A Guide to the Coolest Alternative Christmas Markets in Berlin

A Guide to the Coolest Alternative Christmas Markets in Berlin

Heissa Holzmarkt. 

With our nerves hanging on really thin threads these days due to the… – let’s just call it circumstance – there is only one thing really keeping us remotely sane: the prospect of Christmas. It’s like that one warm cozy light at the end of the tunnel that is the second year in a fucking pandemic.

While a lot of markets were actually not happening last year, the vaccinations and current regulations make it possible that they are happening again this year. We are glad they are because Christmas and Winter markets make up for a lot of the magic of the holiday season. And no better excuse to fill up on mulled wine than a visit to a Christmas market.

Of course, we wouldn’t be iHeartBerlin if we sent you to the regular markets happening in the usual places – you know where to find those. We picked the more unique and special ones that often come with a little twist as well. Here goes our Christmas Market guide for 2021. (Mind you, they all call themselves “Winter Markets” these days for whatever reason that might be…)

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Welcome to the ‘C/O Berlin Open House – hosted by Airbnb’

Welcome to the ‘C/O Berlin Open House – hosted by Airbnb’

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I’m sure that for many of us, Airbnb has completely changed the way we travel and experience cities and places over the past few years. Airbnb has opened doors to private homes, people’s lives and otherwise hard to reach places, giving us a more immersive travel experience than we could have ever imagined.

For some time now, Hosts can not only offer their homes on Airbnb, but also experiences. Just like the many unique stays on Airbnb, these experiences are offered by Hosts around the world who offer their guests authentic adventures for every conceivable interest.

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A Different Kind of Selfcare Guide

A Different Kind of Selfcare Guide

If we’ve learned anything in the past 1,5 years is that we really really need to be more aware of our own mental health and wellbeing than ever before. Self-care was of course already a thing before the pandemic, but it certainly reached a wider audience during it due to the mental stress and isolation many of us went through.

But of course, self-care is a very subjective practice and everyone has a different understanding of it. From sharing inspirational quotes on Instagram, visiting yoga classes, or taking the time to cook a healthy dinner for one – self-care has so many faces. My personal version of self-care is taking a long bath with tinted green lights while fantasizing about hikes in the tropical jungle, and sometimes I take myself out to brunch alone. On the other hand, we have this writer who joins orgies as a form of self-care. Well, everyone to their own, right?

Our partner in crime Sophia Halamoda, with who we published the fabulous Like A Berliner book, has come out with an adorable comic about her own self-care routine, and let’s say, it is really of a different kind… But look for yourself!

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Halloween And A Trip Down Party Memory Lane

Halloween And A Trip Down Party Memory Lane

You know we love a good party, and you can imagine being locked up for the last 1,5 years has been a challenge. It has been itching under our fingernails now for a while, so when our former iHeartBerlin party writer Suz asked us if we wanted to do a Halloween party with her at Backyard it was pretty much a given we would jump at the opportunity.

Backyard has a place in our hearts because we celebrated so many parties here, most famously the iconic Last Days parties. Those of you who have been around here for a while might even remember the various party photo sets we published in those days. It was certainly something that shaped iHeartBerlin and its place in the Berlin blog and magazine world.

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Creating Space for Equality and Diversity in the World of Gaming

Creating Space for Equality and Diversity in the World of Gaming

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Last weekend, the Equal Esports Festival took place in Berlin at the Telekom Hauptstadtrepräsentanz and shook up the international gaming scene. It was the first festival of its kind to take place in Germany – and it was about time.

You won’t be surprised to hear that the world of Esports and gaming is pretty male-dominated – like so much tech-related stuff. But it’s not that girls and women don’t play games, in fact, there are a lot of female gamers out there. And there are also a lot of non-binary gamers and other members of the LGBTQ+ community. But it’s not easy for them to get recognition or space in the scene.

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Equal eSports Festival in Berlin: Pushing Equality & Diversity in the eSports & Gaming World

Equal eSports Festival in Berlin: Pushing Equality & Diversity in the eSports & Gaming World

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Today we have the pleasure to introduce you to an exciting festival of Deutsche Telekom, our longtime partner. It’s about fun, about community, about equality and about female empowerment – and these are all topics that are of course also very close to our hearts.

