Things to Do in Berlin During the COVID-19 Crisis

18 Jul 2021
We won’t bother with the sarcastic introduction this time around. COVID-19 continues to interfere with the everyday lives of people all around the globe, and this new reality has become so uncertain that we aren’t entirely sure what is up and what is down, at this point. What we do know is that we’ve started watching The Wire again, and it is even better than we remember. The game is the game, after all.

What are the latest coronavirus regulations in Germany? Funny you ask, as we’re here to keep you updated on what you can and can’t do while in the capital. Social distancing rules are still in effect, with a 1.5 metre rule the generally accepted distance. Indoor gatherings are still restricted to a maximum of 10 people from a maximum of five different households, while outdoor gatherings have been extended to allow up to 100 people. If you’ve been fully vaccinated or happen to be a child under the age of 14, you aren’t included in either of those numbers. 

Masks are still mandatory in public places (shopping, public transport, indoor events, religious services etc), and this mask must cover the nose and mouth. In truth, if you’ve not worked out the correct way to wear a mask at this point, we fear for you. 

The way out of most of these restrictions? Complete vaccination. Over 32 million people have received both jabs at the time of writing (with more than 40 million waiting for their second), and those double-jabbed champions are allowed more freedoms than the skeptical and the cynical.

Hopefully, we’re seeing light at the end of this tunnel, although it could well transpire that the light in question is a massive train. Fingers crossed, right? 

To explain the transmission of the aerosols in various scenarios, from private gatherings over classrooms to restaurants and public places, this interactive tool from the German newspaper "Zeit Online" is the best we found.

Click here and hit "Einverstanden" to allow ads and entry to the site.

Anyway, this is getting a little too heavy, so lets take a look at some ways to enjoy and experience Berlin, in a roundabout sort of way.

City Walks

Berlin is a far more pedestrian-friendly city than it seems to get credit for. Our site has a number of Pocket planned walks that are perfect for visitors and locals alike, short strolls that will help you get to grips with this most historic of cities. Just be sure to stay a safe distance away from, you know, anybody else. 

An Actual Apocalypse

Berlin was the epicentre of the Cold War, the city in which ideologies faced off in the most terrifying game of Chicken that the world has ever experienced. Luckily for us all, the apocalypse was avoided, but Berlin’s somewhat deserted streets during the pandemic make for some curious visuals. You can tick off many of the great Cold War sights such as Checkpoint Charlie and the East Side Gallery, while also checking out fascinating abandoned spots like Spree Park and Tempelhof Airport. Plenty of space at the latter, after all.

Wander the Parks and Gardens of Berlin

The weather is about to start taking a turn for the better, which should go a long way to helping the world get back on its feet after this crisis. Berlin is full of green areas that are as enchanting as they are tranquil, and enforced time out of the office should encourage people to get out and explore them more than usual.  

Art in the face of fear

Art conquers all, don’t you forget that now. Few cities have the artistic integrity and credibility that Berlin does, and you better believe that there will be all sorts of media coming out of the German capital when things are back to normal. One our favourite forms of art in the city is the mass of murals that cover the concrete canvases of the urban areas, proof if proof was needed that colour and creativity can lighten up even the most dour of materials. We’ve got a special feature on Berlin’s murals in the pipeline, so get your mural-seeking glasses and hat ready. 

Explore the cemetery

Woah, woah, woah now, In Your Pocket, calm down! Things aren’t that bad, not yet, are they? No, we’re not saying you should visit the Friedrichsfelde Central Cemetery in order to pick out a plot of land, far from it, we’re saying you should visit to see the graves of a who’s who of German socialism. Located in Lichtenberg, the cemetery includes the final resting places of Rosa Luxemburg, Walter Ulbricht and many more.

Read a book

There are countless excellent books written about Berlin, to the point where we cover a different one in every print guide we release. Now is a great time to make yourself a list of the things and see this magical city through the eyes of history’s great creative minds. Start with Anthony Read and David Fisher’s city biography and go from there or have a look through our book selection about Berlin.

Visit an online exhibition

We dread any and all uses of the term ‘new normal’, but this is what we have to do for the time being. Many forward-thinking museums and galleries in Berlin are offering online jaunts through their catalogues, opening the doors of culture to those stuck inside during these strange times. Check out what’s available at this link here.


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