Berlin is a different city in each season. We might love the winter in Berlin, but it’s in the summer that you can really enjoy everything the German Capital has to offer. The standard procedure to enjoy Berlin Summer is simple: go outside and do something.
It’s sounds easy, right? But Berlin is a huge city filled with a lot of things to do. Because of that we created this summer guide to make it easier for you to focus on enjoying some of the beautiful days that will come during the season.
Below, you can read our guide and get your things going.
Enjoy the Pools and Lakes Berlin has to offer
Berlin is a city surrounded by lakes and those are the places you need to visit to cool down during the hot summer days. The city offers more than 100 different options for you, from outdoor pools to lakes to a pool inside the river. Berlin has something for everyone.
When it comes to pools in Berlin, more people think about the Badeschiff an der Arena. This famous pool inside the Spree is a symbol of this creative city. But there are more pools than deserve to get famous! The new Haubentaucher in Friedrichshain is a beautiful place that we still need to go. But based on the pictures we saw, it is the place to be in the summer of 2015.
If you’re looking for something more family-friendly, you should check out Sommerbad Neukölln or Prinzenbad in Kreuzberg. Don’t forget to have pommes with ketchup and enjoy the day like every German child in the summer.
Not all lakes around Berlin are perfect for swimming. Some of them could be better like the Müggelsee. If you want to swim in a lake close to the city, you should try the Plötzensee in Wedding. If you want to go a little further, try the Schlachtensee – the cleanest swimming lake Berlin has to offer. And, if you have a car, you should try the Liepnitzsee with its crystal clear water a little north of Berlin.
One day Berlin might have a swimming pool in the middle of the city but we are not there yet. Maybe, one day we can swim next to the Museum Island and that day will be great.
Parks and Summer Picnics and Barbecues
Berlin is a green city filled with parks everywhere. Most of them have areas specially reserved for barbecues and when it comes to this, our favorite one is Tempelhof. This huge park in the middle of Berlin is always the place we chose to do our barbecues. If we lived a little closer to the Tiergarten, we would go there but… Tempelhof is closer and we love to see the sunset there.
When it comes to picnics we are split between two places: Hasenheide and the Landwehrkanal. Hasenheide has this bleak reputation but it’s a wonderful park with lots of green space and you can even have some fun watching the goats while you there.
We don’t have a favorite place on the Landwehrkanal so we cannot tell you where to go. Normally we try to stay close to a späti so it is easy to grab some cold beers. Most of the times we get together close to the Hobrechtbrücke or the Böcklerpark for a great view of the water. Where is your favorite place next to the Landwehrkanal?
Berlin Summer demands Biergartens and Spätis
When summer comes to Berlin, bars become overrated. There is nothing better to do on a warm summer evening than sitting outside and share some beers with a group of friends and this is what we do every weekend. Most of the times we are around Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg where we split our time between Franken Bar and all the spätis the area has to offer.
If you want something a little more traditional, you need to visit some the famous beer gardens Berlin has to offer. The first one that crosses our minds when we think about biergartens is the Prater Garden in Prenzlauer Berg. If you want something closer to the water, you need to visit Cafe am Neuen See and rent a boat for an hour and just row around the lake.
Something we love doing during the summer days in Berlin is buying a beer and walking around the city without a proper direction. Just talking and walking. When the beer is over, you find a spot and grab another one. When you reach a cool place, you take pictures. When you are tired, you find a bench and sit for a while. This is what we do and you should try it too.
See the city from the rooftops
The rooftops of Berlin are the best place to see the summer days go by. From up there you can enjoy the city from a different perspective and it is always great to watch the sky during one of the many summer sunsets.
We can’t go into our rooftop but we have the Neukölln Arkaden in front of us with the Klunkerkranich and its hipsters. Maybe this is an option for you as well. If you are looking for something less popular, you need to visit the shopping center on Kurt Schumacher Platz in Wedding and go to the parking lot on the last floor and watch the planes go to Tegel.
If you want something even less popular, go to the Abandoned Hospital in Neukolln or the Dörferblick in the border between Berlin and Brandenburg. You are not going to regret doing this.
Go into the Rivers and Canals
Even though Berlin is a landlocked city, the city is filled with canals, rivers and lakes and those are the places a lot of people go to cool off and enjoy the water. If you want to relax by the water, you should rent a kayak and explore Berlin from a different angle. You can even do some Stand Up Paddling in the former eastern harbor, close to the famous Oberbaumbridge.
One of these days we are going to go crazy, buy a small boat on Amazon and drop it in the Landwehrkanal with some beers. We have been talking about this for a while and maybe this is the summer we need to do it.
Take your Bike around and avoid the U-Bahn
The best way to explore Berlin in the summer is by bike. Berlin is an almost completely flat city filled with ample bike lanes along the main roads and the warm days are the best excuse to explore everything this city has to offer.
It might be your bike, a borrowed one or one that you rented here but you need to see the city like that. Summer in Berlin is the best time to avoid the U-Bahn since it might smell weird if you catch our drift.
If you don’t know where to go and what to see, you should check out what Berlin on Bike can do for you. We did a short tour of Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain a while ago and they might be what you are looking for.
Enjoy the Flea Markets
When it comes to Flea Markets in Berlin, the first place to pop in the heads of 9 in 10 people is Mauerpark. But that place can be considered a nightmare for everybody that knows more than the basic Berlin. The place is crowded, the beer is expensive and it is filled with everything we hate about Berlin. But they have a cool karaoke that might be of interest to those who like to sing.
So, if you want to enjoy the flea markets Berlin has you need to avoid the Mauerpark. But, nearby Mauerpark, you can find the great Trödelmarkt Arkonaplatz with lots of furniture and other cool things. The market on Boxhagener Platz every Saturday is a good option as well. We also go to the Nowkoelln Flowmarkt from time to time and it is a great place to spend your Sunday in the sun.
Urban Exploration Berlin
The Berlin Summer is a great time to explore a less known side of the city. The city turbulent past left lots of urban ruins waiting to be explored, legally or illegally. And it is easier to see those places when it is bright outside and you don’t need to worry about bringing a flashlight.
Some of the most known places to do urban exploration in Berlin offer some kind of tour nowadays. If you want to see the famous Spreewaldpark, you can just walk there and pay to see the area. The same thing happens in Teufelsberg and the former Olympic Village.
But if you are looking for something a little different. We can advise you to try your luck in Krampnitz, Blub Berlin, Chemiewerk Rüdersdorf or even the SS Brotfabrik in Oranienburg… We wrote a huge article with all the places we explored around Berlin, you should take a look.
There are a lot of places to do urban exploration in Berlin and one of the best sources for this is the great Abandoned Berlin book. Buy it and enjoy while the places are still there.
It took us a while to be able to enjoy the Berlin Summer in a proper way. Coming from Brazil, we don’t need to wait for the summer to be able to walk around wearing shorts and a T-shirt. But moving to Berlin changed our perspective on this and this is why we come up with this summer guide to Berlin. Now turn off your computer and go out before it is winter all over again.