| Cold and crisp… There’s little to say about the Berlin weather during winter – but there’s heaps to say about it’s wintery culture and appeal.
Berlin, it’s a place where you spend your days wandering around looking at architecture, sitting in beer gardens or buying a beer from a SpÃ¤ti (Corner shop). Not somewhere you visit when it is minus one!
However, grab your mittens and scarf, Berlin is a place that is worth a visit out of season, especially when there are fewer tourists to battle through.
Rub shoulders with the glitterati at this globally renowned film festival. It’s like Cannes only cooler, way cooler. (February 11-21, 2016; berlinale.de).
If you time it perfectly and there is snow then a visit to Tiergarten is a must. This vast park in the centre of what was West Berlin is hauntingly romantic when it snows. It’s eerie, solemn and you can finish up with a cake at Café am Neuen See.
Arena in Treptow
Originally a bus garage, Arena is now an entertainment complex. It houses a club, theatre, cafe and even a swimming pool – that’s one for the hotter weather! From fashion shows to club nights, there is something for everyone here.
Wander around the kiez
Each Kiez (neighbourhood) in Berlin has its own vibe. Stay close to your hotel and hop between bars, or cafes to keep warm. Discover the best coffee in the area or just stick to the bars!
Visit the Reichstag
Constructed in 1894, it housed the government until 1933 when it was set on fire. The Reichstag building was reconstructed but retained the graffiti left by Soviet soldiers after the final battle for Berlin in April–May 1945. It re-opened in 1999 following German reunification. Visits are free and worth it for the views and the architecture.
Soviet War Memorial
A huge war memorial and military cemetery in Treptower Park. Built to commemorate 5,000 of the 80,000 Soviet soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin in April–May 1945. Made with stone and granite from Hitler’s Chancellery.
House of World Cultures
The Haus der Kulturen der Welt contains art exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, concerts, author readings, films and much more. The hall was gifted by the USA as is known locally as "the pregnant oyster".
The headquarters of the national security of East Germany. Step into a different era and learn all about spying, especially on your neighbours.
The Boros Collection
Ever thought of visiting an ex-sex club which also used to be an air raid shelter? Thankfully the space is now a private collection of contemporary art! Booking in advance is advised.
Visit some WWII/ Cold War sites
Sad to write this but horrible history is popular in Berlin. With the colder weather meaning fewer tourists, it will be easier to wander around at your own pace and contemplate.