13 Things to do in Berlin this Summer
If summer in Berlin is anything like last year, we’re expecting glorious temperatures of 25 degrees or more to warm up the urban metropolis. So how to make the most of the sunny days in the city? Whether you like rooftop bars, music festivals, barbecues or beer gardens, there’s plenty of awesome things to do in Berlin to suit anyone’s summer vibe. If you’re stuck wondering about what to do in Berlin in summer that’s also affordable, use our guide for the ultimate inspiration on how to fill your sunny days in the German capital.
For a hostel in the heart of Berlin, check out St Christopher’s Inns
1 Picnic or BBQ in the park
Berlin’s beautiful green spaces are the perfect place for a picnic or summer BBQ. Several public parks around the city allow you to have BBQs and some even provide the equipment too (so you don’t have to bring the gear yourself). Some of the best barbecue spots in the city include Mauerpark, Monbijoupark, Sommerbad and Tempelhofer Feld.
Mauerpark is a barbecue paradise, always filled in the summer with people setting up shop and heating up some juicy wurst on the portable grill. Tempelhofer Feld the former airport allows you to have a picnic with a panoramic view; there are also designated barbecue spots in this field. The banks of the River Spree also make for the ideal picnic location. The perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon in Berlin.
2 Open air rooftop bars
Summer time calls for major relaxation at Berlin’s best rooftop bars. Because what’s better than drinking in the sky? These are our 3 favourites...
A sky high beach in the heart of Berlin! Nothing says summer more than that
Enjoy a cocktail at the highest beach bar in Berlin, at Deck5 Skybeach. With views like there are here, you’d expect prices to be as high as you are, but cocktails are actually pretty affordable. Order a mojito for £8 to go with the views over Prenzlauer Berg, and sink your toes into the man made beach while you sip. The vibe at this rooftop bar is always buzzing by mid-afternoon, and carries on into the evening making for a great summertime activity in Berlin.
Amano Roof Terrace
An affordable rooftop with panoramic views on Mitte - can’t go wrong!
For a panoramic view in Berlin Mitte, spend summer nights at the Amano Roof Terrace. Grab a chair and sip on something delicious under the fairy lights while you enjoy the best view of Berlin’s iconic TV tower. Cocktails here are affordable costing from €10 so this place won’t break the bank either.
A super cool and unique rooftop spot where you'll always find young people hanging out in summer
Klunkerkranich is always bustling (and the place to be when the sun comes out) - plus drinks are fairly cheap. Enjoy incredible views of the city at this casual spot while socialising and having a beer. See if there are any open air rooftop parties taking place while you visit for good music and good vibes.
Roof Garden at House of Weekend
Party vibes with an epic view over Alexanderplatz
This one is for those who are after more of a party, as the Roof Garden at House of Weekend is all about drinks and DJs. The views over Alexanderplatz are awesome, with the TV Tower right there in sight while you drink beer and enjoy the mild summer evenings on a Berlin rooftop.
Check out these 15 Free Things to do in Berlin
3 Take a plunge in the lakes
Go with the locals and cool off on a hot summer’s day in one of Berlin’s lakes. The city’s largest lake Muggelsee will take you slightly out of the city centre but its pretty woodland walks down to the sandy edge will make it worth that little extra effort. Krumme Lake, just by Grunewald Forest, is a definite contender for Berlin’s most idyllic lake. Head here for a swim and sunbathe in the summer but make sure you pack a picnic as there are no shops on hand.
There’s no better way to spend a day (spending nothing) in Berlin.
4 Or the outdoor swimming pools
Berlin is home to many outdoor public swimming pools if you fancy a casual dip in the sunshine. The best public outdoor swimming pools to head to are Badeschiff (that overlooks the River Spree), Haubentaucher, Sommerbad (with a 10m dive platform) and Olympiastadion (the former Olympic swimming pool).
Haubentaucher and Badeschiff host amazing pool parties in the summer, where you can reserve a deck chair and catch some rays while DJs are on the deck.
5 Stuff yourself with street food
Berlin’s open air markets are a fantastic stop for lunch in the sun. We recommend Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg for foodies, especially on a Thursday when there’s a popular street food event on to grab a yummy dinner for cheap or a delicious ice cream to help cool off in the summer heat.
Often you can find food markets at points along the Landwehr canal, such as the popular Turkish market on Tuesdays and Fridays along the Maybachufer embankment where you can pick up delicious food and treats that are easy on the wallet. There’s also a flea market selling food in Mauerpark.
