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Foto: Berlin am Landwehrkanal im Sommer
Berlin am Landwehrkanal im Sommer © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

11 tips for great shots of waterfronts

Passionate photographers love experimenting with light and reflections. So head out to the city's waterways. To get you started: here are 11 perfect spots.

From West to East on the River Spree

The Spree flows the hustle and bustle of a modern European capital, past people enjoying an afternoon at a beach bar, sightseeing tourists as far as the eye can see, and Berliners just going about their everyday lives. We follow the river from west to east and take a stop here and there.

  • (1) Our photo tour starts at the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders house in the government district, where the Spree meanders around the bend in the river past the contemporary architecture of Germany's political centre. Evenings are an especially quiet time to experiment with light here.
    Marie-Elisabeth-Lüdere House in the government district in Berlin


  • (2) Continue heading east and the Spree will pass the rather unknown historic harbour, the perfect spot to capture shots of Berlin and its old role as a great inland port. Where else will you see boats bobbing up and down in front of the TV Tower?
    Historic Harbour in Berlin


Bobbing up and down, especially in summer: Berlin Photo Spots on the waterfront

  • (3) Further east past the Oberbaumbrücke, you'll see two canals branching off the Spree: the Landwehr Canal and the Flutgraben. "Vor dem Schlesischen Tor” is the name of the bridge that crosses both. This is the centre of Berlin's outdoor culture around the two riverside venues of „Club der Visionäre“ and Freischwimmer“.
    Club der Visionäre in Berlin
  • (4) If you're here in the afternoon, walk along the Landwehr Canal. The sun bathes the Urbanhafen on Carl-Herz-Ufer in particularly beautiful afternoon light.
Landwehrkanal in summer
  • (5) Return to the Flutgraben and head east towards the Elsenbrücke in at Treptow park. This classic should be on everyone's list of photogenic spots in Berlin. Just look back towards the west, where you'll see the Oberbaumbrücke and TV Tower very close to each other.
    View from Elsebrücke while the sun sets to Oberbaumbrücke and TV Tower
  • (6) You're already on the Elsenbrücke. Cross over it and head north to the edge of the Rummelsburger Bucht. A view from the Paul-and-Paula-Ufer back onto the bay is worth it.
    Rummelsburger Bucht in Berlin
  • (7) Across the way is the Stralau peninsula between the Spree and Rummelsburger Bucht. Almost wherever you turn, you'll be surrounded by water.
  • (8) On the city's east side, the Spree flows into the lake Müggelsee. From the Rübezahl beer garden, you can enjoy what might seem a very untypical Berlin panorama at your feet, with swans, ducks, and passing boats. A great place to refuel. 
    Müggelsee in Berlin

Even more panoramic views on the Havel

It's obvious that the Spree is at the heart of Berlin. But the wild Havel in the west has its charms, too. In some spots, it's even mightier than the Spree.

  • (9) A good overview of the Havel River basin best had from the Grunewald Tower. It's best to take your bike out there because the tower is located directly on the Havelchaussee, a good road with little traffic.
    Trip to the Grunewald Tower
  • (10) Follow Havelchaussee a few kilometres by bike. Here and there you'll catch glimpses of the impressive Havel.
    Bike path next to the river Havel in Berlin
  • (11) The palaces of Berlin and Brandenburg definitely need to be on our list, too. On the Glienicker Brücke, the famous "Bridge of Spies,” you can even see five of them at once. The perfect place for experimenting with a panorama shot.
    Two cyclists take a break at the Glienicker Bridge in Berlin

The Glieniker Brücke connects Berlin and Potsdam – © visitBerlin; Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien We are certain: you probably know even more tips for great shots of Berlin with a waterfront atmosphere. Tell us about them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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