In clear weather, the landscape that presents itself through the airplane window just before landing in Berlin is striking: more than sixteen thousand acres of green forests intersected by two rivers and a cloud of bluish lakes spreading out over 50km2. Bathing is permitted in almost all the lakes surrounding the city. The water quality is excellent and is carefully controlled by the municipal services who provide a telephone line next to the lakes providing information for the swimmers.
The most majestic of the Berlin lakes, nestled in a bend of the river Havel is the Grand Wannsee, located to the southwest of the city. Since its inauguration in 1907, the Strandbad a sandy beach which stretches over a mile, is one of the Berliners’ most popular resorts. With its Strandkörbe - wicker chairs equipped with a small roof to protect from the sun or wind, the Wannsee beach has the elegant atmosphere of a North Sea resort. It is an ideal place to spend an afternoon with your family as it has a lifeguard, playgrounds and a large slide.
Two S-Bahn stations north of Wannsee, is the Schlachtensee with its dark waters stretching out for two kilometers in the district of Zehlendorf. This is the most accessible lake: you just have to get off the train and walk a few hundred metres. Once you reach the shore you’re surrounded by a dense forest and you completely forget that you’re in the middle of a major city. It is a popular spot for fishermen. Berliners also like to tell tales of a big flesh eating fish that lurks in the depths of the lake. Even though Schlachtensee is often crowded in the summer, it retains a wonderfully natural atmosphere. You can also enjoy a romantic boat ride on the lake.
Seen from the hill overlooking it, the Teufelssee (literally "Devil’s Lake ") resembles little more than a drop of dew. However the banks of this small lake nestled in the heart of the Grunewald forest are quickly overrun in the summer, and is best to avoid visiting on weekends. The lake attracts many nudists, however wearing a bathing costume isn’t prohibited! The large grassy slope overlooking the lake is a good spot for picnics. When swimming, looking over to the Teufelsberg ('Devil's Mountain "), visible in the distance is the eerie outline of the former U.S. Secret Service listening station.
S-Bahn S1/S7, Wannsee stop. In summer, the 312 bus links the beach with the S-Bahn.
14129 Berlin Zehlendorf
S-Bahn S1, Schlachtensee stop.
S-Bahn S7, Grunewald stop or S5, Heerstraße stop.