This post lists the top things to do in August in Berlin, including a top 10 list, free things to do, family-friendly activities as well as things to do at night.
This section will focus on the biggest and best Berlin has to offer, whilst noting those which are nocturnal, free or family-friendly (there are also individual sections for these types of attractions, which can be easily accessed from the top of the page).
Several of the items below are already included for free or at a discount with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.
(1) See The Berlin Wall
August 13th is the 67th anniversary of the day that the East Germans began erecting a wall which cut Berlin in half. Tens of thousands of families were torn apart for decades. Some were stuck in Communist East Berlin while others were lucky enough to be on the better side of the wall in Democratic West Berlin.
In 1991, Berlin was reunified and most of the wall was torn down.
No trip to Berlin is complete with visiting the remaining sections of this historic wall. The two best points to visit are the Berlin Wall Memorial, which gives a deep insight into the wall's history, and the East Side Gallery, which presents the longest surviving strip of the wall, adorned with modern art.
(2) Experience an Arena Concert
Ever since David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen performed on either side of the Berlin Wall, the city has had a bulletproof reputation as a haven of modern music. Here are the big performances during the month of August.
If you're looking for a different kind of musical performance, check this list of concerts in Berlin to see what else is happening this month.
(3) Explore the Long Night of Museums
Berlin is known for its vast variety of museums, headlined by the iconic Museum Island's Pergamon and Alte Museum, which are worth visiting on any day.
On August 25, over a hundred museums are linked together in a single event. Ticket holders have free access to these museums from 6 pm - 2 am, aided by shuttle buses which connect the sites.
Alongside the opportunity to take in all sorts of fascinating art and history in a new context, the festival offers unique, exclusive performances and installations. See the event website for all the details.
(4) Swim In the middle of the Spree at Badeschiff (family-friendly)
Badeschiff is a public swimming pool, situated right at the heart of Berlin, atop the river whose trade was originally responsible for the city's existence. It offers beautiful views of the city's landmarks, from the distant tv tower to the nearby 30 meters tall Molecule Man sculpture.
After drying off visitors can walk to the nearby East Side Gallery to take in some history and modern art.
(5) See a Sports Event (family-friendly)
Berlin is currently packed with disgruntled Germans, shocked at their football team's early departure from the World Cup, only 4 years after they took the title!
Those looking for something else should consider attending the European Athletics Championship, which runs from August 7-12.
(6) Experience Berlin's Musical Underground
If you don't fancy the excess of an arena concert, there are many ways to experience music in settings closer to the lives of locals.
Berlin's Atonal festival from August 22-26th is a premier experimental, electronic music festival and is an ideal way to experience Berlin's underground clubbing scene. Tickets include entry to performance afterparties.
If you are on a budget, check out Das Edelweiss, a venue with a wide array of performers and including jazz performances on Tuesday evenings for only 5 euro!
(7) Drink Up at the International Beer Festival
Traditionally, Berlin wasn't known as a hotspot for German beer, but in the last decade or so, the German capital has come into its own, nurturing a booming craft beer scene.
From August 3-5, the International Beer Festival gives beer-lovers free entry to a hearty atmosphere of midday drinkers and live traditional German music. There will be a menu of roughly 2,400 different beers, although these, sadly, are not free.
The festival takes place in Friedrichshain which is a great neighborhood to explore before or after your beer adventure.
(8) See breathtaking dance at the Tanz Im August Festival (family-friendly)
From August 10-September 2, Berlin hosts an enormous variety of performances across its many venues, with performers varying from international fame to local cult-status.
With the festival celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, this is a great idea for any visitors, with or without families, who want an exciting cultural experience.
For more information click here.
(9) See the work of the world's most famous street art at The Art of Banksy
Ever since Berlin’s reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall was torn down and covered in inspirational and positive graffiti about unity, Berlin has been associated with street art. If you want to experience this thriving culture whilst on a budget, try our self-guided Street Art tour of the city's highlights.
Enthusiasts can top this up with a visit to Bikini Berlin's The Art Of Banksy exhibit, where they can look at a collection of the world-famous artist's work, valued at roughly 20 million pounds.
(10) Enjoy orchestral music in historic surroundings
Berlin's enormous neo-classical Konzerthaus, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1820 is a relic from a wealthier era in Berlin. It is situated in the middle of Gendarmenmarkt, a beautiful area itself.
From August 3-20, the Young Euro Classic, a festival of youth orchestras from across the globe, will perform both classical and contemporary pieces in this stunning setting.
This section throws focus on Berlin's nocturnal activities during the month of August. Other options in our top 10 list include attending concerts (large and small) and the Long Night of Museums. It will clarify whenever these attractions are also free or ideal for families.
