The very best place to go during summer in Berlin is not highlighted in a single guide. It’s known to locals, but I’ve never seen another tourist there. It is one of my favourite places in the entire world: Krumme Lanke.
I lived and worked in Berlin for a while. About half way through my time there, I ended up taking the U3 U-Bahn south to the very end of the line. Stepping out of the station, I would’ve been convinced that it was just another residential area had it not been for the steady stream of wet-haired people strolling down the road. Following the stream backwards, I soon reached a picturesque little forest. Then as the footpath started dropping, I would catch the occasional glimpse of the evening sun’s reflection through the trees below. A smaller path suddenly took me off the main route, and I emerged onto the bank of the lake.
One of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
The surface of the water was glowing gently from the soft orange sunlight. The small waves were quietly rippling against the grassy bank. I could hear voices speaking in the distance, but I had my very own bit of shoreline, thanks to the numerous trees running right up to the water. But best of all, one of these trees leaned waaaay out over the lake.
So the evening was spent clambering up said tree and hurling myself into the warm, fresh water. Some of the locals I met on my way home told me that the water is so clean, they use it as a backup reservoir in the summer. In the following weeks, I brought my friends and housemates back here repeatedly. Not everyone appreciated the fresh water swimming quite as much as I did, but everyone loved the woods, the campfires, the warm evenings, and the escape from the city.
There are few places in the world, let alone Berlin, that I would recommend more than Krumme Lanke. So if you are planning a trip to this wonderful city, make sure you pick the warmest day and go for the best swim of your life. If you are not planning a trip to Berlin, add it to your bucket list immediately because even without Krumme Lanke, Berlin is one of the most remarkable and thriving cities in the world.