The best things in life are not those that you get for money. These are the wise words of Albert Einstein. In fact, you don't necessarily have to dig deep into your pockets to experience unique moments in Berlin. Conquer Berlin by bike with Critical Mass, listen to free concerts in the parks and green spaces or take a trip to the lake. The Kultursommerfestival invites you to 90 free open-air events. And on warm summer nights you can simply enjoy the twilight together on the Spree. Have fun with our 11 top tips. Here's how to enjoy the summer in Berlin for free.
Tip 1: The Kultursommerfestival invites you to a free event every day.
Look forward to comedy in the lido, concerts, DJ sets, films, theatre, cool drinks and hot nights: under the umbrella of the Culture Summer Festival you can enjoy art, culture and music for 90 days from mid-June to September in all of Berlin's districts. Some of them in unusual places. Celebrate summer in Berlin! All events are free and outside.
Tip 2: Listen to concerts for free
From professional artists to amateur musicians whose performances focus more on the entertainment factor than on musical standards, Berlin has it all. Many cafés currently invite musicians to entertain their guests in the open air. In railway stations, on public squares and on the many bridges in the city, there are places where making music is permitted. The short lull will slow you down and put a smile on your face. Here are a few tips on where you can regularly listen to music for free in Berlin
- In Neukölln's Körnerpark you can listen to jazz and world music for free at the "Summer in the Park" every Sunday from 6 pm (until 28 August).
- On the Schlossinsel Köpenick you can listen to various bands and musicians every Wednesday from 6 pm. The programme ranges from indie rock to jazz, country, soul, chanson and classical concerts.
- The ORWOhaus (former location of the East German film factory Original Wolfen) not only offers an impressive view of Marzahn's prefabricated buildings, but every second and last Thursday of the month the Musicians' House invites musicians and music fans to the Backstage for a jam session. It starts at 10 pm.
- For years, the Dunckerclub in Prenzlauer Berg has been hosting Gnadenlos Kostenlos concerts on Thursdays at 10 pm. Friends of independent and alternative rock meet a mixed audience of old and new Berliners in the listed building from 1913.
- Twice a month, on Saturdays from 6 pm, you can listen to the sounds of the Karl Schuke organ (1962/63) for free at the Organ Vespers in the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. With 63 sounding stops, it is one of the largest organs in Berlin.
When: Every Sunday from 6 p.m. (until 28 August).
Where: Schierkerstraße, Neukölln
Tip 3: Watch films for free under the open sky
Campus Demokratie in the courtyard of the Stasi headquarters is once again inviting you to the free open-air cinema this summer. For four weeks you can watch documentaries and feature films about the history of the GDR, and in some cases contemporary witnesses and filmmakers will be present.
The stories of women in Iran are the focus of this year's free open-air cinema organised by the Federal Agency for Civic Education. Learn more about the complexity of Iranian history and immerse yourself in the everyday life of women there, told in real and fictional films for the big screen.
If it rains, you can go to the abylon. Silent films have been shown in this probably most beautiful cinema in the city since 1929. The tradition is continued in the Saturday series Silent Film at Midnight. According to the motto zero o'clock - zero euros, you can indulge in free film pleasure here.
When: Thursday, 9 pm (until 31 August)
Where: Charlie's Beach, Friedrichstraße 48, Mitte
Tip 4: Sing along at the free karaoke at Mauerpark
A real Berlin classic is the Sunday karaoke at Mauerpark. Up to 1,000 music lovers meet here on Sunday afternoons at the amphitheatre to listen to others perform Bearpit Karaoke. You can even sing along yourself. By the way, the open-air karaoke was invented by bicycle courier Joe Hatchiban. Since 2009 he has been on the road in Berlin with his mobile sound system to help people overcome their stage fright. Because of course, everyone who dares to go on stage in front of the well-filled crowds gets a thunderous applause.
