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New Venice in Berlin
New Venice in Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

The former fishing village of Rahnsdorf

Fishermen and ferrymen

Get on board what is probably the Berlin’s smallest ferry. And among the woods and the water, you’ll forget you’re in a global metropolis

With its cobbled streets lined by ancient chestnut trees and its centuries-old buildings behind wrought-iron fences, everything is tranquil in the fishing village and heritage site of Rahnsdorf. Idyllically located where the Spree meets the Müggelsee. The perfect place for a day out, and not just for Berliners.

A fishing village for more than 500 years

Rahnsdorf forms a horseshoe around its village church, as you can easily see from the stretch of the river known as the Müggelspree. It was first documented in 1375 as a Slav settlement. Around 100 years later it was granted fishing rights – and it still has them now. Fisherman Andreas Thamm has been heading out to the Müggelsee every morning at 5 o’clock for the last 35 years. At weekends in the summer, he lights his smoker and sells his freshly caught fish to day trippers. Eel, trout and carp are all on the menu.

Not far from the smokehouse is the dock of the F24 ferry. The ferryman rows 36 metres to take his passengers across the Müggelspree to the Müggelwiesen on the other side, from where they can bike or hike around the Müggelsee or up to the Müggelberge hills. The second, slightly bigger, solar-powered ferry F23 takes its passengers to Müggelhort and Müggelwerderweg. Both ferries sail every hour in the summer.

From Rahnsdorf to Neu-Venedig

Rahnsdorf is not just a day out for hikers and cyclists – a day on the water is just as rewarding. In a canoe, on a stand-up paddleboard or in a small motor boat you can sail along the canals in Neu-Venedig (New Venice), past well-kept holiday homes and herons going about their business. Sometimes all you can hear is the water lapping about the bows. By the time you get to the Müggelsee it’s time to take a refreshing dip. And best of all, if your belly’s rumbling after all that paddling and splashing about, you can pull in at the mooring that fisherman Andreas Thamm keeps specially for boaters.