The 6 Best Lakes in Berlin For Swimming

Best Lakes in Berlin

Best Lakes in Berlin – When summer temperatures exceed 25 degrees, the German capital empties of its inhabitants. Where have they gone? By the lakes! Swimming is a true art of living in Berlin. To experience it, here is my selection of the best lakes in Berlin: the most accessible, the most secret, the most beautiful.

Best Lakes in Berlin

1. My favorite lake: Straussee

This summer, on one of the rare sunny days we had, I found the best Berlin lake, at least the ideal lake for me. I discovered it thanks to the Morgenpost interactive map which shows you the swimming places closest to you.

This is the Straussee which extends 4 kilometers long from the small town of Strausberg. However, this lake is not very wide and it is even possible to swim across it.

Its first advantage is its location not far from the S-Bahn Strausberg Stadt, the penultimate station of line S5. The S5 line passes through the center of Berlin, notably through the stations Ostkreuz, Warschauer Str, Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse… I still recommend that you take your bikes on the S-Bahn to quickly reach the S-Bahn station Strausberg Stadt on the banks of the lake (otherwise it’s a good 10 minutes on foot), and above all to go around it and find your ideal spot.

Last recommendation in terms of transport, do not get off at Strausberg station (which is actually the suburbs of the city of Strausberg), but at Strausberg Stadt station. There’s nothing to do at Strausberg station except spend money in the public toilets whose door won’t open no matter how much you give it.

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Finally arriving at Strausberg Stadt, we got on our bikes, followed the signs to access the lake and passed through the cobbled town center, lined with a few half-timbered houses. We then started around the lake to the left, advised by a talkative and flirtatious granny who was waiting for the ferry to cross the lake.

Difficult to decide on the mini beach where to spread our towels. The ones closest to the city were already occupied, then several possibilities presented themselves to us. We opted for a private beach below the path, half earthy, half sandy, delicately shaded. Dressed in our swimsuits, our toes taste the water. First surprise, it is fine sand which covers the ground and not viscous mud as is often the case in Berlin’s lakes. Second good surprise, the water is rather pleasant when you consider these last few cold and rainy weeks. We decide to swim across the lake. A bit sporty, but there is no power. On the other bank, however, we can hear the cars passing on the main road located behind the forest wall. So we return to our shore.

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After spending some time in the sun to dry off, we continue around the lake by bike. I do not recommend the ends of the lake which are bordered by the road, prefer the central parts which are completely peaceful, always punctuated by small or large beaches. The water is so transparent that you (almost) think you’re in the Caribbean.
The only downside is that this lake leaks! In fact, local residents have noticed for several years that the water level of this artificial lake is falling. The specialists sent to the site have not yet found the cause…

2. The most popular lake: Schlachtensee

This summer I finally went to Lake Schlachtensee. I was told it was the most beautiful lake in Berlin. And it’s true that it was a nice surprise. It is easily accessible by the S-Bahn of the same name, which doesn’t spoil anything and offers a nice walk. You can go around 6 km in an hour. The water is beautiful and clean. There are a few small natural beaches but often crowded. That’s why I quickly told myself that I would go back there in the fall. It seemed to me that the lake was ideal for romantic and bucolic walks, wrapped up in a hat and scarf.

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In terms of activities, there is a Biergarten called  Fischerhütte  (Fisherman’s Hut) where you can eat and which offers a play area for children. On the opposite side, a small hut rents boats. The edges of the lake are ideal for jogging and walks or bike rides.

3. The lake in the middle of the forest: Jungfernsee

Located in the middle of the Jungfernheide forest, it is a stone’s throw from Charlottenburg. It was developed by Siemens for its employees in the 1920s. To get there, it is best to go by car or bike.

Entrance is 2.50 euros from 5:30 p.m. and 4 euros before. There is a sandy beach, a bar where you can also eat, toilets and changing rooms. The lake is beautifully surrounded by forest. It is very pleasant to swim there and there is no risk of getting your neighbor’s feet in your face.

