While most people know that Berlin boasts quality museums, art galleries and nightclubs, few seem to realize that just outside the city, there’s a network of swimmer-friendly lakes, lush forests and sandy beaches.
In fact, there are scores of them: eighty lakes lie within spitting distance of the city and thousands more grace the surrounding region of Brandenburg. While the casual visitor to the city might be flummoxed by this revelation, Berliners have been flocking to these oases for centuries.
Not all the waterholes are created equal, however. Some are vast in size and charge an entry fee, feeling a little more like seaside resorts than places to canoe – picture sun loungers, ice cream stands and beer stalls. Others are small, more bucolic and seem almost like well-kept secrets. Here’s something cool: many can be reached by public transport, so even the most plan-averse visitor doesn’t have to worry.
A great place to start is Müggelsee, the largest lake. Lying to the east of the city, it’s just a 25-minute walk from the Friedrichshagen stop on the S-Bahn S3 line. Here you can choose between partaking in the lakeside sauna or even a hopping on a boisterous party boat.
It’s accessible, high-energy and a lot of fun. For those looking for a more peaceful excursion, there’s the relatively quiet Strandbad Kiessee Schildow – get off at the Mühlenbeck-Mönchmühle stop on the S8 – where hidden nooks make it the perfect place to act like a local with a beer, a dip and an impromptu barbecue.
Marriott explored Berlin’s Muggelsee as part of a collaboration with VSCO’s photographers to create city guides for Paris; Berlin; Cairo; Taipei; and Portland, Ore.
How to Get to Muggelsee:
• Grosser Müggelsee, Friedrichshagen stop S-Bahn S3. Strandbad Kiessee Schildow, Mühlenbeck-Mönchmühle stop S-Bahn S8