Berlin summers can be everything. They can be this steamy, sweaty, never-ending fantasy covered in a golden, glowy filter. They can, however, also not happen at all. So, you spend that first 26+ degrees day in late March or April inside thinking: “Well, summer’s only getting started, I’ll get my chance to tan. No worries”. And then you end up in late July looking at 14 degrees max, and clouds, clouds, clouds, plus thunderstorms, possibly. “Yeah, thanks Berlin!” Eyeroll. This lady is never to be trusted. What do we learn from this? In Berlin, we have to stick to very basic postcard philosophies and: “Carpe that diem!” When there’s sunshine and blue skies outside of our bedroom window we got a “Drop everything situation” going on. If this puts you in a state of shock and you’re catching your breath, we prepared a step-by-step plan of action for you.
Call in Sick at Work
Yes, we are serious! You never know how many summer days there actually are in Berlin. So, you gotta cherish the ones you get. When the weather forecast says 27 degrees, clear sky and sunny and you have a day at the office coming up, it’s time for some real life choices: What’re you gonna remember in a year? That day where you stared at your screen, sweating in an office cubicle or the one where you were glaring into a bright Berlin sun while your skin was soaking up four layers of sunscreen… – Right? You also know the answer. Or just be a freelancer in the first place – as seemingly every other Berliner.
Go for an Early Swim
You need to go swimming on a hot day in Berlin! But the thing is, you are never the only one with that idea. So, at some point every small pond of water is going to be surrounded by 20 eager Berliners who are desperately trying to cool down their overheated bodies. The best advice is: Go early, Prinzenbad in Kreuzberg for example. If you went late in the afternoon on a hot summer day, this would be more a case of: “Where’s the water I only see a pool of people”? But if you feel like an early bird, and go at 8 am when it opens its gates, Prinzenbad could be all yours.
Pick an Outdoor Café
To all the freelancers out there: You might have to leave St. Oberholz for once! If you still have to work on this sunny day, at least pick a spot with a beautiful outdoor area, no traffic around, and a steady Wifi-connection. And if you actually managed to get off work, an iced café, a ball of ice cream or another cool beverage are definitely on your to-do list for today. What about Gelateria Tosoni at Planufer, and Café at Engelbecken in Kreuzberg, the hidden Bonanza Coffee Roastery in Kreuzberg, Café am Neuen See in Tiergarten or Betty and Katy in Prenzlauer Berg? There are plenty of options.
This is a classic case of the “Berlin summer filter”. No matter where you go, Kotti, Alex, or even the ugliest “Plattenbau” around suddenly appears unexpectedly Instagram-worthy. You can basically sunbath anywhere when Berlin’s summer sun is out. That way, the banks of Landwehrkanal, otherwise quite grey and dreary, are basically the Cote d’Azur on a summer day. Pick your spot, fall into a starfish pose, and get sunburned. You never know, it might be the only sunburn you get this summer.
Avoid the U-Bahn
This is actually quite obvious but has to be pointed and put into capital letters: AVOID THE METRO! Riding the U1 on a hot summer day is basically like a Finnish sauna, just with more clothes, less comfortability, and too many people around whose “odeur” you actually did not want to scent. Just take our advice and maybe think about going for one of the following means of transportation…
Take Your Bike
Also, quite obvious but many Berliners seem to need the memo. Getting your bike is just like buying summer clothes: It mostly happens in late September when it’s way too late anyway. So, this is your reminder: When your bike is still locked in the basement because you were afraid of killing yourself by riding on frozen, slippery Berlin streets in winter, get it fixed now! Otherwise, you only got yourself to blame when you’re in the U1 showering in your own sweat while being pressed into other people’s hairy armpits… You could have had the most fabulous bike ride through the city, just saying.
Be on a Boat
Be honest, you’ve been living in this city for so and so many years and you’ve actually never been on a Spree boat ride. It’s just like going up the TV tower, after living here two months this is already labeled as “So touristy and uncool” that no one ever actually ends up doing it. True, you might be surrounded by a very loud group of British tourists who hide the view with selfie sticks but a boat ride along the Spree is one of the most beautiful things you can do on a Berlin summer day and allows you to experience your city from a whole different angle. And if you want some intimacy, just rent your own boat, bring along some friends, drinks, and music and make a day trip out of it.