Berlin offers warm and cosy summer months with plenty outdoor activities and attractions that should be on your to do list when you visit Berlin in summer. You can soak in the summer sunshine all over the city and if you feel the need to cool down there are plenty of options for that too.
Germany is known for its beer and Berlin is known for its beer gardens, which are popular for a very good reason. They are a great place to enjoy the warm weather with a cold beer. The best known beer garden to those visiting from outside the city is Cafe am Neuen See in Tiergarten, that does mean it can be busy there.
If you are looking for a more local experience, you will have to get off the beaten track. A fifteen minute walk from Potsdamer Platz will bring you to BRLO Brwhouse, the self-proclaimed home of the Berlin craft beer movement. Across town, on Schönhauser Allee, you can visit the historical Schankhalle Pfefferberg, where master brewer Thorsten Schoppe brews beers the traditional way.
If a nice cold beer isn’t enough to cool you down, taking a dive in the water just might be. You can make your way to one of the lakes outside the city but if you want to stay in the city there are options for you too. You won’t want to jump in to the river Spree, sadly it is too polluted to permit safe swimming, but at Badeschiff an der Arena you’ll feel like you’re swimming in the river.
A quick 20 minute walk from the East Side Gallery takes you to the Badeschiff, which is a large public swimming pool that floats on the river. A wooden footbridge with hammocks connects the pool to the banks of the river with fine sand and a beach bar, which offers a variety of summer cocktails.
In case you forget to bring your bathing suite on your vacation to Berlin but still want to enjoy the water in the city, try a river cruise. During a 1-hour cruise you can take in the city sights, with hosts on board to tell you about everything you can see. The cruise will provide you with plenty of fresh air, or ‘Spreeluft’, to cool you down on the warm summer days.
There is nothing quite like watching a movie under the stars on a warm summer night and Berlin has multiple options to enjoy this phenomenon. You’ll find the Freiluftkino’s spread across the German capital in parks, old warehouses, and historic courtyards.
From the middle of spring to the end of summer, you can find a varied programme in the open-air cinemas in Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, and Rehberge. Some will air the typical German dubbed films, while others play the original English versions of films. Drinks and snacks can often be bought on site, just be sure to arrive on time to secure a comfy deckchair.
Berlin is no stranger to festivals, especially in summer the city’s calendar is filled with festivals. You’ll find festivals happening all over the city, on big stages like the Waldbühne and the Parkbühne Wuhlheide but there are also plenty of smaller neighbourhood festivals.
There are music festivals, such as the Berlin Brass Festival, Fête de la Musique, Bergmannstraβefest (jazz festival) and Musikfest Berlin; film festivals, like Berlin Film Week; art festivals, including 48 Hours Neukölln; and of course Christopher Street Day (CSD or Berlin Pride), and the International Beer Festival.
If you want to escape the sun completely for a little while, heading indoors is always a good idea, at least if there is air conditioning. If you want to rapidly cool down, a visit to the Berlin Icebar may be just what you need. Join the Hansa crew go on a historic German Polar Expedition, your ticket will come with three free drinks and they’ll provide you with the winter wear you’ll need to stay warm inside.
If you prefer a less extreme cold, the museums on Museuminsel will keep you cool and entertained for quite a while. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to five of the best museums in Berlin, all take visitors on a journey through space and/or time. With a variety of exhibits from Ancient Egyptian artifacts to portraits and sculptures from the 19th century, the museums make for a great escape from the summer heat.
If you are looking to show of your vocal skills, Bearpit Karaoke in Maurpark is the place to be on sunny summer Sunday afternoons. Every week the outdoor amphitheatre is crammed to capacity with a supportive audience for anyone who takes the stage. Energetic rounds of applause and singalongs await you there.
The party lasts all afternoon, so if you need some time to work up the courage to step on the stage there is no reason to worry. When you’re ready simply raise your hand and let the host (Joe) know which sing you’d like to sing. There is one microphone, two loudspeakers and at least 5000 songs to choose from.