Visit our master post on things to do at night in Berlin for extra ideas.
Take a Night Tour
If you know where to go, you can see the Berlin come alive at night. It's not always easy to know where to go, so it's worth taking a night tour to help you!
For those who missed the International Beer Festival (see #7 in our top 10 above), there are a whole host of pub crawls and craft beer crawl options, catering to those at each end of the party spectrum.
Those interested in experiencing Berlin from the calm waters of the Spree may be attracted to options such as the Night Boat Tours (which are often included in tourist card packages).
Check out this post to get a fuller idea of the options available.
Experience royalty at Potsdam Palace Night
On the 17th and 18th of August, Frederick the Great's grand palace on the edge of Berlin is opened to the public, allowing you to walk among its gardens and temples just as German noblemen did in the 1700s.
The surrounding town of Potsdam is worth a visit any time to enjoy its calm, regal atmosphere. Be sure to read our post on Potsdam Tours.
Dine amongst the clouds at the TV Tower
Standing at 368 meters tall, Berlin's TV Tower is visible from almost any road in the city, and on a cool summer’s evening, the views are astonishing.
The great metal sphere suspended at its top includes an observation deck with a bar and a restaurant which can be booked in advance, so you can relax while enjoying the breathtaking views.
For more information on visiting the TV Tower at any time, check out our post Tickets and Tips for the Berlin TV Tower.
This section includes a selection of ideas for family-friendly activities that you can enjoy in August. For extra ideas, take time to look at this page's other sections, and consider options such as Tanz Im August, The Art of Banksy and Badeschiff.
Go back in time at the DDR Museum
With the Berlin Wall's anniversary occurring in August, parents may feel challenged to experience the history whilst keeping their children’s attention. Thankfully, with a large variety of interactive exhibits which allow visitors to experience life in Communist East Germany, the DDR Museum is a great choice for families.
Take a look at our post about planning your visit to the museum.
Dance and Smile at the German-American Folk Festival
From August 1-19, you can catch this is a celebration of these two countries' intertwined cultures. You'll find American-style food, rock'n'roll/country music, and an impressive variety of roller coasters and carousels. Find out more information here.
Explore another era at the Grand Rococo Festival
On the weekend of August 18-19, Friedrichsfelde Palace in Tiergarten Park will take you back to the days of Friedrich the Great. Over 300 actors in full costume will introduce you to royal life in the 18th century. Children can be made up as princes and princesses and watch courtly dancing and energetic fencing. For the younger 'royals' there will be fairy tales, plays, and historic games. Find out more details here.
See the Blue Man Group
Playing in Berlin throughout the month of August (except for Mondays), the Blue Man Group is a surefire ticket for anyone hoping to experience a distinctly modern performance, whilst still having a lot of fun!
The trio of actor/musicians dressed in black and painted in blue amazes and entertains the audience with music, lights, and comedy. It’s a combination of rock concert atmosphere and sharp technology, giving it a very Berlinesque vibe.
Get showtimes and ticket prices here.
This section provides a variety of free activities you can enjoy in Berlin during the month of August. Take a look at our top 10 section for even more free options, such as exploring Berlin's world-famous street art with a self-guided tour, and watching traditional German music at the International Beer Festival.
Be sure to read our guide to free things to do in Berlin post for even more ideas.
Discover German politics on "Federal Government Open Day"
With an enormous glass dome that allows visitors to watch government in session, in real time, the Reichstag is one of Berlin's most fascinating buildings. It symbolizes the center of the German government.
On August 25 and 26, you can visit the Reichstag and other several government buildings as they are opened to the public for Federal Government Open Day. You can get an inside view of how Germany is run and political figures such as the Chancellor are present to talk with visitors.
There are also children-focused activities provided for families.
To visit the Reichstag on any day, you can take a free tour. But you must book in advance. Read our post How to get Reichstag Tickets and Visit the Dome to learn about the three different ways you can book in advance.
Check out the locals' world with a Self-Guided Tour
Berlin is broken up into various areas with their own identities and points of interest, but each of them come with a lot of empty space, so setting off on an independent exploration isn't always the best idea. Areas such as Friedrichshain offer a fascinating mix of modern life and Soviet architecture to the casual walker. East Berlin is where you can get a sense of Berlin during the Cold War. To see some of Berlin's older sites and famous buildings, take a self-guided tour of Berlin Mitte.
Get Free Tickets with A Tourist Discount Pass
Admittedly, these passes have a cost. However, if you plan well, you will essentially get several tickets to attractions or tours each day for free. Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% the retail price.