Photo: Golero / iStock
GERMANY: Berlin is a city that embraces all things avant-garde, art and culture and, when winter rolls around, Jack Frost provides an added dimension to this already pretty city.
Fire and Ice
In winter, Berliners of all ages flock to the Lankwitz Ice Rink for a spot of skating on the smoother-than-smooth ice. Curling - one of the more unusual sports in the Winter Olympics - is another popular pastime at the rink. The rules are simple - two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding large granite stones to the far side of the ice sheet. The objective is to get the stones closest to the centre button. It's as much a spectator sport as a team sport and audience delight in the 'roaring' as the 20kg stones travel across the ice. After an afternoon of vigorous activity, the Fire Cottage is a must-do with its cosy warmth, indoor campfire and ubiquitous cups of warm punch or mulled wine.
Opening Hours: Monday 10am - 1pm / Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10am - 2.40 pm / Friday 10am - 6pm / Saturday, Sunday 10am - 9pm.
Price per track/hour: 45,00€
Hot and Cold
Slipping from the enveloping warmth of a sauna directly into the wintery cool waters around Berlin is entirely possible thanks to a wonderful invention called the Sauna Raft - one of the most unusual rafts in the German capital. The heart of the wooden raft is, as the name suggests, a traditional wood-heated Finnish sauna. But that's where the comparison ends. Large panoramic windows offer a breath-taking view over Berlin's nature and sauna-lovers choose whether the raft remains anchored in the romantic bay between Grunewald and Spandau, or if the skipper navigates it down the city's river system.
If you want to meet real Berliners on your stay in the city, try your hand at a pub quiz! Weekly quizzes take place in cool pubs including the "Krass Böser Wolf" and the "Celtic Cottage, where strangers team-up over an after work beer to answer quiz questions and solve tricky riddles. From general knowledge to intellectual topics to the latest music: the types of quizzes on offer are as varied as the pubs themselves.
Top Tip: Be sure to check if your pub quiz will be in English or German on your preferred evening.
Hot Yoga Anyone?
If you love exercising AND escaping the cool winter temperatures, then Bikram Yoga might be the sport for you! It's no coincidence that this type of yoga is also known as hot yoga and the asanas are performed in a room that's heated to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit)! These high temperatures are supposed to stimulate the metabolism and lead to greater flexibility. Various studios in Berlin offer Bikram Yoga – including Bikram Yoga Berlin Mitte and Berlin Hot Yoga
Galerie im Turm Exhibitions
The northern tower of the Frankfurter Tor has been used as an art gallery for drawings, object art, painting, installations, as well as photo and video art since 1965. In the middle of the popular district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Berlin artists use this unique rooms for avant-garde exhibitions, often accompanied by concerts, performances and cultural education projects.
Top Tip: The artists' collective "Coven Berlin" is presenting the exhibition “BURLUNGIS” - a reimagination of a fantastical medieval landscape - until March 2020. It's well worth a visit.
Opening Hours: The gallery is open daily from 11am to 8pm.
A Warm Welcome on a Winter's Stay
A stay at the Adina Berlin Mitte, the Adina Berlin Hackescher Markt and the Adina Berlin Checkpoint Charlie puts you in the most popular districts of Berlin city within minutes. And if the weather outside is not as welcoming as it could be, the hotels' indoor pools, saunas and friendly staff will help you warm up in no time.