Relaxing nature experiences in and around Berlin

wannsee.jpgNo other European city has such a rich variety of attractions for aquatic sports lovers and bathers as Berlin. Ger­many’s capital is not only one of Europe’s greenest big cities but also one of the richest in water. Some 25 natural lakes and three major rivers cover about 7 percent of the area, mak­ing Berlin a perfect location for water fans. The most famous lakes are probably the Großer Wannsee and the Großer Müggelsee. On and around these two lakes, any nature lover is bound to have a great time whether rowing a boat, sailing or cycling along the extensive tracks in the surrounding woods.




Berlin – leisure tips overview

Swimming lakes in Berlin


Flughafensee Tegel
Sandy beach, water gets quite deep not far from the beach so it’s not suitable for children.
›› Tegel, Im Waldgebiet Jungfernheide

Griebnitzsee
Small quiet lake, very warm in the summer, with pretty beer garden nearby.
›› Zehlendorf, S-Bahn Griebnitzsee

Groß Glienicker See
A little gem on the outskirts of Berlin, bordering on two nature reserves.
›› Spandau/Groß Glienicke

Krumme Lanke
Small shady bathing lake on the edge of the Grunewald forest, deep in most parts.
›› Zehlendorf, Im Grunewald

(Freibad) Müggelsee
Berlin’s largest lake with many bathing spots, fishing possibilities, surrounded by woods. Open-air swimming area with sandy beach, sunbath­ing area, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, aquatic toy rental, roofed wicker beach chairs, playground, nudist area.
›› Kö­penick, Fürstenwalder Damm 838, Tel. 6 48 77 77 (pool)

(Freibad) Plötzensee
Lake at Volkspark Rehberge, north­east of the Hohen­zollernkanal. Open-air swimming area with sandy beach, large sunbathing areas, slides, roofed wicker beach chairs, adventure playground, nudist area, table tennis tables, soccer, streetball and volleyball areas, and a climbing frame.
›› Wedding, Nordufer 24, Tel. 45 02 05 33 (pool)

Schlachtensee
Next to Krumme Lanke, easy to reach and so quite popular, large sunbathing areas and sandy beaches. Great place for kids.
›› Zehlendorf, Am Schlachtensee/Grunewald

Strandbad Grünau
Sandy beach, sunbathing area, nudist area, footbridge with tower, restaurant, snack bar, shop, roofed wicker beach chairs, deck chairs, playground, climbing equipment, volleyball.
›› Grünau, Sportpromenade 5, Tel. 25 09 06 83

Tegeler See
With tree-lined banks and many idyllic islands, this is Berlin’s second biggest lake and a popular attraction for days out. Relatively few accessible bathing spots. Many surfers and sailors.
›› Tegel, Am Tegeler Forst

Teufelssee
Very small bathing lake in the middle of a nature reserve with a large nudist sunbathing area for nudists on the southern bank.
›› Wilmersdorf, Teufelsseechaussee 28

(Strandbad) Wannsee
At more than 100 years old, Europe’s largest inland bathing lake is a “grand-daddy’’ of bathing spots, but it hasn’t lost any of its original charm. The small, lush and earthy bays offer great opportunities for water sports. The lakeside swimming area is especially popular with families because of the large shallow-water area, the long sandy beach, nudist area, pleasant esplanade and large playground.
›› Nikolassee, Wannseebadweg 25, Tel. 8 03 54 50, www.strandbadwannsee.de

Weißer See & Strandbad Weißensee
Idyllic lake with 10 m fountain, paddling pool and playground, surrounded by lush sunbathing areas. The Weißensee swimming beach has a cozy sandy beach, massage area, playground and spider climbing frame. There are no grassy areas.
›› Strandbad: Weißensee, Uferprommenade am Weißen See, Tel. 9 25 32 41, www.binbaden.com

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Swimming lakes near Berlin


Badeanstalt am Brüssower See
Restaurant, snack bar, boat rental, sporting facilities, swimming less­ons, camping ground.
›› Uckermark, 17326 Brüssow, Prenzlauer Str. 6, Tel. 0 170/763 53 45

