I am only enlisting personal tips in this article and not endorsing any names/brands.
Welcome to Summer in Braunschweig!!! Little did I know when I moved here three years ago, that I was going to meet a bunch of new friends with whom I would explore this stunningly beautiful city. In this Blogpost I am only sharing about how it is to live here at this time of the year. Summer is mainly from June to August. City Tourism is another Post ;)
Enjoying almost all meals al fresco on my balcony is my own lifestyle hack. Love the sunshine (since the sun is quite a rarity in north Germany)! And if no wasps come to visit, it is such a pleasurable experience to dine with the sound of rustling leaves, my skin warming up and everything around me bathed in golden light.
Summer means cherry-time! We have a Cherry-tree in our compound. So many bucket-fulls of produce from this single tree is at times sold at the weekend market or given away in the neighborhood on the footpath with a sign 'zum Schenken' (to gift) or distributed amongst our colleagues at work :)
One of the earliest Events of this season is: 'Classik im Park', a concert in the 'Bürger Park' (People's Park). Here the city Orchestra plays the most well-known of Opera pieces. Entire families and big groups of friends come together, with chairs, blankets and a full on picnic on the first Sunday of Summer. You need to get there at least two hours earlier, to grab the best places under the cool shade.
Cutting through the Bürgerpark is the Oker River. This narrow river completely circles the city center. That is why the map of Braunschweig, looks like a ring in a ring ;) Big boats and Floats offer tours of breakfast and barbecue on board. Or you can just take a paddle boat and enjoy the ride.
Some Evenings are about Pot luck picnics, where each of us puts together a summer snack for an evening at the public pool. The 'Bürgerpark Freibad' is one such pool.
When it comes to cooling down with drinks, I am always a lover of Pina Colada and adore a refreshing Hugo. Ever present in the city, is the city's own Beer: Wolters. Often, I opt for my summer favorite: Altser, made by mixing 50 % Beer with 50 % sprite.
And then there are this variety of punches with strawberry, limes and raspberries, which are available during the different festivals in town. Word of caution: ensure you are not opting for it on an empty stomach :)
The first thing that comes to my mind when we think of eating out in summer is Tapas! There are couple of Spanish restaurants in the city for that. Here you sit out and relish some lovely Sangria (a chilled drink made of red-wine, fruits, sugar and a dash of cinnamon).
There are not many restaurants that are located right at the water here. But the one that I know and been to many times is called 'Steg-Haus'.
Or you can choose your own roof top sand-bar. That would be Soldeckk! We love this place, located right in the city center with relaxed sitting, yummy coffee and cake. Also, we often hangout here for cocktails or even to watch football world cup matches :)
We do have an actual Beach bar on the banks of the Oker, called Okercabana. It is also one of the stations, where you can rent a Kanu.
An entire round-trip with the Kanu takes about two to three hours. (Twice you will also need to actually get out of your Kanu and carry it across a short patch of land). The entire experience is a must do and highly recommended :)
And then, there are loads of lakes in the city. One of our favorite hangout-spots is the Heidbergsee. Please take your own drinking-water. Also, there are no toilets etc. at this place. Though an ice-cream Van will make occasional stops during the day.
Speaking of ice-creams, there are a number of Eis-Cafe's in town that offer splendid combinations of fruit, chocolate, coffee and all that you like. Spagetti ice cream topped with strawberry sauce is something you must relish at this time of the year. It is available at all Italian ice-cream shops in Germany :)
But when you are looking forward to swim and are searching for a sandy beach that comes equipped with all the comforts for an evening out, Kennel Bad is the place to be. The place has changing rooms, a hut selling Pommes (finger-chips) and burgers, a huge beach bar and floating islands to jump off amidst the lake. On some weekdays they have salsa music and so many couples dancing to the beats of it. It feels like we just landed onto Party Island :)
The following picture was taken just before closing time. Tranquility is the last thing to expect when hanging out at Kennel-Bad ;)
What's utmost ravishing to me, is how quickly we manage to put together a grill evening in one of the many parks of the city. From hot baguettes filled with garlic butter, farmer's salads, noodle salads, spicy chicken and sausages, grill cheese, the summer favorite of tomato-mozzarella with balsamic dressing to chilled lemonades and beers packed in a cooling basket, its a treat! Unforgettable times!
And if you are longing for even more more social times, this is your city! For every other eve and almost every weekend will present you with a street food/ wine/ music festival or market of the middle Ages/ Flea-market.
Open-Air Cinema is another delightful experience. Don't forget to take snacks and maybe spectacles if you are far-sighted (as they play originals with subtitles).
We also have a few roof top restaurants located 10 floors and higher offering superb views of the city. Also, if you happen to be on the topmost floor of the parking house of Karstadt (in the city center) at sunset time, you will be one happy person! But remember, the sun will set as late as 11 pm during summer :)
Germany is quite safe and so is Braunschweig. You can hang out in the city whenever you please.
I haven't owned a TV since I live in Europe and I am not a social media person. For someone like me who is addicted to travel, experiencing new stuff and enjoying nature (with a lot of water), this city with its 250,000 inhabitants has so much to offer, especially in summer. I have loved every moment of being here! <3