Bad weather happens to good travelers– so what's there to do if the rain pours, the winds howl, and the city of Berlin disappears in a shade of gray? Plenty! From first-class museums to oriental tearooms and tropical pools, here are ideas on how to make the most out of a day in Berlin, rain or shine.
Berlin is home to over 170 world-class museums, so treat yourself today of art and culture while staying dry. You could start at Museum Island, a historic ensemble of 5 museums, which showcase everything from the famous bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, to European paintings from the 19th century.
Visit Berlin's TV Tower
One of Berlin's most famous landmarks makes for an ideal visit on a rainy day. This DDR era TV Tower (Fernsehturm) provides a view of gray Berlin while protecting you from the dreary elements.
Tajik Tea Room
Warm your soul with a glass of hot tea in the Tajik tearoom, set in a palatial building close to Unter den Linden. Leave you wet shoes at the door and get comfortable on the soft cushions at one of the low tables. The menu offers over 30 teas and Russian fare like borscht and blini. You can also take part in a Russian tea ceremony, which is complete with shots of ice-cold vodka, a Russian samovar, fruit confections, and pastries. In winter, Russian fairy tales are read every Monday (6 p.m.)
Great for a rainy Berlin day with kids: Potsdamer Platz with its shiny modern architecture and the impressive dome of the Sony Center is a fun place to visit, with movie theaters, stores, restaurants, and a film museum. The biggest attraction for young visitors is the indoor theme park Legoland. Marvel at a miniature Berlin, which is made out of 1,5 million Lego bricks, and enjoy fun rides and adventure trails made completely out of Lego. The park also offers plenty of space for children to get creative and build their own Lego masterpiece.
Tropical Islands Berlin
If you are longing for tropical temperatures, head to Tropical Islands, the largest indoor water park in the world; located near Berlin, the park is housed in a gigantic dome that was originally built as an airship hangar. Here, you’ll find the world’s biggest indoor rainforest, Europe’s largest tropical spa and sauna complex, a tropical sea with 650 feet of sandy beach, and much more to keep the whole family happy.
Or kick back in one of the most unique spas in Berlin: Liquidrom, close to Potsdamer Platz, offers everything your usual spa has – massage treatments, saunas, and steam baths, but the real reason to come here is the darkened dome with its warm salt water pool. Float through the water and enjoy soothing light reflections, as well as classical music and whale songs underwater, which play through speakers tuned to the salinity of the water.
Shopping in Berlin
A rainy day is the best excuse for going shopping. Head to Kadewe ("Kaufhaus des Westens") on Kurfuerstendamm; opened in 1907, it is the largest department store in Continental Europe and Berlin's answer to Harrods in London. Spread over 8 floors, you can get everything from designer labels, and jewelry, to cosmetics; don't miss the legendary gourmet department on the top floor. Another great department store is Dussmann's on Friedrichstrasse, which offers the best selection of music, stationery, and books (also in the English language) in Berlin. Down the street is Gallery Lafayette, which offers everything French; fashion, cosmetics, and of course French delicacies (more than 2000 oysters a week are eaten here).
Berlin Underworld Tours
If it’s raining, why don’t you just go underground? The Berliner Unterwelten Association is dedicated to the documentation and preservation of Berlin’s subterranean architecture and offers access to the hidden worlds below the streets of the German capital. You can take underground tours into World War II bunkers, air-raid shelters, forgotten subway lines, and ghost train stations.