Flirting at the Lake: the most beautiful Queer Bathing Spots in and around Berlin!
There are over 3,000 lakes and outdoor pools in Berlin and Brandenburg. Some of them are solid favourites among the queer community as meeting spots in the summer. So, pack your swimsuit, don't forget the sunscreen, then relax and make friends at the water's edge.
The dark waters of Schlachtensee stretch over two kilometres. It is one of the Berlin lakes that is easiest to reach by bus and train: the S-Bahn station of the same name is only 100 metres from the water's edge. Once at the lake, however, you'll quickly forget that you are in the middle of the capital - the lake is surrounded by the dense Grunewald Forest. Its only disadvantage is that on hot summer days the shore is often crowded. However, you will definitely find peace and quiet if you explore the lake on a small rowing boat. (age)
Fischerhüttenstraße 136, 14163 Berlin-Zehlendorf
On the shores of Teufelssee, everyone is able to behave exactly as they please. The lake itself is small, but heavenly. The eastern shore is protected, and on the western shore there is a slope for nude sunbathing. However, the number of people wearing bathing suits is on the increase. Despite this, for some years now, Teufelssee has become a popular destination for queers from all over the world – the later it gets in the afternoon, the greater the exuberance. Unlike Wannsee, you don't have to pay an entrance fee or observe opening hours to go swimming. The lake is a 30-minute walk from either Grunewald or Heerstraße S-Bahn, but it's quicker to get there by bike. (cab)
Am Ende der Teufelsseechaussee, Berlin-Grunewald
S Grunewald/S Heerstraße
More than 50 years ago, Rosa von Praunheim filmed scenes for his classic film, 'It's not the homosexual who is perverted, but the situation in which he lives', at the Wannsee lido. With its 1,375-metre-long and 80-metre-wide sandy beach, this pool boasts of being the largest inland lakeside swimming pool in Europe. This means that there's plenty of space for lounging, sunbathing, and strutting your stuff. The queer area is at the far-right end of the beach, where naked bathing is allowed. It’s here where the cool, shallow water of the Havel beckons and a there’s a stall that sells cold beer, draught beer, currywurst and chips. (cab)
Wannseebadweg 25, 14129 Berlin-Nikolassee
S Nikolassee (Attention: Not S Wannsee!)
Website of Strandbad Wannsee
From May to August, the Strandbad Plötzensee in Wedding is open daily from 9 am to 10 pm. The historic open-air swimming pool is one of the most beautiful in Berlin; its entrance building from the 1920s is a listed structure. On the sandy beach there are beach chairs and deckchairs for hire, as well as volleyball courts and table tennis tables. Parties are also held at the ‘Plötze’ from time to time, and these include queer events. A highlight for chilly days has to be the 'Sauna Plötzensee - Swedding'. The facility consists of three small wooden saunas that were erected in the nudist area of the beach. The first Saturday of every month is the FLINTA* sauna night. (age)
Nordufer 26, 13351 Berlin-Wedding
Tram stop Virchow-Klinikum
Website of Strandbad Plötzensee
There are other outings for all those who don't really want to go into the water. The many restaurants and cafés along the beautiful hiking and cycling paths around Berlin's second largest lake make a great destination in themselves. It takes about 1.5 hours to cycle around the lake. From the Greenwich promenade, you can take a sightseeing trip on a boat that takes you past the lake's seven small islands. (age)
Strandbad Tegeler See, 13505 Berlin-Tegel
Bus stop Reiswerder or Saatwinkel
What the Wannsee lake is for the west of Berlin, Müggelsee is the equivalent in the east of the city. It has long been a popular gathering point for the queer community. The advantage of Müggelsee is that admission is free. Currently, the listed buildings of the lido are being renovated, despite the fact that the lake is still open to visitors. You can avoid the construction noise by escaping to the queer area at the edge of the grounds near the nudist area. In summer, the sun shines until late in the evening. The lake is relatively shallow, so to be able to have a proper swim, you’ll have to swim out a bit to reach deeper water. The Straßenbahn tram line 61 stops directly in front of the entrance to the 'Pearl of the East'. (cab)
