Berlin – meetings and conventions in the 1920s style
In Germany, the 1920s are intimately connected with Berlin. This was a decade of contrasts in the city, not only a time of poverty, upheaval and the dawn of modernity, but also the birth of the Golden Twenties. Even today, event organisers and visitors to Berlin as a congress location remain fascinated by the myths around the city’s Roaring Twenties. Most recently, Tom Tykwer has brought the glittering, dancing, frivolous and dark Berlin of the 1920s back to life in the German TV series Babylon Berlin, receiving a rapturous welcome around the world. We are certainly fans! And with events and side-events at original locations, you can also offer a vibrant taste of life of Roaring Twenties Berlin at your conventions, congresses , meetings and incentives...
Events around Alexanderplatz – a location as a main protagonist
In Babylon Berlin, Alexanderplatz square plays a central role in the action. Of course, the producers’ choice of Alexanderplatz as a major protagonist in this series set in 1920s Berlin was hardly coincidental. At that time, it was one of the city’s main traffic hubs, epitomising this bustling, dynamic and changing city.
Even today, Alexanderplatz still has important examples of 1920s architecture, including the Alexander and Berolina Houses. And right in the heart of this 1920s setting, directly on Alexanderplatz, you can plan events for up to 2000 guests on a total of 10,000 square metres at the bcc Congress Centre. This building, inspired by the Bauhaus movement, impressively combines the history of this square with cutting edge event equipment and services. Our tip: For event locations with a stunning view of Alexanderplatz, check out the Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz or the city’s highest building, the Berlin TV Tower with its revolving restaurant and 360° panoramic view. Incidentally, both buildings date from well after the Roaring Twenties, and were airbrushed away for the scenes in Babylon Berlin!
City West: 1920s originals for meetings and conventions
In the 1920s, Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm boulevard came to epitomise the Roaring Twenties more than almost any other location in the city. Flappers (and friends) cheered the revues in the Nelson Theatre (as the Astor Cinema, the building only closed a few years ago), rushed to see the latest plays at the Komödie Theatre on the boulevard, or casually strolled between shops, restaurants and dance bars. At that time, the glitzy Kurfürstendamm nightlife drew such renowned figures as impresario Max Reinhardt or dancer Josephine Baker. The attraction of those days is still tangible today – for example, at the Ellington Hotel Berlin. This jazz hotel between Kurfürstendamm boulevard, the Zoo district and the legendary KaDeWe department store is the perfect venue for events in the 1920s style. In this heritage building from the Golden Twenties, up to 800 people can enjoy meetings and congresses with that authentic 1920s touch. Another original Roaring Twenties building in the district is the Savoy Hotel in Fasanenstraße. Since it was opened in 1929, the Savoy Hotel, with its special atmosphere, has been popular with prestigious guests and lovers of the bohemian life. In addition, the hotel’s Convention Center offers a number of conference rooms as well as a large roof terrace with a view across this famous district. Fasanenstraße is also home to the more intimate Hotel-Pension Funk, which takes its guests on a journey through time to the 1920s. Here, the interiors still have many authentic art nouveau features, and all the rooms are in the original style.
Settings ripe for Hollywood: Unusual congress centres and event locations
In the early 1900s, very few people in Berlin had their own shower or bathtub. In the 1920s, the public baths were often the only a place for a cheap weekly (!) soak and scrub – for instance, in the Oderberger Baths in today's trendy Prenzlauer Berg district. Now, the beautifully restored historic and listed public baths on the GLS Campus are a highly cinematic location for conferences, meetings and congresses. The vast swimming hall offers a fascinating venue to stage events, whether as a swimming pool or transformed into an event area. The historic changing rooms now serve as seminar rooms.
The Kindl Brewery - Centre for Contemporary Art is another event location that seems to have just stepped out of a movie. This event location, built between 1926 and 1930, is an outstanding example of ‘Brick Expressionism’, an expressionist red-brick architecture found in Germany in the 1920s . The twenty-metre-high Boiler House and vast copper kettles in the Brew House are especially impressive, recalling the complex’s former function as a brewery and lending the site its own unique atmosphere.
For medical congresses and conferences, the refurbished Langenbeck-Virchow House offers a taste of the 1920s atmosphere. From 1915 to 1945, the historic auditorium here hosted meetings of the Berlin Medical Society (BMG) and the German Society of Surgeons (DGCH). Today, the building is regularly home to workshops and congresses, and event planners can hire the 500-seat auditorium as well as other seminar rooms for a range of event formats.
Stylish side events: From burlesque, music and dance to variety
For anyone looking for entertainment inspired by the Roaring Twenties to accompany their conference and congress programme, Berlin is the right place to be! The Babylon Cinema in Berlin-Mitte shows silent movies at midnight – complete with live cinema organ accompaniment.
And the Admiralspalast theatre’s historic auditorium, which seats 1600 people, was already popular in the 1920s for its nightly programme of entertainment.
Berlin also has other stages where you can enjoy revues, shows and chansons in a 1920s style, from the impressive Wintergarten Varieté theatre to the more intimate Bar jeder Vernunft in a traditional Flemish ‘mirror tent’. The spirit and glitz of those years also regularly inspires acts in the Tipi am Kanzleramt, Europe’s largest permanently sited circus tent. The heady mix of acrobatics, cabaret, dance and magic in this venue brings the world of 1920s entertainment to life – captivating audiences of locals and visitors alike! For a side-event which is more surrealistic than burlesque, why not add the Dalí Museum to your convention programme for a visit or event? Here, you can find 450 original art works by this outstanding Spanish artist – an experience sure to open up a vista to the colourful Roaring Twenties far beyond Berlin’s borders.
Keen on new event formats?
From historic to modern locations, and from incentives to conferences and corporate events – we’ll be happy to share our expertise to help you with your planning! Looking for a special hotel, the right service partner or an unusual event location in Berlin? Then take a moment to browse our Meeting Guide Berlin. Like to know more? Just email us: convention@visitBerlin.de. We’ll be glad to help you with your organisation.
TIP: Take a stroll through the 1920s
- If you’re out and about looking for authentic locations in Berlin, why not combine a stroll with learning more about the individual sites and their history?
- Our tip: Download the free ABOUT BERLIN app.
- In over 200 stories from 1871 to today, you can explore the city in a new way, from the well-known to the fascinatingly different.