My advice: Come at the end of the day! You can admire the sunset and especially Boris the beach attendant raking the sand in a red swimsuit, Baywatch style.

After all these emotions, why not go for a walk in Jungfernheide Park? There is another beach where you are not supposed to swim, a turret where Kebabs are sold and above all several treetop adventure courses. You benefit from a reduction of 50 cents (from 13 euros for an adult entry) if you have a beach ticket.

Jungfernsee Lake

4. The nudist lake: Plötzensee

The lake has a paid beach. But being accompanied by a real Berliner, we placed our towels on the opposite bank, free but prohibited. The lake is very long. You can therefore easily swim across it and arrive at the paid beach completely illegally. Boats pass families of ducks, dogs swim laps and nudists spoil the photos.

And yes, the FKK (Frei Korper Kultur = free body culture) are everywhere in Germany. Beaches always have a section reserved for them, as do parks and swimming pools. For example, on Saturday and Sunday, the Neukölln swimming pool is reserved for nudists. And this is how you save money on clothing!

Plötzensee Lake

5. Lakes accessible by tram: Orankesee and Weissensee

It’s hot, very hot, so hot that you can’t imagine going down the stairs, going to the nearest S-Bahn station, buying a ticket for 2.60 + 1.70 for the bike , get on the train tightly, stand up holding on to the sweat bar while watching your bike so that it does not run over feet or children, get off at a station in the middle of the forest and climb the stairs loaded with your bike because there is no elevator, riding under the beating sun, getting lost, and finally reaching a lake which despite its inaccessibility is crowded.

So even if it means swimming in a lake that will be too busy anyway, you might as well choose one that doesn’t require a marathon across the city to reach it. So I tested the tram lakes, those which are only a flight of stations away.

The Plötzensee is also accessible with the M13 and tram 50

5. Orankesee

Accessible with tram 27, the station of which is located directly at the entrance to the path leading to the lake. But also the M4 whose station is located 10 minutes away on foot and which passes through Hackescher Markt and Alexanderplatz. As for us, we used the M13 which was a small strategic error because we still had to walk 20 minutes. But half of the way was done in the middle of allotment gardens which is rather pleasant. In the end we took the wrong path and had to jump over a fence, nothing insurmountable!

We went around the lake to reach the official beach. We were surprised that no one was swimming outside the authorized area but apparently the police are strict here. We saw it at work with a man who had his feet in the water and who got a ticket. Or had he done something else wrong?
There is a fee to enter the beach, €4.50 all the same, but it must be said that you have all the comforts: cabins for changing modestly, toilets with paper, imbiss where you can have plenty to eat sausages, fries, ice creams and other treats… and an imposing surveillance device. A cabin planted in the middle of the lake and accessible by a pontoon is the stronghold of the lifeguards who, between a cigarette and two refreshing swims, monitor with a gloomy eye the giant slide on which young and old alike slide down. Often they even use the loudspeaker which startles more than one swimmer. The problem is that the crackling (or perhaps my lack of understanding of German) prevents us from understanding the meaning of the message. Let’s hope this isn’t a coypu alert.

The beach is, despite the crowds, rather pleasant and clean. There is space whether on the sand in the sun or on the grass in the shade. You can rent deckchairs and beach chairs with navy stripes. There is a little algae at the edge but the water is clean as soon as you move away. And there is space to start crawls!

6. Weissensee

The M4, M13, M12, 27 stations are 2 minutes from Weissensee, a pleasantly shaded lake. There is also a paid beach there but it is possible to swim all around, provided you are not sensitive to the cigarette butts, pieces of glass, stones and ragged grass that litter the edges. This is the negative point of public and free access to this lake.

But once you arrive in the water it’s bliss. Rather warm and clean, we come across ducks of all kinds there but also, more dangerous, swans. On a corner of the lake a powerful jet of water challenges you to pass under its cold rain of scathing drops. The lake is big, you can swim until you drop from one end to the other. A restaurant with a terrace with GDR charm awaits you… but we haven’t tried it. We fell back on the ice cream seller for 80 cents.

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