This post provides a list of top events and things to do in Berlin in May, updated for 2023.
We include free things to do, nighttime activities, and family-friendly options.
TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO
This list gives you a great starting place for planning your trip to Berlin.
We also recommend reading the following posts for information about visiting this city in May (or throughout the year):
- Free Berlin Walking Tours
- Hop on Hop off Bus Tours
- Berlin Boat Tours & Cruises
- Reichstag Dome Tickets & Tours
1. Go to a Concert
Now that the weather is getting nicer, you’ll start to see more notable and popular musicians performing in Berlin.
Here are a few of the best concerts available during the month of May:
- Sam Smith | May 1st
- ArcticMonkeys | May 2nd
- Elton John | May 8th, 10th, 11th
- The Offspring | May 16th
- Peter Gabriel | May 26th
- Helene Fischer | May 30th
For all the options available this month, check out this list of concerts in Berlin.
2. Attend a Sporting Event
Berlin is home to two of the biggest football teams in Europe, and both of them will have home games this month.
It’s also worth noting that you can take tours of the historic Olympic Stadium (home of Hertha BSC) pretty much any time you want!
3. Discover the Best Food in Berlin
If you want some help finding the best things to eat in Berlin, consider taking a food tour to learn more about the culinary history of the area as well as scouting out the best restaurants.
Secret Food Tours currently offers an excellent tour that includes a nice variety of dishes such as chicken shawarma, homemade schnitzel, German-style pizza, and delicious Turkish treats.
While you're filling up on various delicious cuisines, there will also be beverage samples of beer and wine. You can even upgrade the experience for more options.
There are 6 stops on the tour, and you'll get plenty of quality interaction with your guide since groups are limited to 10 people.
4. Take a Walking Tour
May brings with it more pleasant weather, which means it's the perfect time to see the city on foot.
Whether you want an overview of the city center, to see some street art and local culture, or are interested in diving into specific historical topics, there is a tour for you!
Here are a few of the most interesting options you may want to consider:
Several tours in the list are pay-what-you-like, which means you can decide what the walk was worth after the tour is complete.
It’s worth keeping in mind that most Berlin tourist passes include multiple tours, so if you’re planning to use one of those services, you could easily save some money on this activity.
5. Save Money With a Tourist Pass
If you’re planning to visit multiple attractions or take more than one tour, chances are a Berlin Tourist Discount Attraction Pass will save you a lot of money off general admission prices.
Depending on which pass you choose, you should be able to save at least 20% – 50% or more.
In most cases, you’ll get the biggest discount by using these services for at least 4 - 5 activities or attractions per day.
Here are a few of the most popular tickets included with various Berlin Tourist Discount Passes:
- Checkpoint Charlie Museum |
- Hop on Hop off Bus Tour |
- Olympic Stadium Tour |
- Aquadom & Sea Life |
- Berlin River Cruise |
- Madame Tussauds |
- Berlin Dungeon |
- Panoramapunkt |
- Berlin Bike Tour |
- LEGOLAND |
We suggest deciding what you want to do before deciding on a pass. Some passes are best for museums, while others are best for tours and exploring.
For more details, please read our post covering Berlin tourist attraction discount passes.
6. Drink the Best Beer in Berlin
No trip to Berlin is complete without at least one authentic German beer, but there are so many to choose from that it might be difficult to pick just one.
Thankfully, there are several great beer tours and pub crawls you can take which will give you a taste of the best brews in this city and where to find them.
Here are a few of the best options:
- Original Berlin Pub Crawl
- Party Bike & Beer Bike Tour
- Original Craft Beer Tour
- Private Beer Tour w/ Snacks
- Berlin Icebar w/ 3 Drinks
NOTE: The Berlin Welcome Card includes discounts at several pubs and restaurants. This could be a good way to save money on drinks!
7. Celebrate Mother's Day
If you're visiting Berlin with one of the mothers in your life, consider celebrating this holiday on May 8th with an activity they will enjoy.
One fun idea is to go on a dinner cruise down the Spree river, as the weather will most likely be warm enough for that activity.
Another idea is to spend the day at Potsdam and walk through the Sanssouci Gardens.
