How to have a German vacation without ever leaving Toronto

This summer, it seems like everyone is traveling to Europe. Whether you’ve got your own European vacation planned this summer and don’t want it to end or are dreaming of getting a taste of Italy or France, we’ve got you covered. Here’s your how-to guide to summer like a European this summer — without ever leaving Toronto, this time with all things Germany.

Get comfortable at a Bavarian beer hall

Beer halls are a traditional part of Bavarian culture in Germany and a mainstay of the popular Oktoberfest. In Toronto, we’ve got the Golden Pigeon Beer Hall: a more intimate version of a German beer hall, it features live music and $2 oysters on Tuesdays, Skee-Ball and pinball machines to enjoy and a small beer garden–inspired patio.

Relish in a German delicacy

At Otto’s Berlin Döner in Kensington Market, they keep it simple — the eatery serves only three different dishes, each with their own meat (or vegan) options and a few sides. But the very best might be the currywurst, a German fast-food dish featuring sausage seasoned with curry ketchup. Enjoy on a bed of fries, salad or couscous. 

Dive into a miniature village

In Hamburg, tourists can visit the Modelleisenbahn Miniatur Wunderland — a stunning, intricate miniature village that allows you to tour the best parts of Germany from above. Toronto’s got our own mini village — Little Canada offers a tiny version of the country’s highlights and even the option to “littlize” yourself in Little Canada forever!

Chase the high of the autobahn

Car lovers in Toronto might already know that Germany is the only country in the world with no general speed limit on motorways.  And on about half the autobahn (Germany’s network of highways), there is no speed limit at all! If you’ve got the need for speed, book a session with the Porsche Track Experience in Bowmanville, where you can spend the day pushing pedal to the metal and learning the ins and outs of race car driving on a real circuit.

Breathe in the German tradition of open-air cinema

In Berlin, one of the most popular summer activities is Freiluftkino in Volkspark Friedrichshain — an open-air cinema in the park where blockbuster and classic films are shown on a big screen. Toronto Outdoor Picture Show offers the same experience all summer long here: highlights include The Matrix at Corktown Common on July 20, Riceboy Sleeps at Christie Pits Park on Aug. 13 and Coco at Bell Manor Park on Aug. 19.

Discover Toronto’s answer to Berlin’s most exclusive club

Underground techno nightclub Berghain in Berlin is known for being one of the most exclusive clubs in the world (there’s stories of celebrities, including Britney Spears, being turned away at the door). For a Toronto nightclub experience with all the techno fun and a bit of the secrecy, check out “underground community” Format Toronto — its next event, happening on July 22, is being held at a secret location that will only be revealed to ticket holders just before the event. 

For more of our Summer Like a European series, click here.