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21 Tips for a Fabulous Autumn in Berlin

07. 09. 2017 | Jürgen Kriegisch | Berlin @en, Tips & Tricks

Autumn at Brandenburger Gate

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Berlin is one of the most exciting cities in Europe with plenty to do and see at any time of year. As summer is drawing to an end, we look forward to the autumn equinox on 22 September – which marks the beginning of what may well be the cosiest part of the year – with a list of 21 fun activities to celebrate the season of falling leaves in Berlin.

1. Indulge in Hearty Comfort Food (Like Your Mum Used to Make)

In autumn, many of us start craving hearty traditional meals instead of the lighter fare that has sustained us throughout the summer. There’s nothing quite like a table covered with a proper tablecloth and groaning under the weight of steaming plates of roast meat with dumplings and red cabbage and the company of good friends to lift your spirits and warm the cockles of your heart on a dark autumn day! Among the many restaurants in Berlin that specialise in rustic comfort food, the Blockhaus Nikolskoe,is one of the best. Housed in a log lodge dating back to 1819, the restaurant overlooks the Wannsee and offers home-cooked specialties including roasted ham hock, duck or trout. Before or after your meal, take a walk to the St. Peter and Paul Church, which like the restaurant takes its inspiration from Russian architecture.

2. Don’t Miss Your Chance to Visit the IGA 2017

Open until 15 October, the 2017 International Garden Exhibition in Berlin celebrates contemporary garden design, landscape architecture and natural environments. Don’t miss your chance to explore the site, which is now resplendent in autumn colours. The accompanying programme features a range of interesting talks and hands-on activities – fancy a topiary workshop?

Sky over Berlin

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3. Go Stargazing

Living in a city means we don’t usually get to see the stars – all the more reason to check out one of Berlin’s several observatories this autumn! Beyond the opportunity to take a closer look at the stars and planets in our solar system, there’s a wide range of exciting events and activities on offer for visitors of all ages. Why not make an evening of it at the Zeiss Großplanetarium, where you can listen to a radio play or a full-blown rock opera accompanied by a light show! The Planetarium am Insulaner is another great place to explore the night sky over Berlin or even take your imagination on a trip to outer space.

4. Join a Magical Twilight Walk through the Grunewald

During the autumn months, the Grunewald Forest Museum in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf organises guided twilight walks that allow city dwellers to observe tawny owls, nightingales, foxes, badgers and other nocturnal species in their natural habitat. Sharpen your senses and experience a different side of nature!

5. Cuddle up Next to the Fireplace

Fancy dining in the glow of an open fire? Now you can – at the Café am Neuen See in Berlin-Tiergarten, which has one of Berlin’s finest beer gardens during the summer. On autumn days, come in from the cold to enjoy candlelight, an open fire and tasty dishes. The café also makes a great location for a romantic date, by the way. My June Bar in Prenzlauer Berg also has an open fire to add even more flavour to a glass of wine or a cocktail.

Autumn in Berlin

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6. Relax with a Fresh Pretzel and a Good Book

As the days are getting cooler and the nights are drawing in, it’s the perfect time to explore the many cosy cafés in the German capital. Kreuzberg’s Brezelbar, for example, serves up fresh pretzels straight from the oven in a comfy lounge setting in the heart of Berlin. With a large readers’ corner, where guests can bring in books they’ve finished and swap them for others, Café Hilde in Prenzlauer Berg also caters for all your reading needs.

7. Pick Mushrooms in the Autumnal Woods around Berlin

In autumn, the woods in Berlin and Brandenburg are full of delicious wild fungi and mushrooms. But be careful: not all varieties are edible, so don’t just throw your haul into the frying pan unless you know what you’re doing! If you’re unsure and would like to learn more about the different varieties that grow in Berlin and the surrounding area, why not register for a guided mushroom tour in the Grunewald! You can even take a test to become a certified mushroom expert.

Colourful leaves

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8. Explore the History of Espionage

The history of secret agents and intelligence services, bugging devices, hidden cameras and elaborate subterfuge is full of fascinating details and colourful characters. Covering an area of 3,000m² (33,000ft2), the Spionagemuseum on Potsdamer Platz is the perfect place to spend a thrilling autumn day. The museum’s weird and wonderful exhibits offer a wealth of unique insights into the past and present world of espionage.

9. Celebrate Martin Luther and the 500-Year Anniversary of the Reformation

2017 marks 500 years since Martin Luther launched the Protestant Reformation in Germany by nailing a copy of his 95 complaints against the practices of the Catholic Church to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church, as popular legend has it. Berlin hosts a number of events to commemorate this anniversary, including the “Luther Effect” exhibition at Martin-Gropius-Bau, which explores the global development and significance of Protestantism over the past 500 years. Featuring a large number of exhibits provided by collectors from in- and outside Germany, the exhibition is open until 4 November.

