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Swimming in Berlin: Our Favorite Pools and Beaches

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Strandbad Wannsee Berlin
Take the S-Bahn 30 minutes to the sandy, clean and and popular beaches of the Wannsee. Photo: cproesser

As there are just a handful of days every summer when Berlin’s temperatures surpass the 30° C / 85° F mark, air conditioning is virtually non-existent. If you’re not content to sweat it out like the locals, you have two options: dark and cool (movies and museum visits), or sunny and wet.

Thankfully, a large city like Berlin offers ample opportunities for both types of escapes. If you’re in the mood for the latter, here are three of Berlin’s best summer oases.

Strandbad Wannsee

A 30-minute S-Bahn ride from the center transports you out to the green edges of the city, where you’ll find numerous small lakes offering reprieve on hot days. The Strandbad offers nearly 1.3 km of well-managed (and popular) sandy beach on the lovely, clean Wannsee.

After hours of fabulous people- or sailboat-watching, listening to the sounds of the waves, or alternately swimming in the lake then drying in the sunshine, your mind should be clear enough to choose between the many, many types of popsicles and ice cream bars available at the snack bar. (Read more about the Wannsee and other fabulous lakes and parks in Berlin.)

S1-/S7-Nikolassee
Admission: €4.50
Open everyday, check website for hours

Stadtbad Neukolln Berlin

The beautiful and moody entrance to the Stadtbad Neukölln. Photo: Edverillo

Stadtbad Neukölln

By far the most beautiful of Berlin’s public pools, the Stadtbad Neukölln, built in 1914 in classical style, retains its original character despite modern renovations, with tall marble columns leading upwards past mosaics to an arched ceiling. The experience rivals the famous baths of cities such as Budapest.

With both lane swimming in its 25m pool and a relaxing space for bathing in a separate 19m pool, the Stadtbad attracts young and old alike for a regal dip.

(And if you’re heading to Neukölln, check out these suggestions for delicious cheap eats.)

U7-Rathaus Neukölln
Admission: €4.50; sauna entrance extra (€10)
Open everyday, check website for hours

Liquidrom Pool Berlin

Inside Berlin’s futuristic Liquidrom. Photo: Sfslim

Liquidrom

Modern and upscale, Berlin’s Liquidrom offers a spa-like experience right in the center of the city. Spend a relaxing afternoon and evening floating in the saltwater pool, known for its underwater sound system. If that isn’t special enough in itself, check the schedule of regular live music performances on their website.

And 30° C will seem downright refreshing after a 80° C turn through the Liquidrom’s four saunas, running the gamut from salt to steam. Infusions and basic skin treatments are scheduled throughout the day and are included in your entry.

S1-Anhalter Bahnhof
Admission: between €19.50 and €29.50, depending on length of stay
Open everyday from 10 a.m. till midnight, Fridays and Saturdays till 1 a.m.

About the author

Hilary Bown

An academic by training, a writer by day, and a Cheapo by heritage, Hilary Bown's meagre means and insatiable travel appetite have helped her sharpen her "no-budget travel" skills across the European continent over the past decade. At home in Berlin or on an adventure abroad, you'll find her in sandals, riding the bus, reading novels while walking, drinking the local wine, writing out postcards with a felt-tip pen, and browsing the shelves of the supermarket and hardware store. Find her unique blend of travel adventure and tested advice at Less Than a Shoestring.

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