There's an old saying that goes something like it never rains but it pours. Does that saying apply when talking about the bad weather in Berlin, Germany? On occasion, yes it does, and while the rest of the time it might not pour, you need to be prepared for at least a drizzly shower or two.
Going to the German capital without a waterproof jacket and an umbrella is a bit like going to the store without any money or bank cards. You're guaranteed to need one or the other at some point or you'll end up getting caught out. While you're more than likely going to experience at least one rainy day in Berlin while you're here, it's quite honestly not the end of the world.
Forget about staying in bed and watching movie after movie all day to keep out of the damp. It might be tempting, but you'd be missing out as there are lots of amazing things to do in Berlin even when the weather isn't on your side.
If you need somewhere safe and dry to store your bags or personal belongings, look for a Bounce luggage storage facility in Berlin. They're always located in easy to access places like the city center and main transport hubs so you won't need to traipse around to find one. Bounce luggage lockers are economical to hire and they're all security tagged for safety. Once you've dropped your stuff off, you'll have nothing else to worry about apart from dodging the raindrops while you're on your way to having a good time.
Best Things To Do On A Rainy Day In Berlin
Okay, you may have woken early with the best of intentions to go sightseeing, heard the rain pattering down and so rolled over and went back to sleep. There's no need to feel guilty about staying in bed on a rainy day, there'll still be plenty of the day ahead even if you didn't wake up until noon or thereabouts. If that's what time of the day it is, the first thing on your agenda will probably be brunch.
Brunch in Berlin is quite a thing so you'll have no trouble finding a place to dash into and get a late breakfast. So you can make up for lost time and be in the right spot for doing things after you've eaten, without getting too wet, head for the Flamingo Fresh Food Bar.
The Flamingo Fresh Food Bar is a bistro-cafeteria on Neustädtische Kirchstraße in the city center where they serve all types of brunches including gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian, and vegan ones. The great thing about this Berlin brunch spot is it's just a couple of minutes' walk from Friedrichstrasse station, one of the city's main train stations, and around a kilometer and a half from Museum Island, so you'll have a choice about where to go when you've finished eating.
No, you probably won't want to spend the rest of the day going from one museum to another on Museum Island, but going there will give you a choice of museums to visit even if you only end up going to one.
Most of the best museums in Berlin are on Museum Island so you're bound to find one which suits your interests. What museums are there? Read on to find out.
The Altes Museum – The Altes Museum houses exhibitions of artifacts from ancient civilizations namely Greek, Roman, and Etruscan.
The Neues Museum – The Neues Museum is dedicated to German history as well as ancient cultures like the Egyptians and Nubians.
The Bode Museum – At the Bode Museum, you can peruse four floors of collections pertaining to the Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque eras.
The Pergamon Museum – If you enjoy architecture, you'll enjoy a visit to the Pergamon Museum where there are full-sized replicas of famous monuments and buildings from the times of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures.
Altes National Gallery - The Altes National Gallery is an art gallery exhibiting artworks from both German and European artists in the romantic and expressionist genre.
NB: If none of these museums interest you, consider the Berliner Unterwelten which is an underground air-raid shelter dating back to the Second World War. The Berliner Unterwelten is just one of the underground tours you can take in Berlin and in all fairness, it's one way of getting out of the wet on rainy days.
Go Shopping Indoors
If you want to wile away the entire afternoon with a session of shopping, who can blame you.
The Bikini Berlin, one of the best shopping destinations in town, is located on Budapester Street which is at the southwest corner of the Tiergarten near Berlin Zoo. If you take your umbrella you can even go up to the rooftop and look down to see the animals in the zoo enjoying one of the city's rainy days.
Take a wander around Bikini Berlin and you'll come across floor after floor of designer stores stocking plenty of unique items of clothing. Some are affordable, some are not quite so much. As well as lots of stores, the mall hosts art exhibitions, so there's no shortage of free things to look at. If the rain fall doesn't let up, there are bars, one aptly named the Monkey Bar, and restaurants too on the top floor where you can sit for a while over a cup of hot tea or coffee. Bikini Berlin stays open until 8 pm seven days a week so no need to rush.
Kaufhaus des Westens
If the Bikini Berlin mall doesn't satisfy all of your retail needs, there’s always the Kaufhaus des Westens to fall back on. This is Germany's equivalent of Harrods in London. If you head here, you know you'll be in for a serious shopping session.
The Kaufhaus des Westens, also affectionately known as the KaDeWe, on Tauentzienstraße is Berlin's largest department store, if not the biggest in Europe, and somewhere you could easily spend a whole afternoon without coming up for air.
