Rich in history and culture, Carnivals are celebrated all over the world. Every year a unification of cultures from different continents culminate in Berlin for a four day celebration called Karnival der Kulturen. This year, the events begin on Friday May 18 at 4 pm and end Monday May 21 at 7 pm and, as always, admission is free.
Since 1996, the sprawling celebration of multiculturalism, also known as KdK, has taken over the streets of Kreuzberg. The street fair includes over 350 booths offering international food, warm weather inspired drinks and unique takeaways. On Sunday there’s a can’t miss, all day parade that begins 12:30 pm at Hermannplatz and ends at 9 pm at Yorkstraße. For a route map and parade roster click here
The 60 plus bands, DJs and dancing groups include Brazilian samba, Chinese dragon dance and African drum music to name a few. You can follow the parade from the sidelines as it makes its way through Berlin or join in the fun and dance as apart of the parade. Many of the trucks involved in the parade will also host their own parties throughout the weekend.
While the daytime festivities are free, the after parties and club events usually cost admission. Book your tickets early as to not be left standing outside, bouncing your head to the beat of the music, after getting turned away. If you’re in town on holiday or have Friday free kick off your weekend early on Thursday night at Dancehall vs Soca Berlin at YAAM. While many of the festivities may be Caribbean inspired you’ll still find alternative music to listen to such as the Rock Truck who will take part in the parade and host their own afterparty.
One of the most popular events of the weekend is Soca on the Beach. The outdoor dance festival is the closest you’ll get to feeling like you’re celebrating carnival in the islands while still in the city of Berlin. Tickets to this event sell out quickly and once they’re gone, your only hope is to post on Facebook pleading for the tickets of someone who can’t make it. Visit the Carnival Fever Entertainment website to browse more Carnival events throughout the weekend like their Fire Fete or Boat Parade.
If you’ve never been to Karnival der Kulturen before, this weekend is one of the most popular and widely celebrated events in Berlin. Plan to make your way to Kreuzberg to dance along to music from all over the world, pick up one-of-a-kind trinkets and enjoy the international spirit of Berlin. Don’t miss out on the fun this year!