How to make the most of your Berlin summer - Part II
Summer in Berlin reveals the most beautiful and exciting side of this historic city. Every summer here has its own story - between warm nights and city lights, make sure you get the most out of every available ray of sunshine. Here are some more of the best ideas how to spend your time during Berlin summer.
There are few things Berliners love more during the summer than ice cream. From popsicle stands and rainbow arrays of sorbets to gelaterias and signs for the classic kugel in der waffle, there are hundreds of Eiscafés located throughout the city. As a result, there are ice cream treats to please just about everyone - plus, many shops are committed to using only natural, sustainably-sourced ingredients. Each Eiscafé offers an original experience:
Named after the famous cantina in Star Wars, this shop is tucked away on Herrfurthplatz just off Tempelhofer Feld in Neukölln. The people behind Mos Eisley make everything from scratch, without artificial ingredients or additives, and offer a huge range of flavours.
Jones Ice Cream
Gabrielle Jones’ creations are all about unique and interesting flavour combos - like her raspberry & basil or pineapple & sage flavours which are always interesting.
Rosa Canina is a certified organic business and uses only pure products (fruits, chocolate, spices, seeds…) with no aromas or additives. Each recipe is developed individually, in the ice lab located in Pasteurstrasse, following the traditional ice cream production from Italy.
On a sunny Saturday, the line for Hokey Pokey stretches down the block. Not to be missed is the Hokey Pokey namesake; vanilla ice cream with huge chunks of honeycomb toffee.
Cycling trips to the countryside
In Berlin you can easily forget that you are in a big city - there are numerous lakes, countless parks, and green surrounding countryside. We recommend exploring all this by bicycle, because cycling through Berlin’s summer is twice as much fun: you’ll be in the fresh air and quickly out in the countryside, stopping at some point for lunch and a beer in the sun.
A forest adventure to Grunewald
Grunewald – meaning Green Forest – comprises 3,000 hectares with the Havel River on its western boundary. First, you’ll need to get to the S-Bahnhof Grunewald, and from there follow the signs that lead to your cycling adventure on natural trails. Spend the day in the cool forests and have a dip in the Teufelssee. Look out for the historical landmark of the Grunewaldturm and take in the beautiful view from the top of the monument’s tower.
Mountain biking around Teufelsberg
For something more challenging, ride to the far north of the Grunewald forest. Here you’ll find the Teufelsberg, which translates as Devil’s Mountain, a hill which was formed when all the rubble from WWII was piled up. Nowadays, Teufelsberg refers not only to this hill, but also the abandoned listening station that sits on top of it - now the largest open air graffiti gallery in Europe. You’ll find a few short sandy downhill trails and even one jump trail and a wall-ride.
The city of Potsdam
Around 30 kilometres away from Berlin, Potsdam offers riders a perfect day trip by bicycle. On the way, you’ll pass by the beautiful lake Wannsee and the Sanssouci Park with views of the grand rococo palace. Potsdam has many bodies of water to cycle around. Enjoy a picnic at the magical Belvedere open-air castle, nestled in nature on the Pfingstberg before cycling back to Berlin.
Open air cinemas
Looking for outdoor movies this summer? Well, consider yourself lucky to be in Berlin. Foreign, classic, cheese-ball, Oscar-winner, or just the usual fare, you won't have any trouble finding films to fit your fancy. Between May and September, Berlin’s popular open-air cinemas or Freiluftkinos open up in parks or in front of museums or outside of popular clubs. Be sure to take a close look at the programs to find out more about showings, prices, location, and additional specials going on as part of the fun.
In the summertime, there is nothing compared to a night under the stars while relishing in the cinematic arts. Pompeji Open Air Cinema, open since 2012, is aptly named as it has risen from the remains of the Berlin wall, between two walls which are all that stand after a fire many years before. With only 80 seats available, watching these art house films is an intimate and magical experience.
Freiluftkino Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain
This historic building next to a popular park is one of the epicentres of the alternative art scene in Berlin. Freiluftkino Kreuzberg in the inner courtyard the Künstlerhaus is Berlin's oldest open-air cinema. There's a limited supply of free blankets and deckchairs, so come early if you're keen to snag one; otherwise, you're free to bring your own. All screenings take place rain or shine in the original version with German subtitles.
The Radioeins Freiluftkino Friedrichshain is considered the best of Berlin’s open-air cinemas. Located in Volkspark, it most certainly has the space to present some epic flicks on the big screen with 1,500 bench style seats and a lush lawn for those who want to stretch out. Bring a blanket and some snacks and spread out on their green. For those who don’t sprechen Deutsch, pay attention to their program list because movies are dubbed in German unless otherwise noted.
Enjoy an unforgettable film experience at Potsdamer Platz between the Philharmonie, the Art Library and St. Matthäus Church. Watch your favourite movies of the last few months, often presented in their original language with subtitles. The programme changes daily.
Summer is the perfect time to move that meeting outside, network in natural air, or enjoy an after-work drink with colleagues in one of the city’s eclectic outdoor spaces. Check out our 12 hotspots for open-air work and play.
Did you miss your summer special part I ? Get some valuable tips for the best parks, pools, lakes in and around the city!
Text: Melissa Embury
Header Image: Sebastian Kopp