Traveling to Berlin in summer? Lucky you! Outdoor cafes, parks, pools, and beaches are packed, and Berliners seem to be a bit happier and friendlier when the sun comes out. Don’t get me wrong – Berlin in winter is enchanting (with no less than 60 Christmas markets), but it’s the summer that transforms the city and brings out the best in the German capital. Here’s how to have a fantastic summer in the city.
1. Berlin's Beaches
Berlin isn't anywhere near the ocean, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to do without a beach. Berliners get their tan one of the many man-made urban beaches along the banks of the river spree, which runs through Berlin’s city center. There is even (imported) sand, and you’ll find plenty of sun chairs, open-air bars, restaurants, and beach volleyball courts. One of my favorite ones is Strandbar Mitte with superb views of Museum Island.
5. Berlin Lakes
Spend a day outside of Berlin and discover the idyllic lakes, which seem worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Don't miss the serene Schlachtensee, where you can swim and rent a paddle boat, the popular Wannsee, which also has a nude section, and Mueggelsee in the eastern suburbs of Berlin, the largest lake of German capital.
Don’t spend a long summer night in a stuffy movie theater – watch the latest movies in a Freiluftkino under the stars. Between May and September, Berlin’s popular open-air cinemas open up in parks or in front of museums; one of the best ones is the al fresco movie theater in the park Volkspark Friedrichshain, which presents international movies from the Berlin Film Festival; you can sit on benches or bring a picnic and a bottle of wine and opt for the lawn.
Berlin's Tiergarten used to be the hunting grounds for the Prussian kings, before it was transformed into the city's largest park in the 18th century. Today, the green heart of Berlin is bordered by the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz, and Berlin's Zoo. On more than 600 acres, you can enjoy leafy paths, small creeks, open-air cafes, and lawns (some of them permit nude sunbathing). A wonderful place to kick back is the Cafe am Neuen See, a beer garden on the edge of a small lake, from where you can also rent paddle boats.
8. Berlin by Bike
One of the best ways to get around Berlin is by bike. The city has around 400 miles of bike paths, and it’s such a fun and safe way to explore Berlin on two wheels.There are many bike rental stations in Berlin, but one of the most recommended ones is Fahrradstation with 6 locations throughout Berlin. If you want to take a guided bike tour, check out Fat Tire Bike Tours, which offers everything from general sightseeing tours to historic tours by bike.
9. Berlin Summer Events
There are countless events during the summer months in Berlin; the summer season starts with the colorful Carnival of Cultures, which celebrates the multicultural spirit of Germany’s capital. The highlight of the four-day open-air festival is the street parade with 4,500 performers in authentic costumes, elaborately decorated floats, and musicians from over 70 different countries dance through the streets of Berlin.
Another not-to miss event is the annual Fete de la Musique on June 21st; The free concerts start in the early afternoon and will last long into the summer night, all throughout the Berlin.