The inaugural Berlin Festival of Lights was held in 2005. It instantly attracted the attention of both locals and tourists from all over Germany and abroad. The popularity of the festival continued to grow over the years. In 2015, the Berlin Festival of Lights attracted about 2,200,000 attendees. Currently, the light art festival in Berlin is one of the largest and best known events of its kind in the world.
Each year, Berlin’s monuments, historical places, buildings, squares and streets become the canvas were light artists from all over the world create their masterpieces. The Brandenburg Gate, Berliner Fernsehturm (the TV tower), Berlin Cathedral, the Victory Column, the House of the World’s Cultures, buildings on the Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin Tempelhof Airport, and the Reichstag building are among the landmarks to light up in colors during the festival.
Most illuminations, projections and installation light up at 7 p.m. and remain active until midnight. The admittance is free (and how would people pay for admittance anyway when the entire city is one huge festival venue). Each year, the organizers issue a brochure that contains a detailed map of all installations. The map is also available at the festival website so that is easier for festival goers to plan their route.
If you’re not a fan of exploring the festival on your own, you can book a LightSeeing tour offered by festival partners. There are guided walking tours, bus tours, ship tours, carriage tours, charabanc tours, and even stretch limousine tours. Some of the tours are accessible in wheelchairs, so guests with disabilities can enjoy the festival, too.
Along with illuminations, projections and light shows, the program of Berlin Festival of Lights features performances by famous musicians, seminars, labs and workshops for those who want to learn more about light art, the interactive zone, the Light Beach mini festival by Priceless Berlin, and many other events.