10 Things to Do in Berlin in the Summer

Berlin is one of Europe's most charming cities, especially during the summer months. When the warm weather arrives, the German capital offers numerous outdoor activities, from boating on the Spree River to attending open-air concerts.

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

12 min read

10 Things to Do in Berlin in the Summer

Berlin TV Tower | ©Guille

Although the main attractions of Berlin do not change throughout the year, Berliners often say that there is not only one city, but two: the summer and the winter. So, when the good weather arrives, everyone takes to the streets to enjoy its colors, energy, beauty and cultural and recreational activities.

The whole city is full of festivals and activities, with street markets, terraces, concerts, open-air cinemas and much more in almost every neighborhood. The offer is so wide that it can be difficult to choose, so to help you I have prepared a small selection of what happens in Berlin during the summer period.

1. Come and listen to classical music at Classic Open Air

Classic Open Air| ©Günter Steffen
Classic Open Air| ©Günter Steffen

If you like classical music and want to listen to it in a unique environment, your best option is to go to the splendid Gendarmenmarkt square in Berlin. There, every July, takes place the Classic Open Air, a series of concerts held in one of the most monumental squares of the German capital.

The dates have been changing every year, so I recommend you to check them before planning your visit. The performances usually start around 19:00 hours and you can find tickets (which must be purchased in advance) from about 50 €.

Although the main bet of the festival is classical music, sometimes you will also find some opera performances or even some pop music.

In addition to the concerts themselves, much of the charm of this festival comes from the place where it is held. The Gendarmenmarkt ( Gendarmenmarkt) is located in the center of Berlin, so you can easily reach it on foot.

After the performance, the best thing to do is to stay in the area to see monuments such as the French church, the German Cathedral or the nearby Charlottenburg Palace, all beautifully illuminated.

Book a guided tour of Berlin

2. Berlin International Beer Festival

At the Berlin Beer Festival| ©ben dalton
At the Berlin Beer Festival| ©ben dalton

Beer and Germany are two words that usually go together in our minds. Although the fame in this type of events goes to Munich with its Oktoberfest, the festival held in Berlin during the month of August has nothing to envy. If you like this drink, you can not miss Karl-Marx-Allee and join the activities that take place in its more than 2 kilometers of tents.

The festival involves the best beer associations in Germany, as well as some from other parts of the world. In total, you will find samples from almost 300 different breweries, but I advise some moderation when tasting the most interesting ones.

In addition to beer (undisputed star of the event) you will also find many musical performances. In the area there are about 18 stages where different national and international groups will be playing.

The best thing is that entering the festival is free, so you only have to pay for the beers you drink.

Book the Berlin Beer Tour

3. Stroll through the city's parks

Tiergarten, Berlin| ©edwin.11
Tiergarten, Berlin| ©edwin.11

You may not associate the German capital with parks and wide green spaces, but in reality it is home to several large green spaces. In summer, Berliners appreciate the sunshine by going out to these parks to play sports, socialize, ride their bikes or simply relax on the grass. Touring some of these areas is a great way to get to know Berlin.

The most popular places are Tiergarten and Friedrichshain Volkspark, but if you like to tour less known neighborhoods here are some other really interesting green areas. I advise you to check if you can get to any of them with the tourist bus:

  • Tempelhofer Fest: on the grounds of the former Tempelhof airport is this large park conditioned as an area for the enjoyment of Berliners. Among other facilities, it has a cycling track and a 6-kilometer-long skating rink. It is also an ideal place for a picnic on the lawn.
  • Garten der Welt, the Gardens of the World: in the former East Berlin, in the Marzahn district, is this large green area of about 40 hectares. The garden, surrounded by old communist-era buildings (which you may have seen if you have taken a tour with that theme), was inaugurated in 1987 to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the city. Inside there are different types of gardens: Chinese, English, Italian or Korean, among others.
  • Körnerpark: for many, one of the most beautiful gardens in the city thanks to its balustrades and a fountain in the form of a waterfall. It is located in one of the liveliest areas of Berlin, Neukölln, although the park remains a little-known secret of the German capital. Inside, art exhibitions and small concerts are held.

Book a sightseeing bus in Berlin

4. Canals and river walks: Berlin's relationship with water.

Spree by night| ©Ansgar Koreng
Spree by night| ©Ansgar Koreng

There are a number of activities related to the water that runs through Berlin that are highly recommended if you have traveled to the city in August. Whether on the Spree River or along its canals, you will have many options to choose from to get to know the German capital from a completely different perspective.

