For 4 consecutive days the festival for Berliners and tourists takes place in the capital and shows off its best sides. It’s cosmopolitan, international, dynamic, full of life, varied and colourful. Since the mid-90s around half a million people celebrate the colourful mix of the city every year.
Truck procession with close to 100 vehicles and over 5 thousand participants from almost all parts of the world are enjoying the music and the diversity now: from Brazilian samba to Chinese lion dance, from West African drums to German horn groups of carnival are an impressive proof that Berlin's treasure is the diversity and internationalism.
In addition to the four-day street festival, there is always a big parade which is the highlight of the event.
From May 1st to May 3rd the Gallery Weekend in Germany’s capital will drive tourists through different parts of the city. On their faces: big smiles in the face of a blockbuster artists list, showing the importance of Berlin galleries during the Gallery's Weekend. The art festival takes place yearly and offers upcoming, but also well established artists a great audience.
To mention two of the most impeccable artists, Matt Mullican is displaying his modernistic work at the Galerie Klosterfelde and the fantastic Robert Longo at Capitain Petzel.
In addition, the gallery owner Sassa Trülzsch opens her new exhibition room right next to her gallery in the Blumenthalstrasse. Another notable artist such as Jill Lipertz is showing her „contemporary art by appointment“. For art lovers and those who are aspiring to become artists this is an impossible event to miss.
The Berlin International Film Festival, also called the Berlinale, is one of the most important events in the international film industry that annually takes place in different locations in Berlin. Hollywood stars such as George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, major film players like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg and local celebrities such as Daniel Brühl have gathered here to award the best movie and the best short film with the golden bear.
The silver bear is awarded in the categories of best actor, best actress, best director, best screenplay, outstanding artistic performance and grand price of the jury. The 65th Berlinale takes place from 5th – 15th of February in 2015. More than 400 movies are entered in the highly acclaimed competition and around 300.000 movie lovers are expected to buy tickets with even more spectators standing outside.
Simultaneously to the Berlinale the European Film Market (EFM) takes place, where producers, film-purchasers, lenders and agents can trade and network. It is considered one of the most reputable film markets in the world. For film enthusiasts and professionals the Berlinale offers a great many opportunities.
The German winter is mostly cold and sometimes lonely. Berlin has more than 80 large and small, traditional and alternative Christmas markets spread throughout the entire city to get in the mood of the most wonderful time of the year. Bright lights shine from trees and houses. Pine branches decorate the small wooden craft shops. Food stands invite visitors to try out waffles, bratwurst, warm chestnuts and new culinary achievements while the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread flies through the air. Choirs set the music on the more traditional markets and electronic Christmas pop rings from the speakers on the more fashionable ones.
The Christmas markets are the perfect setting to find the last Christmas presents and spend a wonderful time with your family and friends. In between the Concert house, the German and the French Dome, lies one of the most beautiful markets on Gendarmenmarkt. It has plenty of shops, food and wine stands and a small stage for theatrical performances. Other exceptionally beautiful Christmas markets are right in front of the royal Charlottenburg Palace or the Spandau Christmas market.
The Christmas market in front of the Red City Hall has an ice skating area around the classical Neptune’s fountain. Skaters that prefer to have a rooftop view find a rooftop skating area on top of the Bikini Berlin shopping center next to the Gedächtniskirche Christmas market at Ku’Damm. The Christmas markets open around the 24th of November and close around the 31st of December. Next to the Christmas markets many of the operas, theatres, museums and other cultural venues create special events in the time leading up to Christmas Eve. The Berlin Philharmonic for example arranges Wagner concerts under the lead of the world renowned conductor Sir Simon Rattle.
The Circus Roncalli performs a Christmas Circus and the Theatre at Potsdamer Platz is staging Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake performed by the world famous Bolshoi Ballet to name a few. Despite the cold winds and the early sunsets, Berlin remains a remarkable place in winter.
Lear more about the neighborhoods and areas of Berlin
Following the publication of “Emerging trends in Real Estate 2013 Survey” Europe, the city of Berlin was ranked 2nd after Munich, the Bayern region capital, in terms of investments prospects.
The report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Urban Land Institute scored the major European cities in terms of existing and new investments. Berlin ranked second for both criteria followed by London, Istanbul, Hamburg and Paris.
In terms of housing demand prospects, Berlin confirmed its attractiveness with almost the highest rent increase score along with Istanbul.
The report highlighted the attraction of the city for designers, artists and technology start-up entrepreneurs with around 37000 companies operating in media and creative industries in Berlin.
Despite its historical background, Berlin is becoming increasingly interesting for international investment funds, large companies and wealthy Germans. This allowed berlin to reach the 5th place in terms of transaction volumes just after Moscow (despite the large difference of prices, as Moscow is 5-6 times more expensive than Berlin).
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The new standing of Germany as the economic leader of Eurozone drove the borrowing rates to lowest historical levels. The market liquidity stays high thanks to insurance companies and funds that are offering competitive financing solutions to residents and foreign investors. German banks offer the most competitive interest rates among other European banks which vary from 2 to 2.5%. The financing ratio, called LTV loan-to-value, depends on the purchase purpose (for own use or renting), on the quality of the property and the income level of the buyer. The loan-to-value ratio is generally around 50% for foreign investors for an investment purchase (buy for rent) and could be as high as 80% for secured projects. Qualifying for a mortgage gives the advantage to reduce the equity amount required for a purchase, increase the total purchase budget available and making one’s investment more profitable in regards of the potential increase of prices and rents in Berlin. Foreign investors could pretend to a higher LTV ratio especially for large investments, implying an established German company. Most popular financing structure on the market remains the 10 years and 15 years fixed rate mortgages.
Lean more about Berlin property financing & Mortgages in Germany
Learn more about property prices in Berlin