When it gets hot, Germans swear by outdoor swimming to cool off. Even though the country’s inland capital is far from the ocean, its surrounding crystal-clear lakes and urban swimming pools make for a great getaway. Popular lakes like Weißensee, Müggelsee and Schlachtensee draw in huge crowds on sweltering days, so to avoid a swarm of swimmers, head to these secret swimming spots in and around Berlin.
One of the less well-known lakes in Berlin, Habermannsee is located in the far-east of the city. A true local gem, it’s one of three lakes in the Kaulsdorf district and was man-made in the 1930s. Surrounded by lush woodlands, a fake ‘beach’ and grassy banks, the area is under environmental protection, boasting pristine waters and a lush landscape. There are very few cafes or spätis by the lake, so be sure to pack your beers and a picnic before you make the journey, and be sure to leave the lake in the calm, clean condition that you find it.
Sommerbad Humboldthain is the popular outdoor swimming pool near Wedding in Berlin. Housing a 50-metre (164 foot) swimming pool, plenty of lush green spaces to sunbathe on and a large winding waterslide, it’s hugely popular with families and locals. However, what’s less well-known is the art-hub it also houses, called Tropez. The canteen/art space hosts a curated summer program of readings, performances and exhibitions to delight art-lovers after a dip.