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Don’t let the foul weather get you down; this city has plenty of indoor activities for drizzly afternoons.
Let’s face it: Berlin may be justly beloved for many things, but weather has never been one of them. The sheer exuberance with which locals greet a sunny, blue-skied day is indicative of just how rare they are. Luckily, there are still plenty of things to do even on a grey, rainy afternoon. Here are just a few of them.
Who cares if the night sky is cloudy when you can see thousands of artificial stars in the 14-metre-high dome at the Zeiss Planetarium? First opened in 1987 as the largest planetarium in Central Europe, this impressive cultural institution has undergone major renovations in order to stay ahead of the technological curve. It’s equally popular with parents looking for a fun, educational activity for the kids and couples seeking an unconventional date with a whiff of old-fashioned romance.
Banish the rainy day blues with a blissful afternoon at Vabali Spa, a haven of serenity that channels the Indonesian archipelago in the heart of Berlin. You may not be able to take full advantage of the complex’s verdant gardens and outdoor heated swimming pools during a downpour, but with 11 saunas and steam baths, you’re unlikely to miss them. Inhale soothing aromas from essential oils during the “Bali Boreh” ceremony in the herbal sauna or take part in a special 40-minute cleansing laconium ritual in the Turkish bath. If you need a break from all the steam, there’s also an indoor swimming pool, lots of comfy relaxation rooms, and an on-site cafe serving wholesome spa fare. Sip an antioxidant-packed smoothie if you’re feeling virtuous, or order a glass of bubbly if you’re craving a bit of indulgence.
“Nightlife” is something of a misnomer in Berlin, where the headlining DJs often hit the decks at the crack of dawn and where the middle of the afternoon is a perfectly acceptable time to don your black leather duds and hit the dancefloor. While going out during the daytime might require a bit of adjustment for the uninitiated, it has its perks. For one, you can boogie away for hours without throwing your sleep schedule out of whack. Since the city’s techno clubs tend to be dark, windowless spaces with pulsing lights, you aren’t likely to miss the sunshine in one of these cavernous halls. The most famous option, of course, is the notorious Berghain, but Kater Blau, Sisyphos and plenty of the other big names carry on through the afternoon.