Bernsteinsee Velten
Full package of summer fun with a grassy main beach with playground and supervision, nudist area, large beach sports area as well as water ski and wakeboard facilities.
›› 16727 Velten, Am Bernsteinsee 1, Tel. 0 33 03/40 01 45, www.wakeboard-berlin.de

Heiliger See
Idyllic swimming lake near the Neuer Garten in Potsdam. Young and old meet here on the large sunbathing meadow with a nude area. With a little luck, you might come across a few celebrities getting a tan.
›› Potsdam, Im Neuen Garten

Stadtbad Park Babelsberg
Located on the shore of the Tiefer See in the magical Babelsberg Park with a nice sandy beach, rowboat rental and various sports possibilities.
›› Potsdam, Am Babelsberger Park, Tel. 0 331/6 61 98 34

Strandbad Caputh
Restaurant, café, boat rental, surfing school.
›› Havelland, 14548 Caputh, Weg zum Strandbad 1, Tel. 03 32 09/8 08 51, www.seebad-caputh.de

Strandbad Ferch
Beachside café, beach volleyball, playground.
›› Havelland, 14548 Schwie­lowsee, Ortsteil Ferch, Dorf Str. 50, Tel. 03 32 09/7 02 95, www.schwielowsee-camping.de

Strandbad Friedensteich
Child-friendly swimming area with playground, beach volleyball grass courts, beach soccer, mini golf, canoe hire and a snack bar.
›› Info: Freizeitpark Wittenberge, 19322 Wittenberge, Gehrenweg 83, Tel. 0 38 77/791 95, www.freizeit-park-wittenberge.de

Strandbad Großer Lychensee
Snack bar, piers, beach volleyball, playground, table tennis, diving boards.
›› Uckermark, 17279 Lychen, Am Strandbad 3, Tel. 03 98 88/5 23 05

Strandbad Klausdorf
Snack bar, boat rental, water slide.
›› Fläming, 15838 Klausdorf, Zossener Str. 74

Strandbad Kyritz am Untersee
Water slides, snack bar, boat rental, beach parties.
›› Ruppiner Land 16866 Kyritz, Seestr. 120, Tel. 03 39 71/7 22 62, www.strandbad-kyritz.de

Strandbad Mellensee
Snack bar, barbecue area, rowing boats, restaurant, sunbathing.
›› Fläming, 15806 Mellensee, Tel. 0 33 77/39 45 34

Strandbad Templin
Sunbathing lawn, sandy beach, boat rental and diving base camp.
›› 17268 Templin, Havelland, Prenzlauer Allee 26, Tel. 0 172/7 84 18 01, www.wassersport-templin.de

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Indoor playgrounds


Bambooland
Boisterous games in a huge jungle landscape with exotic animals and in any weather – and not only for kids. Bouncy castle, trampolines, soft ball cannons, climbing frame, lots of slides and many other attractions, all designed so that adults can also use them. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt apparently came here with their kids.
›› Siemensstadt, Nonnen­damm­alle 117 Tel. 34 35 56 60
›› Lichterfelde, Goerzallee 218, Tel. 86 20 38 88
›› 15745 Wildau, Chaussee Str. 1, Tel. 0 33 75/21 70 40
›› www.bamboo-land.de

Bim & Boom
Large, colorful play hall with a number of fun attractions. Reach dizzying heights on the climbing tower, then test your aim with the softball cannon and finally take part in a fast race on the pedal car track. Lots of ways to spend a great afternoon with friends.
›› Marzahn, Beilsteiner Str. 109, Tel. 78 08 59 39, www.bim-boom.de

Jacks Fun World
This top-class play and adventure paradise stretches over 4,000 sq m. With its mini golf, bungee trampolines and giant sliding boards to slides, cable ways, a children’s railway and go-karts to a huge climbing area, you’ll find everything to turn a free day into an unforgettable experience for young and old.
›› Reinickendorf, Mirau Str. 38, Tel. 41 90 02 42, www.jacks-fun-world.de 

Jolos
Whether bumper cars, trampolines, bouncy castles or educational computers, in Jolos, kids can have a good romp in many different ways. Naturally, it’s a little wild but there are also more quiet corners and interactive games areas in which children’s senses are improved but fun still plays a large role.
›› Kreuzberg, Am Tempelhofer Berg 7d, Tel. 61 20 27-96, -97, www.jolo-berlin.de

