I’m writing this while the sun is shining bright and merciless, frying your brain when you walk on the sunny side of the street, softening your heart when you lie in the park. Summer is without question the seasonal reason for hundreds, thousands to move to Berlin every year. Although, Berlin’s summer is always coming too late, staying too short, leaving too early. It’s desperately yearned for, thoroughly enjoyed and crushingly missed.
Anyway, right now it’s full on and to be revelled every day, every hour, every minute and here are some tips on how to do it right:
Being the most famous outdoor pool of Berlin means being crowded all the time, Prinzenbad is not for people who like to swim alone, yet they have the best Riffelpommes of the city and a lot to see: especially during school holidays the pool is filled with youngsters fighting for attention. It’s certainly a Berlin experience you shouldn’t miss.
Hands down, this is the best farmer’s market in Berlin: Winterfeldt Market has everything you are looking for and more: fresh Brazilian ice cream, many farmers from local and organic farms, the most beautiful bouquets of field flowers, great Thai food and a perfect Tiramisu sold at the small coffee stall in the middle of the market. Be prepared to spend all your money.
A park where fresh and authentic Thai food is prepared, cooked and served by Berlin’s Thai community is something that should be on every must-visit-list. Read more here.
There are hundreds of lakes in Brandenburg, it’s hard to decide which is the best, considering they’ve all got particular perks – Sacrower See is located in a beautiful forest with long walking paths surrounding it. It offers only few spots around the lake to get into the water, but makes up for it with very clear and fresh water.
If you’re looking for as much sun as possible, Teufelsberg will have it – the longest sunsets, the most beautiful sunrises. And also the slowly decaying structure of a former NSA listening station.
The giant former airfield of now closed Tempelhof airport has been declared Berlin’s biggest city park just three years ago – it’s still in the process of afforesting, thus not offering a lot of cooling shadow, but it certainly has the longest lanes for skate-boarding, roller-skating and all other things demanding long lanes. And also a beautiful urban gardening section called Allmende Kontor, about which you can read more here.
In case you feel adventurous and have some time on your hands, the Baltic Sea is just about 4 hours by train or car away from Berlin. How about a weekend trip to Rügen, for example. Read more here.
The best Flammkuchen of Neukölln and many other delicious treats are made at here, read the review here.
Friedelstraße 7, 12047 Berlin Neukölln – visit website
Mon–Fri, 8–20 , Sat, 9–20 , Sun, 10–20
Looking for a place to start a summer’s day with the perfect Eggs Benedict breakfast on a breezy terrace? This is it. Read more here.
3 Minutes sur Mer
The name says it all, here they serve French bistro food in a beautifully designed space on busy Torstraße. See more here.
Our favorite restaurant to have Thai food. In all of Berlin. Read here why.
The team of the canteen of Chipperfield Architects opened this space when their former location was closed down. In a beautiful yet laid-back interior with many whites, they serve seasonal, local and organic German cuisine. The canteen just recently opened again (read more here), luckily, Lokal will stay open. In summer only at nights (and with a short break from 14-27th of July).
Linienstraße 160, 10115 Berlin Mitte – visit website
Sat–Mon from 17:00 , Tue–Fri from 11:00 ,
Street Food Thursday
Also a must-see, Markthalle IX assembles the finest in food happening in Berlin every Thursday from 5pm. Come with an empty stomach, leave with a happy heart. Read more here.
Berlin has a thriving ice-cream scene, but ice-cream doesn’t always need to be creamy – refreshing popsicles are served by this bike shop in Mitte. If you want more ice-cream, see our guide.
Invalidenstraße 157, 10115 Berlin Mitte – visit website
Mon–Fri 11:00–20:00 , Sat 12:00–19:00 ,
In case you, like me, miss a possibility to get fresh Cannelés in Berlin, this French patisserie will be your solution.
Brunnenstraße 39, 10115 Berlin Mitte – visit website
Wed–Fri 8:00–19:00 , Sat–Sun 09:00–19:00
Imagining yourself only wearing cute dresses this summer? This is where you’ll get the French version of cute. Read more here and see the whole guide on this very fashionable Mulackstraße here.
Rianna in Berlin
Imagining yourself only wearing fancy and colorful 70s kaftan-dresses this summer? This is your store. Read more about this vintage paradise here.
Still and of course a favorite of ours when it comes to concept stores in Berlin. Read more here.
Shakespeare & Sons
Do you still need this one certain book to read by the lake or in the park? This beautiful book store featuring mostly English and French books will give you a lot of inspiration: see here.
Raumerstraße 36, 10437 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Mon–Sat: 10:00–20:00 , Sun: 11:00–19:00
The fanciest glasses in town are also made in town: Mykita is the most interesting glasses brand coming from Berlin and will make a perfect souvenir to take home. Take a look into their Mykita manufacturing house here.
Bar Drei lies just behind Volksbühne and is thus a favorite for theater people – other add-ons would be it’s minimalistic interior, excellent music and cold Kölsch.
Weydingerstraße 20, 10178 Berlin Mitte
Buck and Breck
Buck and Breck caters to those in need of excellent cocktails, mixed by bartenders with extensive knowledge of alcoholic beverages. Ring the bell, be as friendly as you can and hope for entry, if all seats are filled, they won’t let you in.
Hackbarth’s is a low-key and autochthonous Mitte bar opened just after the wall came down in the then deserted Mitte. They offer everything you need for a good summer night: cold beer, decent drinks and space to sit outside.
Auguststraße 49A, 10119 Berlin Mitte
Paris Bar is not only a bar, but a restaurant with art works by Spoerri and Kippenberger lining the walls – some call it Café de Flore of Berlin.
A very likeable bar in the very hyped Weserkiez of Neukölln. We had fantastic drinks there, served without the sometimes annoying arrogance of over-achieving bar tenders.
Weserstraße 41, 12045 Berlin Neukölln
daily from 19:00
Prater is the biggest and most popular of all Berlin’s beer gardens and still one of its best.
Kastanienallee 7-9, 10435 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Biergarten: April – September, daily from 12:00 , Restaurant: Mon–Sat from 18:00, Sun from 12:00 ,
Henne is located just off Oranienplatz, offering the eponymous chicken, beer and schnaps with a small but pretty garden to sit in.
Leuschnerdamm 25, 10999 Berlin Kreuzberg – visit website
Tue–Sat 19:00–00:00 , Sun 17:00–22:00
Café am neuen See in Berlin’s central park Tiergarten is usually very crowded on weekends but offers a nice hide-away during the week, especially during the morning.
Lichtensteinallee 2, 10787 Berlin Tiergarten – visit website
Mon–Fri from 11:00 , Sat–Sun from 10:00 ,
Clärchen’s Ballhaus on Auguststraße has the best Berliner Buletten – ’nuff said.
Kunst-Werke Berlin just recently got a new director – and Ellen Blumenstein dedicated the whole summer to define the institution her way. Pass by to check up on her progress.
Berlinische Galerie is known for their effort to support very young artists with extensive exhibitions. Currently on show is photographer Tobias Zielony’s new series which I reviewed here.
Blain|Southern is located in one of the most beautiful gallery spaces in Berlin. This summers’ show is Nasan Tur. Get a preview of the space here.
Michel Majerus Estate is exhibiting the artist’s pieces in his former studio space in Prenzlauer Berg and you can get tours on request. See more here.
Schinkel Pavillon just off Unter den Linden can’t only be proud of being located beautifully in a classicist architecture by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, but also to exhibit all artists currently praised in the Berlin scene. This summer’s show is dedicated to a video piece by Jeremy Shaw.