Winter in Berlin – 21 Awesome Things to Do 2016
Winter in Berlin is not always about romantic walks in snowy parks. But don’t worry – there are ways to overcome the cold season in the city. Even if you don’t like any of our daily recommendations, we still have these 21 great tips for the Berlin winter.
1 Admire the T-Rex at the Natural History Museum
Yes, 65 million years later, Berlin finally has it’s own T-Rex. The beast is called Tristan and is here to stay at the Naturkundemuseum. Even without him the museum is worth a lengthy visit where you can again goggle like a child. Book your tickets online in order to skip long queues.
2 Play table shuffleboard at the Kaschk
The Kaschk, right at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, immediately stole our hearts with its rustic interior, good coffee and great selection of craft beer. But the café-bar also has two table shuffleboards, which you can book by the hour. Shuffleboard is a game, usually for two people, where you try to push round pucks onto a preferably high number on the opposite side of the board. It’s often played on cruise ships and definitely has the potential to be a drinking game.
3 Watch a play at the Märchenberg (literally translated: “fairytale mountain”)
You know the Märchenhütte at Monbijoupark already. Now there is another stage for fairytale productions. The founders, creators and actors from the Hexenkessel Hoftheater and the Märchenhütte are performing at the Pfefferberg-Theater this winter. Hans im Glück (“Hans in Luck”), Schneewittchen (“Snow White”) and Aschenbrödel (“Cinderella”) are being shown. You can watch these new performances of Grimm fairytale classics at the Märchenberg until the end of January.
4 Lesebühne Surfpoeten at Mauersegler
Whoever is expecting a uniform poetry slam at Surfpoeten evenings is in for something else. At Surfpoeten there are no winners, just good spoken word performances, some Schnaps, play, fun and disco tunes. Our cheeky author Clint Lukas is also there.
5 Drinks at the Ritz Carlton
We admit it, the Ritz Carlton may not be the first place you would think of for drinks. But the “Fragrances” bar has more to offer than just expensive booze. Cocktails correspond with perfume scents here – a kind of multisensory experience for your eyes, nose and mouth. Sixteen euros per drink is definitely not cheap but certainly different than your standard gin tonic. If the boss of the bar, Arnd, isn’t busy he’ll be able to explain even more about everything scents can do.
6 Have a cozy lunch and look out over the city at the Kantine Kreuzberg
The Kreuzberg Rathaus (city hall) isn’t particularly nice to look at but the cafeteria is pretty cool. Old-fashioned but cozily-furnished and on the 10th floor, you can look out over Kreuzberg and the surrounding area from here. They offer five different main meals every day for between three and six euros and Wednesday is waffle day.
7 “Kaffee & Kuchen” (coffee and cake) at Kuchenrausch
Kuchenrausch is no secret but always a safe bet for a piece of cake heaven – whether you go after a trip to the Boxi flea market or just because. For those of you who want to eat their cake at home, you can go past their “Feinbäckerei” which is on Wühlischstraße.
8 Movie night at Il Kino
You love good food? You love good drinks? You love good movies? Then “Il Kino” in Neukölln could become your new favorite place because it combines all of these things. A nice, little theater with international movies, connected to the bar. Amore!
9 Curling lane at the Café am Neuen See
You should keep the Café am Neuen See in mind not only in the summer – in the winter it really gets going here. At their curling lane you can try out curling while sipping on mulled wine. In the Tiergarten, the epitome of a winter wonderland.
10 Take a walk through Friedenau
Whoever feels like they’ve already seen everything within the Ring can add Friedenau to their list of walking routes. It’s beautiful here in winter, too. Throughout the many small, dignified, residential streets you can find lots of historic monuments. The Niedstraße is the “street of literature”: next to the second-hand bookshops are memorial plaques for the grand inhabitants who once lived there. Erich Kästner lived at No. 5 for example. You can find an extensive route here.
