The Best Secret Swimming Spots in Berlin

The banks of Habermannsee in Berlin
The banks of Habermannsee in Berlin | © Lotse / WikiCommons
Photo of Alice Dundon
12 June 2018

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.

Strandbad Bötzsee

Forest, Swimming Pool
A view of Bötzsee overlooking the beach of Eggersdorf | © Hauser / WikiCommons
Bötzsee is located just outside of Berlin, near Brandenburg. With a public beach, wooded surroundings and plenty of traditional restaurants and pub in the nearby town, this local lake has everything you could want, while still feeling secluded. Finding a hidden cove along the bank isn’t difficult here, though visitors can also enjoy the lake with locals on the public beach area. It’s a bit of a trek from Berlin and will take over an hour to access from the centre of the city, but if you want to dedicate a day to wild swimming, it’s worth the trip.

Kaulsdorfer Baggersee (Habermannsee)

Swimming Pool, Forest
Habermannsee is a lake in Berlin-Kaulsdorf | © Lotse / WikiCommons

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.

Sacrower See

Forest, Swimming Pool
Sacrower See located in Potsdam | © Dreizung / WikiCommons
Sacrower See is located in Potsdam, just a short train ride from Berlin, and is less frequented than its sister lake Wannsee. The lake isn’t far from stunning less-known local sights like Peacock Island, and boasts views of the surrounding Königswald forest, as well as tranquil, clear water to cool off in.


Swimming Pool
Haubentaucher at night | © Berlin IckLiebeDir / Flickr
If wild swimming and sojourns to the lakes don’t appeal, then the hidden Haubentaucher swimming pool is the place for you. Well-known among locals, this pool is housed in an unassuming brick building within the former RAW building complex, and is one of Berlin’s hippest swimming spots. With plenty of sun loungers, an inviting pool and a DJ spinning amazing tunes, it’s the perfect place to relax in style. Located in Friedrichshain, follow the snaking line of über-cool Berliners to find this hidden gem.


Forest, Swimming Pool
Werbellinsee at sunset | © M.Minderhoud / WikiCommons
Werbellinsee is a crystal-clear hidden gem to the north of Berlin that you’ll need a car to reach. Even on warm weekends, this lake isn’t too busy, with plenty of room to spread out and sunbathe on the green spaces and banks. Boasting a number of bathing spots, some secluded banks and nearby cafes and restaurants, it’s the perfect spot for wild swimming in summer.

Sommerbad Humboldt

Swimming Pool
The winding waterslide at Sommerbad Humboldthain | © Fridolin freudenfett / WikiCommons

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.


Forest, Swimming Pool
Nymphensee is located 15 km (9.3 miles) outside of Berlin | © Löwe 48 / WikiCommons
Nymphensee is the natural lake to the West of Berlin, in Brieselang. Surrounded by a charming, small beach, it has a picturesque atmosphere, clear, clean water and a regional charm. Located less than an hour from Berlin, visitors can access the lake by public transport to reach the nearby station – thereafter it’s just a short walk to reach the shore. During the week this spot is particularly secluded, but at other times its size and location ensure there’s always an intimate vibe.

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