Berlin is a city that truly comes alive in the summertime, as its streets fill with sunshine and activity. With so much to see and do, planning a visit to this vibrant and culturally rich city can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with some of the best things to do in Berlin during the summer months. From lively festivals and outdoor markets to sandy beaches, pools (scroll through our Kreuzberg Travel Guide to find our favorite swimming spot), and beer gardens, there’s something for everyone in this energetic city. Whether you’re an adventure-seeker or looking for a more relaxed getaway, Berlin has everything you need to make your summer memorable.
1. Visit the River Spree and Take a Cruise
Take in the sights of Berlin from the River Spree, with cruises available for day trips and longer excursions.
We like Reederei Hadynski which has 1-hour cruises, starting at 11am near Hackescher Markt. If you happen to take a cruise on a Thursday or Saturday, you can check out the open-air markets around the area. They always have hot food, delicious snacks, and drinks to try, as well as gifts, souvenirs, records, and so much more.
2. Spend an Afternoon at Museum Island
See some of Berlin’s most iconic art collections and historic artifacts at Museum Island. Not only is it (also known in Germany as Museumsinsel) a UNESCO world heritage site since 1999, but it is also home to 5 of Berlin’s most iconic museums. Be sure to check out the Ishtar Gate at the Pergamon Museum.
If you decide not to enter any of the museums, you can still enjoy walking around the beautiful area, sites, and parks. Grab a local craft beer and sit on the lawn of Lustgarten and admire the beautiful Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom). Don’t worry, it’s completely legal to enjoy a beer on the streets of Berlin, almost anywhere! Prost!
If you are big craft beer fans like us, come join us for our Berlin Craft Beer Tour with Food, operating on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!
3. Go Biking Around Tiergarten
Rent a bike and explore one of Europe’s largest city parks, Tiergarten, where you can find plenty of trails perfect for any skill level! Tiergarten is not the only great place to ride a bike in Berlin, of course! There are many trails and bike lanes all over the city. Check out this blog post for the 6 best cycle routes throughout and around Berlin.
There are also places to take your bike outside of Berlin if you’re looking for more nature and quaint villages to explore. We recommend grabbing your bike and hopping on the train (don’t forget to buy a ticket for your bike!) to Spreewald, where the best pickles in the world come from! There you will find endless cycling trails and even lakes to take a dip or rent a canoe/kayak.
4. Admire the Brandenburg Gate
Get up close to one of Berlin’s most iconic monuments, the Brandenburg Gate, which was built in 1791. While you’re in the area, visit some of the many historical sites that can be seen on foot, which provide an insight into the city’s past.
Touring Berlin’s main historical sites can be a fascinating experience as you explore its diverse range of architecture, from Prussian palaces to GDR-era buildings. Whether it’s taking in the view from atop the Reichstag Building (entrance is free, but you must book in advance) or marveling at the architecture of Siegessäule, there are plenty of sites and views to keep you interested.
For more about World War II history, visiting the Topography of Terror museum (entrance is free) is sure to provide an interesting insight into a turbulent period in Berlin’s history.
For those who want to know more about the Cold War and the Berlin Wall history, check out the famous landmark, Checkpoint Charlie. Please be warned that while the history of the area is beyond exciting, there are a ton of tourists, pickpockets, and a McDonald’s and KFC on both corners. It is still worth checking out so you can say you’ve been there.
5. Take a Walk Through Charlottenburg Palace Garden
Enjoy a stroll through Charlottenburg Palace Garden, an idyllic oasis filled with blooming flowers and lush green trees in the summer months. Of course, this is not the only gorgeous palace garden to explore.
Take a day trip to Potsdam and check out Sanssouci Palace and the many gardens that surround it. We suggest that you rent a bike near Potsdam Hauptbahnhof and ride it to the palace. The area is enormous and once you’re halfway in on foot, you realize you should have brought a bike to continue. Potsdam is less than one hour away by train (don’t forget to buy a ticket for the C region).
After a long day cruising around, check out the old Dutch Quarter, and have a glass of wine, and something to eat. It’s truly a fairy tale village and very close to Berlin. Our favorite place to have a bite to eat is Piccolo Pane. Check it out–you won’t regret it!
6. Eat Currywurst
If you’ve already tried all of the Currywurst spots in town, how about trying the non-traditional street food Berlin has to offer. In this diverse city, many immigrants are showcasing the best food and delicacies their home countries have to offer. We are lucky to have so many delicious options.
If you want to check out a few spots and learn about the migrant and food history of Berlin, come on our International Street Food Tour, operating every Saturday and Sunday in Prenzlauer Berg.
7. Explore East Side Gallery
Check out over 100 works of graffiti art along the East Side Gallery, a 1-mile-long stretch of what remains of the Berlin Wall, now converted into an open-air gallery.
This is seriously a must-see when you visit Berlin! Not only do you view the longest part of the Berlin Wall that is still standing, but you will see some meaningful, political art that has been painted and retouched since 1990.
After you have made it to the end of the wall, go for a drink or food at one of the most unique places to hang out in Berlin, Holzmarkt. This cultural center on the river always has something going on, so check out their calendar for events and the latest happenings. Take a walk around, visit some of their eclectic shops, or order a glass of wine from the natural wine bar. It’s hard to describe what this place actually is, or what it looks like. You have to see it for yourself!
8. Explore Berlin’s Amazing Culinary Scene
Take advantage of long days and hang out for hours on a restaurant, café, or bar terrace. With everything from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants to third-wave coffee shops and craft cocktail bars, Berlin has it all!
Check out our neighborhood Berlin Food and Travel Guides, or book a food tour with us today! We have 3 food tours: our Berlin Gourmet Food Tour, Berlin Vegan Food Tour, and International Street Food Tour (mentioned above).
Send us a message if you have any questions or need recommendations. We want to ensure that everyone has the best time in Berlin. We are always happy to help!
9. Watch Outdoor Theater Performances at Volkspark Friedrichshain
Catch free outdoor performances that are put on by locals throughout the summer months right in Volkspark Friedrichshain! They also have an outdoor cinema and a beer garden. Just typing this out gets us excited for summer in Berlin!
We also recommend that you visit the famous Mauer Park. Every Sunday (year-round), there is a huge flea market, and in the summer months, they have outdoor karaoke! Are you brave enough to get up and perform in front of potentially hundreds of people? Take a video and let us know!
10. Dance Away at Berlin’s Nightclubs
Stay out until dawn (or the whole weekend if you’re up for it) to a mix of techno and house music playing from world-renowned clubs like Berghain, Tresor, or Watergate! If you want to know more about the club culture and our favorite clubs to visit, check out the most popular blog post we have ever written to date! What are the 5 Best Underground Clubs in Berlin?
Berlin is an incredible city with an endless array of activities and sights to experience during the summer months. From exploring museums and historical landmarks to relaxing in parks and beer gardens, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a repeat traveler, this dynamic city is sure to leave a lasting impression. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book your ticket, and get ready for an unforgettable summer adventure in Berlin!