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11 tips for water sports in Berlin

Being active on lakes, rivers and canals

Freunde springen in einen See
© GettyImages, Foto: TommL

Berlin in Summer is definitely a water city! The rivers and canals connect numerous lakes and surround dreamy islands and hidden bays. Whether on the Wannsee in the south-west or the large Müggelsee in the east, the Tegeler See and Havelsee in the north or even in the city centre. There are water sports enthusiasts everywhere. So if you love activities in and around the water, Berlin is the place for you. Here are 11 tips for you to enjoy in Berlin

Tip 1: Dive into Berlin's waters

© gettyimages, Foto: Aitor Diago

Diving is a unique experience that opens up another world to you - full of wonders and secrets beneath the surface. This fascinating sport allows you to discover what lies beyond the surface of the water. Explore what is hidden in the lakes, the habitat of an infinite number of plants and animals

At the diving centre at Glienicker See, you can dive with your own equipment - if you are a beginner, you can of course also hire it. Various courses at different levels make it easier for you to get started. The Diving School Atlantis Berlin in Lichtenberg also offers experienced instructors. 

Where: Diving centre at Glienicker See , Verlängerte Uferpromenade 21, Spandau 
When: Saturday & Sunday: 8.30 am - 6 pm, weekdays flexible by arrangement

Where: Atlantis Berlin Tauchschule, Coppistraße 11, Lichtenberg
When: daily 11.00 am - 7.00 pm; except Sundays

Tip 2: Paddle upright through Berlin

Oberbaumbrücke bei Sonnenuntergang
© visitBerlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

Stand-up paddling (SUP) has many enthusiastic fans in Berlin! The capital offers a unique blend of urban charm and idyllic nature for SUP enthusiasts. The SUP Station am Funkhaus opposite Plänterwald offers various courses, guided tours and SUP yoga. It is not only in an idyllic location, but also a perfect starting point for a sightseeing tour on the water. You can paddle around the Plänterwald with Treptower Park, the Insel der Jugend and Rummelsburger Bucht all the way to the impressive Oberbaumbrücke bridge...

The Schlachtensee also offers perfect conditions: enjoy nature completely undisturbed in the middle of the Grunewald forest, as motorboats are not permitted. The Havel and Spree are the main area for stand-up paddlers in Berlin. This opens up completely new perspectives: whether sightseeing or paddling through natural landscapes. So, grab a SUP board and explore Berlin from the water!

Stand-up paddling in Berlin

Tip 3: Combine water and relaxation

Yoga auf dem SUP
© gettyimages, Foto: J. Michl

SUP yoga is an exciting variation of yoga that you practise on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) on the water. The challenge of balance, balance training and at the same time relaxation and stress reduction and last but not least the connection to nature combine these two sports perfectly. It's a great way to strengthen your body and mind while getting to know Berlin from the water. Try it out! 

Tip: The 4th Yoga Beach Festival takes place in July. Yoga Beach Festival takes place in July, with stages, workshops, healthy food, a marketplace with great stalls, music & dancing, beach & Baden

Tips for summer in Berlin 

Tip 4: Explore the city from a kayak or canoe

Kayaks auf dem Rummelsburger See
Kayaks auf dem Rummelsburger See © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

Berlin offers countless opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. A fascinating water sport that is not only very easy on the joints, but also a great way to get some exercise without feeling like you're working out. It is ideal for relieving stress and connecting with the surrounding nature.  You can paddle through waterways in New Venice, take a two-hour sunset tour from the Urbanhafen in Kreuzberg or explore the idyllic peninsula at the Mildenberg free harbour - a beautiful natural paradise. 

Kayaking and canoeing is also an environmentally friendly way to get around. Get a GreenKayak and paddle free of charge across Berlin. Collect plastic and rubbish from the water. GreenKayak is available at two different locations in Berlin. Or you can use the Kayakomat self-service station. You can book kayaks and SUP boards online at various locations in Berlin.

More addresses for boat hire

Tip 5: Glide across the water at high speed

© GettyImages, Bild: EvgenyTcheboratev

Want to feel the wind in your face and the speed on the water, the feeling of gliding over the waves? Then go water skiing and wakeboarding. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, there's something for everyone. Enjoy the mix of adrenaline and nature, challenge and relaxation. Just try it out and find out what you enjoy the most.

