Summer in the big city can be tough. 28°C in a crowded train can quickly feel like an unwanted visit to the sauna. Every year during the summer months millions of German city dwellers flee to rivers, lakes or the sea to find some relief from the heat. In Berlin, however, enterprise is not hindered by sweaty temperatures. Here is our selection of the most popular warm-weather activities which make summer in the capital more than bearable.
Escape to the countryside
Hardly any other city is as stunningly green as Berlin. During the summer, the greenery becomes a lush oasis away from the unforgiving heat. Many parks are so big that you quickly lose sight of the houses on the horizon while strolling through the trees. Here you can bathe in the sun away from the hustle and bustle of city life, combine sports and games, or simply enjoy the shade under the trees. There are plenty of ideal spots to dust off your grill and savour a relaxing dinner at sunset. If the sudden quiet of nature is too drastic a change for your big-city sensibilities, take a stroll around town and listen to the street musicians or shop through the weekly flea market stalls, like on Sundays at Mauerpark.
Cool off lakeside
If only jumping into the water can relieve scorching temperatures, Berlin won’t let you down with its numerous swimmable lakes. Whether central or on the outskirts, north or south - no matter where you are, the nearest beach might not be as far away as you think. The Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs provides weekly information on water quality so you can jump in without hesitation. For this reason, the Spree lakes are some of the most popular swimming spots in Berlin. The largest bathing lake is the Große Müggelsee in eastern Berlin, with over 760 hectares. This is a particularly hot spot for watersport enthusiasts, as not only can you swim, but also sail, surf, or paddleboard. If you like it even more action-packed, be sure to check out the Pichelssee, where you can find one of the only wakeboard facilities in the city.
Golden after-work evenings
As evenings grow longer and brighter in the summer, countless Berlin beer gardens will open their doors to guests. Some beer gardens are idyllically situated on or in parks, others draw their charm from their urban surroundings, and many like to brew their own beer. Whether between lime trees or rustic walls, whether home-brewed or a proven brand: beer undeniably tastes best in the summer evening sun.
Dancing in the open air
Berlin is known for its party scene and in summer the clubs like to move their festivities outside. Dance your feet sore in an open-air right next to the river Spree and enjoy a wonderful sunrise with a view of the TV tower. If that's not your thing, don’t fret. Events such as Karneval der Kulturen or the Fête de la Musique attract thousands of people of all ages to the streets every year, where they celebrate the diversity of their city together.
Exploring the city
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city in summer, take a drive to the surrounding area of Berlin. Brandenburg has many natural and cultural highlights to offer, which are definitely worth a day trip. Away from the crowds, an extended bicycle tour or a city walk in the much smaller Potsdam is an excellent way to relieve stress. A camping trip to the Spreewald is even more effective at ditching big-city-blues. There you can enjoy the tranquillity of the green surroundings between countless rivers and canals.