Summer in town, the sun is burning your skin, and the sweat is dripping out of every pore? The best way to find relief: cold water and a jump right in! Berlin not only has quite a number of public swimming pools with a high fun factor, but also many smaller and bigger lakes to offer. So put on your shorts or bikini and go for a swim! On our Summer Bathing Map we put together the best swimming pools and bathing lakes around Industriepalast for you, so the next tram or train will take you straight to a refreshing bath:
Here in Berlin we call public outdoor swimming pools traditionally Sommerbäder, and there number is quite remarkable, especially in the suburbs. A central exception is Sommerbad Kreuzberg right in the middle of the borough of the same name. Since it is right on Prinzenstraße, most Berliners call it simply Prinzenbad. Though it can become rather crowded on the weekends, it is still worth a visit as it has two 50 meter long pools, a large LIEGEWIESE, and a PLANSCHBECKEN for the kids. And what is best about it: On subway U6 it is not even a 10 minute ride away.
Sommerbad Humboldthain in the north of Berlin offers much space for sports swimmers, too. And as it is usually a little less crowded, you can do all sorts of fun activities here – even if you are not the most sportive swimmer. Simply take the next train to Ostkreuz and from there RINGBAHN S42 – 20 minutes later you can jump into the water.
You can find a both extraordinary and exotic swimming pool far in the west: Sommerbad Olympiastadion lies, as the name suggests, right next to the famous Olympic Stadium, and has a similar architecture, with huge concrete TRIBÜHNEN and up to ten meters high SPRUNGTÜRMEN against an impressive background of concrete PRACHT. In 1936 the Olympic swimming competitions were held here – I bet you have never SWAN in such an atmosphere before. Although the ride will take about half an hour, both U12 and S5 take you to the Olympic Stadium straight away.
One of the city’s most beautiful swimming pools is Sommerbad Wuhlheid in south-eastern Berlin. Via Ostkreuz S3 will take you to Karlshorst in about 15 minutes, from there it is a leisurely stroll to the swimming pool.
You prefer it a little more natural? You don’t need GECHLORTES water and SPRUNGTURM? And only in nature you feel truly free? Then check out one of Berlin’s countless bathing lakes. It doesn’t matter whether you want a nice sandy beach or a wild, lonely bay in the woods, from Industriepalast it is not far to the right place.
Streetcar (‘Tram’) M13 for example takes you in just 20 minutes to the lake Weißensee in the borrough of the same name north-east of Friedrichshain (station: Berliner Allee/Indira-Ghandi-Straße). It has a nice beach, space to relax and a beach bar.
If you are a little more back-to-nature simply stay in M13 a little longer until its final destination (Virchow-Klinikum) where you find Plötzensee, one of the capital’s most popular bathing lakes. You can choose between the big official beach with all sorts of fun facilities (beach volleyball!) on the western shore, or the wild bathing opportunities on the opposite side of the lake. If you feel like a little walk, you can stroll through the huge park Volkspark Rehberge and take a nice break in the shadow of one of the many tall trees.
The city’s most famous bathing lake is probably Wannsee in the south-west: With its long sandy beaches full of STRANDKÖRBE it has long served as a ERSATZMEER for the capital. Technically it is a part of the river Havel, so the water stays relatively cool even at the peak of summer and the water quality is always good. Especially families enjoy the lake as the shore is very shallow and you can easily walk far into the water. Even though the Wannsee lies on the other side of town, train S7 takes you in only 40 minutes right to the beach.
What Wannsee is to West-Berliners, Ost-Berliners have the Müggelsee for. Besides official BADESTELLEN there are numerous small bays, often surrounded by trees, that are easily reached on footpaths. On train S3 it is a short ride from Ostkreuz to Friedrichshagen; there it is best to just ask your way to the lake, or you simply follow all the other people in bathing suits.
By the way: Especially in East Germany skinny dipping has a long tradition. So at most bathing lakes you will find a nude beach (we call them “FKK areas”, meaning “Freikörperkultur” – what a German word!) where you can bid the BIKINISTREIFEN farewell, if you want to.
Quick refreshment or a relaxed day on the beach? Our tips for pools and lakes will show you the way to your perfect spot on a hot day in Berlin. And if you feel like combining the beach fun with some serious partying, it’s a leisurely 15 minute stroll to both Badeschiff, a swimming poool floating on the Spree river, and Haubentaucher on RAW.
See you chilling in the sun,
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.