Think summer, think holiday, think beach, maybe don’t think Berlin! For a city that is 200 kilometres from the nearest ocean, it might not be your first choice of summer destinations in Europe, but Berlin is full of surprises. The best time to go is from early June to the end of August when the temperature averages around 25ºC (77ºF).
Along the banks of the River Spree that runs through the center of Berlin, you will find sandy beaches with sunbeds full of Berliners topping up their tans. There are numerous open-air bars, restaurants, and outdoor sports areas just in case lying in the sun gets too much for you.
One of the most popular places to cool off in Berlin during the summer is the Badeschiff. A huge 32m x 8m floating swimming pool in a converted cargo ship gives the land-locked residents of Berlin a safe environment to swim. Two similar-size floating areas of decking give you plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the sun if you don’t fancy lying on the nearby beach. There is, of course, a bar for when you get thirsty and DJs spin records until late into the evening.
Bundespressestrand is another similar area in Berlin with plenty of sand, trees, and shade, so you can believe you are on your summer holiday far away from a city center.
If you don’t fancy the urban beaches in Berlin, go and visit the lakes. There are several lakes near Berlin from which to choose, the largest lake being in the eastern suburbs. Almost completely surrounded by forests, the Muegglesee is a world away from the frenetic pace of the Berlin city center. Take a gentle trip on a paddle steamer or a small boat, or just relax on one of the beaches or lawns and enjoy the sounds of nature.
If you are a film fan and don’t want to be stuck inside of a stuffy cinema in Berlin, you’ll have the chance to see all of the latest movies in an outdoor setting. From May to September, al fresco films are shown in Berlin parks and in front of museums, so bring a blanket and a bottle of wine and make the most of the summer weather.
Beer naturally comes to mind when you think of Berlin, and what could be better than balmy summer weather and a beer garden or two! There are many beer gardens in Berlin, but the oldest is the Prater Beer Garden on Kastanienalle. Spend summer like Berliners have since 1837 and sample potato salad, bratwurst, and pickled cucumber while sitting under the giant trees with a stein full of Prater beer.
The green lung of Berlin is the Tiergarten with 600 acres of forest and greenery waiting to be explored. The five main roads radiate out from the 66.89 meter high Siegessäule column standing proudly in the center of the park, but there are numerous traffic-free paths and walkways to wander through. The column was built to commemorate victory in the Prussian – Danish war, and if you climb the 285 steps to the top, you will have panoramic views of Berlin spread out below you. There is an open-air Berlin beer garden for cooling off in the summer heat, lawns to sunbathe on, and trickling creeks to just sit by and while away a few hours.
To travel around Berlin in the summer, take a guided bike tour or rent a bike and cycle some of the 400 kilometers of safe bike paths at your own pace. When you are cycling, make sure you don’t miss the Carnival of Cultures. This Berlin event kicks off the summer months and celebrates the German capital and its multi-cultural spirit. 70 countries take part in a in a four-day dance spectacle in the streets of Berlin with around 4,500 dancers and musicians filling the city with summer sounds.