For weeks now I have been enquiring from friends and acquaintances about their experiences with the lakes in and around Berlin in preparation for our new guide. There is a few very popular lakes that are highly frequented on the hot days, but there are so many more that you might not have ever heard of that are even better because they are less busy and have a better water quality. In fact Berlin has far more than 30 lakes nearby that are suitable for swimming and the city even has a website where you can check the current water quality and features. Recently Visit Berlin also featured a practical map of all the open swimming pools and beaches and how to reach them by public transport. We went a step further and researched a little more about the lakes to give you a guide of the nicest opportunities to dive into the water to refresh from the summer heat. Our list is a mix of places that we know ourselves or that we have first hand recommendations of by friends or that were highly rated in other sources. Enjoy our guide and make sure to tell us all about your lake experience in the comments below!
The Nymphensee is a little gem of a natural lake in the West of Berlin near Falkensee. There is a charming little beach called Waldbad Nymphensee which offers a cafe and restaurant and a couple of conveniences. The lake is really picturesque and the water is really clean, one of the cleanest of the area. You can reach the lake by going to Brieselang with the regional train and it’s just a short walk from the station.
photo: Waldbad Nymphensee
The Sacrower See is a relatively less frequented but beautiful and clean lake in the South West of Berlin. It’s actually not too far from the Pfaueninsel. But as it’s on the other side of the Wannsee it’s a little more difficult to reach, the main reason why it’s unknown to many Berliners. However, there are two bus lines (234 from Berlin and 697 from Potsdam) that stop right by the lake. Some of the beautiful features of the lake are picturesque Heilandskirche church, the castle Schloss Sacrow, the natural reservoir surrounding the lake and the Königswald forest, so it’s totally worth it taking a walk around the lake to discover it all. The only beach of the lake is by the restaurant Landleben Potsdam, that is also quite lovely. On our first visit there we amazed by the quality of the water and the tranquility of the place. It felt like a real vacation, only an hours ride away from Berlin.
We discovered this lake when we were at a festival in the North of Berlin and we were stoked by how clear and clean the water was. It’s located a bit North of Eberswalde. The best way to reach it is by car, it’s a bit too far with train and bike. The lake itself has quite a couple of bathing spots, some of which have cafes and restaurants. Once you reach the street that goes around the lake you will see a huge map of the lake at the side of the road with all the beaches marked. We picked the first one we came by and it was lovely. Not at all full on a very warm and sunny day and lots of space on the grass in the sun or in the shadow. We had a cafe at the top of the fill that was decent with a good view.
The Bernsteinsee in Ruhlsdorf (not to be mistaken with the one in Velten) is also North of Berlin a bit above Bernau. It is also best reached by car. It has two big sandy beaches, one on the East side with a water ski facility, cafe, big parking place and camping site. But the more charming one is the one in the South. It’s a bit more secluded and can only be reached by a hike through the woods. But it’s worth it, not many people find their way here and you have sun, sand and clear water.
The Langer See is one of three parts of the river lake Dahme in the South East of Berlin in Alt Glienicke near the airport Schönefeld. There is an official small sand beach there called “Bammelecke” that you can reach quite conveniently with the Tram line 68. But you can also find a spot in nature where you will be more secluded.
photo: Thommy_Tonka / CC
The Schlachtensee at the border of the Grunewald in Steglitz-Zehlendorf is a beautiful natural lake that’s one of the easier to reach options in Berlin. It doesn’t really have any sand beaches, but you can hop off the S-Bahn station of the same name and walk within minutes along the shore of the lake to find a bathing spot. There is also a boat rental which is a nice option if you don’t like to go inside the water without beach sand.
photo: Andrea Padoan
The Tegeler See next to the Tegel airport is quite the big lake that has a couple of free swimming spots and one official beach (which is not in the best condition so you should use the free natural spots). There are multiple ways to reach the lake from any side with public transport and or bike. It has a couple of islands that you can even access by bike and explore.
UPDATE: Not a place to go with dogs, as there have been some unclarified doggy deaths recently, sadly.
photo: K.H.Reichert / CC
The Summter See near the village Summt is North of Berlin right off the highway ring around the city and therefore quite easy to reach by car. It’s not a very big one, and there are only two quite small beaches. But the surrounding forest is really beautiful and the crowd that goes there, mostly young families from the city, is really nice. We came here on one of the hottest days on the weekend during the last heat wave and obviously it was quite busy, but still, we could find a lovely spot in the shadow under the trees. And once you swim out onto the lake a bit away from the crowded beach you will appreciate this lovely place. You can reach the lake by going to the S-Bahn stop Mühlenbeck-Mönchmühle and take the rest of the way by bike.
The Rahmer See is in the North of Berlin a bit above Bernau. It’s apparently one of the nicest lakes for swimming in Berlin, but well, I heard that a couple of times now already, so I suppose it’s one of the good ones. It’s the smaller brother of the also nice Wandlitzsee and you can reach it with the regional train RB27 and the rest of the way by bike.
The Liepnitzsee in the North of Berlin near Bernau is one of the classics of the Berlin lakes. It is a beautiful one with amazing water and a little island in the middle. They have an official beach that takes entry but has some comforts, but there are also many natural free spots along the whole lake. The parking situation is a bit of a disaster there, so coming here with the S-Bahn or regional train and take the rest of the way with the bike is a nice option.
photo: Peter Burri / CC
You can’t go wrong with the Wannsee. The big official sand beach is conveniently located close to the S-Bahn stop Nikolassee on the way down to Potsdam. It’s probably one of the biggest beaches we have in Berlin, but it also gets quite busy. They have a gay and nudist area towards the right of the beach. If you prefer a more natural entry into the water there are also some spots you can bath further down from the official beach.
photo: visitBerlin / Wolfgang Scholvien / CC
The Müggelsee is the East version of Wannsee. It’s South East of Berlin in Köpenick and also quite spacious. The official sand beach offers the usual comforts and you will probably never feel lonely there.
photo: Michael Panse / CC
And here is the public transport map of the lakes in and around Berlin by visitBerlin for more lake fun!
What lakes have you visited in and around Berlin and how did you like them? Share your experience in the comments below!