German Unity Day is celebrated every year on Oct 3rd and the national holiday marks the day that the Federal Republic of Germany and the Democratic Republic of Germany came to together to create a united Germany on October 3, 1990. The Berlin Wall had come down almost a year before on November 9th and in the months after that monumental event, the still divided population had to find ways of existing anew. Not only did they have to unite the physical borders, structures and urban design of the country, but they also had to find unity in joining things such as transport, communications, essential services such (i.e. power and water supply) and federal administration.
The success of achieving this is of course worth celebrating and Berlin would not be the unique city it is today without this significant event of reunification having happened. The event is always celebrated with a national day of celebration with Germans enjoying a public holiday, which is usually spent with family and friends and indulging in patriotic activities such as drinking beer, eating wurst and listening to Schlager music!
Berlin is a great place to be on Unity Day as there is a free concert and street party held at the Brandenburg Gate and along the famous ‘party mile’ – the section of road along the Strasse de 17 Junie that runs between the Gate and the Victory Column. There are plenty of street food vendors, beer gardens, cocktail and fruit punch stands, to keep you going through the event. Novelty items can be bought to get you in the spirit such as german flags, garlands, hats and more and the carnival atmosphere would not be complete without street performers and rides such as ferris wheels, carousels and bungee jumps. The event starts at 10am and there is music and festivities throughout the day until 8pm and a fireworks spectacular to close the celebrations. Check with reception for specific times.
The event is easy to get to by public transport though it’s better to avoid buses as the usual buses such as 100 and 200 will have limited services to the area as the roads are closed for the public event. Check with reception about access from Zoologischer station on the 100 bus, stopping at the Reichstag. This will drop you just a few minutes walk away from the action. Alternatively some trains from Zoologischer Station run through Hauptbahnhoff and you can change there to the U55 to Brandenburger Tor.