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lufthansa plane

The German airline Lufthansa have cancelled nearly four thousand flights due to a pilot’s strike which began today (Wednesday 2nd April) and will last until Friday (4th April). This will of course have an effect on Circus guests – both those who are coming to Berlin and those who are already with us, so we have gathered together the following information:

For domestic German flights Lufthansa passengers can transfer their tickets to the Deutsche Bahn and take the train.

For international flights you can get up to date information and help from Lufthansa directly through their website or on the following info number: 0800 850 60 70

To find out if your flight has been cancelled, follow this link and adjust the filter to show the flights in and out of Berlin.

Please note – the strike is of Lufthansa pilots and all other airlines are flying in and out of Berlin as normal. As always, if you need any help then get in contact with us via email, telephone (+49 30 2000 3939) or if you are in Berlin, come and speak to us at reception.

Photo: Lasse Fuss via Wikimedia Commons

Unter den Linden
So we all made it… the Circus runners of Jim, Paul, Ivi and Johann all crossed the finish line. Unfortunately we don’t have a picture of Johann out on the course, but a quick check of the results shows that he does take the prize for the quickest Circus half marathon. Not that time matters, as everyone agrees – even Jimbo – that it was a lot of fun to run 21 kilometres through the streets of our city, and past many of the famous landmarks of Berlin. Afterwards we stopped by the hostel for a few beers, and there were a number of guests nursing sore legs but with the finishers medal around their necks… we spoke to a few of them, but we also wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate everyone who took part… same time and place next year? Jared has already promised to start training, so hopefully the Circus team will be even bigger next time around…

(Go on Jim… you know you want to)

Jimmy on the move…


Ivi is all smiles at 17 km


Paul is imagining the beer at the finish line


Allys tour
The message is in the picture… yep, once again our intrepid Ally is taking Circus guests out into the city for a free tour of Berlin’s street art scene. Not only that, but you will discover some of Ally’s favourite corners of the city… this is most definitely a tour that you will not find in a guidebook! Ally studied Fine Art at the Australian National University, is a highly entertaining guide, and is looking forward to getting out there – to see some impressions from the tour and and to get a sense of what to expect, check out Ally’s facebook page.

Ally’s tour is running tomorrow (27th March) and every Thursday from now on – check at reception for the pickup times and be aware that as the tour is exclusive for Circus guests and places are limited, you will need to sign up at reception.


This coming Sunday is the Berlin Half Marathon… a 21km run or skate through the heart of Berlin, starting on the iconic Karl Marx Allee with a route that passes by some of the most famous sights of the city, including the Brandenburg Gate, Tiergarten, Schloss Charlottenburg, Ku-damm and Potsdamer Platz. We know that there are a good number of our guests bringing their running shoes and race registrations with them, and there will also be a Circus presence, as Johann, Paul, Jim and Ivi attempt to complete the course before the time limit expires…

For those who are running, you will have been sent your race registration details and you will need to head to Tempelhof for the Berlin Vital fair where you can pick up your race number. It is possible to do this at Karl Marx Allee on the day of the race, but we would highly recommend you head to Tempelhof on Thursday, Friday or Saturday to save yourself the stress, to enjoy the different things going on at the fair, and also to see the legendary Tempelhof airport building where it is being held and which is worth a visit in its own right.

For those who are here to cheer, or would like to head down and see what the fuss is about, the skaters will set off at 9.30am on Sunday 30th March whilst the runners head out at 10.05am. You can see the route map above (click on it to make it bigger), and if you need any advice about how to get to the best spots to watch then come and talk to us at reception.

For everyone: we will be meeting at Katz & Maus in the Circus Hostel after the run (so, from roughly 1pm onwards) for a few drinks, to share our stories, and for those who have a medal around the neck, a small surprise!

See you then… The Circus Runners

Bild 183-M0804-754

Over the past three years we have welcomed many fascinating speakers to The Circus as part of our series of monthly eyewitness history talks in cooperation with the ZZB (Centre for Witness to Contemporary History). It has been wonderful to hear of the personal experiences of people who have lived in our city, and the tales they have to tell, but it is possible that our speaker this month has one of the most extraordinary stories we have heard so far.

Salomea Genin was born in Berlin in 1932 to Polish-Jewish parents, and the family fled the Nazis to Australia in 1939. By the early 1950s Salomea was a committed member of the Australian Communist Party, and visited the German Democratic Republic as a delegate of the World Youth Festival. Out of this visit was born a desire to help build an anti-fascist state in East Germany, and in 1963 she moved there. Twenty years later she came to the realisation that she had willingly participated in what was a police state, and in turn this led her to join the political opposition and build a new life, even before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of East Germany.

We are really excited to be welcoming Salomea to The Circus on Tuesday 25th March to hear her story of exile and the joy and anguish of her multi-faceted homecoming. As always, the talk will be in English, open to all and free of charge, although we will be collecting donations for the ZZB to help them fund their important work.

