What to experience in Berlin in winter? A city like Berlin attracts many people. All year round, ceaseless and relentless. Berlin is known for its relaxed habits, colourfulness and party scene. There are many festivals, events and natural attractions that deserve to be experienced, especially in summer.
But even in winter, when the barbeque parties are over, the Beer Gardens are closed and a harsh cold has arrived, Berlin is worth a visit. In addition to a distinctive art and music scene, there are many small and big things to discover. Not everything is subject to a fee, some are even free of charge.
Here are my 8 favourites for Berlin in winter:
Drink mulled wine in the cold
I know, I know, I know. I’ll start with something everybody thinks of right away. But for me, winter is a mulled wine time! And in Berlin there are so many types of mulled wine that you can hardly taste them all! You can actually buy mulled wine in supermarkets all year round and warm it up yourself. This is a great way to pass the time until the first opening of Christmas stalls in the year. A little bit of cinnamon and star anise pure and voilá.
You will find these booths, which are open at the earliest (and often also after Christmas the longest) around Potsdamer Platz, Schloss Charlottenburg and in the Kulturbrauerei. Most of them are open from 26.11. this year.(Christmas market planer (German).)
Ice skating in Berlin
What better place to get bruises than ice skating? Not only is it a wonderful opportunity to get closer to a stranger on a date, it is also fun and you can reward yourself with mulled wine afterward (yes, I love mulled wine!). But when you hit your knees and your butt hurts… what can you do?
Most of the public ice skating areas in Berlin are free of charge, and you can rent ice-skates from all of them. Beautiful open-air tracks can be found at the Neptune Fountain on Alexanderplatz, at the Zehlendorf Christmas Market and Potsdamer Platz. If you would prefer to have it roofed up, there are some places also.
Walking in the snow
Traditionally, there is not too much snow in Berlin. Other parts of Germany are better off. It snows here quite late and the first snow often doesn’t stay there. Then there is gray mud on the street for days and a lot of work for your washing machine. If a white puffy blanket of snow lies over everything, it is worthwhile to wrap up and go into one of the many beautiful parks or forests.
Urban parks with a special flair can be found, for example, at the triangle of the Gleis Triangle, at Treptower Park (you can take a look at the closed “Spreepark” theme park) and, my favorite, in Viktoria Park with its (frozen) waterfall.
If you prefer it more natural, you can visit Jungfernheide or Humboldthain.
Don’t be alarmed. This is not a test of courage with ice fishing!
You can sit comfortably and warmly outdoors in some restaurants and bars even in winter, eating or drinking. Because Berlin shows its true face in the winter time: as the perceived capital of outdoor heaters! These high-positioned radiant heaters stand close together under the awnings and wrap it in almost unpleasant heat. This is especially nice when snow is falling and you can see the flakes dancing. Whoever shivers gets a blanket to cover up. Gas-powered radiant heaters have been banned in gastronomy for some years now, but like everywhere else in large cities, not all caterers adhere to these regulations. However, the sites have switched to electric heaters, which are just as warming, but not directly harmful to the environment.
You will find a particularly nice atmosphere in Etablissements with a fireplace. The Chalet Suisse in the middle of the Grunewald forest or the Zollpackhof Restaurant in the city centre, for example, has a particularly rustic atmosphere.
Watch stars in the planetarium
There are other things to discover in Berlin in winter. Especially the winter with its dry air and clear nights is suitable to see our universe with your own eyes. In the Wilhelm Foerster Observatory at Treptower Park you can book a midnight tour on certain days, during which you can see the sky through the huge telescope. This is a wonderful event, which I have done many times myself. How impressively your own horizon will be adjusted when you see with your own eyes how small the earth is and how much more there is out there!
The Planetarium at Insulaner (Prenzlauer Berg) does not have its own telescope, but offers many knowledge shows and lectures. Especially for children this is a great experience (but also for adults). All dates and information can be found HERE (German).
Wellness in the Day Spa
Nothing sells the winter blues like a few hours of self-contemplation and wellness in one of the many Day Spas in Berlin. There is a choice in all price ranges. Those who like saunas will be delighted by the diverse sauna landscapes, such as in the Saunarium in Pankow or Berlin’s classic sauna landscape Vabali.
Classical Hamams (Oriental steam baths) are also increasingly found in mixed Berlin. Very relaxing, I tell you! Afterwards, a massage is followed by a deep relaxation, you can treat yourself to a good nap, and in the evening you are fit for the nightlife or let the day be just that way. On Groupon there are a lot of deals in the wellness area, e. g. 50% or 2 for 1, so you can save even more.
See real dinosaurs
The Natural History Museum in Berlin is one of the few museums in the world that exhibit genuine dinosaur skeletons. The Brachiosaurus skeleton exhibited there is the largest dinosaur skeleton in the world! It is also home to Germany’s largest mineral collection as well as many stuffed and lifelike replicas of extinct animal species. On the four floors there is an incredible amount to discover.
But that’s not it. The Museum für Naturkunde is one of Berlin’s oldest museums. Its history begins even before the foundation of Berlin’s first university in 1810, the building itself is worth a visit, it is wonderfully old and rich in history.
Right next to it is the resturant of the wonderful cook Sarah Wiener. Those who have an appetite for high-quality, down-to-earth cuisine can drop by there.
Listening to storytellers and drinking tea
The Tadshiki tea room in Berlin Mitte offers a wide variety of teas as well as typical dishes such as blinies or pelmeni. In a very cosy atmosphere you can sit on cushions and carpets and listen to storytellers during the “fairy tale hour”. It is advisable to reserve seats here. The language is German and you really feel like you’re back in your childhood in style.
Experience Berlin in winter is as distinctive as in summer. Have fun on your wintry city trip: -) What else did you discover in Berlin? Tell us about it in a commentary!
Also published on Medium.
Read this in: Deutsch