Wir haben Kurator*innen gebeten, wichtige Orte der jeweiligen Szenen zusammenzustellen und so kann man sich auf verschiedenen Sprachlinien durch die Stadt bewegen. 

Russian Scene

Compiled by Irina Bondas
  • 1. VOLAND - Russisches Café
  • 2. Hangar 49
  • 3. Kaffee Burger
  • 4. Kino Krokodil
  • 5. Kino Babylon
  • 6. Kino International
  • 7. Art-Café AVIATOR
  • 8. Kvartira 62
  • 9. Deutsch-Russischer Austausch (DRA) e.V.
  • 10. ausland
  • 11. Restaurant und Kaffeehaus Ephraim`s
  • 12. Jüdische Gemeinde zu Berlin
  • 13. Café PjanoPlease
  • 14. Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien (ZOiS)
  • 15. Gelikon Buchhandlung
  • 16. ostPost
  • 17. Message in a Bottle. Kunst-Café in Berlin
  • 18. Karussell e.V.
  • 19. Institut für Slawistik der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • 20. MitOst e.V.
  • 21. Galerie Vinogradov
  • 22. Vater Bar
  • 23. Petersburg - Art Space Berlin
  • 25. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde (DGO) e.V.
  • 26. Zentrum für russische Kultur in Berlin – Villa Steglitz
  • 27. Panda Theater - nicht nur russisches Theater e.V.

Irina Bondas

Irina Bondas, born in Kiew in 1985, lives as author, translator and conference interpretor for German, Russian and English in Berlin.


Stepmother Berlin*

Almost a century ago, Weimar-era Berlin, with its more than 150 Russian presses (c.f. Karl Schlögel in: “Russen in Deutschland: Stiefmütterchen Berlin”: http://www.zeit.de/zeit-geschichte/2015/04/russen-in-deutschland-berlin-charlottenburg-russlanddeutsche-wuensdorf/komplettansicht) and countless immigrant scholars, artists, and writers, was for a few years the epicenter of Russian culture—and the “stepmother of Russian cities” (Ilja Ehrenburg). Vladimir Nabokov, Andrej Bely, and Marina Zwetajewa were part of the Russian Berlin that went down in literary history. In the 1990’s, after the second great wave of immigration—from the Soviet Union to the GDR—and then the fall of the Soviet Union, Berlin again became a center for Russian cultural production. New meeting places, networks, and formats arose. As with the previous waves of immigration, for many the choice to leave the post-Soviet state was not entirely voluntary. Financial desperation and political pressure were often factors, but personal backgrounds, lives, and convictions varied widely. This is reflected in the variety and fractionalization of Russian society in Berlin, and in recent years, increased immigration from Russia and other post-Soviet states has caused even greater diversity and change—partially because of the renewal of individual cultures and linguistic identities in the post-Soviet world. The following list is in no way a comprehensive inventory of Russian life in Berlin; rather, it introduces several outstanding cultural spaces for Russian speakers and Russophiles of various backgrounds, and in this way, provides guideposts to Russian-language culture in Berlin.

*This expression comes from the title of an article by Karl Schlögel.

Voland - Russisches Café
Wicherstr. 63
10439 Berlin


1. VOLAND - Russisches Café

This restaurant, named after Bulgakov’s Lucifer in The Master and Margarita, has been serving Russian specialties since the 90’s, as well as offering a stage for various types of Russian music, from folk to romances to klezmer.

Hangar 49
S-Bahnbogen 49, Holzmarktstr. 15-18
10179 Berlin


2. Hangar 49

The club Hangar 49 is an important place for East European music in Berlin. Berlin bands with Russian roots, such as MirMix Orkeztan, regularly play here, as do groups from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. Occasionally, the club also hosts readings, performances, or other Russian-language events.

Kaffee Burger
Torstr. 60
10119 Berlin


3. Kaffee Burger

Kaffee Burger and the adjoining Old CCCP Bar are important mostly for their history as incubators of the legendary Russian disco for the Russian-speaking diaspora in Berlin, but occasionally the space still hosts Eastern-European-focused concerts or readings.

Oktober mit Livemusik

Kino Krokodil
Greifenhagenerstr. 32
10437 Berlin


4. Kino Krokodil

This beautiful old cinema in Prenzlauerberg has been specializing in films from Eastern Europe since 2004. In addition to arthouse films and documentaries that could otherwise only be seen at festivals, Krokodil shows current movies and offers exhibitions, introductions, and film discussions pertaining to its thematic focus..

Ukrainische Filmtage im Kino Babylon
Kino Babylon

Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30
10178 Berlin


5. Kino Babylon

This historic cinema, arguably home to Berlin’s most varied and confusing film program, often shows retrospectives, including rarities of the Russian avant-garde, and documentaries and films d’auteur from and about Russia. In addition, it often hosts smaller festivals: for example, the first Ukrainische Filmtage in 2015.

