And so it begins! The Christmas Market season is once again upon us. The wine has been mulled, the sausages grilled, and the blocks of wood carved into beautiful fairytale scenery. The rollercoasters have been erected behind the Alexa shopping centre, the big wheel is spinning beside the town hall, and all across the city market stalls have been filled with goodies for stockings or simply for your belly. There are LOADS of Christmas Markets in Berlin, but we all have our favourites… here is the special Circus Guide for 2014:


The following markets are open each day throughout the advent period… they are only a selection. You will also find Christmas and Winter markets at Alexanderplatz, Zoo Station, Potsdamer Platz and the Schloss Charlottenburg, amongst many more…


(From the 24.11 – 31.21; 11am – 10pm)

Nothing keeps the riff-raff out like a cover charge*, but then again it is only €1 and they promise that all the money goes to the performers to take to the central stage to keep you entertained. This market combines lots of different arts and crafts stalls with a truly international food and drink selection that, it must be said, is particularly good… and altogether it is definitely worth a hundred cents of anyone’s money.

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The First World War from 1914-18 was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, resulting the deaths of 16 million soldiers and civilians. This was exacerbated by two things which were characteristic of the War, namely the stalemate between the opposing sides and the rate of technological development. One area in which this development took place was photography, and a new exhibition at the Museum für Fotographie takes a look at how photography was used in the conflict, from weaponry, documentation and reconnaissance, to press photography, journalism and propaganda.

The exhibition combines original prints, posters, bbooks, and newspapers from the Museum für Fotographie’s own archives, as well as loans from both Germany and abroad:

“These archives hold voluminous files of photographs, taken by official war photographers and amateurs alike, ranging from panoramas and aerial photographs to pictures postcards and illustrated war diaries … The aim is not to tell the story of the war through photographs, but to tell the story of photography during the war.”

The exhibition runs until 22nd February 2015, and you can find the Museum für Fotographie on Jebensstraße, close to S + U Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten. Entry  is €10, and the museum is open every day except Monday.

Image – Bild- und Filmamt: Von der Westfront. Der Kriegsphotograph im Felde, 1917/18. Silbergelatinepapier. © Zeitgeschichte, Stuttgart



If you have been to either the Circus Hostel or Hotel then you will know that our head designer Sandra Ernst likes her big, bold and bright colours. At the same time, when we are planning – as we are now and as you can see from the images above – the changes to the outside of the building, we are aware of the history of each building and the neighbourhood, and have chosen colours that fit the traditions of the architecture and its surroundings. Inside, of course, it is a different matter…

So when it came to creating a new uniform for our maintenance team, we stuck with the sober and restrained colours of the outside rather than the bright, playfulness  of the inside… perhaps because our Hausi team are the solid foundation that keeps the whole operation moving smoothly… here’s a sneak preview of the uniform, modelled by Milan with his own unique style and grace:



ReaderOur friends at The Reader Berlin are running their second short story competition and we are proud to be supporting their endeavours to encourage new writing in Berlin and beyond… here are some details:

The competition aims to recognize and support original work by unpublished writers, so your entry must not have been published anywhere else, either in print or on the internet. Entry is 7 euros. This time, we are honouring our home – Berlin – eternal city of a thousand faces. You may interpret this theme as broadly or as narrowly as you like. The upper word limit is 3500, and the deadline is midnight, December 31st 2014. There is no lower word limit.

First Prize

Our winner will receive all of the above as well as 250 euros and a pair of weekend tickets to our Summer 2015 Reader Berlin Fort Gorgast Festival.

Kristen Harrison of The Curved House is kindly donating a one-to-one session to the winning author in which she will give detailed, individually-tailored web and social media training. Furthermore, the winning story will be published in print by SAND literary journal in addition to the ebook anthology.


9 finalists will have their stories published as part of an ebook anthology along with the winning story.

Victoria Gosling, founder of The Reader, will give each finalist professional editorial feedback on their work.

Finalists will also receive 1-day tickets to our Summer 2015 Reader Berlin Fort Gorgast Festival.

In addition, they will win free entry to an epubli workshop, either in Berlin or in London, and receive a goody-bag from our sponsor, Berlin stationers RSVP.

For more information, including the all important rules of how and where to enter, please visit the competition page on The Reader Berlin website.


Hotel Manager Katrin Schönig on some of the improvements we are making to the rooms at the Circus Hotel, as part of our creativity bonanza on both sides of Rosenthaler Platz:

This week we started on the rooms, and what I wanted to write about today are some of the ways we have been reacting to the reviews our guests leave, and how we have used the feedback to help develop our plans for the Hotel. One thing that many people mentioned was that they missed the chance to make themselves a hot drink after a long day wandering the streets of Berlin. As things get colder here in the German capital, this is something quite important, and so we teamed up with the Dutch company b-tray to find a stylish and practical solution… a wooden tray with a big kettle and some tasty Althaus tea to warm your belly on cold days.


Another piece of feedback we have been reflecting on is that of lighting in the rooms. As you might know, our rooms are all individually designed by Sandra Ernst, and therefore we needed to find some individual solutions. One which will be finding its way into some of the rooms are the fantastic Re-flect Lamp from e27/Steng. Sandra is extremely happy to have found a solution that not only looks great, but which gives the perfect light for reading your book… perhaps alongside the cup of tea.

Elevate Good Times

THE CIRCUS HOSTEL NEEDS YOU! Yes, that’s right… in this creativity bonanza of ours, where we are taking ideas and inspiration from so many amazing designers, craftspeople and the Circus team itself, it is time for you guys to make your mark on the future of the hostel.

As you can see from the picture we are planning some changes to the Hostel Lobby, and we need a quote to illuminate the panels above the entrance to the lift. We think it should be something to do with travel, or the Circus, and it can be a maximum of eight words long.

Jim wants to hear all your great ideas, so send them by email to hadfield (at), and the winner will win a surprise prize from the new Circus Hostel Brewery (opening in January).

Iris Lilly 1

Iris Lilly 2

Dear Iris-Lilly,

Thank you so much for your letter, we were very happy to hear that Poppy made it home safe and sound. Can you please tell her that next time she wants to stay longer, she needs to check with you first!

We hope to see you all in Berlin again soon,

Love, The Circus Team

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