Berlin is pure bliss in the summer months, a continuous street carnival of smiling faces enjoying the sunshine and good vibes. The influx of visitors to Germany’s exciting capital also tends to swell during summertime, which is admittedly short but oh so sweet. Here’s our pick of the most underrated places to visit in the city.
Every summer, women from Berlin’s Thai community head to the otherwise ordinary Preussen Park in west Berlin and spend the whole day cooking and serving up delicious, authentic Thai food. Think fresh mango and papaya salads, delectable rolls and soft steamed buns to make your mouth water. A perfect summer outing with friends accompanied by the finest of Thai street food.
Bursting with ornate Prussian castles, beautiful gardens, a network of lakes and parks and an adorably quaint town centre, there is so much to love about Potsdam. Take your bicycle to enhance this much underrated day trip.
Prepare yourself a picnic basket and find some shaded respite from the hot summer sun in Berlin’s beautiful Plänterwald forests. In summer, the trees are lush, thick and green, providing endless opportunities for child’s play, no matter how old you are! The way the summer light dances with the leaves is nothing short of magical.
Pack the sunscreen, bathing suit (optional) and your inflatables and make the mission to Müggelsee, Berlin’s largest lake, for a day of fun in the sun and swimming. There’s also a nude beach section for those wanting to go au naturel in the sun.
The cat has been let out of the bag for Mauer Park – every weekend it seems harder to move around the sea of bodies that flock there to take in the street entertainment, food and vintage shopping at the Flohmarkt. Instead, diverge from the crowds and head to the equally wonderful RAW Flohmarkt in Friedrichshain to do a spot of outdoor summer shopping. Expect to find a range of fascinating items, clothes and collectables.
Drachenburg is Teufelsburg’s lesser-known counterpart, Berlin’s man-made mountain constructed from the rubble of history. Unlike its neighbour, the slopes of Drachenburg are bare, allowing amazing vistas of Berlin in all directions. It’s perfect for a summer day, while the large plateau of its summit also makes it a special spot to fly a kite.
Cycling at night is one of the most underrated activities you can do in a bike-friendly flat city like Berlin – who doesn’t love something that’s free and gives you such a sense of liberty? So when the weather is fine, and the sun only starts setting at 10pm, grab your bike and sense of adventure and set off into the warm air with no destination in mind. As the sun goes down, stop off for a taste of yummy ice-cream at Fräulein Frost or Vanille & Marille.
About 97km outside of the city, Berliners love this quick and beautiful getaway to Spree forests, where they can escape from the city into the back garden of Brandenburg, with its plentiful meadows and forests.
Just 45 minutes from Berlin by car lies a dreamy island which was occupied by humans over 2,500 years ago. Today, the island and fairy tale castle – a former romantic getaway for Prussian royalty – is inhabited by actual peacocks. This UNESCO World Heritage site can be reached by ferry for €2 each way.
A totally underrated place of interest is the impressive Reichstag Dome, where the German parliament go into session. There’s just one catch – you have to register your visit online before you go and wait for a time confirmation. If you choose an early slot, you can enjoy a sun-drenched breakfast on top of the German Bundestag, the only parliament building in the world with a public restaurant, and take in the impeccable city views.