1. Dance Outdoors
Open Airs used to be a staple of Berlins community in the summer. Unfortunately, to actually find an open air that won’t be shut down within the first five minutes – due to the fact that most of those spontaneous raves are illegal – or way outside of the Ring, you have to resort to open air clubs. Thankfully, Berlins clubscene is prepared, and there are many locations to choose from when it comes to outdoor dancing (at night and day). Ipse, Club der Visionäre, Chalet, Hoppetosse and Watergate (which has an outdoor terrace) are good choices in the Kreuzberg / Treptow area and so close to each other that you can go club-hopping for the nicest garden, although Watergate is only open at night and through the mornings.
For a more intense club-experience, about://blank, sisyphus, Wilde Renate and Berghain are also open during the daytime on the weekends, although it’s harder to get in – as you likely have experienced first-hand. They’re also only open on the weekends. For outdoor exclusively, Else is open in the summer, and the newest addition under the Elsenbrücke – Maria – is also an option, although I can’t attest for it personally.
Columbiabad in Neukölln is my go-to choice: large and with lush green lawns. The pools are clean and you can either jump from a 10 meter rank or slide down the waterslide. IF you’re 12 years old. If you’d rather go further, check out the lakes around Berlin. Not all of them are perfect. I definitely feel in love with Liepnitzsee. The water is crystal clear and refreshing. You’ll probably need a car unless you love biking (it will take you at least one hour depending on where you start). I’m not a fan of lakes, though, so maybe I’m not the authority on the subject. I visited Weißensee once and it seems like a fair option in terms of proximity, but it’s tiny and usually overcrowded. If you like crowd-watching, then this is your destination.
3. Enjoy the View
If you don’t have a rooftop, there are a couple of public options, the latest being on top of the Neukölln Arkaden in a rooftop bar that’s called Klunkerkranich. If you’re looking for another kind of excitement: at Kurt Schumacher Platz there’s a mall with a parking deck. From there, you’ll be able to watch the planes land at Tegel from really close.
4. Picknicks & BBQs
I love picknicking at Hasenheide – without the grill and the BBQ. Hasenheide, as opposed to its bleak reputation, is a wonderful exile. It’s large but doesn’t feel like that vast desert that Tempelhof is. It’s also intimate, so you won’t have to sit on top of someone else just to get a good spot like in Görlitzer Park. Not being able to see or hear the street or even look beyond those tall trees gives the impression of being somewhere far away from the city.
If you belong to that kind of group that is especially lazy (hello, my name is Sara and I am the founder of this group), please go ahead and visit the ready-made culinary festivals of the city. The Thai Park is a perfect excuse to not pack anything and still eat out as if it’s a proper picknick.
5. Urban Exploring
Berlin is the gift that keeps on giving, and I’m sure there’s still a lot for you to discover. Grab your bike and head out to a district you haven’t visited yet. Whether it’s Alt-Köpenick or Spandau, Wedding or Moabit: every district has a distinct and special atmosphere to it worth exploring. I can highly recommend getting involved, taking pictures, and just seeing where the road takes you. In Berlin, chances are high that you will end up discovering abandoned buildings and interesting urban art installations. And it’s usually better to see all those things by accident, and not because you’ve followed a road map. If it weren’t for the weather fluctuations in the city, I’d spend my whole life doing this, so embrace any sunny day and bike out!
6. Sell your stuff
Summertime is the perfect season to sell your stuff at the various flea markets of the city, as more people spend their time outdoors, strolling the boothes. Mauerpark is still one of the most popular and profitable flea markets to sell, but if that’s too stressful (it is), try the RAW flea market in Friedrichshain or the Nowkölln Flowmarkt.
7. Have drinks at your Späti
In mild summer nights, nobody wants to squeeze themselves into a crowded room filled with smoke and sweat. Most Spätis in Kreuzberg now have benches that offer comfortable space for groups of people. Add some sunflower seeds and you’re set for the night.
8. Rent A Boat
You can charter a boat easily with your friends in Berlin. The various canals of Berlin are destined to be explored. Some people also drift up and down the Landwehrkanal in a Schlauchboot. That wouldn’t be my thing – I need more comfort – but it’s the cheap variant. You don’t need a license for either option. My friends like to rent a small boat on Müggelsee, then travel up and down Little Venice – a super nice way to spend a summer day!
9. Visit a Foodmarket
I admit that food markets are not necessarily my thing. They are usually overpriced. But their vibe is good: on a summer night, the location of Bite Club is perfect to enjoy a “Feierabend-Drink” while watching the sun set. If you’re only visiting, a food market can give you also a taste of what the city has to offer in terms of street food.
10. Plan a Day-Trip
There’s a lot to discovery outside of Berlin. Weather it’s a day trip to the Polish market to the border of Germany, or a fully grown vacation to the Baltic Sea: for most destinations, you won’t even need a car. Busses and trains are perfectly connected. I personally enjoyed a short stay in the Spreewald. Two days are enough to have you enjoy a sweet summer escape.