One of Europe’s greatest urban street festivals returns to the Haupstadt this weekend and almost 2 million people will flock to the streets of Kreuzberg to join the party. The Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures) has been held over 4 days in May for more than 20 years and its sole purpose is to promote diversity and cultural acceptance. The event welcomes all cultures to participate and gives minority groups the chance to show off the colour and vibrancy of their homeland to the masses.
This year’s Karneval der Kulturen kicks off on Friday afternoon from 4pm and across the 4 days visitors can enjoy street festivals, performance stages, market booths and spontaneous dance parties Berlin-style all over Kreuzberg’s neighbourhoods. The highlight of the carnival is the grand parade on Sunday which weaves its way from one end of Kreuzberg to the other, culminating in a huge street party that goes well into the night and spills over into the neighbouring bars, clubs and streets. The parade route can be viewed here.
Acrobatics and magic tricks, along with plenty of food, drink and market stalls are on display in the parks in and around Blücherplatz. There are 3 main stages – Black Atlantica, East2West and Latinauta – where the very best of global music will get you on your feet and dancing all day and well into the night.
See here for the programme and more details about what’s on at each stage. As the name suggests, the carnival celebrates cultures and as such it is open to all forms of cultural celebration and expression – from dance to costumes to food to cocktails (and there are plenty of cocktails). The street festival runs all weekend from 11am to midnight and on Monday from 11am to 7pm and for more details see the programme of events and entertainment.