12 Outdoor Activities in Berlin That You Have to Experience

12 Outdoor Activities To Do As You Explore Berlin

There’s definitely no room for boredom in Berlin!

©visitBerlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

Ask anyone who has ever been to Berlin, Germany about what they like most about it, and they’ll probably have a hard time deciding on just one. After all, there are so many reasons to love this dazzling metropolis. From the rich culture and heritage, to futuristic structures juxtaposed with soothing naturescapes, it’s impossible to narrow it down to a single aspect. Or, to put it more accurately: there’s never a shortage of bucket list-worthy things to do in Berlin — and that’s a great thing!

So, yes, you’ll probably need more than a few days in this ever-vibrant capital. But before all that, allow us to show you the best outdoor activities in Berlin that you have to experience. 

Must-try outdoor activities in Berlin

1. Join a walking tour around the city

Mitte, government district, Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz | © visitBerlin; photo: Dagmar Schwelle

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a so-called ‘urban hike,’ exploring a foreign city on foot always gives a sense of adventure. So, make sure to pack your comfiest travel shoes as you go out and discover the top Berlin attractions; from Brandenburg Gate and Charlottenburg Palace, to the Alexanderplatz and Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Alexanderplatz with the World Clock and the TV Tower | Image credit: GNTB; photo: Francesco Carovillano

There are a lot of guided walking tours you can choose from, too! Some are free (though, you can still leave a tip!), others come at a fee. Some focus on historical sites, others are catered to more specific interests, such as street art and even German craft beer. Whichever you pick, you can be sure that no two tours are exactly alike. 


2. Cycle along the Berlin Wall Trail

East Side Gallery am Berliner | Image credit: visitBerlin; photo: Philip Koschel

From August 1961 up to November 1989, the city of Berlin was divided both physically and ideologically by the Berlin Wall. This large concrete barrier was set between East and West Germany, with the Soviet Union ruling over the former and the Germany Democratic Republic (GDR) occupying the latter. It was later torn down after thousands of citizens gathered in a mass protest.

Fast forward to present day, you can learn more about this period through the Berliner Mauerweg, otherwise known as the Berlin Wall Trail. It spans over 155 kilometres and is best explored through a cycling tour. It’s divided into 14 sections, with some parts featuring traces of the old Wall, and others set amidst grassy surroundings. 

Tourists at the East Side Gallery | ©Kristina Vitkova

Most travellers begin their trail route at the Berlin Wall Memorial, which is situated in the heart of the capital. There’s also the Glienicke Bridge, where many a spy exchange took place during the Cold War. Don’t forget to stop by East Side Gallery — A.K.A. the world’s longest outdoor art gallery! This historic-slash-artistic landmark features murals painted directly on remnants of the famed barrier. 

3. Cruise along the Spree

©visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

After all that walking and/or cycling, why not go for a boat ride along the Spree river that’ll allow you to sit back and relax? While this inland waterway actually cuts through both Germany and the northern Czech Republic, it’s the Berlin part that’s most popular. There, you’ll get to take in impressive views of the city and pass by architectural wonders like Berlin Cathedral, Museum Island, and the Berlin TV Tower

A ride usually takes between one and five hours, depending on the tour you’ll pick. We’d recommend taking a river cruise late in the afternoon, just in time for golden hour. Alternatively, there are also evening cruises that let you enjoy a delicious meal while gazing at the glimmering city lights. 

4. Take a dip in the Badeschiff

View of the Arena Berlin Badeschiff and the Spree | © visitBerlin; photo: Philip Koschel

Okay, in case you were wondering — no, you cannot bathe in the Spree. But what you can do is visit the Badeschiff: a large pool built out of a converted cargo vessel. In fact, its name actually means ‘bathing ship’ in English. Apart from the pool, the place also features an outdoor, sunbathing area, and other recreational activities. 

The Badeschiff is filled with fresh water and, given that it ‘floats’ on the river, it’s the next best thing to swimming in the actual Spree. It’s one of the most popular outdoor activities in Berlin during warmer months, both among locals and tourists. Though, even beyond the summer season, it serves as a venue for concerts and parties. So, for those who want a taste of the urban nightlife, take note! 