Russische Filmwoche im Kino International
Kino International

Karl-Marx-Allee 33
10178 Berlin


6. Kino International

Kino International, once the site of premieres in the GDR, is located across from Café Moskau on Karl-Marx-Allee, Europe’s longest historical monument and former “showcase of the East,” modelled after a street in Moscow. Today it is not only an arthouse cinema that hosts premieres, discussions, and a weekly gay and lesbian film series, but also a space for international readings. For many years, starting in 2007, it was also a venue for the Russissche Filmwoche Berlin, in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Culture.

Evgenia Markova im Art-Café AVIATOR

Lindowerstr. 18
13347 Berlin


7. Art-Café AVIATOR

This club in Wedding is a meeting place for various clubs and societies, but there is a particular focus on work with Russian children and young people and their parents. In addition to the weekly offering of music lessons and theater rehearsals, there are also lectures, concerts, and other events.

Kvartira 62
Lübbenerstr. 18
10997 Berlin


8. Kvartira 62

Pictures of Russian writers decorate the Soviet-styled walls of this hip pub in Kreuzberg, which has been serving homemade Russian specialties and an impressive range of vodkas since 2008. The bar is a favorite meeting place for artists with ties to Eastern Europe, and a space for Russian readings, performances, and concerts.

Deutsch-Russischer Austausch (DRA) e.V.
Badstr. 44
13357 Berlin


25-Jahr-Feier des DRA's, Geschäftsführer Stefan Melle am Klavier


9. Deutsch-Russischer Austausch (DRA) e.V.

Since 1992, the DRA has worked for open and equal German-Russian cultural exchange through countless collaborations and exchange projects in various fields. The society organizes public film screenings, presentations, and discussions, as well as informational- and networking events.

Lychenerstr. 60
10437 Berlin


10. ausland

Located in a former squat in the heart of now-gentrified Prenzlauerberg, ausland has achieved cult status among aficionados of experimental music and poetry lovers. Since 2010 ausland has hosted the reading series Lyrik im ausland, which features both German and international poets—often including Russian-speaking ones. In 2017 author and translator Alexander Filyuta organized the series Auslandssprachen: Sprachräume—Literaturen—Übersetzung, dedicated to translation and the languages of the literary diasporas of Berlin.

Lesung von Dinara Rasuleva

Restaurant und Kaffeehaus Ephraim`s
Spreeufer 1
10178 Berlin


11. Restaurant und Kaffeehaus Ephraim`s

In addition to celebrated German food, Ephraim’s offers a rich program of chamber music, concerts by Russian singer-songwriters, theatrical performances, and regular literary evenings with Russian-speaking authors in a tasteful, dignified ambience typical of Nikolaiviertel.

Jüdische Gemeinde zu Berlin
Fasanenstr. 79-80
10623 Berlin


12. Jüdische Gemeinde zu Berlin

Since the 1990’s Germany’s Jewish communities have been primary points of contact for “quota refugees” from the former Soviet Union. Jewish culture has thus been greatly shaped by Russian-speaking Jews and Russian culture. The Jüdische Gemeine zu Berlin hosts meetings of various groups, as well as regular Russian-language lectures and readings.

Café PjanoPlease
Schivelbeinerstr. 8
10439 Berlin


13. Café PjanoPlease

Founded in early 2017, this café with a grand piano organizes concerts, exhibitions, and literary evenings, and is a beloved meeting place of Berlin’s Russian-speaking diaspora.

Zentrum für Osteuropa und internationale Studien (ZOiS)
Mohrenstr. 60
10117 Berlin


14. Zentrum für Osteuropa- und internationale Studien (ZOiS)

This independent, interdisciplinary research institute, founded in late 2016, concentrates on societally relevant research on Eastern Europe, and opens its doors to all interested in the subject. The center not only holds various scholarly lectures, but also organizes exhibitions and readings related to the post-Soviet region.

Gelikon Buchhandlung
Kantstr. 84
10627 Berlin


15. Gelikon Buchhandlung

This Russian bookstore in “Charlottengrad” is the most important source of Russian literature in Berlin. From the newest bestsellers to guides to Nabakov’s Berlin to rare books: at Gelikon there are things to discover and, should the need arise, to order—for Gelikon is an online bookstore with a branch in Berlin.

Chorinerstr. 84
10119 Berlin


16. ostPost

This project space is also a café, and a small shop and bookstore for those interested in Eastern Europe. ostPost organizes various workshops and lectures, language classes and meet-ups as well as a range of other cultural events.

