pastrami berlin


6 reasons to visit Berlin in the winter

Published July 20th, 2015

It’s a pretty common knowledge that Berlin in the winter sucks. With highest temperatures of around one to minus one degrees Celsius December through February, the city tends to go into hibernation mode. But, don’t let that stop you from enjoying Europe’s quirkiest city; there’s plenty to be found underneath the layers of snow.

Here are just six reasons to visit Berlin (even in the winter)...

Rug up and venture out

The Pastrami Sandwich at Mogg & Melzer

This so-hip-it-hurts cafe is a little hard to find, much like many places worth knowing about in Berlin. You’ll feel a little like you’re trespassing in someone’s apartment complex, but turn right and you’ll find the nonchalant setting that is Mogg & Melzer, home to what has been affectionately dubbed (by yours truly) ‘the greatest sandwich in the world’. It’s also behemoth – hats off to you if you finish it in one sitting. All that pastrami, kraut, pickle and rye is enough to reason alone to venture out in the cold.

THE SANDWICH at Mogg & Melzer

Cosy up at Michelberger Hotel

One of those hotels with its own bar, restaurant, merchandise shop, music festival, booze line, coconut water brand, murder mystery game board, and even their own designer shoes – yes – shoes. Yep, just your average hotel. Staying at Michelberger is a privilege, while it’s not crazy expensive, it will set you back more than a hostel or run-of-the-mill hotel. However, even if you’re not a hotel guest, you’re welcome to chill (rather defrost) at the hotel bar, order yourself a few bloody marys and take advantage of the hotel WiFi.

Cheers for the heads up about this little gem @citizennuk ◾️◽️ #michelbergerhotel #berlin #berlinstagram

A photo posted by Sophia Mary (@sophiabatty) on

Eat fried chicken at Henne

This old-style Berlin tavern has been serving up its specialty crispy fried chicken in Kreuzburg since 1908. Aside from having a secret recipe, its other claim to fame is a visit by John F Kennedy – who dropped by for a beer after making his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in 1963. Chicken. Potato salad. Coleslaw. Beer. What more could you want from a holiday? Make a booking or expect to queue.

  Waited years for this # @jackbenfield @jjjakefarley #henneberlin #thebestchickenever   A photo posted by Saul Brutton (@sauleyb) on

Find a good-looking book at Gestalten

Probably the coolest bookstore in all of Europe, Gestalten is for design lovers. Founded in Berlin in 1995, the store specialises in visual culture with loads of coffee-table worthy tomes on art, architecture, photography, fashion and visual trends. It’s also an amazing place to pick up unique souvenirs such as a limited edition German made herb liqueur or a specialty gin made with berries from the Black Forest.

#gestalten shop #berlin #vsco #vscocam #design A photo posted by max (@iamax_) on

Shop for vintage threads

Humana Kaufhaus in Friedrichshain is op-shop heaven, with floor upon floor of vintage and second hand threads; it’s more like a second-hand department store than a shop. Find one-off pieces so you when someone compliments you on your shirt you can say, “oh yeah, I got it in Berlin”. Worth it.


A photo posted by @fjarilsvingar on

Coffee, coffee, coffee

Unlike some European capitals, it’s easy to get a good coffee in Berlin of Aussie standard. Might have something to do with the creative types and ex-pats. For the best brews in the city to warm your frozen bones, head to Bonanaza Coffee (coffee aficionados will enjoy checking out their roastery too); Companion Coffee (located inside sehr (that’s German for very) cool fashion store Voo on Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg; Five Elephant cafe is rumoured to have the best cheesecake in Berlin, which of course goes perfectly with your latte; Godshot in Prenzlauer Berg serves awesome coffee by day and switches beans for Barolo in the evenings when it turns into a wine bar; Third Wave Coffee is for those who appreciate elaborate brewing methods; and 19 Grams is a hole-in-the-wall-blink-and-you’ll-miss-it places that specialise in straight-up espressos.

Oh, there are also a bunch of amazing art galleries, museums and night clubs. In fact, Berlin has:
• 175 museums – that’s more museums than annual rainy days.
• 50 theatres and around 300 cinemas
• 4,650 restaurants (including more doner kebab shops than Istanbul)
• 900 bars
• 190 clubs and discotheques

There's plenty of reasons to visit Europe in the winter and CHEAP FLIGHTS and TOURS are the icing on top. 

Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.