I read a lot about the wonderful lakes in and around Berlin before I moved here. I’ve been to most of them, but there’s one lake that surpasses all your expectations from a lake. (I don’t know what those expectations would be for you, though! Maybe it’s secretly competing with tropical beaches, offering free piña coladas, or trying to outshine the Bahamas on a budget! Hope not!) Liepnitzsee may not be the ocean you dreamt of, but it’s undeniably one of the most beautiful lakes you’ll find in and around Berlin. Especially if you don’t like swimming in dark, murky waters like me, you’ll absolutely fall in love with Leipnitzsee.
I think I can confidently say it’s the only turquoise lake in Berlin. And you should trust my judgement because I know turquoise waters.
I am a summer person. I am always on the lookout for new places to swim. When I was a child, summer meant travelling to the south of Turkey during school holidays and returning to Istanbul with sun-kissed hair and teeth that looked whiter, all thanks to the upgraded shade of my skin from white to suntan. Nothing makes me happier than swimming in the salty, cold turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. My dad wasn’t a planner. We used to pack our bags, jump into the car at six in the morning, and arrive at one of those lovely bays in the Aegean Sea or head down south. We never booked hotels online or tours in advance, and we never read reviews to see what people thought about the place. We just drove there, checked out a few hotels that caught our fancy as we passed by, and checked in. We were spontaneous and open to discoveries. That was basically what we did every summer. And it was hot. But I loved it.
Liepnitzsee is not in the Aegean Sea, and it doesn’t have the heat like the south of Turkey (though there are some days during the summer when it feels like that). It is surrounded by a gorgeous forest, perfect for hiking, cycling, climbing, and hugging trees. (FYI: a day spent at Liepnitzsee hugging trees is equivalent to 100 therapy sessions — and it’s much cheaper!) It’s a stunning lake with aquamarine waters nestled in the midst of beech and pine woods. There’s a small island in the middle of it where you can swim, paddle, or take the tiny boat, which conveniently operates every 15 minutes. And guess what? There’s even a sandy beach on the island. What more could you possibly want, excuse me?
Where is Liepnitzsee?
Liepnitzsee is located around 35km to the north of Berlin. It’s situated near Wandlitz, which is a forested area just past Bernau.
There are nine other lakes in Wandlitz such as Obersee, Wandlitzer See, Stolzenhangener See, and Rahmersee, just to name a few. But Liepnitzsee has a very distinct doughnut shape since there’s a forested island at its centre.
The island makes the lake look deceivingly small, but it’s actually one of the bigger lakes in the Wandlitz area.
How To Get To Liepnitzsee Lake
Taking the train from Berlin to Liepnitzsee will probably be the cheapest option. All you need is a BVG ticket for ABC zone which will cost you €8.80 for a return trip. Take the S2 to Bernau or a regional train to Wandlitz (not Wandlitz See which is one stop further from Berlin). Plan your trip with the BVG journey planner. It takes roughly a 20-minute walk to reach the lakefront when you get off the train.
If you’re going to drive then A11 until taking the Lanke exit in the direction of Ützdorf. I am sure Google Maps will help you with this.
If you want you can spend the night there too. There are a few hotels scattered around the area, as well as a campground so you can further commune with nature. I once spent a night there and it was a great experience.
However, one of the reasons this lake is so desirable is that it’s easily reachable from the city by public transport and only takes about an hour to get there.
For those who want to make the journey just as fun as the destination, you could also cycle to Liepnitzsee. It will take around 2 hours (32km) from the centre of Berlin. It’s easily doable but if you feel tired you can always jump on the train with your bike. Here is a useful link if you are not familiar with the cycling rules in Berlin.
The picture you see above was taken two months ago. It doesn’t do justice to the beauty of the lake, but I wanted to use my photo. See that long log, a fallen tree? You can walk all the way to the end of it (yes, life is a balancing act) and jump straight in. I might be a summer person, but oh boy, I love cold water swimming. At first, it feels like you are going to die, but then adrenaline kicks in. Everything freezes, including whatever tightens your heart and mind. You forget. And you don’t die. Then you want to jump in again, again, and again.
Sometimes when people ask, ‘Oh, which one is the best lake in Berlin?’ I feel tempted to recommend some imaginary lake in Narnia just to keep the real gem to myself. But then, I snap out of my selfish state and find myself enthusiastically blabbering for half an hour about Liepnitzsee and why it’s the absolute must-visit. After all, what’s the use of discovering hidden beauty if you can’t share it with others? (well, it’s hardly a secret lake anymore) Now, quit your scrolling, start planning, and get ready for a date with the most fabulous lake in Berlin!