• Berlin
  • Berlin’s best lakes: From crowd-favourites to hidden gems

Berlin's lakes

Berlin’s best lakes: From crowd-favourites to hidden gems

From family-friendly to a lakeside party, here are our favourite swimming lakes in and around Berlin.

Teufelssee in Grunewald in all its FKK splendour on a sunny day. Photo IMAGO / Zeitz

Everyone’s got their favourite lake in the Berlin summertime, from family-friendly Krumme Lanke to popular FKK (Frei Körper Kultur, or nude bathing) spot Teufelsee (where a piece of internet history was made back in 2020).

🌳 Through the trees: The best forest walks in and around Berlin

🛥 BVG ferries: Berlin public transport by water

🌊 Berlin by the water: The prettiest waterside spots

What are you in the mood for? We’ve got great spots, whether you want to chill out in the calm of nature or are looking for more of a party vibe. Here are our recommendations for swimming lakes – and most can be visited with no entrance fee.

Krumme Lanke in Zehlendorf

The Krumme Lanke in Zehlendorf – songs have even been dedicated to the lake. Photo: IMAGO / Schöning

Krumme Lanke is a very popular spot in the summertime. There are a lot of nice places to take a dip and not too much of that slimy vegetation that gets wrapped around your legs.

Krumme Lanke has plenty of quiet corners, but if you prefer a more lively atmosphere, move to the southern end of Fischerhüttenstraße and join the masses on the sunbathing lawn. To the north, the lake is shallow, which is pleasant for not-so-strong swimmers and kids. Our tip: The path around the lake is 2.8 kilometers long and makes for a wonderfully relaxing walk.

  • Getting there: Take the U3 or the 622 bus to U-Bahn Krumme Lanke, then it’s a 20-minute walk.

Groß Glienicker See in Kladow

The Groß Glienicker See is partly located in the Kladow district of Spandau – the  East-West border used to run through the area. Photo: IMAGO / Ritter

Groß Glienicker See is half in Berlin, half in Brandenburg. During the Cold War it made up part of the border, and DDR citizens were not allowed to enter the water on the East German side.

Glienicker lies on a chain of lakes, along with Sacrower See and Heiligen See, where the water quality is excellent. You’ve got two official bathing spots to choose from. The one at the south end of the lake has a sunbathing lawn and a seasonally-staffed DLRG (lifesaver) station, and the one at the north east end has a nice open beach. With volleyball courts, playgrounds and boat rental – this lake has something for everyone.

If you are willing to go looking for them – there are many small areas that are less crowded, where you can sunbathe and enjoy the quiet.

  • Getting there: Take the N/X 34 bus to Gutsstr., the 135 line to Kurpromenade, or the 604 and the 638 to Potsdam, Am Park.

Jungfernsee in Wannsee

Photo: IMAGO / Camera4

Wonderfully idyllic, Jungfernsee is worth a visit, even for non-swimmers. You can enjoy the water at two different bathing spots here. The first is not too far from the Glienicke Bridge, and the second near Cecilenhof Palace, which has sunbathing lawns. The north of the lake side is a little less accommodating for swimmers – a nature reserve keeps you from getting to the water.

  • Getting there: Take the S-Bahn to Wannsee and then continue by bike, or take the bus to Glienicker Brücke.

Müggelsee in Treptow-Köpenick

Müggelsee: quiet corners, relaxed – no wonder it is so well loved. Photo: IMAGO / Photocase

A classic (not to mention, the biggest) of Berlin’s lakes, with plenty of opportunities to sun yourself, have a dip in the water or play sport. If you like a bit of luxury, you can escape to Strandbad Friedrichshagen for a fee. Alternatively, the beach near the Müggelsee lido is available, where there is a popular nudist area, if you’re so inclined. It’s worth checking up on the water quality before you go, because late in the summer there is the risk of algal blooms in the shallow warm water.

  • Getting there: Take the 60/N61 bus to Bruno-Wille-Str. or Josef-Nawrocki-Str.

Nieder Neuendorfer See, Henningsdorf

Photo: IMAGO / F. Anthea Schaap

The Nieder Neuendorfer See is part of a chain of lakes reaching all the way from central Havel to Berlin. And for those who want all the trimmings, Heiligensee with its lido is located right next to Nieder Neuendorfer See. A 20-kilometer cycle around the circumference of the lake is the perfect warm-up for a swim, and bike rentals are available.

  • Getting there: Take the 124 bus to Schönbäumer Weg or Mattenbuder Pfad, or the 133, N22 or 124 to Heiligenseestr./Hennigsdorfer Str.

Flughafensee in Reinickendorf

The airport lake in Reinickendorf has a nudist area. Photo IMAGO / Ritter

Flughafensee used to have a bad reputation when tests showing bacterial contamination meant it wasn’t safe to swim there. But since 2019, the water has been declared squeaky clean and as safe as can be.

The best way to access the lake, which is a popular FKK spot, is on the eastern side. You can also walk or drive (parking spaces are available) along the JVA Tegel and then walk for roughly 500 meters through the forest. To the north and west, the shore is densely forested; there is even a bird sanctuary, which doesn’t make for the best swimming spot.

