Entertainment

Cabaret

  • Chamäleon Varieté Historic variety theatre in the Hackesche Höfe presents mesmerising contemporary spins on acrobatics, dance, theatre, magic and music.
  • Bar Jeder Vernunft An art nouveau mirrored tent provides a suitably glam backdrop for high-quality entertainment.
  • Tipi am Kanzleramt There’s not a bad seat in the house at this festive dinner theatre in a tent on the edge of the Tiergarten park.

Cinemas

  • Babylon Art-house cinema in protected 1920s Bauhaus building with restored theatre organ.
  • Cinestar Original The best place to see English-language blockbusters in the original language.
  • Arsenal Arty fare from around the world in the original language, often with English subtitles.
  • Freiluftkino Friedrichshain Classics, indies, documentaries and blockbusters under the stars in the vast Volkspark Friedrichshain.
  • Kino Central At the funky Haus Schwarzenberg, this small indie house plays new and classic art-house fare; also outdoors in summer.

Open-Air Kinos

Classical Music

  • Berliner Philharmonie The one and only. Enough said.
  • Konzerthaus Berlin Schinkel-designed concert hall festooned with fine sculpture; a festive backdrop for fine symphonies.
  • Sonntagskonzerte Intimate concerts amid charmingly faded 1920s grandeur.
  • Berliner Dom Former court church host concerts, sometimes played on the famous Sauer organ.
  • Pierre Boulez Saal Smallish venue designed by Frank Gehry hosts mostly chamber music concerts.

Dance

  • Radialsystem V This experimental venue is home base of Sasha Waltz’ prestigious dance company.
  • Hebbel am Ufer Often blurs the creatives lines between dance, theatre and performance art.
  • Sophiensaele One of Berlin’s top venues for experimental and avant-garde dance.
  • Dock 11 & Eden Dance studio in an old factory also puts on cutting-edge performances.

Experimental Performance

  • Radialsystem V Gets bragging rights for its cutting-edge, genre-defying productions, especially in dance.
  • Hebbel am Ufer Boundary-pushing and poly-genre productions that challenge preconceptions.
  • Sophiensaele Presents collaborative mashups of dance, theatre, performance and music in the banqueting hall of a 1905 crafts workshop.

Free Entertainment

Jazz & Blues

  • Kunstfabrik Schlot This cellar club delights an appreciative audience with quality jazz, often for free.
  • A-Trane Occasionally hosts jazz A-listers and has a rollicking Saturday night jam session.
  • Yorckschlösschen Easy-going and long-running, this knick-knack-filled club draws a no-nonsense, all-comers crowd.
  • b-Flat Intimate jazz joint mixing it up with Balkan beats and a through-the-roof jam session on Wednesday.

Live Music Venues

  • Lido Great for catching tomorrow’s headliners of the rock-indie-electro-pop persuasions.
  • Privatclub Small retro joint with an anything-goes booking policy.
  • Astra Kulturhaus Clued-in bookers fill this rambling space with everything from big-name artists to electro swing parties.
  • Waldbühne Berliner Philharmoniker to the Rolling Stones: they’ve all rocked this enchanting outdoor amphitheatre near the Olympic Stadium.

Open-Air Venues

  • Waldbühne Enchanting amphitheatre in the woods built for the 1936 Olympics.
  • Monbijou Theater Small theatre stages light-hearted summertime plays next to Museumsinsel.
  • Freiluftkino Friedrichshain Alfresco cinema with comfortable benches, picnic lawns and a huge screen.

Rock & Punk

  • SO36 This venerable club fixture has been rocking the crowd since the 1970s.
  • Wild at Heart Friendly biker-style dive with loud music and cheap beers.
  • Duncker Club Off-the-beaten-track Duncker is favoured by a local crowd, especially for the free Thursday concerts.

Theatre

  • English Theatre Berlin Innovative and often provocative productions by Berlin’s English-language theatre.
  • Schaubühne Thought-provoking contemporary plays in repurposed 1920s Streamline Moderne cinema; with English surtitles.
  • Gorki ‘Postmigrant’ theatre with multicultural cast picks up on works that address upheavals and transitions in society; with English surtitles.