11 Piano concerts at the Uferhallen
The Piano Salon Christophori at the Uferhallen is not only a workshop where grand pianos, especially fortepianos, are carefully restored, but also a salon where they are played. Chamber music evenings are held here every two to three weeks. The event organizers ask the public to “smoke, drink and talk with the performers in an informal workshop atmosphere”. Go for it!
12 Day trip to Tropical Islands
The winter is really getting on your nerves and you simply want to escape for a little while? Close to the Spreewald is Tropical Island: a place that keeps its promises with a tropical vacation land with slides, saunas and plenty of palm trees. It’s so absurd that it’s almost cool again. Birthday boys and girls get in for free.
13 Discobowling at Kugelbahn Wedding
You love to dance? You enjoy eating unhealthy food? You admire The Dude in The Big Lebowski? There is only one way to satisfy your cravings: bowling. Meet up with some friends at Kugelbahn Wedding. In addition to its fancy bowling alley Kugelbahn also has a great bar.
14 Visit Botanical Gardens
Visiting botanical gardens in winter might seems a little crazy at first but it’s actually quite a splendid idea. Even if the garden’s grounds aren’t covered in flowers and the bushes aren’t blooming yet, it’s still a great place to discover. Spend hours amongst exotic plants in the green houses and pretend that you’re living on a tropical island. Berlin’s botanical gardens are over 100 years old and a great place to escape to when you are yearning for that summer feeling.
15 Go to a Beer tasting
If you like beer but want to learn more about its different flavors, a beer tasting might just be the right thing for you, for example at Bierlieb, a beer store in Friedrichshain. If you want to get into the Scottish or Irish winter mood whisky tasting might also be an option for you. Try Cadenhead, a whiskey store also located in Friedrichshain, for some whisky tasting and a Hemingway feeling.
16 Visit theTurkish Spa
Admit it: You hate the coldness outside. The best way to heat things up is by visiting a Turkish Hamam – a Turkish Spa, for example in Kreuzberg. The Hamam at Frauenzentrums Schokoladenfabrik e.V. is for women only, Sultan Hamam is open to men as well.
17 Singing Miley Cirus songs at Monster Ronsons's Karaoke
If you are able to sing along any Miley Cyrus, Rihanna or Robbie Williams song, a karaoke bar is the perfect place for you. Don’t worry if your voice is not Lorde’s, in the end, it does not matter. With enough Schnaps everyone will sing/scream/howl along. At Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke you can even rent a whole cabine for you and your choir only.
18 Indoor climbing at Berta Block
During winter, you might feel like you are not doing enough to keep in shape. Conquer your weaker self (we call that the “Schweinehund” in German) and head to the indoor climbing center. Boulder away (that’s how the serious climbers call their sport) and see the world from a different perspective, there might be a Spider Man inside you. There are a couple of bouldering gyms in Berlin and you can spend a whole afternoon there, either alone or with company.
19 Have a walk at Jewish Cementry Weißensee
Your mother probably always told you “fresh air is good for you!” We agree. Don’t be afraid to leave your cozy bed (we know it’s hard). The cool (pun intended) and fun things are waiting for you outside. Get your coat, scarf, put on your hat, and head into the cold to visit the Jewish Cementry Weißensee which is the perfect spot for a lazy walk. It’s beautiful there. Promise.
20 Sleigh rides
If the snowy weather ever returns to Berlin to cover this city magically in white over night, you should be prepared. Get a bottle of mulled wine, a sleigh and make your way to Teufelsberg, Volkspark Friedrichshain or just any hill around the corner. No, this is not an activity for kids only. In case you don’t own a sleigh, you can rent one in Kreuzberg.
21 Pub Quiz time at Dicke Wirtin
If you plan to go out with friends, why not go to a bar that organizes pub quizzes? While you’re drinking, you can show off your smartness and – if you are lucky – even win a pint of beer. Places to go are the Dicke Wirtin in Charlottenburg or Fahimi Bar (English quiz!) near Kottbusser Tor.
Need more ideas? Check out last year’s winter guide.