5. Paddle through the channels of Neu Venedig

Koepenick, Mueggelsee, Mueggelspree, Rahnsdorf, village church | © visitBerlin; photo: Dagmar Schwelle

Neu Venedig literally translates to New Venice, and true enough, this charming neighbourhood is quite the underrated Berlin attraction! It’s situated on the banks of the Müggelspree section of the Spree, which branches out into tiny canals. Although, unlike the ones in Los Angeles or Italy, you won’t find any gondolas around here. Instead, you can take a small boat or canoe and enjoy the quiet, nature-filled scenery. 

6. Watch a movie under the night sky

Open-air cinema on Potsdamer Platz | © visitBerlin; photo: Pierre Adenis

We don’t know about you, but there’s something so enticing about seeing a film alfresco. After all, it offers not only good entertainment, but also a more welcoming ambience that isn’t limited by the confines of a regular indoor theatre. That said, it’s one of the top things to do in Berlin during the summer! 

In fact, you’ll find a handful of Freiluftkinos (open-air cinemas) scattered around the metropolis. Some are set in urban parks, like those in Friedrichshain, Hasenheide, and Rehberge parks; others are in more unique locations, such as in the courtyards of the Spandau Stadtbibliothek and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien! While chairs are often provided, we recommended bringing a blanket, just in case.

Tip: Research ahead to see if the films scheduled for screening are in a language you understand… or at least have subtitles. 

7. Have a picnic in Tiergarten

View from the Berlin Tiergarten to the Victory Column | © visitBerlin; photo: Wolfgang Scholvien

Speaking of parks, you’ll probably notice that Berlin has a lot of these. Some would even claim that it’s the greenest city in all of Europe, especially given that over a third of it is filled with green spaces. But if you can only pick just one, then we recommend Tiergarten — the capital’s very own Central Park! This urban oasis used to be the royal hunting grounds of Frederick Wilhelm I during the 16th century.

things to do in berlin

Park in Berlin in autumn | © visitBerlin; photo: Wolfgang Scholvien

Anyway, while you’re at it, why not enjoy a lovely picnic, too? With its massive lawns, accessible location, and picturesque scenery, it’s definitely one of the best outdoor activities in Berlin for travellers of all ages. Since Tiergarten is close to other tourist spots, it’s also a great place to take a breather from all that walking around. 


8. Dine alfresco in Hackescher Markt

things to do in berlin

Hackescher Markt | © visitBerlin; photo: Wolfgang Scholvien

Feeling like having a nice meal outdoors, but prefer a more elaborate setting with actual chairs, tables, and service? Well then, head over to Hackescher Markt, a shopping area in the Mitte neighbourhood that’s a crowd favourite among locals and tourists alike! Here, you’ll find an abundance of hip restaurants, cafés, and bars that cater to every mood and craving. 

Hackescher Markt is the best spot for people-watching and taking in the metropolitan ambience — all while surrounded by stunning Art Nouveau architecture. (Feel free to snap photos while waiting for your order!) Then, after that energising meal, might as well explore the rest of the area; from fashion boutiques and art galleries, to bookstores and historical attractions. 


More adventurous things to do in Berlin

9. Fly a kite atop Drachenberg

View from Drachenberg to Teufelsberg, Grunewald in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf | ©visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

The Drachenberg is a manmade hill that offers panoramic views of the city, as well as the lush forest below. Oh, and did you know that it’s made out of debris from World War II — much like its neighbour and former spy station, the Teufelsberg? Anyway, you’ll find this Berlin attraction in the Grunewald district, one of the city’s most exclusive residential areas since the late 1800s. 

outdoor activities in berlin

The Drachenberg, also known as the Drachenfliegerberg, is an elevation in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district of Berlin. It is 99 metres high and is located in the Grunewald district south of Heerstraße, about 400 meters northeast of Teufelsberg. | © visitBerlin; photo: Dagmar Schwelle

It’s a popular go-to for kite-flying, especially during autumn when the winds are most ideal. Admittedly, it takes a bit of an effort to get here, but the climb is definitely worth it! Once you reach the top, you’ll find many a colourful drachen (kite) up in the air. 