Perhaps the most complete activity is to take a short cruise on the river. There are several modalities depending on the time you want to spend on the boat, but all of them offer a quiet ride in which you will enjoy every moment.

Another very good option is to take a trip on a pedal boat or a raft, either on the river itself, in lakes like the Müggelsee or Wannsee or by one of the canals that run through the city.

Urban beaches

The Baltic Sea is far from the capital and some of the nearby lakes where bathing is allowed require a trip that you may not have time for. So if you want to swim, you'll have to do as the Berliners do and go to one of their urban beaches.

Practically every neighborhood in Berlin has one of these spaces. The most fashionable among young people is in Badeschiff, in Kreuzberg, where a large barge has been installed as a swimming pool on the riverbank.

If you prefer something more family-oriented, in the Mitte area, specifically in Kinderbad Monbijou, there is an area with children's pools, lawns to hang out on and great views of the TV Tower.

Book a dinner cruise in Berlin

5. Spend your evenings in a Biergarten, the beer gardens.

In a beer garden| ©Alper Çuğun
In a beer garden| ©Alper Çuğun

As much as you love art, it's possible that after spending several hours on Museum Island you might be a bit saturated. Luckily, Berlin in summer offers a great way to relax in a great environment: the Biergarten.

As the name suggests, which means "beer garden," these are open-air beer gardens located in green areas of the city. This type of facility has a long tradition, as evidenced by the fact that one of the most popular, the Prater, opened its doors as far back as 1837.

In addition to this beer garden, there are many more in the German capital, each with its own style:

  • Café am Neuen See: located inside Tiergarten a very close to Kurfürstendamm, this brewery is located next to a beautiful lake and is perfect to have some beer accompanied by a Bavarian food specialty.
  • Biergarten Golgatha: one of the most famous and oldest in the city. Its doors open in the morning to offer breakfast, but it is at night when the atmosphere increases the most. It is located inside Viktoriapark, one of the gardens of the Kreuzberg district.
  • Zollpackhof: next to the Chancellery, at Elisabeth-Abegg-Str. 1, the Zollpackhof is perfect for a beer and a Schnitzel.
  • Prater: Berlin's oldest Biergarten, the Prater, is located in Prenzlauer Berg and has kept the classic long tables with benches shared by its customers. In addition to its beer and food offerings, it often offers live entertainment.

It is not a brewery as such, but the Berlin Ice Bar, located in the center of the city, will surprise you. The most refreshing plan of the summer awaits you in this amazing place where everything you will see is sculpted in ice. You can have a few cocktails there that will make you forget the high temperatures that can get to do in summer in Berlin.

Book tickets for the Berlin Ice Bar

6. Find the best street food in the Bite Club

Bite Club| ©ERAKU
Bite Club| ©ERAKU

The warm temperatures get Berliners out on the streets as soon as they get the chance. In many parts of the city, street food markets are set up where hundreds of people gather to taste all kinds of dishes. If you like this kind of atmosphere and, of course, the food served, I recommend you go to the Bite Club, one of the most interesting events of its kind.

This street food market, held outdoors, is only in operation during the warmer months of the year. It usually takes place on Fridays, but its periodicity may change. Check the definitive dates on their website.

Located on the banks of the river, specifically in the Berlin Arena, it is best to come for dinner. There is possibly no better place in the whole city to spend a Friday night tasting everything from Italian arancini to bao burgers, including a large number of recipes from all over the world.

Besides, food is not the only attraction at Berlin Bite. From 5 p.m. onwards, the event turns into a real festival, with live music livening up the evening.

Other places to try street food

If for any reason you prefer to go somewhere else to try Berlin' s street food, you will have plenty of options to choose from. Although there are many, here are just a few that I think may be the most interesting:

  • Markthalle Neun (Kreuzberg): it is considered the first place that started this kind of events. In its stalls and trucks you will find everything from luxurious oysters to British fish and chips. It is located at Eisenbahnstraße 42-43 and is open on Thursdays from 17:00 to 22:00.
  • Korean street food at Platoon Kunsthalle (Prenzlauer Berg-Mitte): if you are looking for something more exotic, in Schönerhauser allee you will find a fantastic place to try Korean food. Every Friday night they offer typical dishes of this gastronomy, as well as stalls of second-hand goods and handicrafts.
  • Neue Heimat (Raw - Friedrichshain): one of the most popular among young people in Berlin. The event takes place on Fridays from 7 p.m. and on Sundays from noon. In total, about 20 food vans are set up and there are usually musical performances.
  • Thai Park (Wilmersdorf): located in Preußenpark, this open-air market is organized by groups of Thais living in the German capital. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays and is an extraordinary place if you want to try the food of this Asian country.

