Winters are long in Berlin and with so many dark hours the day, one needs some serious entertainment to deal with the usual season's blues. Berlin has many museums, and restaurants and bars to spend your dark hours, but in case if you are looking for something completely different this season, let me introduce you my selection of the best hobby stores. And, who knows, maybe you can use this hobby for subsidizing your trips?
One of the first hobby stores in Germany I discovered, and since then keep being faithful with, is Idee whose rightfully chosen motto is: 'The creative market'. With medium and high-range and good quality products, you can find here inspiration and resources for any kind of projects: from your next painting exhibition to your scrapbook collection. There are many stores spread over the city - near the KaDeWe, on Wilmersdorferstrasse or Mall of Berlin - and there is always something new to find every time. Plus, you can get a lot of positive energy from the curious and passionate people that you can meet in the store. If you are not lucky enough to have a store near by, you can also order their projects online.
If you just look for some fun, at the Swedish Tiger stores you are in the right place. It is not exactly the classical hobby store, but there are some do-it-yourself small projects, especially for children. If you are a parent, you can find for sure some nice ideas to swim through the long cold weekends.
A classical version of idee is the HobbyShop Wilhelm Rüther in Spandau. It is the kind of local store you would love to visit, particularly if you live in this remote and village-like part of the town. The prices are moderate and you can find many interesting ideas for home decoration.
Berlin is a city of creative people, particularly musicians playing their gigs in the small clubs from the Eastern part of the city. Probably there is hard to fight for getting the right recognition, and the well paid check for a concert, but you can live your dream easier than in other parts of the world. For them, there is a huge music store in Moritzplatz, Just Music. Three stores with everything you need for your music career, including special rooms to test your drums, for instance. There are also regular workshops organized. There is another store, much smaller, in Pariserplatz, dedicated exclusively to piano, where also concerts are regularly held. The people working there are usually musician themselves, thus you get the right support for making the right choice.
If you are just a music lover, there are many vinyl stores in the city - that are also available in the small stores, particularly in Prenzlauer Berg or Kreuzberg. My favourite so far is the small Groove, near Markthalle IX.If you want to wisely count the minutes of the long weekend, make a stop at the Perlenmarkt on Bergmanstrasse. With over 5,000 choices, you can hardly miss the opportunity of developing new skills or even launching your own etsy line of products for funding your next travel adventure. Why not?
Also on Bergmanstrasse, Print your Style store is a huge workshop for ceramic painting. I booked a class here a couple of years ago and it was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience, shared together with people of all ages and nationalities. It can be the best family exercise when there is too much rain outside for spending time in the park or outdoors.
There are different kind of hobbies, some more expensive than the others. The lovers of vintage cars can find thousand of appealing ideas - if you have the right budget - the older the car the higher the price - at Remise Berlin. Hosted in a restored historic tram depot, it also offers service and advice for sellers and buyers.
I love horse riding and when possible, I try to go to horse racing in Berlin or abroad. People that love horses are special humans and they often dedicate an impressive amount of time and financial resources to offer the best to their beautiful horses. For people like them, there is Reitsport-Center on Hohenzollerndamm a place you can find everything for a right horse-riding etiquette: clothes for you - and your horse - or special food and care products for your horse. There are also specific information about horse riding classes and competition all over Berlin and other related publications.
If you ride long enough the Berlin metro, you may notice young people - gender doesn't matter - knitting passionately. A friend of mine finishes every couple of weeks a new blanket or special item for her son, while commuting. There are many wool stores in the city, but one of my favorite is Wolle in Oranienstrasse. In addition to the products, there are special weekly gathering where passionate people share their tips and their progress.
What about you, what are your favorite hobby stores in Berlin?