Kids Planet
Indoor play facility in outer-space style with slides, a bouncy castle, climbing walls and many additional attractions. In the disco, party-happy children can have fun to great music and dancing. A café offers parents a chance to relax.
›› Charlottenburg, Damaschke Str. 4, Tel. 83 20 35 45, www. kidsplanet-berlin.de

Ritterland
Playfully discover the world of brave knights and damsels in distress. Climb up the castle walls, defend the castle with ball-shooting machines or find your way through the adventure labyrinth. The children will certainly be happy in the lovingly designed Medieval atmosphere.
›› Buckow, Buckower Damm 191, Tel. 66 70 75 60, www.ritterland-berlin.de

Tommys Turbulente Tobewelt
A 2,000 sq m, lovingly designed play facility with a bouncy mountain, kart track, wavy slide, cable way and many other exciting attractions. Inexpensive admission offers. Children’s birthdays can be held here.
›› Weißensee, Roelcke Str. 106, Tel. 92 09 30 56, www.tommys-tobewelt.de

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Parks & gardens


Botanischer Garten
With an area of 43 hectares and about 22,000 plant varieties, this is one of the world’s largest and species-rich botanical gardens. In various open-air sections, such as the geobotanical section or the 16 greenhouses, visitors can make their way on a global botanical journey. Now that the Großes Tropenhaus (large tropical building) has been renovated, this Noah’s Ark of endangered plants is really worth a visit.
›› Dahlem, Königin-Luise-Str. 6-8, Tel. 83 85 01 00, www.botanischer-garten-berlin.de

Britzer Garten
The 90-hectare grounds of the 1985 National Horticultural Show is now one of Berlin’s most attractive leisure spots. In addition to a heath landscape, there are large meadows, dense woods, babbling brooks, hills, valleys and a chain of lakes surrounding a central 10-hectare lake. For families with children, special attractions include a waterworks playground, a model ship harbor, a park railroad and a petting zoo among other things. No dogs or cycles allowed.
›› Britz, Eingänge: Mohriner Allee, Tauernallee, Buckower Damm, Sangerhauser Weg, Massiner Weg, Blütenachse, www.gruen-berlin.de

Gärten der Welt im Erholungspark Marzahn
A 21-hectare park with a small admission fee. It has many walking paths, sunbathing lawns and lots of places for children to play. Unique are the examples of foreign landscaping. The Chinese Garden is the largest of its kind in Europe. These gardens have opened since 2000 – Japanese and Balinese Gardens (in the greenhouse), Korean Seoul Garden, a maze and a labyrinth, Oriental Garden and Italian Renaissance Garden, as well as an example of German landscaping, the Karl Foerster Herbaceous Garden. The new Christlicher Garten opened in spring 2011. Dogs and cycles are not allowed. Admission: Adults € 3, children (6-14 years) € 1.50.
›› Marzahn, Entrances: Eisenacher Straße & Blumberger Damm, Tel. 2 80 18-117, www.gruen-berlin.de

Gleisdreieck Park
This 26-hectare park connects Potsdamer Platz in the city center with the older parts of Kreuzberg and Schöneberg. It is planned as a modern “Central Park” with spacious grassy areas amid space for fun, sport, nature and events. In the eastern part are the Rosenduft multicultural garden and Berlin’s first nature education center for children, which won’t actually open its doors until the park’s official opening takes place in late summer 2011.
›› between Potsdamer Platz, Kreuzberg & Schöneberg, www.gruen-berlin.de

Glienicker Park
Spacious country park on the banks of the Havel. Glienicker Park, the Böttcherberg and the Jagd­schloss­park south of Königstraße, are regarded as an outstanding union of architecture and park landscaping and they have been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1990. The park is next to the huge Berliner Forst Düppel woods.
›› Wannsee, König Str. 36

Görlitzer Park
Park with playground and ball-playing area, sunbathing lawns, var­i­ous sculptures, quiet areas, ornamental garden, biotope and skater ramps. Also a popular children’s farm and a traffic education area.
›› Kreuzberg, Görlitzer Str./Wiener Str.

