How to make the most of the Festival of Lights

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We Love Berlin! Berlin is colourful, wild, creative and one of the most exciting cities in the world. Every October the entire city is a fascinating piece of art. Various international artists present light protects on iconic landmarks, monuments, buildings, streets, neighbourhoods and places… Berlin-based bloggers reveal their best tips how to make the most of the festival.

The pictures are from the talented Inka. Thank you!

festival of lights

“One of the best things to do in Berlin in October is the Festival of Lights. As the nights get darker (and longer), the city actually comes alive (Berlin has never been one to shy away from darkness). With Berlin’s most instagrammable monuments suddenly illuminated in colorful displays, the atmosphere in the city is pretty good. I especially love how often you might not realize something is a part of the Festival of Lights, but it is. People stroll through the streets. As the long winter begins, it’s comforting to know that people aren’t bothered by the weather or the darkness, but rather make a point to come out and explore the city. It’s a way to see unexpected and unexplored areas of the city.

One of the best ways to fully enjoy the festival is to grab a beer or a bottle of wine from a Späti and travel the city and ubahn with a group of friends. And be sure to end your evening in a Kneipe! Preferably some old bar that you’ve never been to before, one that hasn’t seen a tourist in years. They’re not always so difficult to find-just turn off the main streets and find somewhere hidden.”

Adam is a globetrotter, blogger and currently lives in Berlin. Check out his adventures on his blog.


Ink is a travel blogger, backpacker, and she loves to show us the world through her camera. Here are some of her highlights and insider tips for visitors of the Festival of Lights:

“I can’t help but visit my favourite places each year. Coincidentally, all of them are pretty close to each other: the courtyard of the Humboldt University in Mitte, the Bebelplatz right vis-à-vis, where the Hotel de Rome and the Alte Bibliothek showcase beautiful projections. And of course my alltime favourite, the Deutsche Dom, a little further down. If you are already here, you should definitely go see the Brandenburg Gate and the Hotel Adlon. The latter shows a lot of advertising, but you can still see some projections of beautiful old facades. Finally, if you are lucky, you can meet the “Guards of Time” there, but that depends, because nobody know for sure when and where they appear.

Some places that are less interesting, but still good for a few nice photos in the dark: The Siegessäule, the Oberbaumbrücke, the zoo’s elephant entrance, and the Urban hospital, where a giant bacteria floats around. My tip is to keep to the typical tourist attractions, because those actually have the nicest installations. The atmosphere is great everywhere and in between, you can relax around the university and have a coffee in a café on the avenue Unter den Linden.”


Cheryl, a Canadian blogger in Berlin unpacks some highlights and what to do when the lights go out… 

“My personal favourite Festival of Lights spot is the Berliner Dom. I remember going there with a good friend a few years ago, standing on the front lawn, and watching all the different light projections over the beautiful church. Next we strolled along Unter Den Linden to see the illuminations at Brandenburger Tor. It was such a fun evening, that I make sure to see a few festival highlights each year.

For those visiting the Gendarmenmarkt, I’d recommend splurging on a cocktail at Newton Bar with all sorts of photos in tribute to the great photographer Helmut Newton. If you are near Brandenburger Tor, I’d also recommend having a drink at Catwalk Bar.”


To really experience the Berlin Festival of Lights like a local with delicious food and great bars, Anja has shared some advice. She’s a travel blogger with five years experience living in Berlin:

“Hühnerhaus 36 (Skalitzer Straße 95 A, Kreuzberg): Forget Curry 36 or the snackbar “Hühnerhaus“ with their long queues. Directly on the other side of the street, you can find the much nicer restaurant with the same name. The light installations here looks like an ad for a casino. Conveniently, their menu has pictures of all their dishes – burgers, schnitzel, grilled chicken -, so you you can choose whatever looks the most delicious. The coleslaw is probably the most healthy food you can find here, but the grilled chicken is top notch. You can find the most peculiar mix of original Berliners and tourists from all over the world. Just follow the smell of grease!

Circus Lemke (Selchower Straße 31, Neukölln): My number one in the new up and coming quarter Neukölln and the perfect pub to get to know the locals. The comfy furniture, the wooden panels and the dimmed lights are the perfect setting for long nights with lots of red wine, good conversations, concerts, and improvised jams. Don’t forget to try the home-baked cake. Oh, and once a month, the owner James organizes an open dinner for everyone.”

Now it’s your turn: Have you ever been to a light festival? What are your highlights?

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