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Rainy Milo at Kantine | © iZilla at flickR / flickr
Rainy Milo at Kantine | © iZilla at flickR / flickr

The Best Winter Activities in Berlin in 2017

Picture of Dayna Gross
Updated: 2 November 2017

Nighttime falls earlier during the Berlin winter, but that only means the days are shorter and the nights are longer. One of the Berlin winter challenges is how to get creative and find ways to fill these long nights. How to convince everyone else to leave their cozy beds and early night pajamas. Luckily, Berlin is a creative and cultural city and even thought the streets may freeze, the events certainly don’t cease.

Brighten things up at the Christmas markets

Even though winter doesn’t officially start until December 21, by mid-November Berlin has already settled into winter mode. In August and September you start hearing people whisper “winter is coming,” but by November everyone has fully accepted their wintry fate. Fortunately, Berliners know how to start their winter with a bang, and they certainly do with their notorious Christmas Markets and warm mulled wine. With the Berlin Christmas Markets lighting up the city, suddenly the nights don’t seem as dark.

Head to an indoor flea market

By the wintertime, it becomes too cold for many of the vendors’ toes to stand outside for six hours or more. Many of the summer flea markets close for the season or shrink to half in size. Luckily, there are still indoor markets to fulfill our thrifty urges for lamps, cassettes, and 1930s-style winter jackets. Check out the indoor flea market in Alt-Treptow on Saturday or Sunday for some antique gifts and goodies.

Eichenstraße 4A, Berlin, Germany

Get in your spa time

What better time to enjoy the heat than in wintertime? One of the key ingredients to surviving a Berlin winter is frequenting one of their very enticingly relaxing spas and saunas. If you really feel like treating yourself, go to Vabali for the day, but if you want to keep it budget-friendly there are plenty of other great spas and saunas in Berlin.

See one of the Midnight Films at Babylon

Free silent film at midnight anyone? Yes, please. Why not have a delicious healthy dinner in one of the very great restaurants around Prenzlauer Berg and then head over to Babylon for a Saturday night midnight film? It could just be your best winter activity yet. If you have a fear of silence, don’t worry, because at this midnight event, there is live orchestra music to tantalize your ears.

Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 30, Berlin, Germany

Listen to music at a Neukölln Country Club event

The Neukölln Country Club is like no other event in Berlin, and maybe even the world, but we’ll have to do some research to confirm that. Live music, great shows featuring some of Berlin’s finest musicians, and the best singers joining forces on one stage. Each month has a different theme, with multiple underground celebrities performing a few of their finest tunes or ’90s covers. Each event ends with a groovy dance party and live DJ set – this is monthly event is one you won’t want to miss.

Bring up the heat with ice skating

So the Spree is frozen, and probably the lakes, too, but this only means one thing: ice skating time. There are several options around Berlin – one is in the Botanical Gardens, another is in Eisstadion Neukölln, and if you’re Wedding bound, Erika-Hess-Stadion.

Enjoy all you can eat and drink by donation

Nestled on a Prenzlauer Berg street corner is the Weinerie. After 8pm, they set up the buffet and offer you a glass and ask you which wine you’d like to try, or at least that’s how it used to be. The café has grown in popularity due to its generous and easygoing atmosphere. The idea is to pay what you think you owe. The concept makes you feel like you are a part of another time in history, a time you wished you could have been a part of. Perlin, just around the corner from Zionskirche, offers the same deal – the space is smaller and slightly more intimate, but don’t worry, it’s not competition, the owners have been friends for years.

Check out a warm literary event

Berlin has a vastly growing literary scene. Every month is filled with different literary events all over the city. For instance, every Thursday night you can head over to Du Beast for a basement full of poets and performers, and you can catch “Isn’t Everything Poetry,” at Curious Fox Book Shop the first Tuesday every month, or catch Whiskey and Words at Keith Bar on the third Tuesday of every month, plus plenty more open mics and inspiring poetic events.

Pop into a Shameless/Limitless concert

Some of the best concerts in Berlin are run by Shameless/Limitless. If you’re in Berlin this winter, check out their lineup, and expect to find yourself in a strange atmosphere of pop music and art students who may or may not be studying at Berlin’s UDK (Berlin University of the Arts).