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10 ways to enjoy the summer in Berlin for free

Sarah Magill
Sarah Magill - [email protected]
10 ways to enjoy the summer in Berlin for free
Berliners and tourists listen to the karaoke in Mauerpark. Photo: picture alliance / Gregor Fischer/dpa | Gregor Fischer

From karaoke to magical sunsets there's plenty to do in Germany's capital for free this summer.


Rent a bike for free

One of the nicest ways to get around in Berlin in the summer is on two wheels. But if you don't have a bicycle of your own or if you're just visiting the city for a few days, you can rent one for free with BikeSurf. 

The non-profit platform takes bikes donated by the public, makes sure they're safe to ride and then enters them onto the BikeSurf platform. Users (or “BikeSurfers”), can then look up the dates they need a bike and make a request to book via the website

Sing in Mauerpark

If you ever wanted to have a tiny taste of fame, then getting on the mic at Berlin's Mauerpark karaoke is a great way to get it. 

Every Sunday, around 1,000 music fans gather at the park's amphitheatre from 2 pm to watch what is probably the largest outdoor karaoke event in Germany. 

Joe Hatchiban leading the karaoke in Berlin's Mauerpark. Photo: picture alliance / dpa-tmn | Christian Helten

The karaoke is organised by Dublin-born Joe Hatchiban, a former bike courier who now uses his orange cargo bike to transport the two huge speakers, mixing board and laptop he needs to get the music going each week. 

Enjoy a free concert

If you don't fancy getting on stage yourself, you can sit back, relax and watch some free concerts instead.

The English Garden inside Berlin's Tiergarten hosts a range of live concerts throughout the summer in its Konzertsommer series.

From June 18th until August 20th, there'll be a variety of local and international artists offering a mixed musical programme. A full schedule of events can be found on the organiser's website


Go for a swim in a lake

There is no shortage of places to go for a refreshing dip in the Haupstadt and while you'll have to pay to visit one of the various Freibäder - outdoor pools - there are plenty of lakes you can visit for free. 

Visitors enjoy the warm weather at Müggelsee.

Visitors enjoy the warm weather at Müggelsee. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

Großer Müggelsee, Wannsee, Groß Glienicker See and Krumme Lanke are some of the most popular in and around the city, but there are many, many more. 

READ ALSO: 'Go early and stay late': Your tips for making the most of Germany's lakes

You can find a map of all the outdoor swimming areas on the city's official website. 

Discover the city's street art

If you don't want to pay to go to an art gallery, Berlin's cityscape is teeming with art that you can see for free. 

The most famous example of free street art in the Capital is the East Side Gallery - a 1.3-kilometre stretch of the Berlin Wall covered in artworks by 118 artists from 21 countries. 


But there are countless other examples of impressive street art in the city that are well worth visiting in the summer, too. Helpfully, artist Jim Avignon put together this map of Berlin's street art for the city's official website. 

Exercise in a park

Berlin's Sport im Park - or "Sport in the Park" - is a free programme devised by the Senate Department for the Interior and Sports to help Berliners get fit, get in shape and actively experience the summer throughout the city's parks. 

The exercise programmes are open to everyone and are free of charge, you just need to register in advance via the website.

READ ALSO: The 5 best and worst things about living in Berlin

There's a wide range of fitness activities on offer, including yoga, tai chi, back and neck-focussed exercises, pilates and even hula hooping. 

Have a barbecue

Anyone who has lived in Germany for some time will know that there's nothing Germans love more than cooking on the coals.

A man grills meat skewers at a barbecue area in Volkspark Friedrichshain. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau

Though you can't just rock up anywhere in the city and start barbecuing, there are plenty of designated barbecuing areas - or Grillplätze throughout the city. Perhaps one of the most scenic is the Grillplatz on Tempelhofer Feld - a huge public park on the site of an old airfield. 

But you can also find a complete list of the designated barbecuing areas in the city here

Head to a local museum

Though the summer in Berlin tends to be pretty hot and dry, the capital also gets its fair share of rainy and cooler days. 

Those kinds of days are perfect for a visit to a museum and there are plenty that you can go to for free.

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A couple of major museums offering free entry are the Jewish Museum and Topography of Terror. Also, each district - or Bezirk - has its own museum and these all offer free admission. You can find a complete list of all the free museums in Berlin on the city's official website


Watch the sunset from a bridge

One of the great things about summer is being able to sit out later in the evening to watch the sun go down.

In Berlin, it's even better to watch the sunset over the River Spree from one of the city's bridges.

The setting sun can be seen through the arches of the Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance / Paul Zinken/dpa | Paul Zinken

One particularly picturesque place to do this is from the Admiralsbrücke - or Admirals bridge - in Kreuzberg, which, with its cobblestones, wrought-iron fences and old lanterns, gives you the feeling of being in Paris rather than Berlin. 


Another great spot is the Oberbaumbrücke which connects Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. Its two fortified towers look a bit out of time in the midst of hip clubs and cool office buildings on the banks of the Spree. 

Make some furry friends in Görlitzer Park

If you don't want to buy a ticket for one of Berlin's zoos, you can also get up close and personal with some furry critters in Kreuzberg's Görlitzer Park.

The city farm keeps pigs, donkeys, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, as well as ducks and geese, which visitors are allowed to pet.  


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