Berlin is a city transformed when spring and summer come around each year. It can feel like a continuous party, with endless activities, events, and cute & quirky options for outdoor dining. I come from San José, Costa Rica, so the onset of Spring finally made Berlin feel more like home. I officially said goodbye to my humidifier and my “happy light” (winter musts) and stuffed my apartment with new plant babies!
Berliners delight in living their lives outdoors as much as possible during the spring and summer months. The endless options can become overwhelming, so here are a few of my favourite things to do on a sunny weekend in Berlin.
Walk along the Landwehr Canal
A very Berlin activity is taking an afternoon stroll by the Landwehr Canal. This 10km canal snakes through the heart of the city, from the Tiergarten to Kreuzberg neighborhoods. It’s quite popular for a reason: it’s central, lush, and the surrounding areas are home to plenty of shops and cafés. My recommendation: walk west of the Admiralbrücke for lovely spots to sit, read, or drink a beer near the water.
Brunch at Geist im Glas
Who doesn’t love to start off a brilliant day with brunch? This cozy bar in the Neukölln neighborhood has a boozy brunch exclusively on Saturdays and Sundays — and it is not to be missed! Their pancakes are the fluffiest, their bacon the sweetest. They also offer a unique spin on traditional dishes with offerings such as a “Kimchi Florentine” and “Sriracha Chicken and Waffles”. Bring friends and sit outdoors or go by yourself, bring your journal, and enjoy the candlelit, moody indoor atmosphere.
Go to a Biergarten at Treptower Park
Insel der Jugend is part of Treptower Park but lies in the Spree River. Cross the bridge and you’ll feel like you’ve escaped the city for a little break. You can find a spot for a picnic or head to the biergarten, which also offers live music! There is also a lawn area and row boats available for rental. Treptower Park is also home to the vast Soviet War Memorial, with the centerpiece statue standing at an impressive 30 meters high.
Walk around MuseumsInsel
While most people don’t want to spend a sunny day inside a museum, Berlin’s Museumsinsel is a lovely place for some outdoor inspiration. This UNESCO World Heritage site is located in the Mitte neighborhood. Five world-famous museum buildings, old and new, have their home in this complex at the heart of the city. On weekends starting at 11am, you can visit the Berliner Kunstmarkt, (Berlin Art Market), located next to the German Historical Museum overlooking the Spree.
Outdoor workout with Beat81
Looking to get a workout in over the weekend? These classes will no doubt make you sweat! Beat81 offers 45-min HIIT and Strength classes at various outdoor (and indoor) locations throughout Berlin, including Mauerpark, Volkspark Friedrichshain, and the Beach at Nordbahnhof. First-timers get 3 free classes when they download the app!
Eiskultur Ice Cream
The rumors are true, Berliners love good ice cream, no matter what type of weather. Yet one of the happiest and optimistic signs of spring is ice cream shops opening back up after a long winter. With several locations throughout the city, the incomparable Spoonful Berlin offers a wide variety of flavors – rhubarb, dark chocolate, butterkeks, mango – and plenty of vegan options! Be patient – you’ll definitely find a line of other Berliners eager to get some Eis.
Have dinner in Mitte at Royals & Rice
Looking for a cozy date spot? You’re welcome. Located in the heart (but tranquil part) of the Mitte neighborhood, Royals & Rice serves delicious Vietnamese food. They also have a wide selection of drinks and a picturesque outdoor terrace perfect for the summer months. This place will surely become one of your go-to’s.
Bike ride in Wannsee
Berlin’s surrounding area is known for its many lakes. Wannsee is located in the southwestern part of Berlin and is home to two beautiful lakes, Großer Wannsee and Kleiner Wannsee. If you’re craving a break from Berlin’s hustle and bustle, this is the perfect place for a lakeside bike ride. Enjoy being in nature and discover the historical sites in the area!
Berlin is an amazing place to be a student for all its cultural, social, and academic offerings, but you’ll really feel this energy from the entire city on a glorious spring afternoon or a hazy summer evening. Soak up all the summer vibes and sunshine in Berlin while you can!