Even though Berlin is not by the sea, there is plenty of water in and around Berlin. The river Spree and the Channel ‘Landwehrkanal’ are probably the most obvious waters, going right through the center of the city. But then there is also quite a number of Berlin Lakes to discover – lakes in and around Berlin, most of which can be easily reached by public transport, by bike or by car.
Traditionally in the summer time Berliners love to hang out at lakes like the Wannsee. There is even an old song about a summer day trip to Wannsee. Some people love to go swimming, others just want to hang out by the water. And on the larger interconnected lakes you can see small sailing boats, large pleasure boats and other water vessels of all kinds passing by.
Especially during the weekends some lakes / some spots can be quite crowded. Especially the small inner city lakes you can reach by U-Bahn or S-Bahn can be just a bit too crowded. Then again other lakes, other spots, a bit hidden and not so easily accessible shores can appear to be rather cozy.
For many Berliners the Berlin and Brandenburg Lakes play an important role in their life. This is where they spend their spare time in the summer – this is where they meet friends on the weekend. Before the Berlin Wall came down for many walled-in West-Berliners the West Berlin lakes were even more important – a rare option to be ‘outside’ Berlin without actually leaving the city.
Here’s a list of some of the popular lakes in and near Berlin:
- Krumme Lanke – Zehlendorf | Wikipedia | Google-Map
- Tegeler See / Lake Tegel – Tegel | Wikipedia | Google-Map
- Müggelsee – Treptow-Köpenick | Wikipedia | Google-Map
- Plötzensee – Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf | Wikipedia | Google-Map
- Großer Wannsee / Greater Wannsee – Berlin-Zehlendorf | Wikipedia | Google-Map
- Flughafensee – Tegel | Wikipedia | Google-Map
- Schlachtensee – Zehlendorf | Wikipedia | Google-Map
- Groß-Glienicker See (Potsdam) | Wikipedia | Google-Map
- Sacrower See (Potsdam) | Wikipedia | Google-Map
Water quality of Berlin Lakes
In 2015 the city of Berlin released a search engine, that lets you check the current water quality in each of nearly 40 lakes across Berlin and Brandenburg. At first glance the search tool might appear to be a bit complicated to use – but all you actually just have to do is click the search button “Suchen” and on the following page you’ll find a list of all nearby lakes along with a handy map. Just follow the following link and try for yourself:
The first column shows the overall water quality with a single letter. As far as I know A or A+ stands for the best quality – but more importantly a green background color would indicate that the water quality is suitable for swimming. In the second column the name of the lake (or location) is displayed – next to it the date when the water was last tested.If you click on the name of the location you’ll get detailed information about the water quality:
In the second column the borough or area is displayed. The third column shows the date, when the water quality of the lake was last time tested. The “E.coli” stands for “Escherichia coli” and the “IE” could indicate the concentration of “Endotoxin” – but I’m not so sure about that. Anyways – if the numbers for E.coli and IE are low and all ‘lamps’ are green, the water quality of that particular lake should be alright. Officially. Tested and approved.
Then there is also an official (berlin.de) lakes map with markers that indicate the location and the water quality of each swimming spot:
- Summer in Berlin
- The Berlin Swimming Map – a map of Berlin lakes, open air swimming pools and public transport (how to get there)
- “Berlin’s best lakes for sunbathing and wild swimming” (article at telegraph.co.uk)
- “The Lakes of Berlin” (short portraits of some Berlin lakes and swimming spots at iheartberlin.de)
Do you have and thoughts, suggestions, additional recommendations or comments? Please feel free to leave your comment below. Thank you!