For me, the success of the Berlin summer is measured by the number of lake visits that I managed. I’ve come to learn to take immediate advantage of good weather no matter if I have time or not, because you never know how many good lake days you gonna get. This year has been not great. Not been to the lake at all. So I have a lot of catching up to do in the remaining weeks of the summer. Let’s hope for some good weather, right?
We already published a big lake guide a while ago which you can find here. For this year we decided to make a smaller, updated version for you guys that reflects a bit more which lakes we personally actually frequent. Enjoy!
If I had to choose one lake that I could only go to, I would probably pick Tonsee. It’s a quite small lake, with only one beach, but the water is so clear, the sand soft and the surrounding forest so dreamy. I usually take the bike onto the train to Groß Köris South of Berlin and then bike for another 10-15 minutes through the village and forest to reach the beach at Tonsee. There is also a camping ground there with a little bistro where you can get ice cream or a drink. Especially during the weekends and late afternoon, the beach is popular with hip young families from Neukölln.
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 in the lake is by the restaurant Landleben Potsdam, which 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 hour’s 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 by 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 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: Valerie-Siba Rousparast
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.