For twelve days each autumn – this year from October 12th to 23rd – the Festival of Lights casts a colourful spell over the German capital. As dusk falls, the monuments of the city on the river Spree are wrapped in the light and colour of illuminations created by prestigious designers and artists. This is the seventh year of the event, and more than 70 buildings, streets and squares – including the Brandenburg Gate, the Television Tower in Alexanderplatz, the Gendarmenmarkt and Berlin Cathedral – will take on their new mystique each evening from seven until midnight.
The opening ceremony – LightsOn – for what is considered one of the world's leading light festivals, will start at the festival centre, Quartier Potsdamer Platz at half past seven on October 12th. Other highlights include the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the famous Kurfürstendamm avenue, which will be transformed into a spectacular outdoor gallery, radiant with artistically lit buildings, a showcase of creative ideas, and the perfect setting for some evening 'light-seeing'.
There are numerous cultural events and activities programmed which will focus around the theme of light – including exotic LightCocktails and other culinary delights on sale at the LightBar each evening and an illuminated jazz concert in the Minster Gardens on the evening of the 21st. Special tours will take in the main 'light sights', with prices ranging from 13€ for an hour and a half by bus, to 150 € for a 75-minute tour in a horse-drawn carriage with space for up to six people. You could even take a tethered flight in the Berlin Hi-Flyer - one of the biggest helium balloons in the world.
Berlin Festival of Lights