Sports and activities, and not exclusively for LGBTIQs!
Of course, on holiday the focus is usually on doing nothing. However, some activities offer unique experiences and the chance to meet new people. Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities to get involved in sports in Berlin, from volleyball to cycling, from jogging to climbing, among others.
Volleyball at Beach 61
In the middle of Berlin, just a few hundred metres from Potsdamer Platz, the 'Park am Gleisdreieck' was created around ten years ago on a railway wasteland. Situated between the Berlin districts of Schöneberg and Kreuzberg, the park is one of the city's most popular recreational areas, and it boasts a very urban atmosphere. The three sections of the park offer a diverse selection of sports and relaxation facilities. One highlight is, without a doubt, the beach volleyball court 'Beach61', in the centre of the park. On no fewer than 42 courts, visitors can dive into the sand in an attempt to catch the ball. On Saturdays, there are fun tournaments for which two people can register. If your friends unfortunately don't share your passion for beach volleyball, you can take part in so-called 'Open Plays' at the weekend. Here you can get together with other fans of the sport. Meanwhile, the sports fanatics among your friends can watch you sweat over food and drinks at the 'Beach61' bar. There are also plenty of other beautiful places to discover in the Park am Gleisdreieck, which was awarded the Berlin Architecture Prize of the Year 2013, among others.
Park am Gleisdreieck, 10965 Berlin-Schöneberg und Berlin-Kreuzberg
S+U Yorckstraße/U Gleisdreieck
Website of Beach 61
Climbing the Drachenberg Hill
Drachenberg in Berlin-Grunewald is the lesser-known and smaller sister of Teufelsberg. This is the hill that is visible from afar that exudes a morbid charm with its graffiti-covered listening station from the Cold War. However, Drachenberg is just as popular with Berliners. The 99-metre-high elevation, which like Teufelsberg was built from the rubble of buildings destroyed during World War II, is a great place to fly kites. From the summit there is a good view of Berlin and the white domes of the building complexes on Teufelsberg. The plateau is also an inviting place for lavish picnics. If climbing the mountain and flying kites has made you sweat, you can cool off in the nearby Teufelssee lake afterwards. Near the lake, where small families spread out their towels next to senior citizens and queer bathers, there is also a cruising area in the middle of the forest that can meet additional needs. In addition, you can find more information about bathing spots in Berlin here. If you're interested in cruising, here are recommendations, especially for gays, and here for FLINTA*s.
Teufelsseechaussee 2, 14193 Berlin-Grunewald
Swimming in Strandbad Rahmersee
If the Teufelssee is too extensive for you, if you miss other sports facilities and don't want to miss out on curry wurst and chips while swimming, you should take a look at the Rahmersee lido. Located in the Mühlenbecker countryside north of Berlin, this insider tip has a delightful GDR charm. There are still old starting blocks at the lake that invite you to swim competitively. There is a slide for children. Those who want to explore Lake Rahmer more closely can rent a rowing boat or a SUP board and exercise their upper arm muscles. For the more leisurely (and glamorous) outing, you can also drift across the water on an inflatable swan. However, the waiting list for this is usually long - so it pays to book early. The lido can be reached by car or by train. For those who want something a bit sportier, a bike tour through the Mühlenbecker countryside is also a lot of fun. On the way back, you can buy fresh fruit for a snack or vegetables for dinner. (And if you don't want to drive that far, but feel like swimming after this idea, you'll find plenty more swimming tips here!)
Zum Strandbad, 16515 Mühlenbecker Land
Website of Strandbad Rahmersee
Outdoor-Fitness in Volkspark Friedrichshain
For a different, variety-packed range of sporting activities, relaxation, and Berlin history, you don't have to travel quite so far, all it takes is a trip to Volkspark Friedrichshain. The almost 50-hectare park was created in 1846 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Frederick the Great's accession to the throne. It was the first municipal green space in Berlin and is located in the eastern city centre. Volkspark Friedrichshain also has green slopes, nicknamed 'Mont Klamott', that were created from war rubble. In addition to historical monuments such as the 'Cemetery of the Fallen of the March Revolution', the park also offers a wide range of sports. In the eastern part, which can be reached from Danziger Straße, there is a fitness trail with pull-up bars, rings, dip bars, an exercise bike, sit-up benches and an 800-metre-long athletics track - in other words, an outdoor fitness studio. In the centre of the athletics track is a sand pit where beach volleyball enthusiasts let off steam. On weekends, they sometimes set up their nets as early as 6am. Not far from this pit is a climbing wall and a small skate park. Other visitors bring frisbees, rackets for a game of beach tennis, or a badminton set. Volkspark Friedrichshain is also popular in the evenings. On picnic blankets, visitors unpack their Tupperware and fire up the barbecues. In the heart of the park, the open-air cinema Friedrichshain invites you to enjoy cinematic entertainment after sunset. (Information on the programme of Berlin open-air cinemas can be found here.) The fairy tale fountain, which shows ten characters from the Grimm fairy tales, is and has been for decades a meeting place for mostly gay men in the dark evening hours.
Tram stop Paul-Heyse-Straße (Sports)
Tram stop Am Friedrichshain (Märchenbrunnen)
Trampolining at JUMP House
Anyone who wants to be active even when it's raining, windy, and cold will find exactly the right place in Berlin's Reinickendorf district. The 'JUMP House' in the north-west of Berlin is the largest trampoline hall in the capital and offers a variety-packed range of bouncing activities over 4,000 square metres. How about a somersault competition or a jumping race over a field consisting of 70 interconnected trampolines? Basketball talents can hone their skills on a sprung floor, while American Gladiator fans battle it out on a beam with oversized Q-tips, the aim being to push the other person down into the soft foam pit. And if bouncing becomes too monotonous at some point, there is the 'Sky Ninja Obstacle Course', which takes you 11 metres up on a double zipline under the ceiling of the 'JUMP House'.
Miraustraße 38, 13509 Berlin-Reinickendorf
Bus stop Miraustraße
Website of JUMP House
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: Julian Beyer