Tegeler and Grunewald: two Berliner mirrors

Two of the best lakes in Berlin

Tegeler and Grunewald lakes

It’s that time once again. Summer has arrived in Berlin, and it’s time to start digging out the blankets, beachballs and suncream from those cupboards to enjoy the closest thing we have to beaches here: the lakes. Nobody knows the exact number that the city hosts, but the area of Berlin and Brandenburg – where Potsdam is located – is known as “the land of 3000 lakes”.


Most of the lakes have sandy beaches, greenish waters, and are surrounded by lush vegetation. When the temperatures climb, it’s one of the best ways to cool off, enjoy a picnic with friends or watch the beauty of a sunset.

Lakes: free option for Berlin

One of the things that makes Berlin so special is the juxtaposition between its chilled out vibes and its crazy parties and nightlife. These bodies of freshwater give us an easy (and free) way to leave the daily grind behind for a few hours and be immersed in relaxation and tranquility. Although you’ll find that some of the lakes get very crowded these days.


Mügelersee, Nikolassee, Schlachtensee or the well-known Wannsee are some of the most popular options for those seeking to escape the urban landscape of Berlin. Today we’re going to focus on two located in the East of the city: Tegeler See and Grunewaldsee (North and South respectively) – both with great charm and slightly less busy than the others.

Lake Tegel

Lake Tegel, located in the Reinickendorf suburb of Berlin, is the second largest lake of the city with a total of 4.61 square km. Seeing it on a map, you’d be quite surprised that such a huge lake is located so close to the center of Berlin. However most of the shore isn’t beachy and suitable for bathing, since a lot of it harbours boats and the entire lake is surrounded by trees and diverse vegetation. Its Strandbar is the most popular location. Built and designed for visitors it is a large sandy area hosting a bar, table tennis, beach volleyball and more. However, for those who want to escape the crowds (and the 3.50 entrance fee) there is also a small bay just around the corner, facing Scharfenberg Island.


Silence, ducks and swans can be found in this calm corner of Berlin, where ferries regularly provide visitors access to the aforementioned island. The biggest advantage is that you find much less people here, and that it’s surrounded by a varied and unique flora. The main drawback however is that it’s more difficult to access (in fact, the 222 bus runs only during the end of June, July and August).


Meanwhile, Grunewaldsee is located next to one of the most charming, spacious and wild forests of Berlin. Likewise with beach sand, green water and surrounded by trees, a visit to Lake Grunewald is always a safe bet. It can be found in the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, bordering its namesake forest. Among other things, it is notable for its original dog park where your four-legged friends can run around freely, bathe and play.


Even walking to the lake itself is relaxing, as you barely see another person whilst strolling through Grunewald forest. With the green vegetation all around you and the sunshafts coming down through the trees, it’s a rare part of Berlin where you can experience some tranquility.

All in all the beautiful, sparkling expanse of water, along with the possibilities that the neighboring forest offers, makes this one of the greatest spots for relaxing in Berlin.


Both areas are only a tiny sample of the lakes, canals and natural areas that Berlin has to offer. Lying on the sand, staring into the sky or the calm waters, it is really easy to forget that we are in the European Union’s third most populous city.


How to get there:

Tegeler See: (Approximately 45 minutes from Alexanderplatz)
Bus 222 from U-Bahn 6 Alt-Tegel (only during summer months)
Bus 324 from Alt-Heiligensee bus station (check availability)

Alternatives if it is not summer:
15 minute walk from the bus station Spechtstr.
Bus 222 (every 20 minutes) from Alt-Lübars (bus station)
Bus 324 from Tegelort or Konradshöhe, Falkenplatz.

Grunewaldsee: (Approximately 50 minutes from Alexanderplatz)
Walking or cycling from Grunewald (S7 and S75)
Bus 115 from S-Bahn Berlin Hohenzollerndamm