What’s on in Germany: February 9 – 15

This Week's Highlights: The star-studded Berlinale film festival kicks off in Berlin, Munch goes on view in Frankfurt, and a ukelele orchestra sets up in Munich.

What's on in Germany:  February 9 - 15
Photo: The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain



Berlinale Goes Kiez

It’s movie time in the capital! And if you feel like avoiding the hoopla of Friedrichstadt Palast, the Sony Center, and Berlin’s other mega theatres, queue up in the kiez. Neighborhood Kinos like Filmkunst 66 in Charlottenburg, Babylon in Kreuzberg, and Neukölln’s Passage are getting in on the movie-loving action with special subset screenings. Check the schedule to see what’s playing in your neck of the woods.

Price: €9.50

Location: Various

Times: Select dates, Friday, February 11 – Friday, February 17

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Exhibition Opening – Gerhard Richter Panorama

Gerhard Richter turned 80 this week, and the Neue National Galerie isn’t going to let that milestone go unnoticed. The painter is after all one of Germany’s most accomplished living artists. Salute the man this week when around 150 works from his oeuvre go on view in Berlin. The retrospective offers a fascinating look the different themes and styles Richter’s embraced over the past half century or so.

Price: €8

Location: Neue Nationalgalerie, Potsdamer Strasse 50

Times: Tuesday – Sunday 10am-6pm; Thursday, 10am-10pm; February 12 – May 13

Phone: 030 266 42 42 42

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New Exhibition: Warhol Headlines

No doubt Andy Warhol would have gone bonkers for social media. But sadly, the pop artist passed well before he could have started his own blog. A new exhibition at Frankfurt’s Modern Art Museum shows how Warhol incorporated the news into his art. See the 80 pieces from collections around the world that are “influenced by contemporary tabloids and other mass media.”

Price: €10

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6pm; Wednesday, 10am-8pm; February 11 – May 13

Location: MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst
, Domstrasse 10

Tickets: 069 134 0400

More Information:

New Exhibition: Munch – The Modern Eye

You might think of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch as a 19th century painter famous for impressionist works like The Scream, but he was also a modern man fascinated by new technologies like film and photography. See for yourself this weekend at the Schirn Kunsthalle when a new exhibition goes on view featuring over 140 paintings, drawings, photographs, and films.

Price: €10

Times: Tuesday, Friday – Sunday, 10am-7pm; Wednesday and Thursday, 10am-10pm; February 11 – May 13

Location: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg

Phone: 069 29 98 820

More Information:


Discoteca Flaming Star

Cristina Gómez Barrio and Wolfgang Mayer’s collaborative art group Discoteca Flaming Star combines poetry, politics, sounds, and structures to create performance works that are entirely unique and exciting. Sound like your cup of tea? Check them out Thursday at Frankfurter Kunstverein when they perform “Actually 12-fold Alissa.” Written words on naked backs, a Spanish Civil War fight song, and a poem for Ayn Rand are just a few of the work’s intriguing elements.

Price: €2

Times: Thursday, February 9, 7pm

Location: Frankfurter Kunstverein
, Steinernes Haus am Römerberg
, Markt 44

Phone: 069 219 3140

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German-Chinese New Year’s Festival

A dragon dance, a culinary buffet, and a rock band from Beijing! Celebrate the Chinese New Year at Hamburg’s Yu Teahouse Garden and ring in the Year of the Dragon in style. Advance registration is requested.

Price: €15 (buffet); €8 (rock show)

Times: Saturday, February 11, 11am (day program); 7pm (evening program)

Location: Yu Tea House Garden, Feldbrunnenstrasse 67

Phone: 0221 952 9940

More Information:


Sounds of Israel

There’s something about Israeli music that makes you want to fall in love. How appropriate that Israeli superstar Idan Raichel is playing in Hamburg on Valentine’s Day. Hold your honey’s hand while the band fuses electronic rhythms with Hebrew texts and Middle Eastern beats Tuesday. Israeli singer Noa kicks off the week-long festival Saturday night followed by a concert by jazz bassist Avishai Cohen on Sunday. Check the program for more.

Price: Various

Times: Saturday, February 11 – Sunday, February 19

Location: Various

Tickets: 040 357 666 66

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Christy & Emily

Christy Edwards and Emily Manzo make really nice music that has been called “psych-folk.” And their inclination to experiment has earned them comparisons to The Velvet Underground. Be enchanted by the Brooklyn duo Tuesday at Die Nato in Leipzig.

Price: €14

Times: Tuesday, February 14, 9pm

Location: Die Nato, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 46

Phone: 034 1391 5539

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Glenn Gould’s 80th Birthday

Nobody, in the last 100 years at least, played Bach better than Glenn Gould. The late pianist would have turned 80 this year, and to honour the event, Gasteig is holding a whole weekend of events related to the great musician. With film, theatre, readings, workshops, and discussions, it’s Glenn Gould time in Munich.