Großer Tiergarten
This former royal hunting grounds is now Berlin’s second largest park, covering 210 hectares. It has many small streams, sunbathing meadows and lakes with small islands as well as children’s playgrounds, kickabout areas and table-tennis tables. In addition, there are individual gardens such as the Luiseninsel, the Rosengarten (Rose Garden) or the Englischer Garten (English Garden), which contains an enticing café/restaurant with a large terrace and live concerts. In the southwestern part is the Neuer See with boat rental and the Café am Neuen See with a large beer garden on the southern side.
›› Tiergarten, Straße des 17. Juni, Tiergartenstr., S-Bahn bis Tiergarten

Grunewald & Teufelsberg
A 3,000-hectare large forest bounded by the Havel to the west and a chain of lakes to the east. Inside the forest is the 115-m Teufelsberg, which was built from Second World War debris. In winter, this becomes a winter sports area. Additional attractions include the Grunewaldturm, a 55-m high tower on the Karlsberg hill and the Jagdschloss Grunewald (Grunewald Hunting Lodge), which has a museum inside.
›› Grune­wald: Teufelsseechaussee
›› Grunewaldturm: Grunewald, Havelchaussee 61, Tel. 41 72 00 01 (restaurant)
www.restaurant-grunewaldturm.de
›› Teufelsberg: Teufelsberger Chaussee
›› Jagdschloss Grune­wald: Hüttenweg 100, Tel. 8 13 35 97, www.spsg.de 

Mauerpark
Where the border used to divide Berlin into two halves, you can now relax in a small park. A part of the Berlin Wall is preserved here. Otherwise, the park contains an amphitheater, places to sit or lie down in the sun on a hill, a small birch forest, a children’s farm, a fenced-in dog exercise area and a large lawn for games and sports.
›› Prenzlauer Berg, Schwedter Str., U-Bahn to Eberswalder Straße

Müggelberge & Köpenicker Forst
The Müggelberge mountains are a forested chain of hills south of the Großer Müggelsee, with the 88-m high Kleiner (Small) Müggelberg and the 115-meter high Großer (Large) Müggelberg. In Köpenick, 70 percent of which is cov­ered by forests, lakes and rivers, you will have no problem finding many well-built footpaths in nature. The Köpenicker Forst forest, with an area of 7,500 hectares, is the largest in Berlin.
›› Köpenick, Müggelheimer Damm

Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände
This area was once part of the Tempelhof railway yards, built in 1875. After the railway ceased operations in the 1950s, the grounds became overgrown and dry grasslands, areas with tall herbaceous vegetation and a natural for­est developed. Today, you can find a fascinating union of nature, railway relicts and art objects here. The park’s landmark is a 50-m high steel water tower. Additional witnesses of history are a steam locomotive and stretches of track. But you can also find meadows for playing, sports and picnics here. Dogs and cycles are not allowed.
›› Schöneberg, Entrance: at S-Bahnhof Priesterweg, www.gruen-berlin.de

Park am Weißen See
Pleasant park with lots of leisure and relaxation possibilities on the banks of the 8.5-hectare Weißer See. The park has an outdoor swimming area and boat rental, an open-air theater, an animal enclosure and many playgrounds,including a pond with water-spouting sea lions that’s very popular on hot days. You can observe the action on the water from the lake-side terrace of the Milchhäuschen café.
›› Weißensee, Berliner Allee/Große Seestr.

Schlosspark Charlottenburg
A French Baroque garden created in 1697 with a Broderie-Parterre, fountain and numerous sunbathing lawns. The hill in the north of the park (created from Second World War debris) is a popular place to go sledding in winter. Further special features of the park are the Belvedere, the Luiseninsel island, the mausoleum, as well as the castle and the neighboring buildings, which contain museums.
›› Charlottenburg, Spandauer Damm 20-24, www.spsg.de

Tempelhofer Park
The airport where Allied “raisin bomber’’ planes once landed to supply a blockaded West Berlin with food is now the city’s biggest park covering 350 hectares, where sports and leisure attractions are the centerpiece.
›› Tempelhof, U6 to Paradestr./Platz der Luftbrücke/Tempelhof; U7 to Hermannplatz/Südstern; U8 to Hermannplatz/Boddinstraße/Leinestraße/Hermannstraße; S-Bahn to Hermannstraße/Tempelhof

