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Top 11 summer activities in Berlin

The best things Berlin has to offer in summer

Hedwig Terrace im Hotel de Rome
© Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome

If you spend the summer in Berlin, you have the finest sandy beaches at beach bars to look forward to. After a bike tour, you can barbecue in the parks, drink cocktails on a rooftop terrace, and eat exotic types of ice cream. Here are our top 11 tips for summer activities.

Tip 1: Relaxed summer evenings in the city's beer gardens

Beer garden at Schlachtensee in Berlin
Restaurant Fischerhütte at Schlachtensee © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

Those who conquer all of Berlin's attractions will eventually get tired and hungry. In summer especially, beer gardens are the place to relax. You will find countless opportunities throughout the city to enjoy a delicious beer or a spritzer outdoors. One of the oldest beer gardens in Berlin is the Prater. It is the oldest of its kind, incredibly huge but so popular that it is sometimes difficult to get a table. The concept of Birgit & Bier in Treptow contrasts with this. There is a club, bar, and beer garden all in one here.

Beer gardens

Tip 2: Pack your swimsuit

Strandbad Wannsee
Strandbad Wannsee © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

One of Berlin's top summer activities is definitely swimming at Strandbad Wannsee in Zehlendorf. It is not for nothing that various bands and artists still sing about this open-air swimming pool with its sandy banks and charming beach chairs. At Berlin's largest swimming lake, Lake Müggelsee, and also at Lake Groß Glienicke. A party atmosphere takes over on the bathing ship Berlin. While the DJ spins his latest records, you can refresh yourself in the pool that is in the Spree. The view sweeps over the panorama of the city. You can quench your thirst at the beach bar and there is a yoga class if you feel like some relaxed stretching.

Swimming lakes

Tip 3: Picnics & barbecues in the park

Picknick and bicycle tour in Berlin
Picknick and bicycle tour ©

Summer and picnic are an unbeatable team. In Berlin you will find numerous green spaces where you can spread out your picnic blanket comfortably. A special jewel is the Monbijoupark in Mitte. For digestion you can play a game of table tennis or basketball.

The perfect picnic

Tip 4: Open-air cinema - Hollywood under the stars

Sommerkino Kulturforum am Potsdamer Platz
Freiluftkino in Berlin nähe Potsdamer Platz © visitBerlin, Foto: Pierre Adenis

Finally it's summertime and the most exciting action thrillers and romantic comedies are being shown under the open night sky again. From the beginning of May to the beginning of September, you will find a well-assorted film programme in the open-air cinemas Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, and Rehberge. Tickets can be purchased online.

Open-air cinemas

Tip 5: Discover Berlin from a boat deck

Schiffsanlegestelle Rübezahl
© visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

Out on the water and discover Berlin in a relaxed way - on a boat tour you can combine sightseeing and relaxation. You can cruise along the Museum Island and through Berlin and discover Berlin's sights from a new perspective, or you can let your soul dangle during a trip across the great lakes such as Müggelsee, Tegeler See or Wannsee.

Tickets for boat tours & Spree cruises

Tip 6: Through the capital by bike

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

If you fancy a bike tour through Berlin, you can take one at any time. Because the terrain in the city is mostly flat, everyone can enjoy an excursion by bike. Bicycles can be rented for a small fee. Don't forget your bike helmet, because safety comes first. There are also guided bike tours to the biggest sights, where you can get the most exciting information from local guides. Otherwise you will find many tour suggestions including altitude profile and GPS data - including as a print out. Beautiful tours go along the Spree and the former wall as well as out into the countryside.

Berlin by bike

Tip 7: Excursions to outer Berlin

Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam near Berlin in sunlight
Schloss Sanssouci ©, Foto: Lambert (Bart) Parren

If you want to get out of town, stop by the idyllic Peacock Island with its wildlife, pretty castle, and beautiful park. Water enthusiasts who dream of a Caribbean atmosphere should ideally take a side trip to the Tropical Islands in Brand. An indoor rainforest and a gigantic bathing area await you there. An absolute top summer activity in Berlin is a visit to Sanssouci park with an enchanting summer castle.

Excursions to outer Berlin

Tip 8: Stand-up paddle boarding on the Spree

Nalani Sup Surving at Oderbaumbrücke in Berlin
Nalani Sup Surving at Oderbaumbrücke ©

Learn stand-up paddle boarding on the Spree. If you already have practice, join a guided tour or take part in other events such as singles night or yoga on the SUP. With this new fashionable sport, you'll not only keep yourself super fit, but at the same time admire Berlin from the water. The most famous contact point for fans of this popular sport is the bathing ship at the arena area in Treptow.

Sports in Berlin

Tip 9: Delicious ice cream in Berlin

Ice cream shop in Berlin
Ice cream shops © visitBerlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

Creamy ice cream, sunshine, and swimming fun are just as much a part of the perfect summer. Everyone can find the right flavour for them in the huge selection that the ice cream parlours have. Maybe you fancy vegan, lactose-free, or Peruvian ice cream. Then off to Berlin's hippest ice cream parlours. Eat your way through the huge selection of delicious flavours. Special parlours include Franken & Grunewald ice cream with an exotic selection, Gelateria Mos Eisley with natural ingredients, and Hokey Pokey, where a professional patissier makes the frozen dessert.

Ice cream parlours

Tip 10: Cocktails at sunset on roof terraces

Hotel AMANO roof top
Hotel AMANO roof top © Antonio Monsalve

After an adventurous day with active stand-up paddle boarding or a sightseeing tour, the nightlife beckons. A cocktail at sunset is an excellent start. If you choose a bar with a roof terrace, you can admire the fiery red skyline. You have a wonderful view of the TV Tower from the roof garden at Alexanderplatz. There is a view of the Spree in Meisterschueler. The outdoor area of the Rooftop Hotel Berlin Zoo is considered one of the most beautiful roof terraces in the city. Klunkerkranich bar on the roof of the Neukölln-Arcaden is relaxed and charming.

Roof terraces

Tip 11: Beach bars in the capital

Industriedenkmal als Beach Club
Beach Club Haubentaucher © Beachclub im Industriedenkmal © Haubentaucher, Foto: Gili Shani

The numerous beach bars in Berlin promise a pure holiday atmosphere. Make yourselves comfortable on the deck chairs, take off your sandals, and stick your toes in the sand. The bartenders shake it up and serve cool long drinks and colourful cocktails in no time at all. If you want to jump into the cool water after sunbathing, you should visit the Überseebar at Weißensee.

Beach bars

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