It’s January, in Berlin. It’s cold, it’s dark. Precisely the time to immerse ourselves in culture and find out what’s happening indoors across the city. Thankfully, the tip Berlin editors have hand-picked their January highlights, so there’s literally no excuse for week-long hibernation sessions this month. From gigs and restaurants to films and exhibitions – we’ve got you covered. Here’s what to see this January in Berlin.
Ennio Morricone | 21.01
Arguably the greatest living composer, Ennio Morricone (pictured above) brings his farewell tour to Berlin for one night only. With over 500 film scores, 70 million album sales and an honorary Oscar to his name, the Italian virtuoso will perform highlights from his monumental musical career as he retires from the stage. Prepare for all the feels as a 200-piece ensemble work through his magical soundscapes, transporting the audience to Sergio Leone’s withering deserts.
Mercedes Benz Arena | Mercedes-Platz 1, 10243 Berlin | 21.01
Baby Satan Records Night | 03.01
Yes, it’s only three days after the biggest night of the year and three days into your resolution of sobriety and gym attendance, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to sample some scuzzy garage pop courtesy of box-fresh Berlin label Baby Satan Records. Expect weird and wonderful live sets from Dane Joe (pictured), Gelbert, and Monique & Adam, all curated by ‘stoned cheerleader’ label honchos Paz and Adi.
Schokoladen Mitte | Ackerstraße 169, 10115 Berlin | 03.01
Piano Battle | 02.01
If a rousing classical duel is more your style, head to Bar jeder Vernunft for some competitive piano playing. International maestros Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis whip the audience into a gleeful frenzy as they take turns reciting works by Debussy, Liszt and Chopin. One wears black, the other white, and they play as if their lives depended on it.
Bar jede Vernunft | Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin | 02.01
Aleppo Supper Club | Mon-Sun, 10am-10pm
Friedrichshain’s newest culinary jewel comes in the form of Samer Hafez’s Syrian eatery. Offering fresh, healthy takes on familiar Middle Eastern fare, expect pomegranate salad and vibrant shakshuka alongside hummus that’s fast becoming Berlin’s most sought-after. Pictures of peacetime Aleppo adorn the walls, and Hafez himself is a warm and welcoming presence in the cosy restaurant.
Rigaer Str. 58, 10247 Berlin | Mon-Sun, 10am-10pm
transmediale festival 2019 | 31.01- 03.02
One of the most esteemed events of the Berlin art calendar, transmediale is also the world’s biggest digital culture festival, promising ‘critical reflection on cultural transformation from a post-digital perspective’. Got it? Got it. With a packed schedule of lectures, workshops, conferences and exhibitions, it’s a place for artists, researchers, thinkers and activists to mingle and share ideas. With its cultural value recognised (and funded) by the German federal government, it’s a must-see for those keen to explore the intersection of art and technology.
Main venue Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin | 31.01- 03.02
CTM Festival 2019 | 25.01 – 03.02
Billed as a festival for adventurous music & art, CTM celebrates its 20th year in typically avant-garde style. Through a series of club nights, concerts, exhibitions and talks, the theme of persistence is explored at venues from Berghain and HAU Hebbel am Ufer to SchwuZ. Sound and digital artists express the cultural and political woes of the day, inviting you to join the debate.
Various venues, Berlin | 25.01 – 03.02
Tongue twisters | 31.01 – 03.02
For something simultaneously fun and serious, take a seat as Berlin choreographer Modjgan Hashemian reflects with six dancers and five teenagers on the rule systems of games, languages and physical interactions. Expect tongue twisters galore, alongside an exploration of how language, movement and rules interact.
Ballhaus Naunynstraße | Naunynstraße 27, 10997 Berlin | 31.01 – 03.02
The Pearls of Cleopatra | 04.01, 11.01 + 20.01
In need of some raucous, irreverent musical entertainment to banish those winter blues? Get yourself down to Komische Oper for a trip to ancient Egypt with a distinctly ’20s twist. Watch Cleopatra’s absurd exploits, take in some dizzying choreography and marvel at the high notes of this entertaining and critically acclaimed operetta. After all, it is still panto season.
Komische Oper Berlin | Behrenstraße 55-57, 10117 Berlin | 04.01, 11.01 + 20.01
The Mule | from 31.01
Clint Eastwood returns to the big screen as destitute 90-year-old war vet Earl Stone who makes the unlikely decision to become a drug mule for a Mexican cartel. Predictably, it gets complicated and Earl is forced to confront his past mistakes and make some heart-wrenching decisions. As the film’s producer, director and star, Clint continues to put other 80-somethings to shame with his Hollywood credentials.
At cinemas from 31.01
Berlin fashion week | 15.01 – 18.01
Fans of clothes, rejoice! Berlin’s legendary fashion week is back to guide you through the latest sartorial trends with a series of award shows, trade fairs and exhibitions. Dress to impress and mingle with the cool kids as you learn what’s new across sustainable and digital fashion.
Various venues, Berlin | 15.01 – 18.01