A Weekend in Berlin: Concerts and music in the city

A small concert stage illumnated in red light at Prachtwerk, a live music bar and cafe in Berlin.
The stage at Prachtwerk, a live music bar and cafe in Berlin-Neukölln.

Current master’s student Elena shares some of her favourite cultural activities in Berlin.

Coronavirus made the weekends of my first year of the MPP unusual: I couldn’t enjoy Berlin’s rich nightlife to the fullest or meet up with friends as much as I’d liked. Instead, long strolls around the city in the best company while holding a warm beverage – Glühwein at best – turned out to be my main source of entertainment, together with watching hours and hours of German television zur Verbesserung meiner Deutschkenntnisse.

Luckily enough, I had already lived in Berlin once before from 2015-2016. So I knew Berlin had lots to offer: a vibrant art scene, a famed bike-friendly culture, a gritty character, nature easily reachable by S-Bahn and, of course, indefatigable nightlife. Thanks to my previous experience, I could be patient enough last year to focus on the city’s many pandemic-friendly offerings– like hiking in nature (several TV series, like Dark, have chosen Berlin for its amazing locations), BBQing in parks (which, surprisingly, is allowed in several spots around the city), outdoor sports and biking (Berlin is so flat, I could bike for hours and hours!)…

When life gets back to normal in Berlin, my weekends will hopefully include more indoor plans. Live music is one of the perks of living here: no matter if you, like me, prefer smaller venues where you can even speak with the performers, such as at Musik & Frieden, Astra, Huxley’s Neuer Welt, and Quasimodo, or if you are more into massive festivals (Lollapalooza Berlin) and venues (Mercedes-Benz-Arena or Columbiahalle), there is always a concert for you in Berlin!

A guitarist with a white electric guitar on the stage singing into a standing mic at Prachtwerk, a live music bar and cafe in Berlin.
Inside the ORA cafe in Berlin-Kreuzberg, with an ornate ceiling, green tables and an old marble-top pharmacy counter now transformed into a bar.
A sunny neighbourhood in Berlin with blue skies.

After listening to some music, you can chill in one of Berlin’s many bars and cafes. I personally love those with a special character like ORA in Kreuzberg, which used to be a pharmacy, or Prachtwerk, an art, music and bar cooperative that invests all of its profits in social projects in Berlin and all over the world.

The bottom line is that, despite sounding clichéd, Berlin is truly a city that has something for everyone, even in pandemic times. As well as the unmissable iconic spots like the Brandenburg Gate, the city is full of hidden gems scattered around its charming neighbourhoods. There’s always something new to discover!


Concert halls, restaurants and bars in Berlin are currently open to fully vaccinated or recovered individuals under the “2G” model and hygiene requirements. For the latest rules and detailed information, please check

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