Tip: If you want to spend your rainy day in Berlin being posh, visit the store's Moet and Chandon bar. It really takes retail therapy to a whole new level and adds a certain undeniable style to getting out of the rain.
Have A Pamper Session
There are numerous day spas you can visit in Berlin so if you wake up feeling less than great on one of the city's miserable rainy days, go and spoil yourself with a pamper session
In Germany, they're well aware of the therapeutic benefits of steam baths even in winter climes. One of the most popular places to go for treatments like herbal saunas and massages is the Vabali Spa on Seydlitzstrasse which, while it's right in the city center, is a tranquil Bali-style oasis designed for people to relax. Vabali has interior as well as exterior installations so it doesn't matter what the weather is doing, you can still get pampered to the max.
NB: The great thing about the saunas at Vabali is that they have a glass side with views onto the gardens so you can relax and watch the rain coming down while you sweat out your accumulated impurities.
Have A Chill Out Coffee and Book Time
There's really nothing better to do on rainy days than to sit in a comfortable cafe sipping whichever type of coffee tickles your taste buds while reading your favorite book or the latest bestseller.
There are endless amazing coffee shops in Berlin where you can do just that, but here are a few that are definitely just a little bit more extra special than the rest.
Chapter One Coffee – With a name like Chapter One Coffee, this cafeteria on Mittenwalder Street has to be top of any coffee-addicted bookworms list. It has a quaint antiquated appeal that will entice you to sit there hour after hour drinking until they turf you out when they close at six o'clock.
Westberlin – Decor-wise Westberlin is the opposite of Chapter One Coffee. Westberlin is a light, bright, white ultra-modern cafeteria on Friedrichstrasse that's a favorite with nomadic workers. It's not just popular because of the free wi-fi or its proximity to Checkpoint Charlie, but for its great coffee and even better cakes and pastries.
Five Elephant Kreuzberg- If you struggle to find an empty table in the Five Elephant Kreuzberg on Berlin's Reichenberger Street on a rainy day, it's because no one wants to leave. This cafeteria is designed to make you forget the world outside the window, and so long as you don't look in that direction, it does just that. Here they serve high-quality specially roasted coffee that's reputed to be the best in Berlin, so expect to drink more than one.
Have Some Escape Room Fun
One of the best places to go on a rainy day in Berlin is one of the many escape rooms there are in the city. This is a particularly great thing to do if you're traveling with friends. Here are a couple of the best that will test your wit, and your friendships, to the limit.
House of Tales - If you dropped into the Westberlin cafeteria and didn't know what to do after there, you'll find the House of Tales right nearby on Zimmerstrasse. While House of Tales promises you a parallel universe, the rooms are not quite that extreme. This is Berlin, not the Matrix. They do have different levels of rooms though, some of which will push your clue solving skills to the max. If you're an escape room addict, they also have an ipad app that will take you on an adventure tour of Berlin streets, but that's best saved for when it's not raining.
Exit Room Berlin – Getting out of the escape rooms in Exit Room Berlin will certainly keep you on your toes. They have ten different rooms and you have only 60 minutes to solve the clues, open the locks, and escape from any of them. Some are more fun than difficult, but they'll all test your intelligence, your general knowledge, your powers of deduction, and your logic.
Tip: For either escape room, it's always best to book a time slot on their website before going.
Spend The Day In Potsdamer Platz
For everything you want to do in Berlin on a rainy day under one big roof, head for Potsdamer Platz.
Potsdamer Platz is too big even to be called a shopping complex and it is in essence much more than that. After recent renovations began, this amazing glass-roofed urban area is gradually emerging into one of inner Berlin's most beautiful places.
In the arcade streets, of which there will be several, there will be two levels of stores stocking top name fashion brands and all manner of other merchandise, a massive food hall full of pop-up restaurants, a casino, a cinema, a theater with world-class shows, an observation deck, and lots of events.
NB: Depending on when you visit Berlin some of the renovations in Potsdamer Platz may well still be in progress as they turn this tired section of the city into something totally wow. You can check the project's ongoing progress on the official website.
Berlin is a German city where you can have fun no matter what the weather and you won't have to search for it even when you're not interested in history. No, you might not want to traipse around the grounds of Berlin Cathedral in the rain, but after reading through these travel tips you'll know full well you don't need to do that for entertainment.
Whether you discover Berlin on a sunny day or on a rainy one, it won't be long before you realize it's one of the most fascinating cities in Europe and one you'll be desperate to tell your friends all about.