The best winter time activities in Berlin
There's no denying that winters in Germany can be cold, dark, and dreary. But have no fear--Berlin doesn't just go into hibernation during the months between November and March. From drinking glühwein at Christmas markets, building a snowman in the park, or ice-skating on a frozen river: some people can hardly wait for winter. Others, however, wish it were summer all year round. But there is no reason for that in the capital. Whether you are looking forward to the cold or hope it will disappear as quickly as it came, we will show you how to make the most of winter in Berlin.
Tips for winter-lovers
For all those who can't wait to admire the contours of their own breath in the cold air and those who don't want to hide away at home despite the cold, Berlin has a lot to offer. Here are some things to do that will warm your soul despite teh freezing temperatures:
Same city, new outfit
Granted: volleyball, barbecues and picnics are perhaps not as attractive in winter as they are at other times of the year. But what's wrong with a long walk in one of Berlin's many parks, which with a little snow can turn into a real winter wonderland? While perhaps not thought of as one of the world's prettiest cities, during winter Berlin shows off its best side: festive Christmas lighting, ice floes on the Spree, and less crowded streets and squares. And when it snows, you definitely don't want to miss out on the fun. Grab your family and friends and experience wintertime as it should be: pirouettes on the ice at the Erika Hess Ice Stadium, racing toboggans in the Volkspark Rehberge, or a snowball fight in Treptower Park - Berlin offers the best conditions to experience winter at its best. Who knows? Maybe you will like the capital city better than in summer.
A sporty start to the new year
Give the cold shoulder to the cold and put your good intentions directly into practice at the Berlin New Year's Run on 1 January. At the Brandenburg Gate you will meet thousands of like-minded people, all eager to start the new year in the right way. That should hopefully be motivation enough to face the cold directly while still recovering from New Year's Eve...And if you're feeling really brave, you can give yourself a cold shock to the system by taking an icy dip. The very intrepid go one step further and join the Berlin Seals (Berliner Seehunde), a group of people who love the cold water. Between September and April they meet regularly on Sundays for winter swimming at the Orankesee lido. Whether ignorance of the cold or the simple joy of winter, either way you are sure to feel it.
Tips for winter grouches
If winter is simply not your season and you don't want to risk frostbite in the first place, not to worry. You are not helplessly at the mercy of the cold in Berlin. There are many indoor activities which will keep you toasty and entertained during the darkest months of the season.
Events of the season
Anyone who thinks the capital is hibernating for cultural reasons is mistaken. In January, for example, the beautiful people will once again be cavorting in the city when the top designers present their new collections on the catwalks of Berlin Fashion Week. At International Green Week, farmers and amateur gardeners alike will find out what and how they can best sow this spring and enthusiasts will also be provided with information on food, agriculture and horticulture. A real treat awaits all film fans in February, as any serious Oscar candidate will be busy vying for attention at the Berlinale. But if you want a chance to see models, films and the like, you should be quick, because seats are in high demand and tickets sell out quickly.
Dance away the cold
The opportunity to dance away the cold is music to the ears during winter, when a number of national and international artists throng the Berlin music scene at the beginning of the year. Whether indie rock in Bi Nuu or top pop in the Max-Schmeling-Halle - if you don't dance now, it's your own fault. If you don't mind waiting in long lines in cold weather, you also have the option of dancing hte night away in one of many of Berlin's famous clubs. Giant dance halls with big-name DJs will have you sweating in no time.
A little green for the heart
If you simply can't stand the winter anymore and miss nature's greenery, a visit to the botanical garden should be enough to stave away the blues. Escape the dreariness and allow the exotic flora to transport you to faraway places - without ever leaving the city. If that's not enough, a quick getaway should do the trick: A 40-minute train ride is all you need to arrive at a tropical location. Pack your bikini, because the Tropical Islands leisure complex in Brandenburg offers visitors a giant hall with guaranteed fair weather. The former airship hanger is the biggest free-standing hall in the world, and now hosts a gigantic climate-controlled waterpark. Fruity cocktails, steamy saunas, and a sun lounger on a (fake) Pacific beach - that's what winter is all about...
These are just a small handful of possible winter activities. Besides the Christmas markets in December, you can also visit the more than 170 museums in Berlin, the numerous art galleries, pubs, cafes, and shops. There's also indoor minigolf, bowling alleys, movie theatres, saunas, and spas. Nearly infinite possibilities await you in the capital. Whether you're a fan of the cold or not, Berlin allows you to enjoy winter in all its diversity.