When: Sunday at around three o'clock
Where: Amphitheatre in Mauerpark
Tip 5: Grab your bike & conquer the streets with Critical Mass
Speaking of bike messengers: By bike you can get around the city in summer for free - and on top of it in an environmentally friendly and sporty way. We have put together the most beautiful tours for you. Cycle along the Wall Trail, discover exciting street art or cycle through Berlin with Critical Mass together with many others. This different kind of city tour, which takes place every last Friday of the month, is all about expressing the desire for more safe traffic space for cyclists in Berlin.
Tip 6: Bathing fun for free at the lakes of the capital
Natural lakes with sandy beaches and clear water are to be found in and around Berlin. If you feel like relaxing and refreshing after a bike tour through the city, just jump into the cool waters of Großer Müggelsee, Wannsee, Groß Glienicker See or Krumme Lanke. Snacks are available at the kiosk for refreshment, but you can also bring your own picnic. Beach volleyball is played at some bathing spots, others feature DJ sets and live music. Some of the water is so clean and the visibility so clear that you can do a bit of snorkelling. You can find an overview of Berlin's most beautiful lakes and outdoor pools on our bathing map.
Tip 3: Explore Street Art for free
The whole city is a gigantic open-air gallery and a mecca for street art. Come with us on a discovery tour. In our free ABOUT BERLIN app, we have put together a few tours of Berlin's most beautiful murals for you. What are the stories behind the murals? Which street artists were involved? And what messages do they want to convey with their works? Answers to these questions, audio books, videos and, of course, directions can be found on ABOUT BERLIN. Immerse yourself in Berlin's street art scene.
Tip: A good place to start is the Eastside Gallery: Here you can get to know the German-German past as a work of art. Shortly after the fall of the Wall, artists from all over the world commented on the historical event by painting the remains of the Wall and thus creating a new piece of history. Today, the gallery is a listed building.
Download ABOUT BERLIN for free!
Tip 8: Get to know the green & sustainable sides of the city
Grab your favourite novel, pack a picnic and make yourself comfortable in the shade of the trees in Berlin's gardens and green spaces. You'll find secluded spots for a relaxing afternoon by the gushing waterfall in Viktoriapark on Kreuzberg, around the historic Flakturm with its panoramic view in Volkspark Humboldthain or in Tiergarten. At Tempelhofer Feld you can watch Berliners urban gardening and skaters doing tricks around the Allmende Kontor community garden.
Tip: In the south of Berlin, you can learn all about agriculture and life on a farm at the former manor of Domäne Dahlem. The museum takes you back in time, and organic vegetables and more grow in the fields. Visiting the grounds is free of charge.
Tip 9: Take a low-budget Berlin tour with the bus 100
If you want to save a little on sightseeing, you can hop on the "100" bus and take a trip across Berlin at regular fares. From the Zoological Garden, the bus takes you past the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate, along Berlin's famous boulevard "Unter den Linden" to the east of the city, where numerous historic buildings and the TV Tower await you.
Tip: With the Berlin Welcome Card you can travel for free on public transport in Berlin and get up to 20 per cent discount at over 180 sights.
Tip 10: Attend Hertha BSC training
A highlight for football fans is certainly watching a match in the legendary Olympic Stadium. However, those who can no longer get a ticket can experience the boys from Hertha BSC live at a public training session. To find out when the team can be seen for free at the Olympic grounds on Hanns-Braun-Strasse, check the training schedule.
When: Dates will be published via Hertha BSC's Twitter channel.
Where: Schenkendorffplatz/Olympiagelände, Sportforumstraße 13, Charlottenburg
Tip 11: Enjoy the sunset over Berlin
End your day in Berlin with a cool drink at sunset. Although the sun doesn't sink into the sea here, the backdrop of the horizon in Berlin is very diverse. Whether you're looking for a great photo motif or just want to enjoy the magic of the moment, together with our wonderful community we've put together the best spots to watch the sunset in Berlin for you.