Price: Various

Location: Gasteig München, Rosenheimer Strasse 5

Times: Thursday, February 9 – Sunday, February 12

Tickets: 0180 54 818181 (.14/min)

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Filming and Smoking – Film Festival for the Young Scene

If you’ve got a teenager in Germany chances are they speak German even if you don’t. Give them a five-spot and send them down to Muffathalle Thursday and Friday where they’ll see movies made by their peers. The two-day event features sixty films by young Munich directors.

Price: €5

Location: Muffathalle, Zellstrasse

Times: Thursday, February 9 and Friday, February 10

Phone: 089 12 66 530

More Information:


The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

I’m not exaggerating when I say The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is probably the most entertaining live act on the touring circuit today. The rollicking troupe of little string pickers takes turns belting out the likes of Bowie’s “Life On Mars,” Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights,” and The Fugee’s “Killing Me Softly” with marvellous pluck. Strumming strong since 1985, the band stops in Munich Monday.

Price: €29-50

Times: Monday, February 13, 8pm

Location: Prinzregententheater, Prinzregentenplatz 12

Tickets: 089 54 818181 (.14/min)

More Information:

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EXPLAINED: Berlin’s latest Covid rules

In response to rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rates, the Berlin Senate has introduced stricter rules, which came into force on Saturday, November 27th. Here's what you need to know.

A sign in front of a waxing studio in Berlin indicates the rule of the 2G system
A sign in front of a waxing studio indicates the rule of the 2G system with access only for fully vaccinated people and those who can show proof of recovery from Covid-19 as restrictions tighten in Berlin. STEFANIE LOOS / AFP

The Senate agreed on the tougher restrictions on Tuesday, November 23rd with the goal of reducing contacts and mobility, according to State Secretary of Health Martin Matz (SPD).

He explained after the meeting that these measures should slow the increase in Covid-19 infection rates, which was important as “the situation had, unfortunately, deteriorated over the past weeks”, according to media reports.

READ ALSO: Tougher Covid measures needed to stop 100,000 more deaths, warns top German virologist

Essentially, the new rules exclude from much of public life anyone who cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. You’ll find more details of how different sectors are affected below.

If you haven’t been vaccinated or recovered (2G – geimpft (vaccinated) or genesen (recovered)) from Covid-19, then you can only go into shops for essential supplies, i.e. food shopping in supermarkets or to drugstores and pharmacies.

Many – but not all – of the rules for shopping are the same as those passed in the neighbouring state of Brandenburg in order to avoid promoting ‘shopping tourism’ with different restrictions in different states.

2G applies here, too, as well as the requirement to wear a mask with most places now no longer accepting a negative test for entry. Only minors are exempt from this requirement.

Sport, culture, clubs
Indoor sports halls will off-limits to anyone who hasn’t  been vaccinated or can’t show proof of recovery from Covid-19. 2G is also in force for cultural events, such as plays and concerts, where there’s also a requirement to wear a mask. 

In places where mask-wearing isn’t possible, such as dance clubs, then a negative test and social distancing are required (capacity is capped at 50 percent of the maximum).

Restaurants, bars, pubs (indoors)
You have to wear a mask in all of these places when you come in, leave or move around. You can only take your mask off while you’re sat down. 2G rules also apply here.

Hotels and other types of accommodation 
Restrictions are tougher here, too, with 2G now in force. This means that unvaccinated people can no longer get a room, even if they have a negative test.

For close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, it’s up to the service providers themselves to decide whether they require customers to wear masks or a negative test.

Football matches and other large-scale events
Rules have changed here, too. From December 1st, capacity will be limited to 5,000 people plus 50 percent of the total potential stadium or arena capacity. And only those who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed in. Masks are also compulsory.

For the Olympic Stadium, this means capacity will be capped at 42,000 spectators and 16,000 for the Alte Försterei stadium. 

3G rules – ie vaccinated, recovered or a negative test – still apply on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and buses in Berlin. It was not possible to tighten restrictions, Matz said, as the regulations were issued at national level.

According to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, people have to wear a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask  on public transport.

Christmas markets
The Senate currently has no plans to cancel the capital’s Christmas markets, some of which have been open since Monday. 

According to Matz, 2G rules apply and wearing a mask is compulsory.

Schools and day-care
Pupils will still have to take Covid tests three times a week and, in classes where there are at least two children who test positive in the rapid antigen tests, then tests should be carried out daily for a week.  

Unlike in Brandenburg, there are currently no plans to move away from face-to-face teaching. The child-friendly ‘lollipop’ Covid tests will be made compulsory in day-care centres and parents will be required to confirm that the tests have been carried out. Day-care staff have to document the results.

What about vaccination centres?
Berlin wants to expand these and set up new ones, according to Matz. A new vaccination centre should open in the Ring centre at the end of the week and 50 soldiers from the German army have been helping at the vaccination centre at the Exhibition Centre each day since last week.

The capacity in the new vaccination centre in the Lindencenter in Lichtenberg is expected to be doubled. There are also additional vaccination appointments so that people can get their jabs more quickly. Currently, all appointments are fully booked well into the new year.