So you are wondering what to visit Berlin (one of the cities I would move to in a heartbeat by the way) in winter is like.
Will you be able to avoid freezing to death? Will you see a sunbeam at all? Will you find anything open or enough things to do to keep you busy when visiting Berlin in the coldest season? Will you ultimately have fun and be happy about the decision of taking your Winter travel plans to Germany’s capital city?
SURE YOU WILL. And here is how.
1. BE PREPARED FOR THE COLD.
I mean, of course! Dress in layers, wear a beanie, gloves, a scarf and good shoes with thick soles to keep you warm and isolated from the snowy paths and an excellent grip to avoid ice skating. A few hours after a snowfall, streets tend to become icy and very very slippery. Also, plan your city explorations with the weather forecast in mind. That means, if it is below zero degrees, you can only walk in the streets so much before becoming purple. A stop every hour in a warm place, may that be a museum, gallery or coffee shop, will be much appreciated, trust me.
2. KEEP IN MIND DAYS ARE MUCH SHORTER
Day light hours And, therefore, schedules of public attractions may change. That, and the previous dot, should take us to
3. SPEND 5 MINUTES PLANNING YOUR DAY BEFORE IT STARTS
How nice is it to just wander and get lost in cool cities? When it is warm outside, a lot. But in wintery days, it will be much better to start with a clear master plan for your day to make it a success. So get a map, mark the spots you are interested in checking and join the dots.
Once then, think of how you are going to get from one to the next one. As idyllic as it might seem to walk or ride a bike on the snow, it can also be pretty tedious if there are long distances. Public transports are convenient and inexpensive in Berlin. And they usually work awesome on time. It is Germany after all.
4. MAKE THE MOST OF CLEAR SKIES AND GO OUTSIDE
If it has stopped raining, snowing or even if you can distinguish some sunbeams between those clouds, run outside! Many of Berlin’s main sights are outdoors and you don’t want to miss highlights such as the East Side Gallery, the Jewish Memorial or Brandenburg Tor which can only be explored on foot.
Added bonus, if you are lucky or you are visiting on a busy weekend, you’d want to check the Christmas and other flea markets out. By the way, those are enjoyed the most with some hot chocolate or mulled wine!
5. TO APPRECIATE WARMTH ONCE YOU STEP INSIDE AGAIN
Because those walks will likely make you want to leave the streets after an hour or two, and there is so much going on in Berlin always. From Museums like Libeskind’s Jewish Museum to cafes, from urban galleries to night clubs and bars, from not to miss activities like visiting Reichstag’s dome – Do not forget to make a booking a couple of days before or you’ll have to wait for last-minute tickets in line forever! – or Museum Insel to Berlin’s Cathedral, from restaurants to libraries, once you enter any building you will realize how cozy Berliners have put them all together to go on enjoying life even when it is the coldest outside.
6. ALL WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK
No real need to explain this one. Take a low season destination and you will see prices decrease drastically. If you don’t trust me, head to venere.com for instance. Except for a couple of key dates, prices go as low as half the ones you can find in Summer.
In the gallery below you can find some of our favorite shots:
We visited Berlin last January for the third time thanks to a kind invite of Visit Berlin and NH Hotels, in between trips to Riga, Latvia, and Umea, Sweden – both European Culture Cities in 2014 – The three of them were ice-cold and snowed, also beautiful if you ask us. So do not be afraid to Winter and take in everything the North of Europe has to offer, one city at a time.
Finally, if you are still not sure and want to check how it would be to be a bit warmer in your next Winter holidays, read all about visiting Malta in winter here.
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