10. Go kite landboarding around Tempelhofer Feld

Tempelhof; Airstrip | Image credit: Stadt Donaueschingen; photo: Michal Maj

Some quick info for those unfamiliar with kite landboarding: it’s basically the terrain version of the more popular kitesurfing. Although, instead of a surf-style board, you’ll be using a landboard, an oversized skateboard with pneumatic wheels and foot straps. So, if this is something you’d like to try, then make your way to Tempelhofer Feld

Neukoelln, Schillerkiez, Tempelhofer Feld, land surfing | © visitBerlin; photo: Dagmar Schwelle

Formerly an airfield and military training ground, Tempelhofer Feld is the largest open space in all of Berlin. It’s no surprise that many locals would come here for leisurely strolls, sightseeing, kite flying, and of course — kite landboarding! Oh, and if you’re visiting during late September, we recommend catching the Giant Kites Festival held here. 

11. Hike in Grunewald Forest

© Wald_c_Wirtschaftsfoerderung Steglitz-Zehlendorf_photo Steven Ritzer

What used to be an aristocratic enclave is now the largest forest within Berlin. Grunewald Forest covers 3,000-hectares of natural scenery, making it an ideal spot for hiking! You can choose among the many trails, each varying in distance and difficulty level. So, yes, there’s surely something for everyone. That said, we recommend allotting an entire day of exploring these woodlands.

outdoor activities in berlin

Spandau, Havel cycle path, Havel, sailing boats, cyclists | © visitBerlin; photo: Dagmar Schwelle

Take your time admiring the gigantic trees, clear lakes and rivers, and historical sites. The shores of Grunewaldsee double as a dog park, while the Badestelle Kuhhorn along the Havel river is for those who’d like to take a dip.

Grunewald Hunting Lodge – View over the lake | © visitBerlin; photo: Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg

Don’t forget to drop by the Jagdschloss Grunewald, a 16th-century hunting lodge that’s also the oldest castle in Berlin. Inside, you’ll find a cosy bistro, so you might want to make this the last stop of your hiking trip!

12. Get an adrenaline rush while conquering new heights

outdoor activities in berlin

Base Flying in Berlin at Alexanderplatz: Fly from 125 metres roped from the roof with the world’s fastest rope winch. © visitBerlin; photo: Vertical Sports Events GmbH

Beyond visiting famous sites and naturescapes around the city, make sure to try some adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities in Berlin, too! Hey, might as well go all out, right? 

First up is MountMitte, an aerial adventure park that features a high ropes course. It has six different courses with varying difficulty levels; some are for children aged seven and above, while others are for adults only. Find your way over narrow beams, rope bridges, and even floating barrels — all while secured with a harness, of course! 

Or how about seeing the world from a different angle… literally? The Andel’s Hotel offers an exciting Berlin activity called House Running, which allows you to run down the side of a skyscraper while on a 90-degree angle. Think of it as living out your superhero dreams, but instead of gravity-defying powers, you have a safety harness that’s attached to a steel cable.

And finally, for the absolute daredevils, here’s something you’ll surely enjoy: base jumping. Think you have what it takes? Make your way to the Park Inn by Radisson at Alexanderplatz. Oh, and it also happens to be the tallest hotel building in Berlin, with a total of 39 floors! So, this activity will have you plummeting right from the rooftop — while giving you a totally different view of the city. Sounds both scary and thrilling, right? That’s because it really is! 


So, if you’re looking forward to a trip filled with culture, history, nature, and all things exciting, then you know where the city is! There’s definitely no room for boredom, thanks to this list of fun outdoor activities in Berlin. 

For more information, visit the German National Tourist Board official website, as well as Berlin’s official travel website and Facebook page.

Brought to you by the German National Tourist Board.

About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.