The Equal eSports Festival, which takes place this coming weekend from October 29-31 at the Telekom Hauptstadtrepräsentanz, is dedicated to equality and diversity in the eSports and gaming scene. “eSports is a mass sport in which there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of equality and diversity,” reports Antje Hundhausen, initiator of the festival from Deutsche Telekom.

But supporting women in this otherwise male-dominated scene is just the beginning. It is also important to the festival to include non-binary players, for example, as well as people who otherwise have no access to the gaming experience due to their origin or social status. Everyone should be able to play and be part of the community.

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Corona Culture: 120 Artists in an Underground Labyrinth

Corona Culture: 120 Artists in an Underground Labyrinth

Berlin is really overperforming on the immersive group exhibition front these days, and we’re totally here for it. There was and is so much going on this fall, such as the i8i show Infinite Scroll, the Metabolic Rift show at Kraftwerk or the Sun Machine is Going Down art festival at ICC, to name only a few.

With the Corona Culture exhibition at Alte Münze another big one just opened last week and this might actually be the biggest one featuring over 120 artists and creatives involved. And it was a long way coming for this one. The initial exhibition concept was already conceived during the first lockdown in 2020 and there were several openings planned since then with several delays due to new lockdowns happening. But over time the exhibition just kept growing, until it finally was able to open last week. And I would say the wait and extra time that went into it was worth it.

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An Otherworldly Club Experience – The i8i Collective at Traumabar

An Otherworldly Club Experience – The i8i Collective at Traumabar

photo: Camille Blake. 

Having lived in Berlin for so long and having seen so many things at the intersections of nightlife, culture, and art, you can trust me when I tell you this was quite something else. And I mean that in the best, most stimulating way.

I’ve been a big fan of Trauma Bar und Kino now since their early days and really love and trust their progressive and multi-disciplinary programming. To me, they have accomplished, what many have tried bringing together the most innovative talents into one space and creating immersive and inspiring experiences that go far beyond a regular club night, concert, or exhibition opening. Check out this event for instance that brought together avant-garde fashion and contemporary dance.

Inviting the newly formed i8i collective of interdisciplinary artists to take over their space was a great choice because they created something so next level – even for Trauma’s standards. And this is the part where it gets hard to continue this article because describing what happened at the opening event of their show Infinite Scroll is almost impossible.

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Staatsoper Für Alle 2021: Bringing Us All Back Together Again with Opera Music

Staatsoper Für Alle 2021: Bringing Us All Back Together Again with Opera Music

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One the past weekend Berlin once again saw its big annual free open-air opera event Staatsoper für Alle hosted at Bebelplatz by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Due to the pandemic, last year’s edition was held rather small offering the medical personal of the city a chance to view the live screening of the season’s premiere. This year, the event was still not back to its usual capacity of 40.000 people, but at least a few thousand citizens were able to join the two-day event.

Those of you who follow us, know we have been working with the Staatsoper now for several years, hosting the picnics at the Staatsoper für Alle events and creating video content for their social media channels. We were happy that we could join again in the festivities this year, but of course with one sad eye because it wasn’t in the shape of our famous picnic.

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PLATTE Brings Voguing & Ballroom to the Runway of Berlin Fashion Week

PLATTE Brings Voguing & Ballroom to the Runway of Berlin Fashion Week

Berlin has a new space and platform for emerging local designers and what better to put yourself onto the map with the most exciting fashion show during this week’s Berlin Fashion Week.  PLATTE is a project dedicated to supporting the fashion scene of Berlin in a sustainable way by offering space, structure, and expertise to upcoming local designers and brands. The makers of PLATTE are dear of colleagues of iHeartBerlin that have over a decade of experience in the field. Sevil Uguz is the founder of LNFA which is a network and fashion store for local brands at Bikini Berlin, and Arne Eberle is a Berlin Fashion Week veteran and co-founder of OE Magazine.

In their amazing space at Memhardstraße, they will host pop-up stores, workshops, showrooms, exhibitions, events and so much more. With their first event that happened on Tuesday, they gave a preview of what’s to come and their focus on working in an interdisciplinary way. They invited members of the Berlin ballroom scene to curate a runway show of a different kind. Housemother Ambrosia from the Kiki House of Angels brought together a cast of diverse performers who proofed that models can have any size, shape, and identity and look fabulous on the runway. And European housefather David from the house of Milan put together the choreography for the show that would have spectators gagging later on.

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