5 indoor activities in Berlin for a rainy day
Autumn rain has arrived in Berlin. The city sits in its yellow-orange gloom and the streets shine with wet tar for a minute longer with each day. Rather than staring out the window pining for German weather to break into spring once more, here’s a list of ways to pass a rainy day in Berlin.
Affordable indoor activities in Berlin
There are an overwhelming number of activities and attractions to visit in Berlin. But unlike in the summer months, when relaxation comes with a smaller price tag - an outdoor swimming trip to the lake or local swimming pool - indoor winter activities can be dear. So, from cheap as chips to pushing the boat out, these are five relatively affordable indoor activities in Berlin to while away rainy autumn days.
Finally get a library card
If you live in Berlin and you have not gotten yourself a library card for 10 euros per year already then you are seriously missing out. The capital is home to Germany’s largest public library (the ZLB) and has around 80 libraries run by district authorities and the state of Berlin.
Obviously, collections at most of these libraries are in German, meaning they are a great place to explore the world of German fiction and non-fiction without putting any pressure on yourself to finish something because you spent money on it. That’s the magic of any library; it encourages infinite curiosity.
But if you're just at the beginning of your journey to learn German or want to read something in your mother tongue, the library can also help you out. Almost every branch will have a section dedicated to languages, with every kind of book for every level. The same goes for foreign language titles, with the biggest such collection to be found at the Haus Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek in Kreuzberg.
And the fun of the library doesn’t end with books. With more than 9 million visitors each year, Berlin’s public libraries are the capital’s most-frequented cultural institutions. They offer book clubs, language groups for people to practise their German, writing groups and even a piano room, where you can book 55 minutes at the Steinway stool for no extra cost.
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Eat East Berlin’s original Currywurst
When we said cheap as chips we truly meant it. People in Germany are estimated to eat around 800 million Currywurst each year, and in Berlin you can get back to the roots of this regional speciality and take a bite of one of the original Würste.
Though Currywurst was invented by the West Berlin chef Herta Heuwer, who famously destroyed all trace of her original recipe before her death, one of the longest-running spots today in Berlin is Konnopke’s. Currently located under the overground tracks of the U2 U-Bahn line in Prenzlauerberg, Konnopke’s has been serving up the sausage since the 1930s and was the first stand to open in East Berlin in 1960s. Richtig lecker and less than 5 euros!
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Boulder your heart out
There are about three hills in Berlin, so you’ve got to use any opportunity you can to properly use those wilting leg muscles. Sheltered from the rain, with enough exercise to make your cheeks rosy and break a little sweat, bouldering at one of Berlin’s many halls is an excellent way to pass a rainy day or evening without becoming broke.
There are dozens of places to boulder in Berlin, with a one-off ticket including climbing shoes costing between 10 and 12 euros. That’s for a day pass, so hours can easily be whiled away working up an appetite for a Konnopke’s Currywurst afterwards if you’re feeling like a crazy splurge.
All boulder halls in Berlin have climbing routes for all abilities, many are also open long into the evening every day of the week and host regular nights for women and LGBT+ people only to boulder together!
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Paint yourself some plates and mugs
We are moving on to the pricier side of rainy-day activities here, but this one will leave you with something to keep forever. For between 10 and 30 euros, depending on which item you choose to decorate, you can get an afternoon in one of Berlin’s ceramic painting shops, Paint Your Style being the biggest, with seven locations.
Soap dishes, bowls, vases big and small, egg cups and salt and pepper shakers are all a blank canvas for your wildest artistic impressions. This is a lovely way to spend an afternoon chatting with friends without having to clean everything up afterwards or get prepared early by painting a personalised Christmas present for someone back home.
If you’re very invested and want to spend days on your project, take your salad bowl or butter dish home and borrow paints from the shop, bringing it back to be fired whenever you’re done!
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Leave Berlin for Bali
Sometimes it is necessary to leave the Berlin autumn and winter weather behind so you can remember why it is all worth it. If you haven’t got time for a holiday, a trip to Vabali can be just the ticket instead.
This is of course the priciest option on our list, but as little as 25,50 will get you two hours in the spa, and if you’re in desperate need of escape, 47,50 will get you a day of relaxation for weekend prices. Once you’re at Vabali, the pitter-patter of rain which was a source of disappointment when you awoke will be exactly what makes you relax to the MAX.
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What to do on a rainy day in Berlin
The rainy days in Berlin have arrived and they aren't going anywhere for a while yet so enjoy it while you can!
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