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Festival of Lights in Berlin – Illuminated sightseeing

I lived in Berlin for several years and I never liked the colder months. Everything seems grey and the people are unfriendly and without vitality. October is always different though. It lets me forget the rainy cold days in fall. Every year, Berlin glows in many colors and designs. As it starts soon, I had to write up my favorite route for the Festival of Lights in Berlin.

‘Berlin lights’ vs. Festival of Lights

There are basically two different light festivals going on at the same time. The “lights season” always starts with ‘Berlin lights’ (in German: Berlin leuchtet).

‘Berlin Illuminated’ is held from the 9th of October to the 20th of October this year (2019). It is pretty much the kick-off to my favorite time in fall. ‘Berlin Illuminated’ is an association of enterprises, institutions, media, and individuals. National and international artists and designers come together to tell their story through their light projections. It’s all about creativity without borders.

The Festival of Lights in Berlin starts on the 11th of October and goes until the 20th of October. So they basically overlap for 10 days, which would be the best time for a visit.

Whereas ‘Berlin Illuminated’ rather offers smaller designs, the Festival of Lights illuminates many popular buildings in Berlin. So it’s perfect for a special sightseeing tour!

Berlin Dome at Festival of Lights 2016
The Berlin Dome always looks spectacular!

The Festival of Lights (also called Light Nights) wants to connect the world through light. Therefore, it is also held in other cities around the world. Many international artists present their creative light projections, 3D video mappings, and light installations.

From an illuminated house of cards to a ghost ship on the river – There is always something unique and incredible to see. I loved walking through the city streets every year.

My favorite route for the Festival of lights in Berlin

The major light installations are in the city center, including the TV Tower, Dome, and Brandenburg Gate. Therefore, my favorite route is pretty simple. You can start at either end of the following route.

Illuminated TV tower for the Festival of Lights in Berlin 2016
A great central starting point for the Festival of Lights in Berlin

Starting from the TV Tower that always is lighted up, you should walk down to the Berlin Dome which mostly has multiple designs switching every few minutes. It’s a fantastic start!

Then walk towards the Humboldt University, where you will see many different designs on both sides of the street. On the way, you will most likely see the light protection on the Palais (right-hand side).

After you got impressed by the incredible lights at the Humboldt University and Hotel Roma, you can make your way up to the Brandenburg Gate. There you will see videos, created by the finalists of the competition. It’s usually with sound and extremely beautiful. They always include the building structure of the Brandenburg Gate into the light show so that it’s fantastic to see.

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If you have energy left, you can walk towards the Potsdamer Square, where you would end your tour.

Festival of Lights Tours

If you rather take a tour, you can also book a Lightseeing Tour. However, I haven’t taken one yet, so I cannot say if they are good or bad.

If you just cannot walk that much, don’t worry. You can take a rickshaw, which can be found everywhere around the TV Tower or Brandenburg Gate.

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Curious who writes here?

Curious who writes here?

Adventurer, digital nomad, and freedom seeker - that's me, Nate the Nomad!
In October 2016, I packed my bags in Berlin and been roaming the world with my husband ever since.
We are slow travelers, who enjoy the freedom of the location-independent life. We love to go on little adventures and learn about new cultures everywhere we go.

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