Autumn days in Berlin

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10. 10. Treat Yourself to a Day in Paradise

On bleak days, you can always escape into a tropical paradise. The Vabali Spa’s eye-catching architecture brings Balinese flair to Berlin-Mitte. Covering an area of 20,000m2 (22,000ft2), the spa resort offers the perfect antidote to the pressures of city living. For women only, the soothing atmosphere of the hamam (Turkish Bath) in the Schokoladenfabrik Women’s Centre in Kreuzberg is a wonderful place to cleanse body and soul or indulge in a spa treatment by the hamam’s experienced staff.

11. Make the Most of the Windy Weather – Fly a Kite

Every autumn, the Berlin sky is full of countless colourful kites. From children’s kites to stunt kites, Flying Colors in Schöneberg caters for all your kite-flying needs. Then simply head to the wide-open spaces of Tempelhofer Feld or the top of Teufelsberg and let the wind blow the cobwebs away!

12. Dive into a Unique Ambience

No matter what the time of year, Berlin offers plenty of opportunities to make a big splash. During the summer, you’re never too far from a lake to jump into. On dull autumn or winter days, head to Neukölln for a swim in one of Berlin’s most beautiful indoor pools. With its tall pillars, gorgeous mosaics and precious marble features, the neo-classicist architecture of the venerable Stadtbad Neukölln is the perfect setting for a dive into a long-forgotten era. There’s also a sauna where you can just lay back and relax.

Festival of Lights in Berlin

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13. See Familiar Landmarks in a New Light

From 6 to 15 October, the “Festival of Lights” returns to Berlin’s city centre for its 13th edition. Every night between 7 p.m. and midnight, the colourful spectacle casts a magic glow on many of the German capital’s iconic landmarks, streets squares. The festival is accompanied by a versatile programme of concerts, art installations, performances and other events.

14. Cinematic Pleasures in Plush Surroundings

For anybody who is unimpressed by the soulless ambience of contemporary multiplex cinemas, the Astor Film Lounge right on Kurfürstendamm offers a wonderful alternative. The cinema, which is listed as a historical monument, shows classic films as well as new releases and blockbusters.

15. Travel Back in Time at Checkpoint Charlie

The asisi Panorama at Checkpoint Charlie allows visitors to catch a glimpse of everyday life in Berlin at a time when Germany was still divided. Created by the artist Yadegar Asis, the installation recreates the view from the former visitors’ platform in West Berlin, looking east towards Berlin-Mitte.

16. Stroll through the Indoor Fleamarket in Treptow

autumn mood

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It’s easy to while away a few hours rummaging through the rare and unique items for sale at the indoor flea market in Treptow. Covering an area of around 3,000m² (33,000ft2), the market’s 80 stalls are a treasure trove for collectors, bargain hunters and anybody who loves unexpected discoveries.

17. Listen to Jazzy Beats from All over Germany

Berlin’s Ministergarten is a large park between Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz, which features spacious lawns and a vineyard and hosts various events throughout the year. The “Jazz in den Ministergärten” festival on 13 October is a treat for the ears, which musicians from all across Germany taking you on a musical journey to showcase their diverse influences and offer listeners an unforgettable evening of first-class entertainment.

18. Sweet Treats for Rainy Days

A visit to the Ritter-Sport Choco World at Gendarmenmarkt will sweeten your mood on the dullest of days. The well-known German brand’s flagship store covers an area of 1,000m² spread over three floors, including an exhibition that will tell you all you’ve ever wanted to know about chocolate-making. Best of all: you can even create your very own bar of chocolate.

Halloween pumpkin

© Alexander Raths - Shutterstock

19. Fun and Games in the Dark

A visit to the Blacklight Indoor Minigolf Centre with 3D effects in the heart of Berlin-Kreuzberg is a tried and tested remedy to drive away the autumn blues. In a perfect union between art and exercise, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Experience a spectacle of light and colour and embark on a journey that will take you through fantastic lunar and desert landscapes as well as familiar landmarks such as the Victory Column, Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Bear.

20. Teatime in the Chinese Garden

Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy a traditional Chinese-style tea ceremony in the Chinese Tea House in the “Gardens of the World” in Marzahn. Dating back to the Ming Dynasty, the ceremony is still practised today and extremely popular with tea lovers all over the world. A visit to the little house on the lake will allow you to enter into the enchanted atmosphere of this ancient art for a few hours.

21. Pumpkins on Show at the Späth Arboretum

Between 23 September and early November, pumpkins take pride of place at the Späth Arboretum in Berlin-Treptow. With a total of 90 varieties in all shapes, sizes and colours, this is a truly impressive collection. The pumpkins are not just for show though – why not buy one and take it home with you to make an eye-catching centrepiece for your Halloween decoration!

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