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Berlin in Summer

How to Have a Fantastic Summer in the City

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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.

2. Berlin by Houseboat

Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a fun family outing or a unique sightseeing tour, a trip on one of the colorful rental houseboats "Wasserkutsche" is an unforgettable way to see Berlin from a different perspective. The colorful houseboats run with an environmentally friendly electric motor and don’t go faster then 6 miles per hour – no license or boating experience required. Perfect for long summer weekends!

3. Berlin's Badeschiff

Moored in Berlin's river Spree, you'll find one of the most unique swimming pools in all of Germany: The Badeschiff, a floating pool which was created from a huge cargo container. The open-air pool gets packed with hip Berliners who like to stay here for concerts and parties long after it gets dark.

4. Prater, Berlin's Oldest Beer Garden

What better place to spend a balmy evening than in one of Berlin’s bustling beer gardens. The oldest one, dating back to 1837, is the Prater Beer Garden on Kastanienalle. Shaded by giant chestnut trees, guests sit on wooden benches and enjoy fresh-grilled wurst, potatoes salad, and pickled cucumber with homebrewed Prater beer.

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.

6. Open-Air Movie Theaters

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.

7. Tiergarten Berlin

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.

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