Summer is here and we could not be more excited to finally go out again and enjoy what the city has to offer. This year everything is different and we kinda have to rethink the way we spend our time. But we’re up for the challenge and ready to get creative.
Having lived in Berlin for 20 years you would think I’ve been everywhere in town. Well, I have not! And I’m kinda glad Berlin is so large there still remain some places that I hadn’t heard of before or never managed to visit. One of these corners of Berlin is Köpenick. It’s in the B zone, so it’s technically part of the city, but it pretty much feels like a separate little town, much like Potsdam, but smaller. And there are quite a few things there to discover, so a couple of friends and I decided to embark on a bike tour there.
You can normally reach Köpenick via S-Bahn with the S3 line, but as this line wasn’t working on the day we went, we decided to go with the S9 line to Adlershof and bike up from there. It’s not very far from there, maybe 15-20 minutes by bike to reach the central point of Köpenick. Arriving there you cross a bridge that already grants you the view of its main sight: The castle of Köpenick.
The Köpenick castle is quite pretty, but its main perk might be the lovely park attached to it with an all-round water view as the castle is on a little island. Berliners of all walks of life were frolicking around in the park, sitting by the water or between the spectacular colorful Rhododendron bushes that were in full bloom.
From the castle, you can head straight over to the old town center of Köpenick. It’s a cute Medieval town with some charming architecture and a lovely atmosphere to enjoy (and possibly your first ice cream of the trip). After cruising around town we started to head towards the Salvador-Allende-Bridge to cross the Müggelspree river to reach the upper side of the large Müggelsee. From here we took the Müggelseedamm and later the Fürstenwalderdamm along the Müggelsee. For the entire ride there is a designated bike lane on the side of the road or next to the road in the forest which makes this a very comfortable ride. There are a few spots with nice views of the lake on the way.
Ca. around the “Rastplatz am Müggelsee” on Müggelseedamm you will have access to the forest on a footpath that you can also take with your bike that brings you right into nature and gives you some natural entry points to the water that are really lovely. Around there, there is also one of the FKK nudist beaches typical for Berlin and East Germany, this one is particularly for queers. You can exit the forest path ca. around the “djo Jugenddorf” as the continuation with bike towards the official beach is not ideal. Once you’ve arrived at the main road again (Fürstenwalderdamm) you can continue East. Shortly after you arrive at the official beach of Müggelsee. You can either already enter now and take a swim, or save this spot for the way back as we did.
Once you leave the lake behind you, you enter Rahnsdorf and Wilhelmshagen. When the S3 line is actually going you can reach this place easily with the S-Bahn also, but then it’s gonna be less biking which is half the fun of the trip. Our furthest destination was Neu Venedig (New Venice) which is a little colony of canals and boathouses. I think initially this was once a modest colony of weekend cabins with water access so people can take their boats our to reach the lake via the Müggelspree river. But as the place was so damn lovely some rich people started to build fancy villas also, so it’s a bit of a wild demographic mix here. Biking around this neighborhood and enjoying the cute little houses and canals is certainly worth it. But the best of course is to experience it by boat.
There is one place called Kanuverleih Berlin which is hidden in a myriad of little paths and streets back into the direction of the lake. If you use Google maps you will find it. The place is renting out canoes for 2 or 3 people, stand-up paddleboards, and a few smaller paddle boats. The place was packed when we were there, yet we only had to wait maybe 15 minutes to get a canoe and it was also only 10 EUR per hour. From there we paddled back to the Neu Venedig colony along the little canals.
From the boat, you have a much better view of the cute houses and the quaint live hidden there. I admit as we were all novices to paddling it was a bit of a challenge to drive a straight line, but this made the trip also quite hilarious as we felt like a ball in a pinball automat bumping from side to side of the canals and occasionally also into incoming boat traffic.
After exploring Neu Venedig which was quite the adventure, we headed back to the beach of Müggelsee (free entry btw.) and made a little picnic on the grass by the water under a tree (there is also sand, but this is less ideal for picnics). It was nice to really rest there from all the biking and paddling, after going this far we felt like we really deserved it. The light was so beautiful, with the sun so low and golden. A perfect spot to hang out, soak up the late afternoon sun, and cheers to the end of our lovely bike trip.