Where? Here, for example:

  • Waterski lift in Grossbeeren, Bahnhofstrape 49, 14979 Grossbeeren
  • Wet & Wild Wasserskianlage Velten, Am Bernsteinsee 1, 16727 Velten
  • Wellenrebellen, Am Pichelsee 40a-40c, Spandau
  • Wasserskipark Zossen, Schünower Straße 19, 15806 Zossen
    When: please check the websites of the providers.

Tip 6:  Lean back and relax on the water

Saunafloss Innenansicht
© Copyright: Saunafloss/Dirk Engelhardt

Sauna rafts offer a wonderful and very relaxing way to experience Berlin from the water. With a view of the water, you can unwind with the combination of heat, water and fresh air. A dip in the cool water is refreshing and revitalising. If you don't want to take a sauna, you can lie down on the walk-on sauna roof and enjoy the sun.

Rent a sauna raft and raft

Tip 7: Hike around Berlin's waters

Wandern am Wasser entlang
© GettyImages, Foto: Tom Werner

If you just want to look out over the water and enjoy the idyllic atmosphere, there are many wonderful hiking trails that lead to and around Berlin's lakes. Is the weather right? Then take your swimming gear with you to dive into the cool water. Want to learn something else? Then take advantage of the fantastic opportunity to experience nature up close and learn a lot about useful wild plants at the same time. On a wild herb hike all the senses are engaged. Discover the treasures of nature together with experienced Berlin wild herbalists.

 Top hiking trails in and around Berlin

Tip 8: Cycle around the lakes

Heilandskirche (church) Sacrow at Wannsee
On the shore in Wannsee with a view of the Heilandskirche (church) © Wirtschaftsförderung Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Foto: Steven Ritzer

An even more sporty option is to cycle around the lakes and along the rivers of Berlin. Enjoy the picturesque landscape, green forests, picturesque lakeside promenades and rolling hills. The tranquil surroundings of the lakes provide the perfect setting for a relaxing cycle tour. Each lake has its own charm and depending on your mood and preferences, you can explore the right lake for you.

Radwege AM Wasser

Tip 9: Delicious dining with a view of nature

Spreearche on lake Müggelsee in Berlin
Spreearche on lake Müggelsee © Frank Cotte

Dining by the water offers a unique atmosphere. Whether indoors or outdoors, the proximity to the water gives the experience a special flavour. Enjoy the view of the water and the most beautiful sunsets while feasting. 

The Restaurant ship Capt'n Schillow is slightly hidden on the Landwehr Canal and you can dine here in idyllic seclusion. The Alte Liebe is anchored on the Havel in Charlottenburg. The Restaurantschiff von Loon is also well-known and popular in the neighbourhood of Kreuzberg. And if you want to be taken directly on board your restaurant on a small ferry, then make your way to Köpenick. The boat that will take you to SpreeArche , which is located in the middle of Müggelsee lake, is moored there on Müggelschlößchenweg.

 Restaurants on the water 

Tip 10: Spend the night by and on the water 

Hausbootverleih Wasserkutsche
© Wasserkutsche Berlin, Foto: Philip Gunkel

Overnight stays on the water start the holiday from the very first minute. This means adventure, sightseeing and relaxation all in one. Berlin offers you the opportunity to experience nature and sightseeing at the same time on one of the many houseboats on Berlin's lakes and rivers. Everything you need is provided: Bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

If you are looking for a unique stay that you will remember forever, then we recommend the renovated old cruise ship Eastern Comfort Hotel Ship. A floating hotel located on the Spree between vibrant Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, right on the banks of the Spree. Or you can choose one of the many hotels that are located directly on the water and offer you the perfect view.

Overnight stays in the countryside and by the water 

Tip 11: Enjoy the freedom of sailing

Wassersportcenter Berlin - Ideal for an excursion
Wassersportcenter Berlin: Boats on lake Wannsee © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

Take up the challenge, let the wind blow around your nose, show off your skills and experience an incredible sense of calm as the boat glides through the waves. Sailing is not about getting from one point to another, but rather the journey itself. The journey is the destination. Discover bays, small islands and the city from a completely different perspective.

Berlin Lakes

Catrin Linde


lives in Berlin for over 20 years and loves to travel the city. Preferrably by bike, she discovers the most exciting and interesting sides of Berlin. Across the city, across country and also off the beaten track. All posts