Sports & Activities

For those with any athletic, musical or artistic predilections whatsoever, it is difficult to get bored in Berlin. Because the city’s youthful, inexpensive culture, people who live here are left plenty of time to develop their minds and bodies with recreational activities. Even those with more traditional work lives find the time to blow off some steam practising anything from singing in a community choir to exercising their karate skills at a gym.

The Deutscher Sport Bund (www.dsb.de) organises sport on a national and international level, and is a good place to start for those at a high level. A popular and relatively inexpensive option for sports, language learning, arts and music is the system of state-run Volkshochshule. Volkshochschule are the schools in Germany’s adult education network, which teach further education, arts and activities, German as a second language, information technology, among other subjects. This is often the cheapest and most convenient way to find instruction for activities. To find your local school and search its course offerings, check www.berlin.de/vhs. These are searchable by subject or by neighbourhood.

Berlin is well known for being a casual capital, so most spas and many upscale gyms are attached to hotels, and cater to out-of-towners. The notable exception is the beautiful and much loved Turkish hammams, especially worth visiting during bleak Berlin winters. In fact, wellness hobbies with an Asian flair are extremely popular, with the city dotted with yoga and martial arts institutes.

If it is contact with other English speakers that you are seeking, a good bet is to look for existing clubs or activities or advertise your own in English-language publications such as ExBerliner, or through online communities including www.expactica.de or www.toytowngermany.de.

Those who prefer to watch rather than do will find plenty to distract them, especially if they take a trip to the Olympiastadion when Hertha BSC are playing.

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