget a camera: Take as big as you dar,e or your smart phone, and be the roving reporter. Berliners are enormously cool. They will pose and pout for you. As long as you ask politely. You’ll get some brilliant shots of beautiful people and interesting places.
8. Take a break: It’s all very well going to festivals but sometimes, you need to take a break from all the fun and merriment, so take a break. Halfway through the festival, my friends and I decided to go to a local Asian restaurant as they were quick and cheap. We had a bowl of noodles and a drink. We chatted, freshened up in the bathroom, and made quick phone calls to loved ones or other friends, and then 1 hour later, we joined the festival once again. Refreshed and ready for action!
9. Meet people: Berlin is an informal, tolerant place and the locals are happy to welcome and chat to tourists. Talk to them, open up, compliment the city, compliment them, high-five people. We danced behind the floats. A few years ago, I was actually on the parade float, but that’s another story LOL! We took photos of them and ourselves. We shared drinks, we clinked glasses, and we smiled, and smiled, and laughed!
10. Go out and have fun: Need I say more!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the tasty cocktails, cold beers, and sunshine champagne, are my very own! Every week for the months of May and June, I’ll be writing about summer time in Berlin, and what to do when you get here.
Next week, I will be writing about the British National Theatre LIVE production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon.
Are you coming?
Watch this space!
Have you been to a summer festival? Are you fabulous?
See you in Berlin.
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