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Top 11 boat trips in Berlin

Set sail and get to know the capital from the water

Lake Tegeler See in Berlin
Sailing boats on lake Tegeler See © BA Reinickendorf

And seen from the water, you will get to know the city in a completely new way. Here we show you our favourite boat rentals so that you can experience Berlin from this special perspective. Perfect for all water freaks and those who want to become one. Please inform yourself in advance on the websites of the companies about measures to comply with the current regulations.

Tip 1: Sail along the Havel on a barbecue boat

Barbecue grill
Barbecue grill © Getty Images, Foto: Salman Shahid, EyeEm

If you want to combine your boat tour with dinner, you can rent a barbecue boat at the Spandauer-See bridge on the Havel. The boat is equipped with a barbecue set with grill, coal, cutlery, and sauces. This means you can enjoy your meal together while sailing along the Havel. Barbecue boats are powered by an external motor. Enjoy the idyllic nature along the Havel while you fill your stomachs with delicious, freshly grilled food! If you do not want to take meat and vegetables with you, you can also order catering directly.

Boat rental

Tip 2: Stand-up paddle boarding in Berlin

Stand up paddling at sunset
Stand Up Paddling at the Spree in Berlin © Getty Images, Foto: Felix Kayser/EyeEm
Stand up Paddling auf der Spree in Treptow

Again and again you'll can see them standing on their boards on lakes and rivers - the stand-up paddle boarders. If you've always wanted to try it, now's your chance - summer in Berlin is perfect for it! Stand upright on the surfboard and paddle with a long paddle first on the left, then right to move forwards. You can rent this interesting means of transport at various locations, for example at Flutgraben or Schlachtensee. So don't hesitate or you'll miss out on the fun!

Stand up Paddling

Tip 3: Go canoeing or kayaking

© Backstagetourism, Foto: Paul Stresing

Mit dem Kanu Berlin kennenlernen. Auf geführten Kanutouren zeigen Guides, wie idyllisch und grün Berlin vom Wasser ist.

Canoeing and kayaking are probably one of the classics of the boat tours. No wonder, because when you paddle in sync through narrow rivers and past densely overgrown banks, you can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet. If you want, you can also plan your tour through the city centre of Berlin and marvel at the sights from the water. Throughout the city, there are numerous stations where you can rent a kayak or canoe. If you don't feel quite as comfortable on your own, you can also go on a guided tour.

Tip 4: Canal or bridge ride through Berlin

Spree cruise in Berlin
Spree cruise in Berlin © visitBerlin Foto: Martin Peterdamm

From the water you can easily discover the most interesting places of Berlin. And you don't even have to steer the boat for that! Join us on a canal or bridge trip and let us show you and explain to you the most important sights of the city on board. The bridge ride takes you along 23 kilometres of the city, past more than 60 bridges. Depending on where you want to start, you can choose between five different departure ports: Jannowitz Bridge, Hotel Estrel dock, Schlossbrücke at Charlottenburg Palace, Friedrichstraße dock (on the bank of the Reichstag), or Treptow harbour.

Bridge tour

Tip 5: Along the Spree past famous sights

Ship at government district Berlin-Mitte
Boat at government district Berlin-Mitte © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

On your way along the Spree, you can experience a great boat tour in Berlin. For example, the famous Berlin river passes numerous sights such as the Reichstag building, Museum Island with its Lustgarten, and Berlin Cathedral. Whether on a rubber dinghy, steamer or kayak, it's up to you how you sail along the Spree. But if you are sailing on your own, pay attention to the water traffic rules because there is usually a lot going on on the Spree.

Tip 6: On a pedal boat across Plötzensee

Frauenpärchen beim Tretbootfahren
© visitBerlin, Foto: Dirk Mathesius

Frauenpärchen, LGBT, Lesbisches Frauenpaar

If you would prefer to use your legs instead of your arms to move forwards, you can rent a pedal boat at Plötzensee. Boat hire is available on the south-eastern shore of the lake at a small café - the Fischerpinte. You can also have a snack or a coffee there before you set sail. Plötzensee is a nature-made lake and is overgrown with trees all around it. On the south-western shore there is a beautiful sandy beach with beach chairs.

Tip 7: Rafting on the Landwehrkanal

Lakes in Berlin: Summer at Schlachtensee
Lakes in Berlin: Summer at Schlachtensee © (c) visumate

Rafting has become popular in Berlin in recent years. It is a simple and inexpensive way to explore the capital from the water. The meadow in front of Vivantes Clinic at Urbanhafen is particularly popular for launching an inflatable boat into the water. You can then paddle comfortably along the Landwehrkanal to Neukölln. In addition, the canal is closed to regular ships, so you don't have to be afraid of motorised competition! So get your paddles up and go!

Tip 8: Sweating on a sauna boat

Holiday Inn Berlin-Mitte
Holzsaunabank mit Händtüchern und Aufgussschale © Kosmos 111 - Shutterstock

At Müggelsee in Köpenick, you can experience a very special boat trip. You can rent a sauna boat there and sweat it out to your heart's content in the middle of the lake! Finnfloat's Finnish sauna boats have panoramic windows in the on-board sauna so you can enjoy the view of the lake. There is also a raft roof terrace to relax and cool off on after a sauna session. You can also book adventure packages, for example a yoga session right on the ship. Or you can spend a whole night aboard the sauna boat.

Sauna boat

Tip 9: Evening boat tour with dinner

Night Spree Cruise through Berlin
Night Spree Cruise through Berlin © visitberlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

When it gets dark, Berlin turns into a beautiful sea of lights. If you would like to experience this special atmosphere from the water, you can book an evening boat tour with dinner. You feast together on board the ship with the lights reflected on the water. For example, choose a tour along the Spree and discover the imposing Oberbaum Bridge, the East Side Gallery, and Berlin Cathedral. You can enjoy your 3-course menu on deck while hearing a lot of interesting information about the sights from the audio guide.

Evening boat tour

Tip 10: Historical city tour by boat

The river Spree flows through Nikolaiviertel
The river Spree flows through Nikolaiviertel © visitBerlin, Foto: Artfully Media, Sven Christian Schramm
Berlin, Nikolaiviertel

During the historical city tour through Berlin, you will learn more about the history of the capital during the boat trip. You can listen to the audio guide and get useful information about the buildings and their origin past sights such as Museum Island, the House of World Cultures, the government district, and the oldest residential area of the city, the Nikolai Quarter. Sit back and enjoy the view of the city's most impressive buildings on this great boat tour through Berlin!

Historical boat tour

Tip 11: Castle tour by ship

The Schlosspark in Charlottenburg
Palace and park Charlottenburg © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

If you are a fan of romantic castles, take a castle tour by boat! In Berlin, for example, you can admire Charlottenburg Palace and Bellevue Palace from the Spree. If you would like even more castles, it's best to take a trip to Potsdam. On the castle tour you will pass numerous impressive parks and castles in 90 minutes. Discover Marble Palace in New Garden and Babelsberg Castle with its picturesque little towers and oriels.

Boat tours


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  • keep your distance to others and stick to the hygiene-rules
  • inform yourself before visiting. Here you will find important infromation about your visit to Berlin.
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