Berlin

Things to Do in Berlin During the COVID-19 Crisis

27 Sep 2021
We’ve been optimistic before so we’re trying not to fall once again, but hey, maybe we’re almost at the end of this? Of course, ‘the end’ is a byword for ‘almost at a point where it is manageable’, but who knows anymore? Winter is around the corner and we all know what that means. Worse weather, more illness, less fun, more drinking at home all alone, watching Naked Gun clips on YouTube in the hope of creating some sort of joyful ambience. Wait, what? We got carried away there. Winter is coming!

What are the current COVID-19 restrictions in Berlin? Certain things have been relaxed but common sense is still advised when it comes to masks, social distancing and the rest. If you’ve been double jabbed then there is no limit on the number of people allowed at an indoor gathering, although proof of vaccination is required. Masks are still required on transport and in stations, as well as in shops and at covered sporting events. That’s standard practice now, and don’t forget to put the mask over your nose. You’ve had 18 months to work that out, don’t fail us now. Sporting events are capped at 50% capacity or 25,000 people max, and a positive test means self-isolation and loading up the aforementioned Naked Gun clips. 

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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