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Last Updated on 13th September 2022 by Sophie Nadeau
If you’re visiting Berlin and the weather isn’t so kind – don’t worry! The city has over 170 museums and countless other individual attractions, plus Berlin’s unique spirit and the atmosphere shine brightly, even in the rain. Here’s a guide on how to spend a rainy day in Berlin.
There’s nowhere in the world quite like Berlin. Nowadays, it’s a hip, modern city, famous for its alternative arty scene and all-night discos. However, it’s hard to think of a city in Europe that has seen as much history as Berlin, particularly throughout the 20th century.
Berlin was at the centre of World War Two and was utilised as the capital of Nazi Germany. Then, it was a divided city for almost 30 years, with citizens unable to cross into the other part of the city following the construction of the Berlin Wall, part of which can still be seen today.
These tough times have left scars on the city that are still very apparent today. Nonetheless, Berlin has risen from the ashes in the 21st century, to create a welcoming, vibrant city that’s frequently on the top of many traveller’s European bucket lists. For more information, be sure to check out our suggested 2 days in Berlin itinerary.
Anyone who has looked up the weather in the capital of Germany will know that rain is a pretty frequent occurrence in Berlin, particularly during the winter and shoulder seasons (i.e. spring and autumn).
Snow is also fairly common, particularly from the end of November through to the end of February. The coldest month in Berlin is January, when the average temperature hovers around 0 Celsius. Meanwhile, the wettest month is actually in June, though to be honest it rains pretty much all year ’round.
Kreuzberg is the most alternative area of Berlin and is a popular place to grab lunch. Some of the best eateries include No Milk Today, a vegan establishment, and Schwestern, a fusion eatery with plenty of delicious breakfast options.
If you happen to stay in the Neukölln district, then one of the cosiest places to enjoy breakfast and brunch in the Berlin district is at LoisLane. The brunch spot serves up speciality coffees and juices, as well as various toast dishes and breakfast bowls.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a devastating place, but an important one to visit nonetheless. The actual memorial, which consists of 2,771 concrete slabs at different heights, is outside. Walking through them is a very moving experience. Be sure to be respectful when visiting as this is a memorial.
What many visitors don’t realise is that there is an actual museum inside. This details the stories of individual people who were victims of the Holocaust, often told by their families and friends. It’s a really harrowing place, but it’s an important side of Berlin’s history to be aware of.
Berlin’s Reichstag is a must-visit while you’re in the capital. Thorough tours of the building take place, with lots of information about how the German parliament works and its history. Plus, you’ll see its iconic glass dome building.
You can book Reichstag tours on the website – make sure that you reserve your place in advance, as tickets sell out rather quickly. If you can’t book a tour, you can purchase a ticket to just see the dome and terrace for free (this also needs to be booked in advance).
Berlin’s DDR Museum showcases another era of the nation’s history. DDR stands for Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic in English) and the museum is a window into what life was like in East Germany during the Cold War period.
You’ll see the stark differences and a few similarities between East Germany and other countries, and learn about problems that many people in the country faced. It’s a very interactive museum and is probably my favourite in the whole city.
Though you might not be rewarded with the best view during a rainy day in Berlin, the symbol of Berlin and perhaps the most unique point in the German capital’s skyline is the Berlin TV Tower, which can be spied from all over the German capital.
If you want to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city, then you can even go up to the observation deck to enjoy a 360 degree view of the city. It’s worth noting that the viewing deck of the tower is covered adn there is a restaurant and bar at the top. Find more details here.
After the DDR Museum, it’s time to check out Berlin’s Cathedral! Northern Germany isn’t very religious nowadays, but the cathedral still stands to showcase Protestant architecture – it’s the largest Protestant church in Germany.
There has been a church on the site since 1400, although there was originally a Castle Chapel for Berlin Palace here. The present church dates back to 1894 when it was constructed in Renaissance and Baroque Revival Styles.
The Berliner Dom, as it’s called in German, is open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm every day, with a guided tour or audio guide options available. It costs €7.00 to enter and look around!
On cold and rainy days, most people just want to curl up with a steaming hot cup of tea. Well, in Berlin you can do this at the Tajikistan Tea Room. This structure was first built as a Pavilion during a trade fair in Leipzig in the 1970s. After the fair, the pavilion was donated to Berlin and remade as a restaurant and tea room.
When you walk into the Tajikistan Tea Room, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped right into Central Asia. Food and drink is served on low tables and guests typically sit on cushions on the floor. Carpets decorate the walls and floors and a selection of Tajik-inspired teas and food is served.
Tajikistan was part of the USSR, but its ancient routes are Persian, which is reflected throughout the food and drink. It’s definitely a unique place to visit in Berlin!
Our last museum of the day is none other than the David Hasselhoff Museum. It’s more of a shrine than a museum, but it’s well worth visiting! Located in the Circus Hostel, this museum commemorates the fact that David Hasselhoff performed a concert on the Berlin Wall, not long before it was torn down.
His song “I’ve been looking for freedom” became very relevant to people’s situation in East Germany, and he remains a revered individual in the city thanks to that.
The tiny museum documents this, and is a great place to end your day in Berlin! Circus Hostel also has a bar where you can purchase budget-friendly steins if you want to have a drink to Hasselhoff and freedom while you’re there!
Eastern & Western Comfort Hostelboat Berlin is a hostel/ hotel that’s right on the water, next to the East Side Gallery. Choose from a private or dorm room, and enjoy the experience of staying right on the River Spree! Check prices and availability here.
The Niu Hide is located in East Berlin, and is a funky hotel with quirky art in each room. The beds are comfy and the rooms have all the mod cons you’ll need, plus there’s a fun bar. Check prices and availability here.
Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof is a luxury hotel with a spa with a heated pool (perfect if the weather isn’t so great outside!), comfortable beds and excellent facilities. Check prices and availability here.
Berlin has so much to offer, and you need much longer than a day to see it all! But you can easily pass a rainy day in Berlin by visiting some – or all – of these attractions, each of which adds a different layer to the story of the capital of Germany.
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Claire Martin is a travel blogger and freelance writer who specializes in overland adventures. She’s drove around Australia, travelled from Bali to London without flying, lived in Mexico and has spent many months exploring Europe. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Claire’s Footsteps.
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