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If you click on the picture above you will see something very special… the new Circus website! This project has been months in the planning and realising, and we are extremely happy with the results. First up, we need to say a big “well done” to Julia for her design work, capturing the individual spirit of the three houses whilst maintaining the link that makes them all “The Circus”… marvellous work! As always, we are greatly indebted to Ivo, Matthias and the rest of the team at Escriptum for helping us realise Julia’s design and their advice from the beginning of the project on. And last, but by no means least, special mention has to go to Zoë Noble for her photography of the hostel and the hotel, and for capturing the spirit of The Circus in her images.

The new website is part of a huge number of developments that are taking place at The Circus over the next year or so, and you can follow what is going on by bookmarking this blog category.

And so it begins… as those of you who love the city as much as we do know, time never stands still in Berlin. This is a place that has known change and upheaval throughout its history, and if the Circus is anything it is a child of this city. As we approach our eighteenth birthday in 2015 we decided that it was time to take the next steps in our journey, a series of developments that we are sure will surprise, amaze and inspire the next generation of Circus guests. Once the dust settles after our colourful, spectacular, creativity bonanza it will still be the Circus you know and love… only more so!

So what do we have planned? Well, some of it is still firmly on the drawing board, but over the next few weeks and months we will be spreading more news about what is to come… and you can follow it all here on the Circus blog under the tagline Creativity Bonanza! For now, we caught up with Andreas, the founder and managing partner of the Circus to hear what he has to say about it all…

Many thanks to Christian and INCO MEDIA for filming the interview.

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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

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When the moon hits you eye like a… sorry, where were we? Oh yes, Valentine’s Day. The annual celebration of love, romance, and showing how much you care through a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers is upon us again, and we are celebrating the event with a very special evening in Fabisch at the Circus Hotel. We have planned some live music from Serendipity, who will be performing their brand of acoustic lounge to get you in the mood, and head chef Roman has put together a special romantic four course menu for you to enjoy.

Dinner begins at 6pm, with live music from 10pm, and we certainly recommend that if you would like to share this evening with us, you should reserve your table either through reception or with the Fabisch team. When is it? This Friday of course… the 14th February.


Berlin is a city of stories, a place where it sometimes feels like there is a memorial on every corner where history permeates every length of pavement and every building older than a handful of years. The city is packed with museums that help us imagine the unimaginable. Then there are the monuments and memorials that stimulate reflection, as well as the piles of books in the windows of bookstores that take us back in order to explain those momentous events that shaped not only Berlin but the modern world. But the process of encasing history in buildings, marble or the pages of a book can put a distance between us and the events, and sometimes it takes a conversation, the hearing of personal testimony, to really bring history to life.

Once again we are really pleased to be welcoming another eyewitness speaker to the Circus, as part of our ongoing series of history talks in cooperation with the ZZB – The Centre for Witness to Contemporary History. The talk is taking place at The Circus Hotel on Wednesday 12th February, and as always it is completely free, takes place in English, and everyone is welcome.

Our speaker this month is Frau Gericke who was born in Berlin in 1925, and grew up through the Weimar period, the Nazi’s rise to power, and the Second World War. In 1945 her family’s home was confiscated to be used as Winston Churchill’s residence during the Potsdam conference, and was only returned to the family after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990.


Eyewitness History Talk: Growing Up in Germany 1925-50

Speaker: Frau Gericke
Date: Wednesday 12th February 2014
Time: 6pm
Venue: Fabisch at the Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Platz 1, Berlin-Mitte

Image: Heike Vogt – via Wikimedia

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Once again we are really pleased to be welcoming another eyewitness speaker to the Circus, as part of our ongoing series of history talks in cooperation with the ZZB – The Centre for Witness to Contemporary History. The talk is taking place at The Circus Hotel on Tuesday 21st January, and as always it is completely free, takes place in English, and everyone is welcome.

Our speaker this month is Helga Wille who has lived in Berlin from 1963 until present day. Inspired by the events of the Cold war, Helga studied political science in West Berlin. During this time Helga formed a very close relationship with the Hildebrandt family in the east and the Versöhnungskirche in Bernauer Strasse east Berlin. As a result of this relationship she made many border crossings into East Berlin. Helga will share her experiences living in a divided city, sharing stories of border crossings and the personal circumstances of friends that she discovered on the other side.


Eyewitness History Talk: Life in a divided city 1963 – 1989
Speaker: Helga Wille
Date: Tuesday 21st January 2014
Time: 6pm
Venue: Fabisch at the Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Platz 1, Berlin-Mitte

Please note: the event is of course free to attend, and as part of our cooperation with the ZZB we make a donation to help fund their very important work. If you would like to contribute to our donation, you can do so on the evening.