7. Go dancing on a large terrace by the river.

Terrace of the Monbijoupark| ©abbilder
Terrace of the Monbijoupark| ©abbilder

First of all we must say that Berlin's fame as a city with a great nightlife is fully deserved. However, this time I am going to propose a plan a little softer but perfect if you like to dance for a while or just have a drink with some tranquility.

To do this, just go to Monbijoupark, a park that houses a bar with a large terrace on the banks of the river Spree. In this place you will find all kinds of musical styles, from salsa to swing, through a genre as typical of Central Europe as the waltz.

If you feel like dancing you just have to cheer up and remember that no one will judge you for how you do it, but if you do not dare (or that dance is not your thing), the terrace is perfect for a drink accompanied by a pizza. All this, while enjoying great views of the Museum Island.

8. Dare to participate in the karaoke at the Mauerpark flea market

Mauerpark| ©Aapo Haapanen
Mauerpark| ©Aapo Haapanen

The German capital has a large number of flea markets distributed in almost all its neighborhoods. In addition to shopping, drinking and strolling, there are also various festive activities. If you are one of those who take the microphone in any karaoke you can not miss the Mauerpark flea market.

Besides being possibly the most famous flea market in the capital, in Mauerpark is held every Sunday in summer an event often crowded. In the open-air amphitheater next to the stalls, there is a large karaoke party in which everyone participates, regardless of age or singing ability.

It's all about having a good time and making the most of the summer temperatures. However, if you don't want to sing, just sit in the bleachers with a beer and enjoy the unique atmosphere.

9. Try the varieties of ice cream on offer in Berlin

Entrance to Fräulein Frost| ©Robyn Lee
Entrance to Fräulein Frost| ©Robyn Lee

Without the fame of the Italians, German ice creams can perfectly compete with them in terms of quality. It is not for nothing that it is one of the countries that consumes the most ice cream in the world. You can not leave the city without going to one of its best ice cream parlors and try their great products.

Write down these names in case you find yourself walking around the area or if you are making a visit nearby and you pass by:

  • Fräulein Frost: their handmade ice creams are really great, especially if you order some of their fruit specialties. It is located near the Maybachufer flea market and Neukölln street.
  • Rosa Canina: this small chain has three locations in different parts of the city. The reason for Rosa Canina 's success is the creativity of the flavors of their ice creams, such as mango with passion fruit, caramel with fleur de sel or black sesame. You can find them in the Kreuzberg district or near Friedrichshain Volkspark.
  • Eismanufaktur: for many, one of the best in the city. It has several different locations, although if you are in the Jewish quarter of Berlin you should go to the one located in Auguststraße 63, in the heart of the Jewish Quarter.

Book a guided tour of Berlin's Jewish Quarter

10. Watch the sunset from Admiralbrücke

Sunset at Admiralbrücke| ©TijsB
Sunset at Admiralbrücke| ©TijsB

Although it is something that can be done all year round, the truth is that the best time to approach the Admiralbrücke bridge to enjoy a splendid sunset is summer. To prove it, you only need to see the amount of Berliners who come to this area at that time.

To make the most of this experience, I advise you to walk along the banks of the Landwehrkanal until you reach the bridge. On the way, buy some beer and, upon arrival, imitate the Berliners and sit on the ground to watch the sun set over the water.

Usually there is a street musician entertaining the moment and the atmosphere lasts until well after the sun has set.

The Reichstag Dome: another great viewpoint

One of the must-see sights in Berlin is the Reichstag dome. Being an open space, summer is the best time to enjoy the experience and, if you wish, watch the sunset from there.

This dome was designed by Norman Foster, one of the most famous architects of the last decades. From the top you will have a fabulous view of the buildings of the Government quarter and the Tiergarten park.

What is the weather like in Berlin in summer

Summer in Berlin| ©abbilder
Summer in Berlin| ©abbilder

The summer months are the warmest months of the year, but that doesn't mean that the heat is stifling. Maximum temperatures average 24º C, although some days exceed 30º C.

As for the minimum temperatures, the average is about 13º C, without ruling out that some nights you may need some warm clothes.

In general, it tends to rain for a few days during this season, so it is a good idea to check the weather forecast before traveling.

What to take to Berlin in summer

Packing| ©Ketut Subiyanto
Packing| ©Ketut Subiyanto

In general, you will need cool clothes, but remember that you may want to bring something to keep you warm in the evenings. Don't forget to pack a swimsuit in case you decide to go to one of the city beaches or lakes.

An umbrella may also come in handy, as rain can surprise you at any time.