illustrations: Sophia Halamoda.
As a native Istanbulite, summers always meant eluding the city as soon as possible with everlasting fear of crowds, the heatwaves and the tourists during the entire three months. Leaving the city in summer is almost a global tradition for every metropolitan, except for Berliners. We prefer to foray into foreign lands in winters, but every true Berliner knows in their heart that our city is exceptionally beautiful and sexy in the summer, and we don’t want to skip a bit of it.
Inspired by some of the chapters in our book Like A Berliner, we narrowed down our favorite activities that make Berlin so special in summer. If you enjoy it, you should get the limited summer package including our 2 books Like A Berliner, Learn Deutsch with iHeartBerlin and the “Summer in Berlin” poster in our webshop!
Hanging Out in Front of Spätis
We love our spätis! I can not think of any other city where spätis are so welcoming. Rumor has it you don’t actually belong to Berlin if you don’t have a favorite späti where you feel comfortable sitting and drinking with friends. But don’t worry if you haven’t found your soulmate späti yet. They all come in different sizes and characters. There are the emotional ones, inattentive ones, and hyperactive ones… The späti of my life is right around the corner at Rosenthaler Platz. We’re thinking about tying the knot soon.
Sundays at Mauerpark
Our fleamarkets are fun all year round, but they are truly better in summer. Who can resist the idea of watching an ebullient crowd doing karaoke, shopping for accessories, clothes, second-hand books! There are different cuisines from all around the world and authentic artwork by the artists themselves. You can invite your friends for a barbecue afternoon or go solo with a book and a towel.
Nude Sunbathing at Tiergarten
I guess we can agree that we’re not the luckiest when it comes to weather. However, one of the best qualities that we collectively have is our appreciation for the sun. We don’t get to enjoy it very often but once we have the opportunity, we definitely make the most out of it! Tiergarten is the top place to go for nude sunbathing, where we can just take a break and praise the almighty sun.
Non-judgmental Fashion Choices
I remember a very cozy summer afternoon last year where I forgot to put on pants and went shopping at Edeka in Schillerkiez with nothing but my boxer (not a sexy one), flip-flops, and a tank top. The best part of it, no one batted an eye, and I only noticed it when I was back home. We don’t judge each other’s slippers, mismatched shorts, and T-shirts. We come as we are.
Going on a Rubber Boat
We don’t need yachts or expensive boats in Berlin to enjoy an intercity river excursion. All we do is grab our rubber boats, our friends and a few cold drinks to take a city tour along Spree. The best part is spontaneous parties with other cruisers on the river as long as we don’t forget to take our own loudspeaker.
Summer in Berlin also means the celebration of Pride Month. In addition to the traditional Pride Parade, we also have our city festival with a gigantic market at the heart of Nollendorfplatz, where you can shop, eat, drink or watch a concert. Never have I ever in my life felt such a strong sense of belonging!
Meditation at Tempelhof
“Some people think this is just an empty space. What is so special about it?! It’s not quite a park, it’s not a forest. It’s not designed to do any sports…”
Truth is, we use Tempelhof for almost anything. One of our favorite activities is meditation. How can such a big empty place with lots of people be so peaceful once you close your eyes? You can take a small moment in the middle of the field with ambient nature sounds or you can join a meditation group in the Kleingartens. You will most certainly be welcome to join.
Have A BBQ In The Park
Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe and we’re definitely taking advantage of it by having a BBQ blast at a park. What better way to gather all your friends around a floor table, play games and have amazing food anyways? You can have a true Asian experience at Thaipark in Wilmersdorf or you can have a vegan BBQ party next to Turkish families at Mauerpark. My favorite is Monbijouplatz with a glimpse of Berliner Dom right on the other side of Spree.
On the Roof at Klunkerkranich
When a Neuköllner friend of mine told me he’d take me to Neukölln Arcaden at 8 without explaining anything, I was at first bemoaning the idea the entire time but I swallowed my words almost in a trice once we went on top. There was not only an amazing bar, Klunkerkranich, but also a beautiful panoramic view of Berlin sunset. I heard they set up a big splash pool during hot summer days. I’m hoping to find out soon.
Random U-Bahn Parties
Think of a random U-Bahn memory that you can’t get out of your head and imagine narrating the story to your parents or friends who have never experienced Berlin. It might sound to them that you’re lying, but we all know U-Bahns can be crazy and weird. There is nothing pleasurable about accidentally sitting on a wet seat that either smells like urine or beer, but if you think of the bright side, they are also full of pleasant surprises! U-Bahn parties are undeniably a summer tradition in Berlin. You never know which group you tag along to a random house party somewhere in the city.
If you are wondering where we have found all these illustrations from, they are created by Sophia Halamoda for the book Like A Berliner. You can get the book here for more fun illustrations and to learn how to be a true Berliner.
“Like a Berliner in Summer” – Special 3-IN-1 Package