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Berlin in Summer: 12 Ideas for Hot Weather Days

by Silke Elzner

Summer in Berlin! And what are we going to do now? Who wants to spend a day in the city in high temperatures anyway? But don’t worry, there are many great things to do in Berlin in summer even when the weather is hot and unbearable and nobody seems to be prepared for it.

Let me give you 12 great ideas for Berlin in summer including addresses and all the information that you need to stay cool.

Looking for cool summer activities in Berlin? You've come to the right place! Read here what you can do to survive the summer heat in the big city.
Looking for cool summer activities in Berlin? You’ve come to the right place! Read here what you can do to survive the summer heat in the big city.

Spoil yourself with Ice-Cream

Berliners love their ice-cream, and luckily you can buy lovely artisan ice-cream pretty much everywhere these days. Not only will find a huge variety of flavours, there are also plenty of vegan and dairy-free options around too.

These are some of the most popular ice-cream vendors and ice-cream parlours in Berlin:

  • Aldemir Eis in Kreuzberg (Falckensteinstraße 7, 10997 Berlin)
  • Süße Sünde in Friedrichshain (Niederbarnimstraße 21, 10247 Berlin)
  • Caffe e Gelato am Potsdamer Platz (Potsdamer Platz Arkaden, Alte Potsdamer Str. 7, 10785 Berlin)
  • Cuore di Vetro in Mitte (Max-Beer-Straße 33, 10119 Berlin)

Try Standup Paddle Boarding (SUP)

Standup paddle boarding is good fun, and Berlin is unique in the sense that it offers a lot of different places where you try it out.

Whether you prefer a lake or the river, here are some places where you can hire the SUP equipment for an afternoon of endless summer fun:

Summer is the perfect season to explore the many waterways and lakes in Berlin, for example in a kayak or a canoe.
Summer is the perfect season to explore the many waterways and lakes in Berlin, for example in a kayak or a canoe.

Explore the River Spree in a Kayak

A great way to see the city is by exploring the many waterways of Berlin. You can do this on both rivers, Spree and Havel, even though these two do offer some very different experiences. Both however, are much recommended.

Here is a list of Berlin boat hires that also offer kayaks or canoes:

  • On the Havel: Der Bootsladen (Bandensteinweg 37, 13595 Berlin)
  • Guided tours on Landwehrkanal: Kajak Berlin Tours (Kayak-Truck vis-á-vis Cafe A.Horn, Carl-Herz-Ufer 9, 10961 Berlin)
  • On the Spree: Ahoi Ostkreuz (Paul und Paula Ufer, 10317 Berlin)
  • On Lake Müggelsee: Kanuverleih 13Kanus (Am Küstengarten 18, 12589 Berlin)

Have fun at the Beach

Thanks to the many lakes within the metropolitan area of Berlin, Berliners have a great choice of beaches in summer. They are the perfect location if you are seeking a refuge from the heat, very often with a charming setting of retro buildings and lots of greenery.

Please make sure you check the websites first before heading off to the beach. In particular on weekends and in the school holidays, beaches can quickly fill up to full capacity. Remember to bring along cash to buy a day pass.

Here is a selection of popular beaches and open-air pools that Berliners love to escape to on hot days:

Houseboats are a sight that is not uncommon in Berlin. But there are also other boats, floats and vessels that you can hire to have a good time on the water.
Houseboats are a sight that is not uncommon in Berlin. But there are also other boats, floats and vessels that you can hire to have a good time on the water.

Party and/or Sleep on Water

There are countless lakes, canals and rivers in Berlin, and because of this there are also countless ways to party on the water. The easiest way is by renting a vessel of some sort, for example a houseboat or a float. Check the boat owner’s conditions, rates and available by visiting the websites.

The following are just some of the places in Berlin where you can rent a boat:

  • Motor boats (some also without license requirement and with a fitted barbecue) as well as paddle boats at Spreeboote in Rummelsburg (Zur alten Flussbadeanstalt 5, 10317 Berlin)
  • Floats with wooden tent roof and optional barbecue at Floß & los in Treptower Park (Bulgarische Str. 62, 12435 Berlin)
  • Circular barbecue boats which you really have to check out, based on the river Havel at Grill-Boot in Spandau (Pohleseestraße 1, 13599 Berlin)
  • Houseboats sleeping up to four people at Wasserkutsche in Mitte (Höfe am Osthafen, Schlesische Str. 28, 10997 Berlin)

Visit a Beer Garden

You will find plenty of beer gardens in Berlin in summer, no need to head to Munich! Many of them are located in picturesque places by the water or under shady trees, perfect for a cool glass of beer under the blue summer sky.

Find here a selection of popular beer gardens to try in Berlin:

  • Schleusenkrug in Tiergarten (Müller-Breslau-Straße 14b, 10623 Berlin)
  • CapRivi in Charlottenburg (Am Spreebord, 10589 Berlin)
  • Republik Berlin in Kreuzberg (Köpenicker Str. 74, 10179 Berlin)
  • Restaurant Schönbrunn at Volkspark Friedrichshain (Am Schwanenteich, 10249 Berlin)
  • Rummels Bucht in Rummelsberg (Hauptstraße 1, 10317 Berlin)
  • Prater Biergarten in Prenzlauer Berg (Kastanienallee 7-9, 10435 Berlin)

Gather Friends for Barbecue

It is legal to barbecue in a park in Berlin, but it just depends on where you do it. There are designated areas in many parks and open areas in Berlin where barbecues are allowed.

