Berlin In Winter
Berlin is an adult playground. If I am Alice, then Berlin would be the wonderland for me. Visiting Berlin in winter is thrilling, fun and of course, cold. So layer up and enjoy this magical city in winter!
One of the best things about visiting Berlin in winter – it is perfect to go for a thermal bath and sauna! Liquidrom is made up of four nude saunas and it’s located at the west side of Potsdamer Platz. To fully enjoy the experience, I highly recommend getting the day pass (29.50 euros not including the robes and towels). There are so many thermal pools and saunas available – you can easily spend a whole day there. Liquidrom is open during Christmas and New Year. Head over to their official website to find out more about their opening hours during these dates.
Dome of the Reichstag building
Reichstag building is a one-of-a-kind wonder. Its Postmodern architecture is renowned among the architecture aficionados. Thanks to its fame, Reichstag has been drawing more and more visitors every year. However, the perks about travelling to Berlin in winter is the tickets are more available. Also, it’s free! If you are planning to come here, head to the official website to book a session.
From the dome, you can get a marvellous 360 view of the whole city on a clear day. A kind note though, make sure that you bundle because it gets cold in there as the top of the dome is not covered.
Berlin in winter + mulled wine in Christmas market = happiness.
Christmas markets are truly enchanting in Berlin. There are many Christmas markets dotted across the whole of Berlin in winter during the festive season. The 3 prominent ones that I personally enjoyed the most are the ones at Charlottenburg Schloss, Alexanderplatz and Gendarmenmarkt.
Charlottenburg Schloss Christmas market looks the most “European”. There’s a castle just hanging out behind the Christmas market casually. It makes a perfect composition on your camera. If you want to ice-skate, head to Alexanderplatz. There is a small rink with lively Christmas music engulfing the whole area. The only reason that I’m hooked on Gendarmenmarkt is that the mulled wine is just 1 euro!
Many would say that travelling in Berlin during winter means no street food. Markthall Neun is here to defy that myth. This historical market located at Eisenbahnstraße in Kreuzberg has reopened its door in 2011. For all those self-proclaimed foodies out there, Markthalle Neun is the answer to all your prayers.
Berlin is one of the most hipster cities that I have been to. There are so many burgeoning neighbourhoods that can fulfil every hippie dream of yours. I was in Berlin twice and both times, I stayed at near to Schonhauser Allee station (walking distance to Prenzlauer Berg). This bohemian part of town was once the epicentre of government resistance. Flooded with histories, its scars are evident as you stroll the streets.
Start with Kollwitzstrasse where you can people-watch while enjoying your coffee in one of the many little gems here. Take a quick peek at Wasselturm and dine in at Lucky Leek, which is my favourite restaurant in Berlin! Relish all their vegan offerings in this Michelin-starred restaurant. After all, how many Michelin restaurants out there are entirely vegan?
Head to Oderbergerstrasse and Mauer Park as you join many skateboarders. If you are looking for a cool bar, go to Dr Pong – this lively ping-pong bar will never disappoint! Bernauerstrasse and the Friedhof Sophien Cemetery has a beautiful and uncanny feeling to it if you visit during winter.
Pfaueninsel (Peacock island)
Imagine this: on a snow-covered garden with a church as its backdrop, you see a peacock showing off its vividly-coloured feathers. Convinced?
Okay, the truth is, it might not happen if the weather is too cold. Don’t bother going if it’s too cold or the sky is too grey. However, if you are lucky enough to get some sun, you should definitely come here.
I personally like visiting forgotten/ abandoned places. Visiting this kind of places in winter definitely intensify the spook level.
Teufelsberg was once a Nazi military-technical college. It is mysteriously buried deep within an artificial hill west to Grunewald Forest. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, they thought that this robust building is easier to be buried than to be burned down in an attempt to erase one of the darkest of memories in human history.
Spreepark is another abandoned place and I think it is creepier than Teufelsberg. Soaring trees forbidding sunlight from reaching the ground, eerie-looking faces on rides and carousels, Spreepark is the perfect movie set for a thriller/ horror movie.
To get here by public transport, you can take the S8 or S9 train to Planterwald station.
Many people come to Berlin in winter to see snow. Unfortunately, Berlin is not the snowiest cities in Europe. However, if seeing snow is one of your must-do, you can go for a day trip to Harz Mountain. Check if you would be able to see snow at this website.
Where to stay?
Berlin is very spread out. The best strategy to visit Berlin in winter is to visit area by area.
Stay at Wombat’s City Hostel if you are on a budget. This strategically located hostel is a rare find in this expensive city.
If you would like to stay at the historical area of Berlin, look no further than Hotel Gate Point Charlie. It’s well connected by many S-bahn and U-bahn station and most importantly, you get to experience the city as if it’s still in the communist era!
Looking to splurge? Stay with Lux 11 Berlin-Mitte and be treated like kings and queens. I think the selling point of this place is because it’s so new! It feels like you’re staying as an inaugural guest.
Better safe than sorry
I never leave home without getting a travel insurance. Not everything can happen according to to your plan. It’s not unusual for unfortunate events to happen at times. That’s why, I always go with World Nomads before leaving! They have been wonderful to help with my mishaps when I lost my wallet in South Korea and lost my baggage in Bangkok!
The plus side, it’s quite cheap as well – considering the service and the benefit that you’d get. Reimbursement comes in quick and they’ve always got your back!
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Born and raised in Malaysia, Aaron is a medical student who desperately preaches about “Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive” – well, he has a full-on blog about it. When he is free, he checks for the cheapest airfare that would get him out of Australia. Aaron indulges in local cuisine so much that he has to lose some weight before and after he goes travelling. Read more about him here!
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