Fürstenwalder Damm 838, 12589 Berlin-Rahnsdorf
Tram stop Strandbad Müggelsee
The (much) smaller brother of Berlin's largest lake is worth a visit. It lies south-east of Groß Müggelsee. Its pretty sandy beach is surrounded by a dense pine forest and offers the opportunity to picnic and swim in peace, even in the middle of summer. (age)
Hinter der Düne 8, 12559 Berlin-Müggelheim
Bus stop Odernheimer Straße
This long, narrow lake on the edge of Grunewald Forest in Zehlendorf was appropriately named, due to its crooked, curved shape. On sunny days, its long, green shore path attracts not only bathers but also many walkers, joggers, and cyclists. The water is easily accessible almost everywhere. In addition to countless, often shady mini-bathing bays, there are also two large sunny sandy beaches on the north-eastern side of the lake. The good news is that nudism is allowed everywhere. (age)
Krumme Lanke, Berlin-Zehlendorf
U Krumme Lanke
Liepnitzsee in Wandlitz
Shimmering turquoise-blue waters, beech tree forested hills, numerous mini bays, and in the middle, there is a small love island ‘Liebesinsel’ that can be explored aboard a mini ferry. Lake Liepnitz near Wandlitz is the diva among Brandenburg's lakes: beautiful, but not easy to reach. The best way to get there is to hop on the Heidekrautbahn train with your bike in Berlin-Karow and cycle on from Wandlitzsee station. The lake is not exclusively queer, but you will find yourself in an international urban crowd. (cab)
Train station Wandlitz/Train station Wandlitzsee
Website of Liepnitzsee
Heiliger See in Potsdam
This is a truly royal pleasure: in the immediate vicinity of Heiligen See (the Holy Lake,) in the so-called New Gardens, you'll find the world heritage site of Cecilienhof. On the opposite side of the lake, the shimmering Marble Palace cab be seen. On the north bank there is a sunbathing lawn with easy access to the water, which includes a small nudist area. The Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation frowns upon swimming, as it results in the edge of the banks being continuously eroded. There are no official signs designating bathing areas, but this is nevertheless tolerated as a summer tradition. However, we kindly request that all bathers treat the area with respect and take their rubbish away with them. That way, we will all be able to enjoy the World Heritage Site in the years to come. (cab)
Heiliger See, Potsdam
Tram- and Bus Stop Glienicker Brücke
Website of Heiliger See
Prinzenbad: ‘Queer Summer Splash‘
In the middle of Kreuzberg is the central queer meeting point for wet and happy summer fun. Prinzenbad Swimming Pool is officially known as 'Sommerbad Kreuzberg'. In summer, it attracts many regulars from the surrounding districts. Many of them come mainly for sporting activities. At the front of the three pools, it's rather lively; seeing and being seen is the order of the day here. Those who like it a bit quieter get their money's worth on the sunbathing lawn at the back. There is also a secluded nudist area. Because of its urban setting, SIEGESSÄULE and L-MAG, in cooperation with the Berliner Bäderbetriebe, have chosen Prinzenbad as the venue for the 'Queer Summer Splash'. Once a year - in 2022 it will be on the 28th of August - the LGBTIQ* community will be swimming, dancing, and flirting, because for once, they will be in the majority at the outdoor pool. Everyone can move around safely, relax, and enjoy the summer. Many of the admission team are queer, the pool security is always briefed and the 'Gaywatch' Awareness Team from SIEGESSÄULE and L-MAG is always accessible at the info-booth. (cab)
Queer Summer Splash im Prinzenbad
Prinzenstr. 113–119, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg
Website of Prinzenbad
And this is how you get there: The Queer City Pass gives you a ticket for public transport - and on top of that a great discount with lots of partner companies!
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Words: Annabelle Georgen (age) and Carsten Bauhaus (cab)