Local Escapes from Christmas Chaos

This time of year is often called the silly season and it’s not only because of the crazy christmas jumpers and funny hats. It’s because everyone seems to become swept up in the rush to buy everything and do everything. By the end of December we are all totally exhausted. Then we have to party on New Year’s Eve as well!

It’s very easy to step away from the madness and take some time for yourself. Being organised helps, but actually all you need to do is choose a nice thing to do and go ahead and do it! So you don’t have to think about it, we have put together a list of calm, restorative escapes for you and at this time of year they can be easily justified as a gift to yourself for all of your hard work. Enjoy

Breakfast at Cafe am Neun See, Tiergarten

You may have a full day planned with a long list to get through but why not begin with a delicious breakfast away from the crowds. Cafe am Neun See is an easy walk from the hotel via the Zoo station entrance. This entrance will take you past many of the zoo enclosures and saying good morning to a camel or some baby goats can be quite life affirming. The cafe opens at 9am every day so if you get there early you may have the place all to yourself. Wood burning fires in every corner and candles throughout make for a very cosy atmosphere, not to mention the tranquil view across the lake. There are croissants, eggs, pancakes and more, plus the house made Valrhona hot chocolate should not be missed.

Hot Choc, Cafe am Neuen See

Decadent Valrhona Hot Chocolate, Cafe am Neuen See

Therapeutic down time at Vabali Premium Spa

Tucked quietly away amidst the trees behind Hauptbahnhof, Vabali Spa is just as their tagline suggests ‘an oasis of tranquility in the heart of Berlin’. The complex is 20,000 square metres of Balinese style resort and only the temperature outside gives away the fact you are not in south east Asia. Open daily from 10am – midnight, entrance cards are available in 2 or 4 hour blocks or a full day if you have the time. Saunas, spas, massages and fitness are all at your disposal and the on site cafe also offers an Asian and Mediterranean inspired menu to fuel your body as well as your mind and spirit.

Vabali spa - perfect during the day time or the night (and open until midnight daily). Image courtesy of Vabali

Vabali spa – perfect during the day time or the night (and open until midnight daily). Image courtesy of Vabali

Hide Your Head in a Book at Gestalten Pavilion

It’s true that sending you to a shopping centre to avoid christmas chaos may not be the best suggestion, however on the top level of Bikini Berlin, is Gestalten Pavilion – a design concept store and cafe. But stay with me. Once you enter, weave your way through the studding designer homewares and tucked away in a quiet back corner you will find their book section. Beautifully designed books and magazines from across the world will whisk you away to any magical place you desire and you may even find yourself buying some christmas presents as an added bonus.


Gestalten Pavilion book store at Bikini Berlin



Melinda Barlow is an Australian freelance writer and editor, based in Berlin since 2012. Melinda works with print and online media and has a natural curiosity that informs her work. She is passionate about travel and great content. She loves to write most about the world, its people and why we all do what we do.