Guide: Winter 2013

Oh well, winter in Berlin is a grumpy and grim beast, only here to diminish our love for this city that turns into a grey slush as soon as September ends. There’s no way to sugarcoat the hard times between October and April and I surely wouldn’t recommend anyone to visit now – however, some of us live here and there actually are ways to sooth the pain.

Pretty enjoyable ways I’d even say, nightlife is never as excessive and fatal as during never ending winter nights, most of heavy German food is actually only to be savored when a chunky knit hides its consequences the next day and there are tons of beautiful cinemas to spend continuous days without sunshine in. Nevertheless I shied away from writing an actual guide until now (whereas I’ve done several funny-sunny summer guides…), preferring to indulge in bored melancholia and wishful thinking of glorious summer days. Still, attack is the best form of defense, so bring it on you icy bitch!


Temperatures did not demand it yet, but there’s a very high chance you’ll need a super warm coat soon again – check this pretty vintage store for some very fine options.

Mulackstrasse 38

10119 Berlin Mitte

Mon–Sat 12:00–20:00

Instead of running around on outside markets finding delicacies, go to this inside farmer’s market to stock up on comfort food to enjoy on the couch.

Eisenbahnstrasse 42–43

10997 Berlin Kreuzberg

If you really want to go shopping during the cold, I recommend visiting this Mitte street, where interesting stores are all lined up on barely 100m, making freezing walks in-between as short as possible.

There’s nothing as comforting as enjoying a smart read with a pot of hot chocolate on grey winter weekends – and this Kreuzberg store has enough great books to never stop reading during an entire winter season.

Schönleinstraße 31

10967 Berlin Kreuzberg


How about starting a diary analyzing your very own Berlin winter experiences? RSVP has a great selection of beautiful ones to be filled with elegies.

Mulackstraße 14

10119 Berlin Mitte

Mon–Thu 11:00–19:00,
Fri–Sat 11:00–20:00

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Whereas I don’t think winters are made for gallery opening hopping, they usually offer a lot of time for extensive visits to a large museum or exhibition hall. Like the Gemäldegalerie at Kulturforum, which features a gigantic collection of incredible European art from the 13th till the 18th century.


10785 Berlin Tiergarten

Tue–Sun 10:00–18:00,
Thu 10:00–20:00

Another vast collection of art, in this case contemporary, is presented at Hamburger Bahnhof including temporary exhibitions of international acclaim – you’ll easily spend a whole Sunday strolling the halls.

Invalidenstraße 50

10557 Berlin Mitte

Tue–Fri 10:00–18:00,
Thu 10:00–20:00,
Sat–Sun 11:00–18:00

There are more temporary and project spaces in Berlin than one can visit during one winter season, an easy way to get an overview is a regular check of

Winter time is cinema time, that’s how the saying goes. A marvelous example of GDR architecture, Kino International features one of the most stunning cinemas in Berlin (Karl-Marx-Allee 33, 10178 Berlin), another beauty is Delphi Filmpalast on Kantstraße. If you’re more into art house than mainstream, Central, Arsenal and fsk offer the best program in my opinion.

In case you’re in a total state of winter misery, why not let yourself be screamed at by beautiful Sophie Rois to lighten up your mood in one of those René Pollesch plays that are devouring, digesting and disgorging every discourse out there just for your very own pleasure. The fabulous Direktorengattinnen will be played again on January 29th!

Linienstraße 227

10178 Berlin Mitte


This is a very recommendable Italian restaurant located in Wedding serving those heartwarming pasta dishes covered in thick sauce and accompanied by red wine supporting your winter melancholia. Sadly though, service can be quite rough at times.

Nazarethkirchstraße 41

13347 Berlin Wedding

Tue–Sat 18.30–22h,
Sun & Mon closed

A greasy serving of Käsespätzle (Swabian egg noodles covered in cheese, nothing else) is comforting, warming and certainly pleasuring – try the ones in this Mitte eatery, where you’ll also get your dose of Berlin’s very own way of politeness – service here is certainly not known for being too patient or overly graceful.

