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Berlin and Brandenburg – Our Four Favourite Lakes

Today, we’ve decided to reveal a shortlist of our all-time favourite lakes—one for each cardinal direction. Whenever we feel the urge to trade in Berlin’s bustling cityscapes for a refreshing swim in nature’s finest, these are the four bodies of water that top our lists.

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1 NORTH

Summter See

Berlin city centre 22 km
Car <45 min
PT <60 min

summtersee Bearbeitet

Summter See is idyllically located in Mühlenbecker Land, a municipality in Brandenburg’s Overhavel district. You can easily walk around its shoreline in under one hour. The absence of a Stranbad leaves all the more room for nature and silence. If you head toward the clearing on Summter See’s northern shore, you’ll already catch a glimpse of the lake’s glistening waters from afar. Surrounded by a magical forest, this little oasis is a peaceful escape—the further out you swim, the quieter it gets. A larger bathing spot is located on the lake’s eastern shore. Lie down here and let your thoughts wander as you watch the little clouds drift by. And whenever you’re ready, look for a gap in the reeds and slowly make your way into the water.

Berlin Edition
p. 57

Directions The parking lot at Summter See

2 EAST

Gamensee

Berlin city centre 41 km
Car <60 min
PT <90 min

take Me To The Lake Gamensee 5

Gamensee is located in a meltwater channel that formed in the ice ages and gave way to a unique landscape. Its water quality is subject to stark variations in summer. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth paying a visit to the lake’s only official bathing spot. This is located on the grounds of the campsite on its northern shore. For a small entrance fee, you’ll be able to choose a comfortable place to spread out your belongings for the day on the property’s large lawn or steep, sandy beach. Once you’re in the water, swim a few laps before taking a rest on the floating platform on the lake’s surface. If you’re feeling active, you can also set out for a stroll around the lake via the path that traces its shoreline. This official hiking trail will lead you through the idyllic forest that encircles the entire lake.

Berlin Edition
p. 101

Directions Parking lot

3 SOUTH

Tonsee

Berlin city centre 54 km
Car <60 min
PT <90 min

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Surrounded by forests and tucked away in a picturesque landscape marked by clusters of pines and reeds, Tonsee is a stunning clay pit lake in the Teupitz lake district near Klein Köris. The lake itself comprises two basins—a northern and a southern basin—connected by a narrow strait. The lake attracts visitors to the large beach and meadow, both of which are ideal for sunbathing, on its eastern shore. From here, you’ve got a great view of Tonsee’s glistening, blue waters and dense forest surroundings. To spend the entire weekend swimming, splashing and exploring, book a stay at the campsite near the listed bathing spot.

Berlin Edition
p. 153

Directions Campsite Tonsee

4 WESTEN

Sacrower See

Berlin city centre 27 km
Car <60 min
PT <75 min

takemetothelakes Sacrowersee Spot2 1

Sacrower See is tucked away in a nature reserve between Groß-Glienicker See and Havel River. With a maximum depth of 36 m, this is one of the five deepest natural lakes in Brandenburg. You can relax between the trees on the sandy beach on Sacrower See’s northern shore and cool off with a refreshing Radler in the nearby restaurant’s cosy beer garden. From here, walk or cycle through the forest until you reach a clearing on its eastern shore. This small and more secluded spot’s rustling trees and chirping birds make for a wonderful hidden gem with a soothing, natural soundtrack.

Berlin Edition
p. 196

Directions The Clearing

North, East, South and West of Berlin:
Discover Our Four Favorites

Every time we sit down for an interview, we’re asked to divulge which lakes are our personal favourites. That never ceases to be a tricky question to answer. The challenge is that if you set out from Berlin in search of lakes that aren’t overrun by crowds of people, you have around 3,000 lakes to choose from in Brandenburg alone. As you can imagine, it’s highly unlikely that either of us will be able to explore all of them, let alone all the lakes in Germany, our lifetimes. 

Berlin itself plays host to a series of rather popular lakes and public beaches, such as Wannsee and Plötzensee. In fact, some bathing spots in the city, such as those located around Tegeler See’s shorelines, are so renowned that even newbies have taken to flocking to their shores. In Brandenburg, on the other hand, you’ll come across a significantly higher number of smaller and lesser-known lakes that are worth journeying out of town for.

It’s good to keep in mind that the lakes we’ve listed up top are our personal favourites—we’re by no means suggesting that everyone will find what they’re looking for in precisely these four places. If you’re searching for something specific, such as a lake with an official public beach, playground, boat rental, or restroom, you’ll find our top 50 selection of the most beautiful lakes in Berlin and Brandenburg in our Take Me to the Lakes – Berlin Edition. The great thing about the abundance of lakes in this region of Germany is that there truly is something to suit everyone.

Several years back, when we first set out to research this book, we visited over 120 lakes in Berlin and Brandenburg. Today, we’re delighted to be able to share the knowledge we collected about water quality and bathing spots with you. If you’re yearning to spend more than just a day at the water’s edge, you’ll also find 50 wonderful accommodations in our Take Me to the Lakes – Weekender Edition Berlin. Plan your next vacation in Berlin, Brandenburg or Mecklenburg Vorpommern and discover which lakes nearest to each accommodation you can swim in.

Whether your heart is set on discovering waters in Berlin or Brandenburg, we wish you heaps of fun and relaxation while swimming in our favourite lakes!

Karo & Nils

take Me To The Lake Tonsee 11

Take Me to The Lakes X WeShare

We’ve teamed up with WeShare to take you to your favourite lakes in Berlin and Brandenburg! In these challenging times, we all feel the need to head outside for some fresh air. WeShare’s cars are an easy and carefree way to avoid public transportation and minimise our contact with others for day trips to the countryside.

Use the code LAKE10 to get €10 starting credit and you’ll only pay €39 for your 24-hour rental. Feel free to share the code with your friends & family!

As soon as you’re ready to start planning your next escape to the water’s edge, here’s how to set up your account:
FREE registration—download the app here

Enter the code LAKE10 to redeem your exclusive €10 starting credit

Benefits: 100% electric car sharing & plenty of charging stations in the region

take Me To The Lake Tonsee 5

 

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