Berlin is surrounded by a great deal of nature – and numerous excursion destinations can be reached surprisingly quickly and easily from the city. Therefore we present you here a carefully chosen selection of 11 special excursion destinations in Berlin and Brandenburg: Look forward to long walks in the countryside, fairytale palaces and monasteries as well as lots of fresh air!
Tip 1: Havelhöhenwanderweg (Havel Heights Trail)
One of the most interesting hiking trails in the Berlin urban area begins just a short distance from the Olympiastadion: The Havelhöhenweg, some 10 kilometres in length, takes you along the Havel, which in parts stretches to over 500 metres in width, from Heerstrasse in the north through the dense Grunewald forest to Wannsee in the south. On the way you will discover sights such as the Grunewald Tower, the Schildhorn Monument and the Havel island of Schwanenwerder. As a crowning finale, you can then unwind and refresh yourself at the Strandbad Wannsee open-air lido.
Where: Pichelsberg S-Bahn station, 14055 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Tip 2: Wuhletalweg
For more than 15 kilometres, the Wuhletal Hiking Trail offers unusual perspectives of Berlin's eastern districts: it begins at the Ahrensfelde S-Bahn station in Marzahn and continues southwards along the Wuhle river and the city's longest continuous green space to the Köpenick S-Bahn station. On the way you will hike past the Ahrensfelder Berge hill range, the Gardens of the World, the idyllic butterfly meadow and the Landschaftspark Wuhletal nature reserve. You will also see numerous protected animal and plant species, which enjoy excellent conditions on the picturesque banks of the Wuhle.
Where: Ahrensfelde S-Bahn station, 12689 Berlin-Marzahn
Tip 3: Chorin Abbey
The 13th century Cistercian monastery is one of the most beautiful excursion destinations in Berlin and Brandenburg. It is located near Bernau in Brandenburg and can be reached by train and bus from Berlin in just over an hour. Upon your arrival you will be rewarded with a fairytale gothic monastery made of red brick by an idyllic lake in the countryside. Right next to the monastery, the charming Alte Klosterschänke restaurant awaits you with food and refreshing drinks.
Where: Amt Chorin 11a, 16230 Chorin
Tip 4: The 66 Lakes Trail
On the 416-kilometre-long 66 Lakes Trail, you can hike around the whole of Berlin and the surrounding area with its forests and waterways. The comparatively lengthy route is divided into 17 stages, each of which represents one day’s walking. You can start and finish wherever you like – but for a complete circuit, it's best to start at the Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam city centre. From there, you will pass several Potsdam sights and continue to the fruit trees of Marquardt and further north to Brieselang and Hennigsdorf. Your tour around Berlin will take you to the Rauen Hills in the east, the Schenkenländchen in the south and back to Potsdam. On the way, the trail is marked throughout by a white square with a blue dot.
Where: Luisenplatz, 14471 Potsdam
Tip 5: Panke Hiking Trail
The Panke flows from Bernau, just before the city limits of Berlin, to the mouth of the Spree near Central Station. So here you have the possibility to walk from the Berlin city centre to Bernau in Brandenburg – but for the whole distance of more than 30 kilometres a bicycle is recommended. The best place to start your tour is at the Reinickendorfer Strasse underground station and follow the course of the Panke to the north-east. The varied route takes you through numerous green parks and time and again through the city centre.
Where: Reinickendorfer Strasse underground station, 13353 Berlin
Tip 6: Grunewald
Stretching along the Havel river, from Wannsee to the Olympiastadion, Grunewald in the far west of Berlin covers a total area of 3,000 hectares. This makes it perfect for hiking in Berlin. One of its most famous sights is probably the Teufelsberg, measuring some 120 metres in height and housing the striking ruins of a listening installation. Not far away you will also find the 99-metre-high Drachenberg. Both hills offer a wide view over the forest – as well as from the 35-metre-high platform of the Grunewald Tower on the banks of the Havel. The four-kilometre-long exhibition "Wald. Berlin. Klima." ("Forest.Berlin.Climate") begins directly at the tower, allowing you to relax in nature and inform yourself.
Where: Teufelsseechaussee, 14055 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Tip 7: Jungfernheide high ropes course
You can get active in nature in many different ways. If you’re sporty, active and have a taste for adventure, then you should make sure to visit the Jungfernheide forest high ropes course from April to October. There you can climb up to 17 metres high through the treetops of a 144 hectare mixed forest in the Jungfernheide Volkspark – with all safety measures in place, of course. It doesn't matter whether you have climbing experience or not. Because with 11 varying difficulty levels, from green for beginners to black for extreme athletes, there is fun to be had for everyone.
Where: Heckerdamm 260, 13627 Berlin-Charlottenburg
Tip 8: Tegeler Fliess
Hiking in Berlin – past casually grazing exotic hoofed animals? You can experience this on a five-kilometre walk along the Tegeler Fliess, starting at Schloss Tegel. The bright white Renaissance manor house from the 16th century was the family seat of the von Humboldt family for many years. From there you follow the river valley in a north-easterly direction through enchanting wetlands rich in wildlife, where you will also encounter water buffalo, which tend the landscape there. Afterwards you will reach the Reinickendorf district of Hermsdorf, from where you can take the S-Bahn back again.
Where: Adelheidallee 19, 13507 Berlin-Tegel
Tip 9: Schöneberger Südgelände Nature Park
The 18-hectare Schöneberger Südgelände Nature Park offers a unique ambience for hiking, as it is situated between operational S-Bahn tracks on the remains of a former long-distance railway line. You will not only see plants and animals, such as grazing sheep, on your walks, but also the decayed remains of the railway facilities and various art installations that have been added over the years. So don't forget to take your camera with you – you will encounter some fascinating subjects. As a further highlight, the Shakespeare Company Berlin performs Shakespeare plays on a stage there in the summer.
Where: Priesterweg, 12157 Berlin-Schöneberg
Tip 10: Sanssouci Palace Park, Potsdam and Babelsberg Palace
When it comes to excursions in Berlin and Brandenburg, Potsdam of course should not be forgotten – because there you will find the fairytale Sanssouci Palace with its expansive, beautifully designed park, only a few minutes by S-Bahn from Berlin. If you walk in a westerly direction from the palace through the park, you will come across the New Palace, which was built in the 18th century. Another palace is located just north of the Filmpark Potsdam-Babelsberg: The 19th century Babelsberg Palace, together with Sanssouci, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stands out with its castle-like construction in the English Gothic style.
Where: Am Grünen Gitter 1, 14469 Potsdam
Tip 11: Spandauer Forst
Far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, idyllic hiking trails await you in Spandauer Forst. It is best to take the M 45 and drive to Johannesstift. From here you walk past the game reserve, along the Kuhlake to the Nieder-Neuendorfer Kanal. From there you go in the direction of the ice cellar, you pass some horse pastures and on the way back you take a piece of wall path with you. Tip for dog lovers: From Johannesstift you can also quickly reach the dog run area Hakenfelde.
Where: Spandau, busstop Johannesstift