Known as May Day or Labour Day, May 1st is a public holiday and Berlin is the place to celebrate! It marks the worker’s revolution of 1929 when people revolted against unfair working conditions, forever changing labour standards in Germany.
In 1987 demonstrations in Kreuzberg turned into violent riots and this tension repeated yearly. Initiatives were introduced in the early 2000s in order to relax tensions, and this became known as MyFest.
MyFest turned May 1st into a public gathering of street food vendors, speeches, live music and DJ’s. The celebration is now a balanced mix of music, entertainment, and political speeches. The event specifically acknowledges current social issues in Berlin, such as rent prices and gentrification.
A few tips to make the most of May 1st in Berlin:
- Shops are closed, however clubs, restaurants, kiosks, and supermarkets in Ostbahnhof & Hauptbahnhof are open
- Celebrations begin on the evening of April 30th, so expect the party to start then
- MyFest happens between the U Bahn stations Kottbusser Tor & Görlitzer Bahnhof
- Want to celebrate by bike? Join the demonstration from Hackescher Markt to Brandenberg Gate at 9am
- Feel like getting in with the locals? Head to Wismarplatz in Friedrichshain at 6pm and get ready to march! This demonstration ends at Oberbaumbrücke, which leads directly to Kreuzberg where you can join MyFest!
- Not into crowds? You can still visit Berlin on May 1st and not participate in the celebrations. Just avoid the areas of Mitte, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg.
Alternatively, you can head over to Sunflowers Hostel Bar, and celebrate the day over a cold drink!