Let’s go peak-hopping in the capital! The mountains are calling. This tour takes mountaineers across three districts to five Berlin peaks, as you get to know Berlin’s history from above its rooftops. From former anti-aircraft towers, to an observatory, to a vineyard – everywhere you go, you’ll get a great view of life in the capital.
Tour map of komoot
We built this city on rubble and scrap - at Mont Klamott
The peak tour starts in Volkspark Friedrichshain. We enter the park behind Platz der Vereinten Nationen and head directly to our first summit.
The 78-metre-high bunker mountain has a rich history. During the Nazi regime, the anti-aircraft guns stationed here were tasked with locating and shooting down enemy planes, and the rooms below served as a shelter for more than 50,000 people during bombing raids. In 1946 the bunker hill was demolished and filled with the debris of Berlin. A total of 2.1 million cubic metres of rubble from Mitte, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg and parts of the old Berlin City Palace are said to be buried under both the large and small bunker hills.
Today it’s a lovely trek up a verdant hillside, where several paths meet at the top of a rondel. The singer-songwriter Wolf Biermann even dedicated a song to the mountain and created his own name for it: Mont Klamott. After our first descent, the tour takes us to another former flak tower and the next summit: Humboldthöhe.
Traversing th mighty Prenzlauer Berg
You leave Friedrichshain behind and set our sights on Prenzlauer Berg! The former working-class neighbourhood has become a lively and popular residential area, tightly packed with street cafés, flea markets and small shops.
On Friedensstraße, we’ll travel through Leise-Park and follow Saarbrücker Straße all the way to Senefelder Platz. As the name of the district suggests, the journey here will also take us up a mountain of sorts: Prenzlauer Berg is located on what is known as the Barnim Plateau, a ground moraine left over from the last ice age. As we pass by Zionskirchplatz with its imposing church, the route continues along Wollinerstraße towards Mauerpark. Anyone who needs a bite to eat along the way will find plenty of options here.
Behind Gleimstraße the former East Zone ends and the path takes us over into Wedding. The greatest ascent of our tour now lies before us!
Gazing into the distance with Humboldt
As a tribute to Alexander von Humboldt, trees and shrubs from every continent were once planted in Humboldthain. A separate botanical garden was home to several species of amphibians and reptiles, and in the 1920s it was converted into a public park.
Between 1940 and 1941, the Nazi regime built a bunker complex with flak towers in Humboldthain similar to those built in Volkspark Friedrichshain and Tiergarten. After demolition in the post-war years, an extensive green area with a toboggan run and a viewing platform was created here. If you’d like to see what life inside a bunker was like, Berliner Unterwelten e.V. offers fascinating guided tours.
Alright! Now get yourself kitted out and ready for a climb. Two paths lead to the almost 85-metre-high summit of Humboldthöhe. For the high-performance athletes among us, there are 163 steps up the sheer mountain face; however, those of us who prefer a leisurely stroll can follow the spiral path over the wooded slope. Once at the top, we’re rewarded with breathtaking views of the city.
And on a clear day, yet another Berlin rubble hill can be seen in the distance: Teufelsberg with its white radar domes. On Humboldthöhe, rather than traversing the high mountain pass, you can nestle down beneath the impressive Unity Monument by the artist Arnold. After a short rest, we hop back on our bikes. The next ascent is waiting!
Base camp on the southern approach
On to Insulaner and the southernmost peak of the tour! This somewhat longer stage of the tour takes you past many of the capital’s sights. Past the Gedenkstätte der Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial), the historic grounds of the Charité, the enchanted Tiergarten and Potsdamer Platz, our journey takes us southward.
After Park am Gleisdreieck (Gleisdreieck Park), the route joins the well-developed Berlin-Leipzig long-distance cycle path. The wide meadows along the way are ideal for a quick break before the next ascent. A highlight is the little alley of blossoming and fragrant cherry trees – perfect in spring. OK. So take one more deep breath before you set off to conquer summit number three.
Star Wars in Schöneberg
Before us lies the oldest Berlin rubble mountain, the Insulaner. Several paths meander through the dense, green trees up to the 78-metre-high summit. At the time it was built, the area around the Insulaner was still sparsely populated. In the early 60s, an observatory was built, which now crowns the mountain top.
From here, not only can you see the stars, on a clear day you can also see the Rathaus Schöneberg (Schöneberg town hall) and towers of the Lichterfelde thermal power station. At the foot of the mountain you will find the Planetarium at Insulaner, which offers a wide-ranging programme of astronomical delights.
It’s high time for a snack at Kreuzberg’s peak
The route now takes you a little way back, along the S-Bahn tracks to Monumentenbrücke, which connects the two districts of Schöneberg and Kreuzberg.
We’ll follow Kreuzbergstraße to Viktoriapark, which surrounds the 66-metre-high Kreuzberg, our next peak. This time you’ll climb a “real” mountain, created during the last ice age more than 18,000 years ago! The green oasis, complete with a burbling waterfall, is located right in the heart of Berlin’s city centre.
Wine has been cultivated at the foot of the mountain since the 15th century, and for a donation at the district office of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, you can procure a bottle of the fine “Kreuz-Neroberger” and support the winegrowers in the process. On the northern slope it becomes mountainous. The path leads over the rocky Wolfsschlucht gorge to the peak, crowned by a neo-Gothic national monument, which King Friedrich Wilhelm III had erected in the 19th century.
If you haven’t had a snack yet, it’s high time – either at the top of the hill with a view overlooking the city or at the foot of it in the beer garden. Having gathered your strength and courage, it’s on to the final leg of our journey,
Gymnastics on the Rixdorfer Höhe
All roads lead to Hasenheide, the first gymnastics park in Prussia. At the northern entrance of the park, a monument commemorates Friedrich Ludwig Jahn and the beginnings of the gymnastic movement. Depending on your mood, you can either take the route along Bergmannstraße or take a detour to TTempelhofer Feld.
In the middle of Volkspark Hasenheide lies the Rixdorfer Höhe, our fifth and final summit on the Berlin peak tour. Once again, it’s time to marshal our forces as we wend our way through green expanses, fragrant rose hedges and flourishing shrubbery up – up to the Rixdorfer Höhe! The almost 68-metre-high rubble mountain may not offer the farthest view of today’s tour, but on this pleasant little plateau there is peace and quiet.
A short break before you plunge back into the vibrant nightlife of Neukölln and enjoy a well-deserved and refreshing drink.
Information about Berlin peak tour:
- Start: Volkspark Friedrichshain
- Destination: Volkspark Hasenheide
- Tour duration: ein Tag
- Length: about 30km cycling
- Restaurant Schoenbrunn
- Alte Ziegenweide Biergarten
- Golgatha Biergarten
- Café Hasenschenke
- Sommerbad Humboldthain
- Sommerbad am Insulaner
- Sommerbad Neukölln