The HUNDHUND Guide to Berlin’s Favourite Lakes.
Inspired by our recent post about Berlin’s Parks, we thought we’d throw together a little guide to Berlin’s lakes. We wanted to shine a light on some hidden gems that you might not know about and remind you why you should make a trip (or ten) this Summer. Everyone has their favourite spots, so we wanted to share some of ours.
Teufelssee is super easy to get to by bike or car, which unfortunately means it can get pretty crowded. But the good news is there’s plenty of space for everyone whether you want to take a dip in the water or just bask in the sun on the plentiful lawns. And as an added bonus you’re just a stone’s throw away from Drachenberg - a man made hill with panoramic views of the Berlin skyline.
If you’re travelling by public transport you can get the S-Bahn to either Grunewald Station (S7) or Heerstraße (S9 or S3). It’ll be around a 30 minute stroll through the Grunewald forest to reach the lake.
Plötzensee is one of Berlin’s smaller lakes so it can get a bit crowded, but what it lacks in tranquility it makes up for in location.
If you don’t have a car or the time to venture out to Berlin’s more far-afield lakes, then this might be your go. It’s a glacial lake in the Northern district of Wedding where you can rent boats or just relax in the sand. The beach tends to be open 9am-10pm.
To get there, you need only travel to the outskirts of Volkspark Rehberge and enjoy a relaxing walk to its centre where the lake resides. It can be easily reached by Bus (106 or 142), U-Bahn (U9) or most easily by Tram (M13, get off at Virchow-Klinikum). Entry costs a couple of euros here, but it’s worth it.
Berlin’s biggest and probably most popular lake, Müggelsee is in the South-East of the city and is an impressive 4.5km long and 2.5km wide. The water is great for bathing whilst the main Müggelsee beach has a spacious 100-metre descent into the lake. And for those too squeamish for the cold waters, the lake’s huge circumference offers plenty of serene paths for hiking. There are three main bathing areas along the shores; the lido Müggelsee, the small Müggelsee and Friedrichshagen resort. But the sheer size of the lake means there are plenty of opportunities to find your own little private cove.
To get there by public transport, the easiest approach is probably on the S-Bahn’s S3 line to Köpenick Station and then jumping on the X69 Bus until Odernheimer Straße. Müggelsee is simple to reach by car or bike also, just follow directions to “Neuhelgoländer Weg”.
What many call Berlin’s cleanest lake, Schlachtensee is a favourite for swimmers, water sport enthusiasts and fishermen alike. On the lake’s Eastern shore lives a protected heritage guesthouse - Fischerhütte - which also happens to have a pleasant beer garden. And why not walk off the beer calories by taking a stroll around the 7km continuous boardwalk that surrounds the lake. This trail is also popular with joggers. Sadly, the shores of Schlachtensee are mostly overgrown with roots and foliage so the water is a bit trickier to access, but there are a couple of slivers of sandy shoreline if you’re willing to seek them out.
Schlachtensee is thankfully quite accessible to Berliners, even having its own S-Bahn station which can be reached by the S1 line towards Potsdam. Though fairly straight-forward to reach by car, parking can be a bit difficult so most travel by S-Bahn.
Krumme Lanke (Steglitz-Zehlendorf)
Krumme Lanke is a popular, medium-sized lake in the South-West of Berlin. Krumme Lanke is relatively near to the lake Schlachtensee and so shares the same teeming green forest of Grunewald in its surrounds. There are plenty of sandy shores for all and a boardwalk path can be followed around the entirety of the water’s 2.5km circumference so it’s great for runners and walkers.
To get there by public transport, the best way is by U-Bahn on the U3 line to Krumme Lanke Station, from which the lake is a short 1km walk. By car it’s fairly simple too, and parking is available around Fischerhüttenstrasse, 14163.
Tegeler See (Reinickendorf)
Not too far to travel for most North-side Berliners and certainly worth the trip, Reinickendorf district’s Tegeler See is known for its crystal clear waters and its nine islands. As well as the main beach, there’s a plethora of other accessible swimming areas on the shores if you’re willing to look.
There are plenty of public transport routes that swing by Tegeler See such as the Bus lines 124, 125, 222 and X33, and the U-Bahn line U6. But to get to the main beach, the 222 Bus is your best bet.
For many Berliners, Weißensee is maybe the most easily reached lake, taking only 15 minutes by Tram from Alexanderplatz. The beach offers a beautiful view of not only the lake complete with centrepiece fountain, but the sunset too. And the beach’s bar provides a wide array of wines and cocktails. (Note: the beach and bar are temporarily closed due to COVID).
