Things to Do in Berlin in the Winter

16 Jan 2024
Ladies and gentlemen, Christmas has arrived. Berlin is an incredible city even on its worst day, but there is something about the festive season that really brings out the best in the German capital. Traditional Christmas markets invade pretty much every bit of real estate in town, as the air fills with expectation and excitement ahead of the big day. Berlin becomes a walking talking advert for Christmas in December, but our Christmas feature takes extra care to single out some seriously splendid spots. Who can resist a market called ‘Holy Shit Shopping’, after all?
Berlin has about 60 Christmas markets for you to enjoy in November and December 2019. The bigger ones are on  Bebelmarkt  and the huge ‘Winter world’ at Potsdamer Platz. We prefer it a bit more cosy:
Christmas market Schloss Charlottenburg © Peggychoucair, pb

It isn’t all about Christmas of course, as the creative cogs of the great Berlin wheel continue to turn as 2023 comes to a close. Few cities come close to Berlin when it comes to excellent exhibitions, glorious galleries and magnificent live music, and the museums and concert halls offer plenty of solace from the dropping temperatures. Berlin will be cold over winter, but the creative scene remains red hot. And if the weather gets icy and snowy, go and for a day skating the ice, or downhill sledging on hills which emerged from the rubble of post war Berlin.

And when Christmas comes to a close, the small matter of New Year’s Eve rears its energetic head. Berlin is the party city to end all party cities, and spending the final night of the year in the German capital is an absolute must for hedonists worldwide. 2024 also kicks into gear early, with a variety of concerts across Berlin’s many venues, from intimate punk shows to chart-bothering Northern Irish pop stars singing about chasing cars.
New Years' Eve While Christmas might be a mellow affair in Berlin, the days preceding New Year’s suggest a war-torn city that hasn’t quite given up its arms yet – that’s what happens when the corner store sells fireworks to naughty twelve-year-old boys. T
The Oberbaumbrücke in front of New Years fireworks © cozmicphotos, pb

There is no such thing as a bad time to visit Berlin, but there is something about winter that really grabs the soul and refuses to let go, until every drop of Glühwein has been drunk! But as they say, ‘time waits for no man’, and this is certainly true when it comes to Berlin. Christmas and New Year’s Eve might come and go, but anyone thinking this leads to a lull in the German capital are in for a rude awakening. Berlin truly is the city that never sleeps, and there’s plenty on tap for the final months of winter.

The world’s largest tourism fair for one. The ITB Tourism Fair has come a long way from its first edition way back in 1966, and it now features around 10,000 exhibitors from every corner of the globe over five magical March days. It is one of the highlights of our Berlin calendar, and the 2024 ITB promises to be very special indeed.

Speaking of special festivals, Berlinale season is well and truly here. One of the world’s great film festivals, the celebration of cinema is into its 74th year in 2024 and has a predictably fantastic line up once again. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance for the films, as this is one of the city’s great events.

What else do we have? Well, the small matter of Valentine’s Day for one. We’re unashamed lovers of the most romantic day of the year, and we’ve put together some tips for the day in a special article (which may or may not prominently feature one very famous imaginary kiss). Don’t forget the flowers!


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