If you want to find out where you can do that, check out the official website of the authorities. Mind you, these areas may change, so make sure you double-check before you head off. Of course, there are some more rules to follow, such as take your trash with you or at least dispose of it in bins provided, and so on.

Here is a small selection of designated BBQ areas in Berlin:

  • On the small bunker hill at Volkspark Friedrichshain
  • On the former airfield of Tempelhofer Feld
  • In Monbijoupark in Mitte
  • At Mauerpark in Prenzlauer Berg
  • At Preußenpark in Wilmersdorf
Many parks and green spaces in Berlin are inviting you to relaxing walks and peaceful moments in nature.
Many parks and green spaces in Berlin are inviting you to relaxing walks and peaceful moments in nature.

Go for a Relaxing Walk in Nature

Even though Berlin is a very big city, there are plenty of green spaces where you can kick back and relax. As everybody will know, a walk on the waterfront or under shady trees is perfect to cool down on a hot summer’s day!

Here are some suggested routes to take when you are a looking for places to walk the dog or to relax in nature:

  • Along the river Spree in Treptower Park
  • On the promenade of the Landwehrkanal in Kreuzberg
  • In Grunewald, for example to see the historic hunting lodge
  • A walk around Lake Müggelsee
  • Taking the ferry to Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island)
  • In the formal gardens of Charlottenburg Castle
  • In Tiergarten park
  • The Botanic Gardens in Dahlem
  • In Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World) in Marzahn

Enjoy the Air-Condition of a Shopping Centre

Hotel rooms, public transport and many other places in Berlin are typically not equipped with air-conditioning. But I know of one place where you can definitely cool down in the gentle breeze of a climatised environment: the shopping center.

Berlin has quite a few of these, but here are some you should definitely check out:

  • EuropaCenter in Charlottenburg (Tauentzienstraße 9-12, 10789 Berlin)
  • Mall of Berlin at Potsdamer Platz (Leipziger Platz 12, 10117 Berlin)
  • Bikini Berlin in Charlottenburg (Budapester Str. 38-50, 10787 Berlin)
  • Alexa in Mitte (Grunerstraße 20, 10179 Berlin)
  • East Side Mall in Friedrichshain (Tamara-Danz-Straße, 10243 Berlin)

Go to the Movies

Another great way to escape the oppressive heat on a summer’s day in Berlin is by going to the movies. If you are into artsy flicks, then you will be spoilt for choice.

Have a look, for example, at the following small arthouse cinemas, some of which will also show movies in English language:

  • Art-deco movie theatre Babylon in Kreuzberg (Dresdener Str. 126, 10999 Berlin)
  • Sputnik Kino cinema in Kreuzberg (Hasenheide 54/5th, 10967 Berlin)
  • Brotfabrik Berlin in Prenzlauer Berg (Caligariplatz 1, 13086 Berlin)
  • Filmrauschpalast in Moabit (Lehrter Str. 35, 10557 Berlin)
  • Odeon Kino in Schöneberg (Hauptstraße 116, 10827 Berlin)
One of the highlights in any Berlin summer is a visit to one of the many open-air cinemas.
One of the highlights in any Berlin summer is a visit to one of the many open-air cinemas.

Join the Crowds at an Open-Air Cinema

Even better than fleeing the heat is, of course, to spend time outside with likeminded souls. In summer, there are many venues that will offer open-air screenings, very often of movies in original versions (i.e. English language with subtitles).

Here is a curated selection of open-air cinemas in Berlin:

Gather Friends for a Picnic

Probably the easiest way to live with the hot weather in Berlin in summer is by organising a nice picnic with friends. Many parks in Berlin are well-equipped and perfect for gatherings and picnics with friends: you will find toilets and kiosks, playgrounds and lawns with beachball or soccer facilities.

Here are some places where you could meet up with friends:

  • Tempelhofer Feld
  • Britzer Garten
  • Park am Gleisdreieck
  • Volkspark Friedrichshain
  • Treptower Park
  • Tiergarten

Berlin in Summer: Ideas for Cool Activities When it’s Stinking Hot Outside

I hope that these ideas and addresses help you make the best of your time in Berlin, in particular if you happen to visit the city on a hot day. Yes, there may be no air-conditioning, but remember that the beer in Germany is drunk cold, and there are plenty of lakes to cool down if need be.

By the way, there are also some summer events and street parades that typically take place every year in Berlin, for example:

  • Fête de la Musique (June)
  • Carnival of Cultures (June)
  • Christopher Street Day (July)
  • Long Night of the Museums (August)
  • Lollapalooza Music Festival (September)
  • Day of the Open Monument (September)

I hope you will have a fabulous summer time in Berlin!

Check out these other great Berlin tips!

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Photos by Pixabay.