Eyewitness History Talk: Homecoming – A Jewish Australian in the GDR
Speaker: Salomea Genin
Date: Tuesday 25th March 2014
Time: 6pm
Venue: Fabisch at the Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Platz 1, Berlin-Mitte

Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-M0804-754 / CC-BY-SA

Sunday Social

Coming up on Sunday evening we are extremely happy to be holding the very first of our “Sunday Social” events downstairs at Katz & Maus in the Circus Hostel. This week we are welcoming Ori Soul to join us on stage for our Acoustic Lounge event, with some chilled and relaxed music from 9pm and all our great food and drink offers… what a way to end the weekend…

… or alternatively, what a warm up for… ST PATRICK’S DAY! Yep, Monday is the 17th March which means all over the planet people will be celebrating all things Irish, and at Katz & Maus we are no different. Again, we have live music from 9pm and a very special offer… Irish Stew and a Guinness for €7. Delicious. So come join us downstairs at Katz & Maus on Sunday and Monday, to eat, drink and be merry.

St Patricks Day


The Interdepartmental Schlachtfest is the brainchild of Jimbo, who has been watching too many episodes of the Office and decided we needed some form of team-building exercise involving beer and quizzes… it is only a rumour that the night ended with Felix throwing a shoe over the roof of the Schultheiss brewery whilst shouting “And that’s the real quiz!”

Last night saw The Interdepartmental Schlachtfest: Part Deux, whereby the different departments of the Circus Hostel, Hotel and Apartment House pit their wits against each other. After the bowling extravaganza last year the revenge was set up. The program was easy, first a tour through Berlins largest Brewery which gave not only the answers to some of the questions in following quiz but also gave everyone a wonderful insight into the wonderful process of brewing everyone’s favourite alcoholic beverage.

Deeply impressive was of course the bottling plant as seeing 50.000 bottles of beer being cleaned labeled and then filled every hour is something. After the tour it was on to the tasting room for 2.5 hours of free brew tasting. Once all the teams had truly whetted their whistles it was on to the highlight of the evening. The quiz. 20 of the most well thought out questions by Quiz master Mister Felix K., all about, yep, you guessed it, beer. It was a close run race the team “Jim’s All Girls” consisting of Katrin, Jule, Saskia, and Victoria snatched victory. It had nothing to do with their team name either as the extra point for the best team name went to “The Yeasty Boys”…. Very imaginative J. If you feel like having a crack at the questions. Don’t be shy….. Answers upon request.

1. In the Middle Ages fasting Monks were still allowed to drink beer. What was the amount of beer each monk was allowed to drink per day?

2. What is the terminology of the study of fermentation?

3. What is the cause of bad beer’s “skunked” taste?

4. Who is the Patron Saint of Brewing?

5. Chicha is a Peruvian beer. Its secret ingredient is a bit odd, what is it?

6. What is Felix’s favorite beer?

7. How many Hector Litres are produced at the Schultheiss Brewery per year?

8. How old is the Schultheiss brewery?

9. Write the word beer in as many languages as possible? (Point for each)

10. If David Hasselhoff was a beer which one would it be any why? (Point for best answer)

11. In which year did Jim drink so much beer that he puked all over the bathroom for the first time? (Point for the closest)

12. How many beers had Jim drunk before this premiere? (Point for the closest)

13. What classification system is used to describe the color of beer?

14. What is the fear of an empty (beer) glass called (extra points for spelling)?

15. Pyramid workers were paid with beer.  What was the daily “wage”?

16. Beer and Marijuana are cousins: Beer’s Hops are in the same family of flowering plants as marijuana.  Bearing that in mind, what is 7*8?

17. What is the world’s highest alcohol content in a beer? (extra points for the name of the beer)

18. Which country drinks the largest amount of beer per capita?

19. Beer is the second most popular beverage in the world (outrageous I know). What is the first?

20. Did you have a good time?

Here are some more pictures from the evening:





Here at the Circus we are of course used to welcoming the world to Berlin, as our guests come from just about every corner of the globe, but over the last week the city was buzzing with lots of – well – people like us, as the tourism industry descended on the city for the annual ITB. The ITB is one of the largest tourism trade fairs in the world, and there were all kinds of hotels, websites, tour companies, travel agencies and the different tourist institutions from cities, regions and countries, filling the many different halls of the Berlin Messe. Many of the Circus team took time out of the busy week to go and take a look, using the chance to meet up with business partners and other friends from the industry, and collect inspiration and ideas from what other are doing and what else was on offer.

And many of those from the industry were staying with us, including Megat and friends from Malaysia, who spent the ITB at the Circus Apartments and left some lovely gifts for Ivi and Clara from the concierge team… as you can see in the picture above. Thanks to everyone who joined us in Berlin over the last week, and we are looking forward to seeing you again next year!

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