Image credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-33809-0001 / Quaschinsky, Hans-Günter / CC-BY-SA

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So what did we get up to over the past twelve months? Well, as we flick through the archives we can see that there was quite a lot…

We spent most of January renovating the lobby and reception area of the Circus Hostel, to make sure things were fresh and new as we entered the New Year. In February we launched Issue #4 of our magazine, got serious on Twitter, launched a new tour as Ally took guests around some of the best street art in the city, oh… and won some awards for both the hostel and the hotel.  As spring approached we enjoyed the sun, as well as new TV channels in the hotel and our regular eyewitness history talks, whilst into April and The Kitchen at the Apartments featured in a book from Gestalten, we launched the Café Conversations at the Hostel, the behind-the-scenes team moved into a new office, and Berlin became the unlikely sporting capital of the country (at least until Bayern Munich had the last say).

Into May and we could not help ourselves with our Eurovision Song Contest Party, the company featured in the Volksbank annual report, and we made more improvements to our hotel roof terrace. June began with sad news as we said goodbye to two close friends and partners of the Circus, Terry Brewer and Michael Kersten. We spent a nice evening with our neighbours in the Fabisch courtyard, Mike launched his Berlin Wall tour, we created some new neighbourhood maps, and we began our summer series of yoga and sundown drinks on the roof terrace.  As the summer progressed we received commendations for the hostel, the hotel and the apartments, gave our lion a name, launched the Kitchen Culinary Club… and, oh yeah, the company bought the Circus Hostel building.

Into the autumn and time to take a break? Not a bit of it… as we brought Oktoberfest north to Berlin and welcomed the return of Berliner Abend to Fabisch, taught the world Berlinerish, were nominated for SO!Apart awards, held the last ever Karaoke Klub and celebrated five years of the Circus Hotel… including a party and all as Jared and Felix began to cultivate their tasches for Movember. We ended the year as we began, with further renovations on the ground floor which led to the opening of our new gastronomic space called Katz & Maus, before we could relax into a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

See you in 2014!


It is the biggest party of the year, and Silvester – as they call New Year’s Eve in these parts – is the one night in the year when EVERYONE in the city cuts loose and turns into something of a pyromaniac along the way. Here’s what is going on at The Circus and in town…

New Year’s Eve at The Circus

In the Circus Hotel, our restaurant Fabisch  will be offering a very special four-course New Year’s Eve Dinner (from 5pm) and we hope you will stay with us through until midnight, with some good tunes and a toast when the clock strikes twelve. The next morning we will be continuing the celebrations with our New Year Brunch Buffet (from 9.30pm until 3pm), with live jazz from 11am… a great and groovy way to kick off 2014.

Meanwhile, across the street at the Circus Hostel, we will be meeting in our café bar Katz & Maus for pre-party drinks from 7pm to get the night started. The next morning we will lie-in a little, with breakfast starting at 9am and running through until the early afternoon at 2pm.

Out and About

There are loads of parties going on in town, too many to mention here, but our Entertainment head honcho Andrew has put together a selection of some that he thinks might be worth checking out. Up the hill at a former brewery, Silvester at the Kulturbrauerei is a party of 15 stages, 30 DJs, live music and more. It is a short roll down the hill home, and tickets cost €29.

If you are looking for something a little more cozy, the legendary Soul Explosion gang are holding their New Year’s Eve party at the lovely Heimathafen in Neukölln. Tickets cost €12 – check the website for more details. Or maybe you fancy some razzle dazzle? Bar Tausend is offering a dinner party to remember – and it should be as it costs €200 per person. If you don’t need feeding, entry to the Underwater Love Party afterwards will set you back €50.

Of course, all the big names of the Berlin club scene will be holding parties – but many will need tickets beforehand and you should definitely check the websites for the state of availability, prices and line-ups. Here are some quick links to four of the most famous clubs in the city: Watergate / Weekend / Berghain / Tresor

The Brandenburg Gate

If you will be in town on the 31st December and want to see what a million people celebrating the arrival of a new year is like, then head down to the Brandenburg Gate. Behind the gate, running along the Strasse des 17. Juni to the Victory Column, is the official Festmeile…where there will be stages featuring top musical performances (including former winners of British talent shows), drinks and other refreshments on sale, and of course, the spectacular light, laser and fireworks show that will greet the arrival of 2014.

The celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate are extremely popular, and although entry to the Festmeile is free, they do close the gates once it is full…last year there were no further people allowed in at some point between 8 and 9pm, so if you want to be there for midnight, get there early. And if you want to be close to the stage, it would be advisable to get down there at around 5pm…remember to wrap up warm!

The World’s Biggest Fireworks Display

I have no idea if this is true, but the shear volume of explosives launched into the Berlin night from midnight on must make it a contender. Berlin’s hills and bridges are some of the best vantage points to watch this DIY display, including the Teufelsberg (West Berlin, Google Maps), the Kreuzberg (South of the centre, Google Maps) or the bridges Oberbaumbrücke (Friedrichshain/Kreuzberg, Google Maps) or the bridge at the S-Bahn station Bornholmer Strasse (Wedding/Prenzlauer Berg, Google Maps). With a bottle of cheap bubbly from Lidl, this is one of the cheapest and yet most spectacular ways to usher in the new year.

Image: Silvester am Brandenburger Tor | New Year’s Eve at Brandenburg Gate © visitBerlin | Scholvien

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