As well as the M4 Tram from Alexanderplatz, the lake can be reached via U-Bahn (U2), Train (RB24) or Bus (156 or 255). Entry to the beach ranges from 3 to 5 euros.
Some view the Wannsee to be the most important lake in West Berlin. It’s a large lake which opens it up to a range of more active endeavours such as water sports and boat tours, whilst the spacious beach - Strandbad Wannsee - comfortably accommodates the more relaxation-minded lake goers amongst us.
The simplest ways to get to Wannsee using public transport are by Train (RE1) or S-Bahn (S7 or S1). And once you’re there you can also cross the lake via the F10 Ferry line.
Located to the South-East of Müggelspree, Neu-Venedig (In English “New Venice”) may not be a lake exactly, but we thought we’d include it in this guide purely for eccentricity value. Conjuring its Italian namesake, these charming canals have been weaving amongst residential properties and weekend villas since they were first built in the 1920s. You can rent a rowing boat or a gondola and explore them for yourself before finishing up with a cold beer at the waterside country pub.
Neu-Venedig can be reached most easily via the S-Bahn (S3) or the Train (RE1).
Full of activities such as beach volleyball, ping pong, water-slides and a playground, Orankesee is one of Berlin’s more family-friendly lakes. For those more keen on the swimming side of lake visits, this might not be for you, as swimming is restricted to the beach area only. Due to the range of amenities this beach offers, and how diligently it’s maintained, they do charge between 3 and 5 euros for entry. The beach is open 9-7.
Orankesee is ideally reached by car as the public transport connections are a bit of a hike away. But if you don’t have the wheels, you can get there via Train (RB12), Tram (M13, M4, M5), Bus (156 or 255) or U-Bahn (U5) - but the Tram stops are probably the closest.
Less of a lounge-around-leisure spot, the Dämeritzsee lake is most popular for its boating and fishing opportunities. Although there are no designated bathing areas, the water quality is quite good here so it’s not uncommon to find swimmers enjoying a sunshine paddle along the Eastern shoreline.
Your best access to the lake is from the East. You can reach it by Train (RE1) or S-Bahn (S3).
Liepnitzsee is definitely one of the most popular bathing lakes in Berlin. People love it for the clean water and beautiful surroundings - but this also means that it can get pretty crowded on the weekends. The official beach of the lake is on the Western bank and is where most people hang out. From here you can also rent canoes, kayaks and pedalos. In the centre of the lake is a pretty sizable island known as Großer Werder. It’s big enough that it has its own restaurant, campsite and ferry pier.
If you’re travelling by car, make sure you account for the extra half an hour walk through the forest to get to the lake itself, but if you’re on bikes, you can cycle up to the water directly. By public transport, the easiest route is to take the S-Bahn (S2) to Karow, then the Regional Train to Wandlitz and follow the stream of visitors from the station to the lake (about half an hour walk).
Flakensee offers uniquely scenic geography. The Eastern shore is home to a spacious, sandy bank which is surrounded by shade-giving pine trees and is set on a slight incline such that it gives you an almost theatrical perspective of the gorgeous scenery. And there’s also a variety of other small bays and clearings you can find whilst exploring the shore-side footpath.
To get to Flakensee via transport, you can hop on the S-Bahn (S3) to Rahnsdorf before taking the old Tram through the forest to Woltersdorfer Schleuse. From here it’s about a fifteen minute walk to the lake. To drive, the easiest is to follow directions to Campingplant Flakensee. Parking is free of charge outside the campsite.
Jungfernheide is a nice quiet lake frequented by families and North-Western Berliners but relatively unknown to most. It’s a man-made lake in Volkspark Jungfernheide with clean swimming and a well-kept beach offering a range of facilities such as a volleyball court and a slide. It costs a couple of euros to get in and is open 10-7 every day.
Public transport makes it easy to reach for all. Simply take the Ringbahn (S41 or S42) until Jungfernheide and then jump on the U-Bahn (U7) until Siemensdamm and it’s a five or ten minute stroll from there.
Schermützelsee is admittedly a bit further afield than most of Berlin’s lakes (50km East) and more difficult to reach via public transport. It’s isolation though allows it to have a noticeably more serene and relaxing feel. Regardless, it still offers the amenities for comfort or activity at Buckow Beach, with restaurants, a lawn for lounging, and rentals for rowing boats and pedalos. There’s also a popular 7.5km hike around the lake with views so stunning they inspired several historic writers.
To reach via transport, one can take the Regional Train (RB26) towards Kostrzyn, Poland and hop off at Müncheberg before taking the Bus (928) to Buckow Strand.
We hope you enjoy.
The HUNDHUND Team.
Words by Ewan Waddell.