Check out the 9 Best Food Markets in Europe
6 Sail down the River Spree
You can rent a paddle boat or paddle board and go out on the water on the River Spree. Cruise down Berlin’s sparkling rivers and canals on an open-top boat tour through the city. There are plenty of river tours to choose from all with their own USP, usually lasting about an hour. Our favourite is the Historic Boat Tour that takes you by some of the city’s major sights such as Museum Island and Berlin Cathedral that look even more beautiful under the sun. Find out more about it here.
Or you can take the East Side River Tour, a 2.5-hour-cruise that takes you through Berlin’s coolest neighbourhood, Kreuzberg, as well as more eastern parts of the city such as the East Side Gallery, Oberbaum Bridge and the Government Quarter.
7 Beer gardens galore
There’s nothing better than sipping on a cold pint (or a cold Stein) in a Berlin biergarten on a hot summer’s day. And of course in the German capital, beer is in abundance.
Breweries, biergartens, pubs and bars come to life in the summer months selling floods of the brilliant brews, but for the best German beer in the city take our 7 recommendations. These are our favourite places in Berlin to cool off in the summer with some of the city’s best beer...
Here’s where to get the Best Beer in Berlin
8 Party at Belushi’s
Summer and partying goes hand in hand. So spend your evenings partying at Belushi’s, the city’s best sports bar. Belushi’s throws affordable parties bringing backpackers, students and locals all under one roof to have a good time. Cheap drinks, daily deals, screening of live sports plus badass burgers to line your stomach sounds a pretty good night out to us.
Don't miss out on awesome drinks deals and arrive at Belushi's between 5pm and 9pm every Sunday to Friday for the best Happy Hour in Berlin!
9 Festivals and street parties
It’s true what they say: Berlin is a city that never sleeps so it’s no wonder it’s made a name for itself as the party capital of Europe. This summer there are some really awesome festivals and street parties taking place in Berlin.
Spandau Citadel Festival is back for another year, one of the biggest music events in the calendar and this year you can expect the likes of Santana, Lenny Kravitz and Billy Idol taking to stage. Then there’s other top music festivals such Melt Festival (just outside of Berlin) and Lollapalooza right by the Olympic Park.
The largest folk festival in Berlin at the Zentraler Festplatz - formerly German-French Fair - attracts visitors with funfair rides, live music and many delicacies. Not to mention The Lesbian and Gay City Festival in Berlin is Europe's largest street party of its kind. It is held annually around Nollendorfplatz, the traditional gay stomping ground in Berlin-Schöneberg. Museumsinsel Festival, Volksfeste, Neukölln May Day or the Karneval der Kulturen are also festivals to look out for.
10 Wander the pretty Botanical gardens
The Botanical Gardens in Berlin are simply stunning and summer is the best time to visit because flora is in full bloom and the exotic plants make summer feel even more like summer. This is the biggest botanical garden in Germany, home to 22,000 varieties of plant. The garden itself is stunning with a pretty lakeside topped with giant lily pads to relax by. A green oasis that is so worth a visit if you’re in Berlin.
11 Sit back and relax at an Open air cinema
Open air cinemas have become one of the coolest summer trends in recent years where people flock to enjoy a movie under the stars. Summer in Berlin means the open air cinemas return and you’ll find the coolest one is Freiluftkino Kreuzberg near the Kottbusser Tor. This open-air cinema in Berlin is the oldest in the city having shown its very first film back in 1994.
Or you can head to Volkspark where you can catch current blockbuster movies, classic and cult films, thrillers, and comedies on the open air cinema screen.
12 Cycle the city
Berlin is a biker’s paradise - for every 10 people in Berlin, there are 7 bikes and there are around 500,000 daily bike rides through the city. And there’s nothing like cycling through Berlin in the summer months. While hopping from sight to sight on two wheels you get to see a lot of the city while also getting in some exercise at the same time. There are also some pretty scenic routes you can take by bike such as Treptower Park, along the Berlin Wall, Tempelhof and Grunewald.
If you want to rent a bike in Berlin, there are plenty of places to do so (that won’t cost a lot). Hire a bike from a Call a Bike stand or a Flat Tire Bike. Or download the Ofo App, where you can rent a bike for 50p per half hour. Don’t forget to wear a helmet!
Want more? These are 11 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Berlin
13 Al fresco brunch
Berlin is one of those European cities that really know how to do a good brunch. When the sun’s out in summer, nothing beats sitting outside eating a fresh acai bowl or creamy avocado toast. Check out the best brunch spots in Berlin, make sure there’s some outdoor seating and enjoy some of the tastiest mid morning dishes in the city. One of our favourites for munching whilst sitting out in the sunshine is Father Carpenter, where there's a sweet little courtyard and the best avocado toast in Berlin!
Article by Shereen Sagoo and Darcy King
Latest Travel Articles
How to Self Care on the Road: Wellbeing & Health Tips for Backpackers
Look out for yourself (and your mental health) on the…