Treptower Park
Treptower Park, on the banks of the Spree river, is one of Berlin’s most historic and popular recreation areas. Large, open meadows, dense areas of bushes and a footpath network that curves lazily through the park are characteristic features. Highlights are a rose garden, a flower garden, the carp pond, the Insel der Jugend (Island of Youth), the Archenhold observatory and the Sowjetische Ehrenmal (Soviet Monument). There is also a boat rental and boat trips on the Spree as well as various cafés and restaurants.
›› Treptow, Am Treptower Park/Puschkinallee, S-Bahn to Treptower Park

Viktoriapark
The Viktoriapark is on the slopes of the Kreuzberg hill, the highest (66 m) natural elevation in the city. Especially enchanted places are the rocky Wolfs­schlucht ravine with its small natural springs, and the large waterfall with a 24-m drop. There is also a sports field, a large playground and an animal enclosure. In summer, the Golgatha with its large beer garden is a popular meeting place. It’s at the Dudenstraße park entrance.
›› Kreuzberg, Kreuzberg Str., U-Bahn to Platz der Luftbrücke

Volkspark Friedrichshain
A 49-hectare park with footpaths, sunbath­ing lawns, children’s playgrounds, a paddling pool, rental of leisure-time and sports equipment, a basketball court, tennis courts, a halfpipe, an open-air theater and a sled run. The 78-m Großer Bunkerberg and the 48-m Kleiner (Small) Bunkerberg were built on the rubble of a Second World War bunker. The main attraction of the park is the Märchenbrunnen (fairy-tale fountain), with sculptures of well-known figures from Grimm’s fairy tales. The Märchenbrunnenfest festival takes place here every September.
›› Friedrichshain, Am Friedrichshain/Friedenstr.

Volkspark Hasenheide
A 47-hectare popular park with extensive grassy areas between long wooded stretches and the 69.5-m Rixdorfer Höhe hill, which was built from Second World War rubble. Special attractions include the heath garden and rhododendron grove, which are crisscrossed by labyrinthine paths, the Rixdorfer Teich pond, the Hasenschänke café and the animal enclosure with its fallow deer, sheep and peacocks. In summer, music and theater events take place regularly at the open-air theater in the middle of the park, movies are also shown there.
›› Neukölln, Hasenheide/Columbiadamm, U-Bahn to Hermannplatz

Volkspark Humboldthain
Expansive park with footpaths, sunbathing lawns and lots of places for children to play including a supervised playground. In addition there is a rose garden, open-air swimming pool, sledding hill, water garden, observation platform with a breathtaking 360° view.
›› Wedding, Brunnenstr./Wiesenstr., S-Bahn to Humboldthain or Gesundbrunnen

Volkspark Jungfernheide
Covering about 146 hectares, this is Berlin’s third largest park after the Tempelhofer Park and Tiergarten. Attractions include large playing fields and sunbathing lawns, four sports fields, the Jungfernheide lake with an outdoor swimming area and boat rental, a garden theater, a relaxation facility for children and several fenced-in animal enclosures in the eastern portion of the park, where there are also woods with several oak and beech trees that are about 100 years old. Another special feature is the 38-m water tower.
›› Charlottenburg, Saatwinkler Damm/Jungfernheideweg/Heckerdamm, U-Bahn to Heckerdamm

Volkspark Rehberge
A roughly 115-hectare park with a large grass play area, two lakes, food and drink, animal enclosure, sled­d­ing area, open-air stage, sport fields and tennis courts as well as a stadium.
›› Wedding, Afrikanische Str./Transvaal­str., U-Bahn to Rehberge

Volkspark Wilmersdorf
Pretty, small park with a lake, sunbathing lawns, playing areas, soccer fields, water playground, basketball and tennis courts, minigolf and a dog exercise area, kiosks and restaurants.
›› Wilmersdorf, Am Volkspark/Mecklenburgische Str., U-Bahn to Blissestr.

