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11 top tips for free summer activities

For free in Berlin

Tempelhof field in Berlin
Tempelhof Field © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

If you visit the capital in summer, you can explore famous sights by bike in excellent weather. Numerous parks and green areas invite you to relax, barbecue, and picnic. Lakes and outdoor pools provide plenty of opportunities to cool off. In the cosy nights, people dance at street festivals and sing along loudly at free concerts. With our top 11 tips, you can enjoy the summer in Berlin for free.
 

Tip 1: Fun swimming in the capital's lakes

Berlins Baths and Lakes
Berlins Baths and Lakes © iStock.com/alvarez

There are plenty of natural lakes with sandy beaches and crystal-clear water in and around Berlin. If you feel like relaxation and refreshment after a bike tour through the city, then simply jump into the cool water of the Great Müggelsee, Wannsee, Groß Glienicker See, or Krummen Lanke. Snacks are available at kiosks, but you can also bring your own picnic. Some swimming spots have beach volleyball. In some places the water is so clean and the visibility so clear that it is ideal for snorkelling.

Swimming Lakes

Tip 2: Relax in the parks of the metropolis

Park am Gleisdreieck in Berlin
Park am Gleisdreieck © visitBerlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

Grab your favourite novel and get comfy in the shade of the trees in Berlin's gardens and green spaces. Cosy places for a relaxing afternoon can be found at the rushing waterfall in Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg, around the historic Flakturm with panoramic views in Volkspark Humboldthain, and in Mauerpark. If you are familiar with wild herbs, you can collect the ingredients for your green smoothie directly yourself. For example, ground elder, cinquefoil, stinging nettle, and cornel cherries grow in the park at Charlottenburg Palace.

Parks & Gardens

Tip 3: Dancing until sunrise

Couple at an Open Air Festival
Open Air Festival © Getty Images, Foto: svetikd

Whether it's the Bergmannstraßenfest, the summer festival in Leonhardtstraße in Charlottenburg or the Choriner Straßenfest - the mild summer nights in Berlin are made for celebration and enjoyment. What often began as a small neighbourhood event now enjoys cult status. The big highlight among the street festivals is Christopher Street Day, where people from all over the world dance and celebrate the whole day. Between Kurfürstendamm and Brandenburger Tor, people line up to defend the rights of gay and lesbian people, bisexual people, and transgender people.

Street Festivals

Tip 4: Tango at the Bodemuseum

Tango Nacht in Berlin - ein paar Paare am tanzen
Tango Nacht in Berlin - ein paar Paare am tanzen © visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen

A top tip for free summer events in Berlin is the Tango at Bodemuseum. The spirited South American sounds, for example by Aníbal Troilo and Osvaldo Pedro Pugliese, are the perfect accompaniment for couples who almost float over the Monbijou Bridge doing the tango. The person-high palm trees also provide the perfect ambience. You can also dance salsa, swing, and tango at the beach bar in Monbijoupark at Bodemuseum under the open sky almost daily.
Beach Bars

Tip 5: Listen to excellent music for free

Zitadelle Spandau in Berlin
Zitadelle Spandau © Friedhelm Hoffmann / Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Spandau

Music lovers can look forward to the summer in Berlin. If you like to go to concerts, you don't have to dig deep into your pockets in the capital. Just visit the Sunday summer concerts in the English Garden or the classical, blues, jazz, and rock concerts in Körnerpark. On 20 and 21 July, Rock im Grünen will be held at Parkbühne Berlin-Biesdorf, where various new bands from the city will demonstrate their skills. One of the most popular free music event series in the metropolis are the open-air events at Zitadelle Spandau Umsonst & Draußen. Singers and musicians from different genres give you their best here.

Open air events with free admission

Tip 6: Explore the city on a bike

Group of cyclists cycling through Berlin in summer
Cycling in Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Thomas Kierok

Berlin is a perfect city for cyclists. You can of course book guided tours, but you can also explore the metropolis on your own or on a rented bike. Pedal and discover the remains of the Berlin Wall, street art, and the most important sights.

Berlin by Bike

Tip 7: Chilling on the Spree

Berlin im Sommer mit Blick auf die Spree und Boote
© visitBerlin, Foto: Thomas Kierok

Our top tip for a relaxed, free summer in Berlin is on the banks of the Spree. Pack up drinks, some goodies, music, and a picnic blanket - so you can relax by the Spree. Find your favourite spot, for example on the small canals or a shady bridge. During the day you can sunbathe on the shore and put your feet in the water to cool off. In the evening, have a chilled drink with a view of the river and the buildings of the city, plus you get the sunset for free.

Berlin on the Waterfront

Tip 8: The dome of the Reichstag is very romantic

A group is sitting in front of the Reichstag Berlin
Reichstag in Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

You have a fantastic view of the panorama of Berlin from the glass dome in the Reichstag building on Platz der Republik. Visitors are allowed in the dome between 8 a.m. and midnight. Last admission is at 9:45 pm. You can see a very special spectacle at sunset, when the houses of the city are dipped in red and orange tones. Fantastic light effects are created by the construction of steel and glass - no instagram filter is necessary for your perfect snapshot.

Reichstag

Tip 9: Open house day at the German federal government

The German Chancellery in Berlin
German Chancellery © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle
Bundeskanzleramt im Berliner Regierungsviertel

Dare to take a look behind the scenes of the Federal Government. Two days a year you can discover the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Ministries, and the Federal Press Office free of charge. Some ministers will answer your questions on 25 and 26 August. There will also be exciting information events, discussions, and exhibitions. Even for young visitors there is a colourful programme that guarantees learning, fun, and play.

Open house day at the German federal government

Tip 10: Open-air cinema at Körnerpark

Körnerpark in Berlin
Körner Park in Neukölln © Bezirksamt Neukölln

What could be nicer than watching the latest films or the best classics armed with a bag of popcorn under the starry sky. Make yourselves comfortable every Friday from the middle of July at the open-air cinema in Körnerpark. The audience votes in advance on what films will be shown. The screenings start at 9 pm at the corner of Jonasstraße/Selkestraße. Don't worry if dark rain clouds start forming! Then the screening will simply be moved to WerkStadt in nearby Emser Straße.

Körnerpark

Tip 11: Watch the European Championship for free

Berlino looking forward to the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships
Berlino looking forward to the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships © Camera4

If you want to watch real track and field pros in long jump, hammer throw, and hurdles, you don't necessarily have to pay for admission. A top tip for your free summer is the qualifying day "Q" of the European Championships in Athletics. On the legendary "Q" day, which takes place on 6 August, you can loudly cheer for your favourites in the historic Olympic Stadium. Please don't forget to get one of the free tickets in advance. This will give you access to the competitions. Tickets can be booked online. You will receive a printable PDF by email, which will give you free choice of seats in the stadium.

European Championships in Athletics

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