Copenhagen or Berlin for New Year's Eve?
November 4, 2016 2:40 PM   Subscribe

What it says in the title! Which one is more awesome? We are 30ish, like good beer and good food, and while we are not generally late-night partiers, we could be for NYE.

(any other general tips for those cities in late December/early January also appreciated!)
posted by goodbyewaffles to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was in both cities two years ago over Xmas and New Year's. Really depends what you like.

Berlin is known for its large club/ party scene, and many of the top clubs are hard to get into unless you know people. Copenhagen has small hipster bars that are less raucous and boisterous than the ones in Berlin. Alcohol in Denmark is way more expensive than it is in Germany. I felt Berlin was more metropolitan when it came to the crowds that were out partying. Brandenberg Gate is the Times Square of Berlin on NYE - crowds of people flock to see fireworks there. It's a mess, fireworks don't seem to be as well-regulated there as they are in the States. However, I believe there tends to be more people out in the streets, partying on NYE, in Berlin than there are in CPH.

CPH is small, and the nightlife dies down relatively early. Berlin parties through the night. Both cities have different neighborhoods that party in different ways, although Berlin is a bigger city so way more options. Food options are better and cheaper and open later in Berlin. It's a more diverse and obviously larger city than CPH. The largest Christmas market in CPH is the one at Tivoli Gardens, and it is beautiful. The ones in Berlin were also beautiful and the food was just amazing, especially if you like sausages and sauerkraut and large pitchers of delicious foamy beer. Restaurants and bars tend to close earlier in CPH than in Berlin.

CPH is hands-down my favorite city in Europe because if the palpable hygge and all of the quaint streets and buildings and neighborhoods. Berlin reminds me of a sprawling, European NYC. The subway system in Berlin is very easy to use. It seemed like Berlin was colder and less rainy than CPH during that time of year (I was there for a month.) The one thing that stood out to me was being unable to find a hearty breakfast restaurant in CPH but there were plenty tasty options in Berlin, including this cute little cafe attached to a museum that had the best eggs ever. That was where we had breakfast on New Years' Day, and it was divine.

I'm at work and this is all I can think of right now, so I'll post back if anything else occurs to me. It was a fun trip when I was there!
posted by Everydayville at 3:33 PM on November 4, 2016 [4 favorites]

I love Berlin but Silvester fireworks there can get CRAZY, depending on the neighborhood. We're talking kids aiming Raketen at you and throwing cherry bombs from balconies down onto the street. However, if you're in the center or a more upscale neighborhood, you should be fine and will most certainly have a great time with good food and friendly company. Some of my favorite brunches over the years have been on New Years Day in various German cities. Just dress warm if you're going out and about because Berlin can get very, very cold and stay dark.

Copenhagen is a great city, too. Either way, I don't think you can go wrong!
posted by smorgasbord at 3:40 PM on November 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

I haven't been to Berlin, but to Munich— so I'll hold my comments there— but I know in a heartbeat I'd rather be in Copenhagen because of the lovely time I had there last summer. Everything felt tremendously at-ease. It was just-different-enough and not too-different; the people I met there were sociable and liked to laugh and eat and drink and be merry; in general, I found it to be tasteful, and modern. Very freeing, very well-designed, and very engaged on providing for caretaking/compassionate milieus.
posted by a good beginning at 4:03 PM on November 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Berlin is a cheap place to come party New Year's Eve. But yes, the fireworks are crazy scary in many parts of the city. Like fireworks rocketing around the streets, at cars, off balconies... good suggestion above to stay in an upscale neighborhood to avoid the worst of the craziness!
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 4:29 PM on November 4, 2016

I spent NYE in Berlin a few years ago. I had some local friends who encouraged me to skip Brandenburg Gate - much the way I imagine New Yorkers would advise people to avoid Times Square - and went to their house party instead. The party happened in the former East Berlin, and what others have had to say about fireworks rings true with my experience. At one point we descended into the streets to join all the neighbours in their fireworks-letting-off - I seem to remember a long chain of firecrackers which seemed endless....

In Berlin, I certainly appreciated the copious amounts of Glühwein available at the Christmas markets to warm me up. Not sure if I have any other winter-specific tips....

(I've never been to Copenhagen, so I can't compare.)
posted by invokeuse at 4:35 PM on November 4, 2016

I don't know what Copenhagen is like during New Year's Eve, but if you go to Berlin, I agree that you should be ready for fireworks. Lots of fireworks. Here is an example of what it's like on a random street in Kreuzberg on New Year's Eve, and here's an example of what it's like on one of the bridges across the Spree River. Those are all private people setting off fireworks, not the city. Whether you find this terrifying, amusing, joyful, or a bit of all three is up to you. I will tell you though, once you've experienced New Year's Eve in Berlin, all other firework displays seem rather tame in comparison.
posted by colfax at 2:40 AM on November 5, 2016

I love both cities and currently live in Copenhagen, and my first intuition is Berlin.

I hadn't thought of the fireworks thing. There are many not-scary places to see fireworks in Copenhagen - favorites are the Knippelsbro (bridge) and Dronning Louises Bro (another bridge), these are really social and you meet new people and have fun. Tivoli does amazing fireworks, and the best outdoors place to view them is the town hall square, but that goes scary and violent as described above for Berlin. If you can afford to celebrate at Alberto K that would be my choice for the Tivoli thing.

My sense is that Berliners are more outgoing that night, so while Copenhagen bars and restaurants will be full, it may be with out-of-towners, because most people are partying privately, at least till midnight, when all the parties go into the streets for fireworks, and on to the bars. New years out is growing, though.

It's true that Berlin breakfasts are heartier, but you won't exactly go hungry after a Copenhagen one.
posted by mumimor at 8:50 AM on November 5, 2016

« Older Should I be concerned about Zika virus in Hawaii?   |   How potentially dangerous is a shock from DC 5.9V... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.