Ah summertime in Berlin, suddenly it´s a different city everyone seems to be out walking, sitting on benches, smiling, joking and generally doing every conceivable activity possible outdoors. Berliners talking about the winter gone by usually means pulling a sour face and uttering the all too familiar words of ´Argggh, Berlin last winter´. But come May hibernation is truly over and it´s time to enjoy the sunshine and the city at its finest.
Heading for a park on summer´s day is always a great option and Berlin has an abundance of green spaces and nice parks.
One of our favourites is Viktoriapark. Head down Bergmannstraße towards Kreuzbergstraße and you will hear and see the lovely waterfall that welcomes you to the park. Head up the hill along the trails, taking in the rocky areas, little streams and trees until you reach the National monument for the Liberation Wars designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Then chose from two grass areas to relax in the sun, we prefer the higher level which has a number of pretty trees.
We also love the park and green areas along the banks of the spree at Treptower Park. Walk over the Abbey Bridge to the nearby Insel der Jugend (Island of Youth) for drinks, food or just more sun worshipping.
Tip: Check out the Soviet Memorial at Treptower. A huge war memorial and military cemetery built to honour 5,000 of the 8,000 Soviet soldiers who died in the battle of berlin in 1945.
Tip: Visit the abandoned fairground at Spreepark. The tours are only in German but it’s a fun and interesting place for taking lots of photos.
Dancing in the Streets
Of course Berlin has many summer outdoor events including:
- Fête de la Musique, a fantastic totally free event which will see music of all kinds from musicians, choirs, orchestras, bands, soloists and DJs all around the city.
- Christopher Street Day, popular gay and lesbian event takes to the streets to celebrate diversity and highlight some issues.
- The Classic Open Air at Gendarmenmarkt is always very popular with Italian opera, operetta, pop, soul, swing and jazz complete with lights, lasers and fireworks finale.
- Berlin Music Week an international meeting point and marketplace for the music and entertainment industry, offering up a trade fair, conferences, workshops, and numerous live music events. Last year Suede and Primal Scream played while Boy George did a DJ set.
The concept of beach bars have become very popular in Berlin. Sand, palm trees, deck chairs and cold drinks – everything you need to get that holiday in the sun feeling.
A few places to check out include Deck 5, a fantastic roof top beach bar, (just take the lifts from the shopping mall at Schönhauser Allee 80, Prenzlauer Berg), Playa Paradiso (Goslarer Ufer 1 10589 Berlin) has sand, palm trees, straw umbrellas, sunbeds and even a volleyball court, you just have to remember your sunglasses, suntan lotion and flip flops. The Badeschiff has open air bars and beach sunbathing areas but the big star here is the ´bathing ship´ a swimming pool that floats on the Spree.
I like to Ride my Bicycle
Berlin is a brilliant city to cycle around especially in the summer. It has tons of cycling lanes, is pretty flat and just one of the easiest and nicest ways to get around the city. You can hire a bike from the bike tour specialists Fat Tire Bike Tours. For the more adventurous why not cycle to the historic town of Köpenick, which lays where the rivers Damn and Spree meet? When there you could go for a swim in the river, visit Köpenick Castle or just enjoy the riverside pubs and restaurants in the area. You can plan any cycle route you want in Berlin, with options to stick to cycle routes and green-ways if you choose on the superb BBBike site.
How about enjoying a classic movie outdoors on a perfect balmy evening? The Volkspark Friedrichshain is one of Berlin´s most popular parks and you can sit on the grass or at a table and bring your own food at the Freiluftkino Friedrichshain (Open Air Cinema) situated there. One of the oldest open air cinemas in Berlin, located in the courtyard of the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, is the Open Air Kreuzberg. Expect a diverse schedule of best current films and world cinema plus cult classics.
We hope you experience some of our suggestions. You are sure to have a fantastic time if you visit Berlin in the summer. If you need help planning your trip we have some advice on finding the right accommodation for summer in Berlin.
Tell us about your summer in Berlin – we would love to hear about it!