Festival of Lights in Berlin – Where to go

Tomorrow on Friday the 11th, the annual event of  Festival of Lights will begin once again. Thankfully, this event was not cancelled due to coronavirus, as it is an open-air light show. The festival takes place annually in 7 locations around the world, but the one in Berlin is by far the most famous for its unique thematic projections. Each year, landmarks, famous buildings and museums turn into art, through the work of some incredible international artists. The festival will end on the 20th of October.

This year’s theme is ”Together we shine” with 86 locations of projections, colourful light installations and video shows are placed all around Berlin. The illuminations are shown daily from 20.00 until midnight and on various days there are events in some of them. However, this year it was announced that if a location is too crowded and no measures are applied by the visitors, then the police has the right to turn off the lights on that specific spot. So be careful and be safe!

What’s special about this year, is that the event can also be viewed digitally through live-streaming for those who wish to remain safe at home or those from all around the world that want to experience the event. For the first time, there will be projections in all 12 districts of Berlin, with many surprise join-in activities.

Each year the light shows are different and getting better and better. You can take a taste of what’s coming through last year’s illuminations with theme ‘Lights of Freedom’, representing the 30 years of peaceful revolution following the fall of the Wall. The projections may be different, but the following locations still remain the best to visit each year!!

Brandenburg Tor

A time-travelling video mapping celebrating the 30 years of freedom, since the wall fell. History comes alive with actual footage of people and arts from the Berlin Wall.


This year Gendarmenmarkt has light installations, with events happening throughout the days of the event. Next to Gendarmenmarkt, you will find the Rausch Chocolate House with high-quality chocolate.

Bode Museum

House of Arts being recreated for this event with many artists displaying their work. Head towards the river for a better view of the side.

James-Simon Gallery

By far, the ultimate installation for 2019. A 10-minute video mapping showing the evolution of humanity throughout the years with a compilation of masterpieces.

Berlin Cathedral

Artists joined forces for a total of 12 designs to ‘dress’ the famous landmark. Try to take pictures while being exactly in the middle or from the side, while capturing the TV Tower as well.

Ministry of Finance

10 Federal Ministries take part in the festival, with ‘video scenes of Hans-Dietrich Genscher’s legendary words from 1989 on the balcony of the Prague Embassy’. You can find the Ministry of Finance after the Communications Museum, on your way to Potsdamer Platz from Gendarmenmarkt.

Potsdamer Platz

4 installations in a square at the Kollhoff Tower, Piano House, Forum Tower and the Ritz Carlton Hotel. If you walk along the street towards Marlene Dietrich Platz, you can also see the installation of origami birds with white and green lights throughout the whole street.


The fairytale neighbourhood that transforms into something even more magical with lights all around. The highlight is across the river at Neuer Martstall showing the beauty of our planet, with images from nature.


4 buildings are again united for one of the best projections. Bebelplatz always transforms into something stunning and this year is no different. Hotel de Rome stands in the middle with a video mapping that surprises everyone. Across the street, the Humboldt university continues the 360o feeling with food stands. You can find hotdog wraps, Cuban food and Brownie Waffles.

Humboldt Forum

In that area, you will find the Berlin Palace and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the Ministry, there is a video mapping of J.F Kennedy and his famous words ´Ich bin ein Berliner´.

TV Tower

Each year, the Fernsehturm has unique projections, due to its shape. Susan Gurnee and the popular blog ” Notes of Berlin” have created the three projections.

Other Locations Worth Visiting

  • Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Das Schloss
  • Bärenquell Brewery
  •  Museum of Natural History
  •  Berlin Hauptbahnhof and Berlin Ostbahnhof
  • Hackescher Markt station

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