Volkspark Wuhlheide
Forest park with sports fields, playground and exercise areas, dancing area, sledding hill and outdoor swimming area. The FEZ Freizeit- und Erholungszentrum is in the southeastern portion of the park.
›› Oberschöneweide, An der Wuhlheide

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Zoos


AquaDom & Sea Life Center Berlin
Who said fish are boring! This attraction showcases a fascinating underwater world with more than 30 ponds in all shapes and sizes containing about 4,000 aquatic animals from around 100 species from mussels to tope sharks. An elevator ride through the AquaDom, the world’s biggest indoor aquarium, is a unique experience.
›› Mitte, Spandauer Str. 3, Tel. 0 18 05/6 69 01 01, www.sealife.de

Tierpark Friedrichsfelde
Covering 160 hectares, this is one of Europe’s largest zoological gardens. It has extensive outdoor enclosures for hoofed animals, lakes for geese and flamingos Impressive indoor enclosures, snake farm.
›› Friedrichsfelde, Am Tierpark 125, Tel. 51 53 10, www.tierpark-berlin.de

Zoologischer Garten & Aquarium
Germany’s oldest zoo has a lot to offer its approximately three million annual visitors: More than 17,000 animals from over 1,500 species are housed in modern enclosures and in historic and architecturally attractive animal houses. There are also night creature houses, seal and penguin areas with underwater windows, a restaurant and a large children’s play area. Right next door is the zoo aquarium, which is the world’s most species-diverse aquatic life showcase with 9,000 creatures from 800 species. The highlight of the extensive exhibits on three floors is the crocodile hall. The aquarium can be reached from inside the zoo or from the Budapester Straße entrance.
›› Charlottenburg, Hardenbergplatz 8, Tel. 25 40 10, www.zoo-berlin.de, www.aquarium-berlin.de

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Specials


Berliner Fernsehturm
With a height of 368 m, this television tower is Berlin’s tallest building. You have a great view from the panorama level at 203 m and the rota­ting tower res­tau­rant (two complete rotations per hour) at 207 m.
›› Alexan­derplatz, Panorama Str. 1a, Tel. 24 75 75 0, www.berlinerfernsehturm.de

FEZ Berlin
Europe’s biggest non-profit children and family center with lake, sporting facilities, playgrounds and a 7.5-km park railway. Special weekend events for families, e.g. cooking Olympics, school bag festival (a Ger­man tradition,) family triathlon and travel fair – a different theme 50 weekends a year.
›› Oberschöneweide, Straße zum FEZ 2, Tel. 53 07 10, www.fez-berlin.de

Isa Mitz
Berlin’s first and, as yet, only black-light mini golf club opened in summer 2010, inviting young and old to swing their clubs on a very special course. Players can test their skills on 18 holes in five differently configured rooms, ranging from the endless vastness of space to the unexplored depths of the ocean. Afterwards you can relax with coffee and cake on the ground floor while the kids have fun in the play area.
›› Kreuzberg, Görlitzer Str. 1, Haus 1, Tel. 61 62 19 60, www.­indoor-minigolf-berlin.de

Legoland Discovery Centre
The popular colored blocks are in the spotlight here, inviting you to be amazed and to learn by doing. Various attractions, such as the dragon castle and the jungle expedition, keep you entertained. You can show off your own tinkering abilities in the construction and test center and then experience the manufacturing of the blocks up close and personal in the Lego factory. In addition, there is a 4-D cinema. To refuel with food and drink, visit the Lego bistro. Fun and excitement for young and old.
›› Tiergarten, Sony Center, Potsdamer Str. 4, Tel. 30 10 40 10, www.legolanddiscoverycentre.com

Stern und Kreisschiffahrt
You can discover Berlin and its region from an exciting new viewpoint on board one of the 31 passenger boats operated by the Stern und Kreis­schiffahrt line. The company offers 30 very varied tours around the city on the Landwehr canal, and Havel and Spree rivers. These range from a historic city tour to a seven-lakes circular cruise to a tour around Potsdam. There are also individual charter opportunities.
›› Alt-Treptow, Puschkinallee 15, Tel. 53 63 600, www.sternundkreis.de

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