The sun is setting earlier, the clouds are rolling in, and the temperature has dropped. Which means: winter is coming. If you haven’t endured an infamous Berlin winter before – imagine yourself in an episode of The Walking Dead where the streets are completely empty except for the zombies making their way home from the club and everyone is scurrying to quickly make their way inside to escape the cold. While the days of grabbing your späti beer and laying out at the park may be over (for now) there’s still lots to look forward to.
Winters can get pretty depressing, with the limited sunlight and all, so what better way to lift Berliners’ spirits than warming beverages. At your local bars and restaurants you’ll see signs for iced coffee disappear and be replaced with ones for Glühwein. The warm mulled wine steeped with cinnamon, sugar and freshly squeezed oranges can be made even better by adding a shot of amaretto. Less commonly found but equally as delicious is the spiked apple cider called Berliner Winter. Order either one and you’ll be defrosted and buzzed before you know it.
Since you’ll likely miss all of the daylight while at work or school or by blinking, light up your nights with a series of festivals. In November, there will be the weekend long Lantern Festival in Kreuzberg at Birgit & Bier. The same weekend the Christmas Garden at the Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin begins. The event is complete with fields lit with festive lights, an ice rink, cheese and chocolate fondue station and even Santa Claus’ hut. Available for your viewing pleasure until January 6th.
Reveled throughout all of Germany and the highlight of the season for most of Berlin are the Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas Markets). Take your local weekend Flohmarkt and multiply it by ten 10. Make your way to markets all over the city to enjoy locally produced food from infused cheese to full traditional dinners, Christmas decorations and tons of gifts you can check off your shopping list or buy for yourself and of course Glühwein. In many of the large markets there are live performances and even carnival style rides. You’ll actually look forward to bundling up in your winter wear and being swept away by the Christmas spirit.