Berlin.Berega. Präsentation in der Galerie Quadrat
Message in a Bottle. Kunst-Café in Berlin
Knaackstr. 76
10435 Berlin


Literarischer Abend


17. Message in a Bottle. Kunst-Café in Berlin

Here one can experience concerts by international artists as well as holidays like Russian Christmas or Maslenitsa in a cozy living-room atmosphere. The café also hosts literary events, such as the release party for the Russian literary magazine Berlin.Berega, which is dedicated to writings by Russian-language authors living in Germany, translations of German literature into Russian, and literary criticism.

Kinderorchester bei Aufführung mit Leiter und Musiker Anton Berman
Karussell e.V.
InterKULTURelles Haus Pankow
Schönfließerstr. 7
10439 Berlin


18. Karussell e.V.

This society is dedicated to fostering Russian language and culture and offers various courses and events for children, such as language classes or theatrical and musical groups.

Institut für Slawistik der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Dorotheenstr. 65, 5. OG
10117 Berlin


19. Institut für Slawistik der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

The institute sometimes offers exhibitions, readings, and guest lectures by scholars, writers, or artists. Authors like Vladimir Sorokin, Eugene Ostashevsky, Valzhyna Mort, Serhiy Zhada, and Juri Andruchowytsch have held lectures and seminars here.

MitOst e.V.
Alt-Moabit 90
10559 Berlin


20. MitOst e.V.

This association was founded in 1996 by former editors from the Robert Bosch Stiftung as a platform for networking and projects pertaining to Middle- and Eastern Europe. From the beginning, MitOst had many members from Russia and other Russian Commonwealth states, and kept in close contact with this community. Over the last quarter-century the society has grown to 1,400 members from 45 different countries, and has broadened its focus to include other regions of the world as well. An annual MitOst Festival, whose venue changes each year, as well as individual events in Berlin like the Salon Alt-Moabit or the Stammtisch provide ample opportunity for cooperation and exchange.

Projekt Butterbrot: "Installation und Performance Forest of Symbols"

Galerie Vinogradov
Chodowieckistr. 25
10405 Berlin


21. Galerie Vinogradov

This St. Petersburg gallery, which has had a branch in Berlin since 2007, focuses on contemporary art from the post-Soviet region and work by artists living in Berlin. It’s a favorite meeting place for Berlin’s Russian-speaking art- makers and enthusiasts.

22. Vater Bar

This vintage Soviet living-room-style bar in Reuterkiez, founded in 2012, hosts various indie concerts, themed evenings, readings, and Russian parties: the blog berlinograd, which profiles young Russian-speaking Berliners,holds its events here, for example.

Petersburg - Art Space Berlin
Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 101
10553 Berlin


23. Petersburg - Art Space Berlin

In June 2017 this loft on the Spree opened as a space for performances, exhibitions, and workshops on artistic practice, music, theater, dance, and various open- or experimental genres.

Veteranenstr. 21
10119 Berlin


Ruberoid-Festival im ACUD



This art space hosts a wide variety of lecture series, exhibitions, concerts, and performances, sometimes with Russian artists and in cooperation with Russian organizers. One such was the Ruberoid Festival in 2016, a cultural festival put on by and for creative Berliners from the former Soviet Union with readings, films, performances, exhibitions, and workshops.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde (DGO e.V.)
Schaperstr. 30
10719 Berlin


25. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde (DGO) e.V.

The DGO connects members with backgrounds in academia, politics, economics, media, and culture and offers a forum for discussion of the states and societies of eastern Middle- and Eastern Europe. The society organizes conferences and symposia as well as events on literature, music, art, and culture, and publishes the magazine OSTEUROPA.

Dimitri Dragilews Salon in der Villa Steglitz Zentrum für russische Kultur in Berlin - Villa Steglitz
Selerweg 17
12169 Berlin


26. Zentrum für russische Kultur in Berlin – Villa Steglitz

This center, founded by the „Russkij Mir“ Stiftung, offers a wide variety of activities for children and young adults, as well as numerous themed events. In addition, the center regularly hosts Russian-language readings.

Panda Theater - nicht nur russisches Theater e.V.
Im kleinen Hof der Kulturbrauerei
Knaackstr. 97
10435 Berlin


Sergey Sturz at PANDA

Atelier von Dimitry Vrubel und Victoria Timofeeva

27. Panda Theater - nicht nur russisches Theater e.V.


Since 2009, this theater has played a central role in the Russian-language cultural life of Berlin. The small space, which also houses the open studio of the legendary art-duo VRUBEL + TIMOFEEVA is an event space for concerts, performances, film showings, discussions, and readings with Berliners and top-level international guests—as well as a favorite meeting place for those in the cultural scene.
The studio Bruderkunst is open Saturdays from 11:30 to 17:30, as well as other days and times by appointment.