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Six Ways to Warm up Winter Time in Regensburg

Winter in Germany is a quiet, cold season often spent indoors. However, our Local Reporter Gabrielle has some great tips on how to enjoy winter time in Regensburg. No matter if you want to party or would rather enjoy a nice walk in the park, there is something fun to do for everyone.

Although the winter freeze tends to make for a rather socially reserved time of year in Regensburg, the frosty temperatures are no excuse to go into hibernation. Even the chilliest of seasons still allows for many activities and opportunities to be social and get outside of the house. Here are a few ideas to help warm up the winter time:

Drink a Warm Mug of Glühwein

One of the quintessential beverages to help get through the winter season is Glühwein. Glühwein, or mulled wine, is typically a red wine which is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger, then heated up with some orange slices. Glühwein is not limited to this flavor and spice combination though. Other types of wine and seasonings can also be used. You can even choose to add in a shot of brandy, amaretto, or rum if you need a little extra pep on the coldest days.

The ideal place to get a Glühwein is during the most joyous time of the early winter days when the Christmas markets are in full swing. At the markets people gladly stand outside holding a mug and chat away with friends, family, colleagues or complete strangers. It is hard not to be in a good mood when you are holding a mug of mulled wine.

After the Christmas markets close for the season, most cafés offer Glühwein on their menus during the winter and late autumn season.  If you feel like staying indoors, you can alternatively pick up a bottle in the supermarkets or make your own homemade variation of choice.

Put on a Costume and Celebrate Fasching

Though Halloween has slowly been creeping into the German calendar over the last few years, the real test of your costume creativity can be expressed for Fasching. However you refer to it depending on your region in Germany (Karneval and Fastnacht are often used in other regions instead of Fasching) it is the time we associate with Mardi Gras, that leads up to Lent where you party it out in excess.

The celebrations in Regensburg may not compare to how they party in Cologne or Düsseldorf, but Regensburg still has some fun parties around town usually held at the University cafeteria, and at the bars and clubs around town where you can choose to dress up and dance the night away in costume.

Eat a Krapfen

In continuation with the previous talk on Fasching, during this time the local bakeries start cooking up batches of doughnuts, usually filled with jam and covered in powdered sugar, known as Krapfen. The doughnuts represent the final consumption of sugar and fat, two items which are not supposed to be eaten during the fasting time. Many bakeries also offer a discount when you buy larger quantities. This is a smart way to get on your coworkers good side during the festive season and surprise the office with a box full of Krapfen.

Take a Winter Walk

Even though the temperature can be brutally cold from December to March in Regensburg, the winter season is also filled with lots of sunshine and mild days allowing for a bit of exploration.

On pleasant days, taking a winter walk, especially along the river, can be very charming. Regensburg does winter scenery quite well. Many of the parks also have semi-cleared pathways that you can walk along with a little extra precaution to icy or potentially slippery conditions.

The viewpoints around Auf der Winzerer Höhe are especially nice after a snowfall. From there, you can see the snow-capped roofs and beauty of the city in panorama.

Go Ice Skating

If you still want to be active and participate in a winter sport, but do not want to go outside for it, ice skating can be an option. The Donau-Arena (Walhalla-Allee 22) offers ice skating (Eislaufen) from late fall through the end of winter. On Wednesday and Saturday evenings they have the Disco-Lauf which is a party night consisting of a lightshow and a DJ. Shoes are available for rental.

See a Film

Another popular indoor activity during the wintertime is to go to the cinema. Regensburg has several cinemas which offer movies in English and other foreign languages. One of the largest cinemas, Cinemaxx (Friedenstraße 25), plays the original version of major motion pictures without subtitles in English, Russian and Turkish at least once a week.

Smaller cinemas also offer multiple showings of both big Hollywood productions and independent films in their original versions, which are often English, but films in Italian, Spanish, etc. are also shown on a regular basis.

Other smaller or independent cinemas:

  • Garbo (Weißgerbergraben 11A)
  • Ostentor Kino (Adolf-Schmetzer-Straße 5)
  • Regina Filmtheater (Holzgartenstraße 22)
  • Kinos im Andreasstadel (Andreasstraße 28)
  • Filmgalerie im Leeren Beutel (Bertoldstraße 9)

For those who enjoy independent films, especially short films, Regensburg holds the International Shortfilm Week (Internationale Kurzfilm Woche) for a week in March every year. During this week the independent cinemas around town play an array of short films from local and international filmmakers highlighting different themes such as comedies, political topics and more. It is worthwhile to see at least one screening, if not purchase a pass for the whole festival.

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Image credit: Gabrielle Byko

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