The transition from the shining Summer sun to the grey skies of Winter marks the end of the outdoor fun. But not in Berlin! Even though the temperature cools down quite a bit and the days get shorter, in Autumn, the warm colors of the changing season invite everybody to go outside and enjoy the melancholic yet beautiful atmosphere.
Do not go on hibernation mode just yet, we selected some of the best things to do in Berlin this Fall!
Stroll around in one of Berlin’s wonderful parks:
Berlin has hundreds of parks and gardens (check our top 10 here) spread all over the city. For a Fall outdoor walk and foliage color enjoyment, we especially love Tiergarten, Schlosspark Charlottenburg, the surroundings of the Landwehrkanal and the off of the beaten path Schöneberger Südgelande.
Autumn is the harvest season and brings apples, quinces, pumpkins, chanterelles and the recently fashionable Grünkohl (kale) to the table. Most of the cafés and restaurants in town will add pumpkin soup and apple pie to their menus. But if you want to play the masterchef, head to one of the weekend markets. Kollwitzplatz in Prenzlauerberg, Winterfeldtplatz in Schöneberg, Maybachufer in Kreuzberg and Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain (which is also a flea market on Sundays), are considered the best in town. At these farmers markets, you can find seasonal produce, like fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, marmalades and apple cider. The city’s market halls also hold special Fall events with seasonal goodies! Vendors also sell Turkish, Thai, French and German dishes.
Pick mushrooms in Grunewald:
Not only for children, picking mushrooms is one of the nicest Fall activities and the Green Forest is the best place for it in Berlin. Warning: don’t forget to download a mushroom idenfification app (Yes, there is such a thing!) or take a book to identify the edible ones and dismiss the poisonous ones!
Enjoy oysters and champagne:
Even though the bivalves are available all year, avoid to eat them during the warmer months (the months that do not contain an “R”). In the colder months, the oysters are bigger, since they use their energy to reproduce during the Summer.
And the best way to enjoy them is with a glass (or two) of “bubblies”. We strongly recommend the oyster bar on the 6th floor of the classic department store KaDeWe. Besides the traditional species, they offer a special oyster of the month option.
Spend a rainy afternoon in the Museum Island:
Autumn in Berlin can be very rainy, especially in November. With almost 200 museums, Berlin is said to have more museums than rainy days. And the Museum Island is defnitely the crown jewel of Berlin museum complexes! 5 of the most amazing ones you will ever visit. Find out more here.
For more rainy days tips, check our Rainy days in Berlin – What to do? guide.
Fly a kite:
Autumn also brings strong winds – and the particularly piercing Siberian kiss from Eastern Europe -, making it the perfect season to play outside with your homemade kite. There are even festivals for the “dragons”, as Germans call them, the Drachenfest. The deactivated airport Tempelhof is the obvious destination for the kite lovers, but the hills next to the abandoned spying/listening station at Teufelsberg, in Grunewald, are also very windy and offer great views over Berlin!
Take a bike ride along the former Berlin Wall:
The former death strip along the area where the Berlin wall once stood is today a 160 Km bike path called Mauerweg. Besides being a great way to observe how the city has been changing since the fall of Wall, some of its stretches have amazing cherry and chestnut tree lines that are nice spots to watch the Autumn foliage. Check the area below the S-Bahn station Bornholmer Strasse, the surroundings of the Landwehr Canal, alongside Lohmühlenstrasse, and the 2 Km long cherry tree row in the Lichterfelde district, in the southwestern Berlin.
Take a spa day:
After some boosy excess during summertime, spending a day relaxing in a spa is a good bet to boost your body energy and get ready for the colder months to come. Vabali, Liquidrom, Ono Spa at the Mandala Hotel and the spa at the Hotel de Rome are among the best options in Berlin for a sauna and massage combo.
With the arrival of the Fall, the theatre and opera season starts again. It’s time to attend classic pieces at Deutsches Theater, avant-garde experiments at Volksbühne and celebrate the reopening of the stunning Staatsoper on Unter den Linden. There is simply no shortage of topnotch classical music venues: here is a cool list of options.
On the artistic side, Ars Eletronica is a world renowned multimedia festival that presents artworks focused on the new challenges of the contemporary society and Interfilm Berlin International Short Film Festival takes place in November, bringing the neglected short film format to a wider audience.
On October 3rd, Germany celebrates its reunification with a national holiday called Tag der Deutschen Einheit, the German Unity Day. There are concerts, fireworks and – of course – politicians speeches. In Berlin, the main celebration happens around the Brandenburger Tor, symbol of the German reunification.
October is also Oktoberfest time. While Munich gathers thousands of people, Berlin offers mini Oktoberfests all over the city. Choose one here to enjoy the company of girls in Dirndln and boys in Lederhosen, all of them drinking huge beers!
Days get shorter in Fall and the early dark evenings are perfect for light shows. Berlin has two light festivals happening in October. The main one is the Festival of Lights, illuminating some of the most iconic monuments and sights in the city center, like the Berliner Dom and the Brandenburger Tor. On its turn, Berlin Leuchtet focuses on less known architectural spots, like the Bundesrat (Senate) building near Potsdamer Platz and the deactivate Gasometer in Schöneberg.
For a more – let’s say – eco-friendly experience, the Indian embassy promotes the Diwali lightning lamps festival. Expect a blast of colors and lights, blended with typical dances.
Food lovers should not complain during the Fall season in Berlin. On the third week of October, the Berlin Food Week takes over the Kaufhaus Jandorf in Mitte to showcase the last culinary trends.
On the first weekend of October, the Berlin Harvest Festival takes place at the Domäne Dahlem. Take your basket and fill it with fresh potatoes and pumpkins. You can not go for more locally produced than this!
The northern part of Berlin has also its harvest celebration. On the first Sunday of October, the Botanical Garden in Pankow opens for the traditional Autumn festival, offering the possibility to pick up carrots and potatoes. The event is very children-oriented, with fairytale walks, nature games and honey tasting.
We can not talk about Autumn without mentioning Halloween. Halloween celebrations has gained popularity in Germany in the recent years, with shops offering some treats to the good kids, and even the stern Kino International cinema promotes a Halloween party! Our friends from Berlin.de came up with a fun Halloween party list.
And finally, we saved the best for last: on the 21st of November, Christmas markets start popping up all over Berlin. It’s time to heat up the body temperature with Glühwein (mulled wine) and give it the most delicious German comfort food! Here are our favorite ones!
*Article written by Domingos Lepores and edited by Tulio Edreira.