If you're looking for a good restaurant for Mother's Day, it will be important to make reservations ahead of time.
Keep in mind that some great restaurants offer discounts for Berlin Welcome Card holders.
8. Admire the Classic Cars at Classic Days Berlin
Petrol heads (or gearheads, if you prefer) all over Europe will enjoy the classic vehicles from the 1900s through the 1980s displayed at Classic Days Berlin.
The car show runs from May 6th - 7th, 2023, and covers 2km of space, which is all the better for displaying all the cars!
You can expect presentations, a wide range of food options including champagne lounges, VIP options, and over 2,000 classic automobiles.
9. Attend a Festival
May is one of the biggest festival months in Berlin.
There is sure to be something to satisfy every taste when it comes to music, food, the arts, or just general celebration.
Below are the dates for 2023.
Theatre and Arts
Artspring Berlin | May 5th-June 4th | The art scene in the Pankow district is celebrated, particularly its "impressive cultural diversity and a plurality of artistic forms."
Theatertreffen | May 12th-28th | This festival brings you theatre, dance, workshops, readings, and a chance to discover new plays.
International Museum Day | May 21st | A worldwide celebration of museums. Berlin museums mark the day with various events and activities across the day.
Performing Arts Festival | May 30th-June 4th | Showcasing innovative and experimental works, this international festival includes dance, theatre, and performance art. Events take place across Berlin.
XJazz Fest | May 8th-14th | A large and innovative jazz festival that includes electronic and neoclassical music as well.
Punk and Disorderly | May 18th-20th | A punk music festival featuring some of the biggest names in punk.
Neukölln May Days | Usually takes place the first week in May | This community festival celebrates the diversity of the Neukölln neighborhood with performances, food markets, concerts, rides, and more.
Staaken Folk and Children's Festival | May 17th-21st | This family-friendly community festival celebrates the Staaken neighborhood of Spandau. It has music, games, performances, and cultural workshops.
Carnival of Cultures | May 26th-29th | The largest open-air festival in the city celebrating diversity with cultural performances, a parade, and delicious street food.
10. See the City From Above
Chances are there will be a lot of sunny days during the month of May, so this might be one of the best times to visit one of the many observation decks in Berlin.
Each site requires a ticket to enter, but prices are typically very affordable. These observation towers are also usually included with at least one major Berlin tourist pass.
If you're looking for a more affordable option, you can also visit the Reichstag Dome for free. This dome is only 47 meters high, but it still offers some of the best views in the city.
For details on all these options, check our post covering all the major Berlin observation decks.
11. Run or Watch the S25 Berlin Marathon or the Women's Run Berlin
There are a couple of big races taking place in May in Berlin.
Women's Race Berlin
This run, designed for women, includes a 5K and 10K for the runners, and a Nordic walking race.
It also has a 5K fun run and a kid's Bambini run where neither is timed and it's all about the fun.
Tiergarten will have an event area with music, entertainment, and fun.
The race takes place on May 13th. You can find more here.
S 25 Berlin
This annual 25km race begins in front of the historic Olympic Stadium. It winds its way along a scenic route in Berlin, past many well-known locations.
Pros and amateurs can run the full race, or a shorter 10K. If you're not going to run you can join the crowd and cheer on the runners.
Events take place on May 14th, 2023. You can find more information here.
If you’d like to tour the stadium, note that you can get 25% off tickets with the Berlin WelcomeCard.
12. Experience the Music of Hans Zimmer
If you're a film buff, chances are you're familiar with the work of composer Hans Zimmer.
He has written the musical scores for dozens of notable movies over the past few decades, so even if you don't know him by name, you'll probably recognize his compositions.
Here are a few of the film scores you can expect to hear on his European Tour:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- The Last Samurai
- The Dark Knight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- And more!
The concert takes place at Mercedes-Benz Arena on May 26th, 2023.
13. Attend Berlin Design Week
If you're looking for the latest innovations and trends in fashion, graphic design, architecture, and product design, this is the event for you.
Experts and aficionados alike come from around the world to exchange ideas, network, and exhibit their works.
You'll find plenty to be impressed with and inspired by.
Events take place May 8th-17th at various locations across Berlin.