Rochstraße 2

10178 Berlin Mitte

Mon–Sat 12:00–23:00

If it wasn’t for steaming hot soups with hearty broths and generous garnish this season would be a lot harder to endure. There are several great places for Japanese soups in Berlin, Smart Deli on Chausseestraße serves a particularly delicious Udon soup.

Novalisstraße 2

10115 Berlin Mitte

Mon–Sat: 12:00–22:00

This is the season to actually indulge, spend your money on food is what I mean with this – if a dinner at this upscale restaurant would harm your bank account a little too much, go for lunch, lean back and enjoy.

Auguststraße 11–13

10117 Berlin Mitte

Mon–Thu from 18:00,
Fri–Sat 12:00–14:00,
from 18:00

Have a break to eat a cake.

Friedelstraße 31

12047 Berlin Neukölln

Tues–Fri 08:30–18:30h,
Sat–Sun 10:00–19:00

A creamy thick hot chocolate tastes even better while it’s dark and cold outside, right? This store at Winterfeldplatz offers so much more than that, they probably got every chocolate you ever wanted.

Goltzstraße 23

10781 Berlin Schöneberg

Mon–Fri 09:00–20:00,
Sat 09:00–18:00,
Sun 12:00–19:00

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Going out

Bar3 lies just behind Volksbühne and is thus a favorite for theater and all other arty people – other features would be it’s minimalistic interior, excellent music and cold Kölsch.

Weydingerstraße 20

10178 Berlin Mitte

Tue–Sat 21:00–05:00

Buck and Breck caters to those in need of excellent cocktails, mixed by bartenders with extensive knowledge of alcoholic beverages. Ring the bell, be as friendly as you can and hope for entry, if all seats are filled though, they won’t let you in.

This is the place to go to enjoy some “real Berlin” atmosphere and get some great Königsberger Klopse with your beer. There’s no real outside view, so it’s perfect to just pretend it’s not winter.

Grolmanstraße 47

10623 Berlin Charlottenburg

daily 18:00–02:00

While it calls itself a “bar”, it’s always been more like a very tiny club with way too many people, deteriorated and dirty as good Berlin clubs usually are. Though, rumors are actually out this legendary shit hole won’t be around for too long so better try your luck this winter season.

Friedrichstraße 112

10117 Berlin Mitte

Wed–Sat 22:00–06:00

Seriously. There’s no way around this infamous nightlife institution and while everything else is changing monthly, this one is here to stay. And I also think one has to go there at least once while in Berlin. As long as you don’t try to get in Sunday morning around 2am. Better to visit on Sunday afternoons, yes – seriously. No queues, no over excited party tourists and still great music from a stellar sound system. It might need some persuasion, but I heard it’s actually worth it.

Am Wriezener Bahnhof

10243 Berlin Friedrichshain

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Get Well

Pampering yourself with luxurious treats is a very common approach to ease winter melancholia, this small studio in Prenzlauer Berg is all about exclusive products and refined methods to help you relax.

Knaackstraße 26

10405 Berlin Mitte

Mon–Sat 10:00–20:00

When you’re like me, cold and wet weather will make you pull your shoulders up to your ears, causing neck tension and back pain after a week at the latest. One way to release those is an intense thai massage, which you’ll receive for an unbeatable price at this small place in Mitte.

Zionskirchstraße 38

10119 Berlin Mitte

Mon–Sun 09-21h

If you need some more relaxation, maybe a whole weekend filled with it, a trip to this acclaimed hotel & spa a little more than 100km south of Berlin is just the right thing to do.

Bleichestraße 16

03096 Burg im Spreewald

Keeping up your workout during winter is sometimes hard, joining a studio and paying a considerable amount of money each month might help you continuing your plan. This Mitte studio is well known for having great teachers and a pleasant atmosphere. Can be crowded, but then one of the main concerns in yoga is to learn to focus only on yourself.

Way more down to earth but then again very unusual is this women’s hammam in Kreuzberg. Shyness is not recommended.

Mariannenstraße 6

10997 Berlin Kreuzberg

Mon 15:00–23:00,
Tue–Sun 12:00–23:00

That’s it – keep your head up high, it’s only four more months!