May 1 is a state holiday and all businesses and shops are closed. The Berlin May Day is held in the Kreuzberg district, between Mariannenplatz, Oranienplatz, Kottbusser Tor and Görlitzer Park. You will see protests and manifestations as well as celebrations (MyFest Festival). The streets are full of people drinking beer and the famous non-alcoholic drink in Germany, Club Mate. But above all, you will see a large number of police and not without reason.
May 1987 is especially remembered for the celebrations of this day. That year there was a massive fight with the police. Since then, the extreme left groups, socialists and anti-fascist groups almost every year organize the so-called “revolutionary demonstration on May 1”. In order to prevent riots on that day, the MyFest Festival has been held since 2003. This festival includes various concerts, different stages and lots of food.
During my first visit to the event, I was surprised by the crowded streets of people. I suggest you arrive in Kreuzberg until noon to avoid the biggest crowds and to enjoy the concerts without any problems. In front of many houses you will usually find local Turkish families selling food on the street. Also, I was surprised by the large number of Turkish celebrations at many street intersections. I would recommend that you aviod the Mariannenplatz where trade unions and social democrats organize rallies with very bad music. Of course, always be careful, because on this day still may be riots!
The best place to spend this day is the Görlitzer Park. Here you will always find a lot of people, dancing and music. Many people are having a picnic and a barbecue. Actually, here you will definitely feel the best positive energy!
The MyFest Festival organizes a large number of local residents, traders and civic initiatives. They are proud to prevent street messes, but now many other problems have appeared. The biggest problems are the streets full of garbage and an extremely big noise. Time will tell what will happen with the festival in the future. Until then, let’s enjoy!