  • Getting there: Take the U6 to Holzhauser Str. or the  X33 bus to Sterkrader Str.

Orankesee in Alt-Hohenschönhausen

Photo: IMAGO / Spicker

Like Obersee, Orankesee is located in the centre of the Hohenschönhauser villa district. Even though it’s one of Berlin’s lesser-known lakes, it has a beautiful lido right on the shore. This is the only swimming option, but if you pay the entry fee, you get to slide down the 52-meter-long water slide. The rest of the lake belongs to anglers. There is a lot to catch here, as the lake is populated with eels, pike, carp and perch as well as many other fish species.

  • Getting there: Take the M13, M17 or the 27 tram and get off at the Stadion Buschallee/Suermondtstr. stop. By car, it is best to park in the Strandbad car park.

Plötzensee in Reinickendorf

Plötzensee is great for families. Photo: IMAGO / Eventpress

Plötzensee stretches over about 7.8 hectares and is located near Volkspark Rehberge. The name of the lake comes from the carp fish Plötze, which could be found here in large schools at one time. It is therefore unsurprising that the lake is very popular among fishermen.

It’s a great spot to take a dip with the shores offering a sandy beach, children’s playground, as well as areas for volleyball, table tennis and soccer. For the nudists amongst you, you’re free to let it all hang out in the designated area. There’s also a fantastic hippy sauna outfit just next to the beach, which is perfect in winter when you can use the lake as the cold plunge pool.

  • Getting there: Take the 106 bus to Sylter Str.

Schlachtensee on the edge of Grunewald

Schlachtensee is popular with athletes, walkers and swimmers. Photo: IMAGO / Sorge

Schlachtensee is a true paradise – on hot days, it gets pretty packed. In the summer of 2020 CNN named it as one of the most beautiful swimming spots not only in Berlin, but worldwide.

But we don’t need an award to know how lucky we are. Joggers and strollers populate the circular path (seven kilometers) through the forest (and the adjacent Paul-Ernst-Park). It’s also the perfect spot for renting a boat, or Stand-Up-Paddle-boarding.

  • Getting there: Take the S-Bahn 1 to Schlachtensee.

Seddinsee on the banks of Schmöckwitz

Seddinsee can be up to seven meters deep. Photo: IMAGO / Ritter

Seddinsee is part of Berlin’s largest nature reserve – but that doesn’t mean you can’t swim in it. The protective measures concern themselves more with the shore, so the full 270 hectares is open for water sports of any kind. Seddinsee connects the Spree and the Dahme rivers and even has a few islands, which (if you’ve got the stamina) you can swim to from the shore. You’ll need a bike to access the swim spots as they’re quite a hike from the S-Bahn, but that means you’ll be rewarded with an extremely tranquil spot.

  • Getting there: Take the S-Bahn 3 to Erkner or the S9 to Altglienicke, then we recommend taking a scenic cycle the rest of the way (for 9.6km and 12.9km respectively).

Tegeler See in Reinickendorf

Tegeler See offers several bathing spots – it is the second largest lake in the city. Photo: IMAGO / Schuelke

There are several bathing spots at the Tegeler See – however, there are also problems with algae. The situation can be unpredictable, so it’s worth Googling beforehand. After Müggelsee, Tegeler See is Berlin’s largest lake, with nine islands used for water sports and boating.

The boardwalk is also ideal for strolling, and steamboat rides can be taken from there. There are a total of four official bathing spots, Saatwinkel, Reiswerder Strand, Reiherwerder and the Strandbad Tegel, which we visited for its reopening.

  • Getting there: Take the U6 to Kurt-Schumacher-Platz at the end of the line, the substitute U6 bus to U-Alt Tegel, then the 222 bus to Jörsstr., followed by a 10 minute walk.

Teufelssee in Grunewald

Teufelssee in Grunewald is busy on sunny days. Photo IMAGO / Zeitz

Although Teufelssee is surrounded by a nature reserve, you’re still allowed to swim, with access to the water on the southern shore. Sunbathing is extremely popular along this 254 meter long, 107 meter wide lake. In 2020, it made viral history when a family of wild boar harassed visitors and even stole someone’s laptop bag.

In the summer of 2020, the wild boar got a little too comfortable at Teufelssee. Photo: IMAGO / Contini
  • Getting there: Take the S7 to Grunewald, then take a 10 minute scenic cycle.

Zeuthener See in Schmöckwitz

Sunset over the Zeuthensee. Photo: IMAGO / Beautiful Sports

Like many of the best lakes in Berlin, Lake Zeuthen is located in the southeast and borders on Brandenburg. If you want to get technical, Zeuthener See is a widening of the Dahme and thus strictly speaking not a lake.

The western shore is heavily built-up, while the eastern shore is more forested. At the bathing area on the northern side, which is accessible from Wernsdorfer Straße, visitors lie on the sand of the beach or happily wander around. The lido Eichwald on the Brandenburg side is also a must-visit.

  • Getting there: Take the S3 to Köpenick, then the 68 tram to Alt-Schmöckwitz followed by a 10 minute walk.