In the winter, it sometimes is hard to muster up enough layers to get out and about in the city – but then again, this doesn’t stop Berlin offering multiple outdoor options during the winter chill. And that out and about attitude really comes into its own as soon as the snow melts and the sun starts shining. Open-air events spring up all through to the end of summer, with plenty of ways to enjoy the city alongside a breath of fresh air.

Open Air Swimming

As well as the numerous lakes that encase Berlin’s outer border and such delights as the Badeschiff, inner city dipping comes courtesy of the numerous open air pools – Sommerbäder – that are ready to access from May through to September. The hustle and bustle of the Sommerbad Kreuzberg, located on Prinzenstraße is a firm local family favourite and sure to be packed with ice cream wielding masses, as is the petite Kinderbad Monbijou and the Sommerbad Humboldthain.

The Strandbad at Plötzensee is also worth a trip, combining sandy banks with plenty of beachside activities, as well as quieter areas for those looking for a more private dip. There’s even a separate FKK area, for those who embrace the local culture of fresh air, everywhere.

Art and Culture in the Open

From film to art and theatre, spectators of all forms of culture get treated to numerous open-air displays throughout the summer months. The many open-air cinemas in Berlin kick into gear in late May and whatever the weather, the show always goes on. Highlights include Kreuzberg and the amphitheatre style of the Freiluftkino Friedrichshain. The Freiluftkino Insel at Cassiopeia also offers a special setting alongside a mainly independent film line up.

The 11th Open Air Gallery on the Oberbaumbrücke (Sunday 2nd June, Sunday 7th July) is one of many open-air (and pedestrian only) art fairs, offering visitors a chance to meet artists and view work ranging from painting to photography to sculpture, and plenty of tangoing on the bridge later in the day. The 48 Hour Neukölln Festival (14th – 16th June) is a sprawling, meandering programme and path around the entire district for one weekend only.

Another venue serving up some more surprising aspects of culture is the Gärten der Welts, which hosts everything from a Lotus Flower Lantern festival to mark Buddha’s birthday through to Berlin’s version of The Highland Games, alongside regular tours of the stunning surroundings every week.

Festivals and Concerts

Berliner’s need little excuse for a street party, which is why summertime is stacked with them. Musically, the warm weather brings jazz, techno, classical, sound systems and pretty much everything in between to Berlin streets, parks and pretty much everywhere in between.

From festivals as diverse as CSD, the musical free-for-all of Fête de La Musique (21st June) and the slightly mellower sounds of the Bergmannstraßen Jazz Fest (28th – 30th June), there is something to satisfy most aural tastes and dispositions. Standout venues in the summer are definitely the amphitheatre at Monbijoupark , which offers everything from theatre through to gypsy rock and beyond; the Sunday concerts at the Bode Museum which kick into life around July; and the spectacular surroundings of the Botanischer Gärten, offering near weekly concerts from May 24th through to August 23rd.

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