Outdoor Activities in Berlin

Information on the facilities in Berlin for outdoors activities: walks, hikes and cycling activities in the area...

Below is information on the public parks, woods and green spaces in and around Berlin that are open to walkers, cyclists and runners. There are also facilities around Berlin for other outdoor activities: hiking and walking, cycling, and horse riding as well as some lake watersports, and a range of winter sports.

The Berlin Senate has an established list of rules and regulations for use the substantial green areas.

The city of Berlin lies on two rivers, the Spree running from east to west and the Havel which runs from the old town of Spandau in the north to the nautical district of Wannsee in the south west. Over two-thirds of Berlin is comprised of lakes, forests and parks. A feature of note is the 120m-high Teufelsberg, an artificially constructed hill made from rubble after the Second World War. Berlin has hot summers (temperatures up to 30?) and cold winters with temperatures hovering just below freezing. June and August are historically the wettest months and October and February the driest.

Parks

Tiergarten

Located in the centre of Berlin within the district of the same name, this park has many lakes, streams and meadow areas and is a popular spot during the summer months. At the edge of the Neuer See lake there is a café with outdoor seating and boats are available for hire. The park also has many monuments to famous German poets and composers.

  • Tiergarten
    At
    : Strasse des 17. Juni, 10557 Berlin-Tiergarten
    Access
    : S-Bahn Tiergarten or Bellevue, U-Bahn Hansaplatz; Bus 265, 343, 100

Treptower Park

Originally created in 1876, this 85-hectare park is famous for the imposing 116m-high Soviet War Memorial on the eastern side which commemorates 5,000 Soviet soldiers who are buried there. The park lies on the banks of the River Spree and has meadows, tree-lined playing fields, flower beds and carp ponds.  Boat excursions are available during the summer months along the river and out to the Müggelsee lakes.

  • Treptower Park
    At
    : Pushkinallee, Berlin-Treptow
    Access
    : S-Bahn Treptower Park or Plänterwald; Bus 166, 167, 177

Botanic Garden (Botanischer Garten)

Europe's largest botanical garden, created between 1897 and 1903, is situated in the residential district of Dahlem. Home to over 18,000 species of trees and shrubs, the garden has ponds and meadows as well as 16 greenhouses for tropical and subtropical flora including many rare species.

Volkspark Friedrichshain

Berlin's biggest park, originally created in the 19th century was completely redesigned at the beginning of the 1970s. Bunkers left by the Nazis within the park were destroyed and filled with rubble to create two artificial hills, the Kleiner Bunkerberg (48m high) and the Gro?er Bunkerberg (78m high). The park is also home to a Neo-Baroque Fairy-Tale Fountain (Märchenbrunnen) surrounded by figures from Grimms' fairy-tales.

  • Volkspark Friedrichshain
    At: Friedrichshain, 10249 Berlin
    Access: Tram M4; Bus 200, 240

Outdoor Activities in Berlin

Hiking and walking

Teufelsberg: Berlin's man-made Teufelsberg in the north of the Grunewald is a favourite location for walkers. From the top (120m) are views across the Grunewald to the Havel. At the bottom of the Teufelsberg is the Teufelssee, Berlin's deepest lake.

The Teufelsberg is situated on the northern edge of the Grunewald and is a 20-minute walk from S-Bahnhof Grunewald.

The Teufelsberg has a ski run (site of the 1986 World Slalom Championship) on one slope and Berlin's longest sled run on the other. The Teufelsberg is visible from some distance and is easily recognisable by the gigantic "golf balls" on the top, which housed a now defunct US radar station.

Grunewald: The Grunewald forest stretches from just below Charlottenburg to the north, east towards to Steglitz and to Wannsee in the south of Berlin. It is a popular destination for walkers, cyclists and swimmers who use the beaches along the Havel and the many lakes including the Grunewaldsee, Schlachtensee, Krumme Lanke and Wannsee.

Tegel: To the north of the city is the Tegel Forest with many lakeside beaches along the Tegeler Lake.  Access to the forest and to the public beach, Strandbad Tegel, is by bus (222, 124, 133) from U-Bahnhof Alt-Tegel.

For more information:

The website Wanderbares Deutschland has information on hiking routes throughout Germany including the 66 Lakes Trail around Berlin. The trail begins in Potsdam and is 385 Km long.

Cycling

Berlin has a network of cycle paths throughout the city. Cycling is only permitted in the same direction as road traffic and the police will stop cyclists going the wrong way on a cycle path.

The National German Cycling Federation (Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club, ADFC) organises national cycling events. The website contains some information in English. For more information contact:

Horse riding

The Grunewald Forest and the Lueneberg Heath (Lüneburger Heide) contain Germany's longest bridle path. There are also several riding schools in Berlin which offer tuition on their own or clients' horses.

Several race tracks in Berlin offer regular horse-races.

  • Trabrennbahn Mariendorf
    At: Mariendorfer Damm 222-298, Berlin-Tempelhof
    Tel: 030 740 1212
    Trabrennbahn Karlshorst
    At:
    Treskowallee 129, Berlin Lichtenberg
    Tel: 030 500 1712
  • Galopprennbahn Hoppegarten (in German)
    At: Goetheallee 1, Dahlwitz-Hoppegarten
    Tel: 030 389 313

Watersports

There are several clubs and associations for rowing, sailing and canoeing.

The bilingual Berlin German-British Yacht Club offers sailing courses for adults and juniors.

  • At: Kladower Damm 217a, 14089 Berlin-Kladow

Two German-language websites have information on canoeing:

Winter sports

Berlin has several winter sports centres including an indoor ski run (Der Gletscher) in Pankow which offers courses.

There are a number of indoor skating rinks in Berlin:

  • Erika-Heß-Stadion
    At: Müllerstraße 165, Berlin-Wedding
  • Horst-Dohm-Stadion
    At: Fritz-Wildung-Straße 9, Berlin-Wilmersdorf
  • Eislaufstadion Neukölln "Sportpark"
    At: Oderstr. 182, Berlin-Neukölln
  • Eisbahn Lankwitz
    At: Leonorenstraße 37, Berlin-Steglitz
  • For information on ice-skating schools: Click here (in German)

Berlin also has several toboggan runs (Rodelhängen) within its many parks.