The Spree River runs through Saxony, Brandenburg and Berlin
and is the river on which the centre of the city was built. It’s around 400 kilometres long, beautiful and definitely worth a lazy afternoon of sightseeing on or around it. There are many ways to enjoy Berlin’s Spree River. You might like to take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the river, relax with a beer or wine at one of the many bars
located on the river's bank or, if you prefer to be on the water itself, why not join one of the many Berlin boat tours
that are operating on the rivers and waterways throughout the city.
Boat tours on the River Spree
Taking a tour of Berlin by boat is a wonderful way of seeing the city. On a Berlin boat tour
, charter trip, even by kayak you can discover a side to Berlin that you would miss if you confined your visit to land based adventures. You wouldn’t know it at first glance but Berlin has an intricate web of interconnecting rivers, canals and lakes that make up the waterways running throughout the city, and from March through to October there are many different opportunities to see Berlin by boat.
There are lots of companies offering different themed tours. You can see the famous sights like the Reichstag
building and the East Side Gallery
, cross the old East/West border, take a specific bridge tour or architecture tour cruise further afield to the rivers of neighbouring areas like Potsdam and Köpenick. Most boat tours in Berlin have food and drink on board plus a running commentary in German with either an English audio or booklet guide.
You’ll be able to pick between morning and afternoon tours, plus an evening tour which is especially good in the warmer months, where you can watch the sun go down whilst sipping a champagne or beer on the deck. Whether you are traveling alone, as a couple or in a group, discovering Berlin from the water is a unique way to explore the city and gives you the opportunity to sit back, relax and take in Berlin, whilst putting your feet up.
Riverside Bars, Clubs and Restaurants
Beach bars in Berlin shine in the summer months as the place to be for a cold drink in the sunshine, and there are plenty of waterside bars to go around. Beach bar by name, but not all of those hot spots with beach in their title have sand and very few offer somewhere to swim. What they have though, is cold drinks, and a summer atmosphere that will have you planning your next summer trip to Berlin.
In the centre of Berlin, Capital Beach
, opposite the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, are a great place for direct waterside action for watching the boats up and down the river and all the people coming out of the train station.
African bar Yaam
at Schillingbrücke is a Berlin institution and a great spot for food, music and chilling out by the water with friends and a few drinks.
definitely does not have sand, but it does have trestle tables, umbrellas, pebbles, a makeshift dance floor and yummy pizzas, and as it’s directly opposite Museum island in the centre of town, it’s a great spot for travel in and out of the city and of course, the river Spree just a few steps away.
Berlin has a legendary club scene, attracting people from all over the world to party the weekend away (or the week for that matter). When it comes to waterside clubs a few notable ones spring to mind. Watergate
, located right next to the Oberbaumbrücke offers one of the best places to watch the sunrise after a night of dancing. Club Der Visionäre is a great outdoor club right along side a an offshoot of the Landwehrkanal called the Flutgraben and Griessmühle
in Neukölln backs onto the Neuköllner Schiffahrtskanal and has a number of waterside spots to chill out. (Image © Feffef
CC BY NC-SA)
Along Berlin's rivers and Canals you will find numerous dining opportunities. On the stretch on river around Friedrichstraße you will find a number of restaurants which are worth a visit, including Patio
, Ständige Vertretung
and Grill Royal
, who do the best steak in the city! There is something quite special and romantic about riverside dining so why not grab that special person and make a night of it!
Walking along the River Spree
Let your feet take you away and walk a length of the river spree one fine afternoon and you will have explored Berlin’s waterways in a different way.
One of the most interesting sections of Berlin is along the section of the Spree River that runs between the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin’s main train station), and Museumsinsel
(Museum island). However, it is not only this particular section where you can appreciate the water from the side lines, There are many spots along the River Spree that deserve a leisurely stroll to take in the sights. The riverbanks around Treptower Park offer great views of the water and the city, and the area around the Oberbaumbrücke, which links Friedrichshain
, is particularly colourful.
Take your time and walk with the splish-splash of the water against the banks and you’ll forget you’re in one of the largest cities in Europe, for a little while at least.