Berlin is probably the coolest city in Germany! There’s so much to see and experience. You’ll often find you need more than a few days to truly find and experience the heart of Berlin! The capital is always on the forefront of trends, too, whether that’s flea markets, street food, or the very first Escape Games.
Whether you live here already or are planning a trip to the capital, Berlin has some fun activities in Berlin and its surrounding areas ready for you to make your time in this city unforgettable! In the city itself, for example, you can go kite boarding on land, or solve a murder with the help of a CSI agent, or paddle through the narrow waterways of New Venice.
In the countryside the Spreewald, skydiving and paintballing adventures await you. The proximity of Berlin to the Baltic Sea even makes it possible for you to dip your toes into the white sand and sea in only a few hours of driving!
Where do you find these crazy, unforgettable fun activities in Berlin and the surrounding area? We’ll share them all with you in this article!
“Experience Berlin differently”
17 fun activities in Berlin and its surrounding area!
In Berlin itself
1. Paddling through channels in Neuvenedig (New Venice)
Venice, only half an hour from the center of Berlin?! This location is actually right on the outskirts of Berlin, in Köpenick. The little stretch of water between the city and Müggel and Dämmeritz lake is even more idyllic than Venice. Here you get six channels almost completely to yourself and enjoy a nice quiet ride without the noise of the big city. Another difference from Venice is you have to paddle the boat yourself! So rent a canoe, equip yourself with a paddle, and float your way through the winding waterways.
Channels, lagoons and small houses in the inner part and impressive villas on the outer part – here you experience Berlin from a completely different angle. It’s such a pure, tranquil, and ideal rural area. Sometimes the passages are so narrow you can just barely fit your canoe through! The best thing to do is to stay in the area of New Venice as the access road to the Müggelsee is often quite busy, nor is quite as nice.
If you need a nice break and are hungry or thirsty then go into the restaurant Neu-Venedig, which is directly on one of the waterways. You can rent a canoe for 8 Euros per hour, any additional hour is 4 Euros. You also get a map to help make sure you don’t get disoriented – but it can often be difficult with or without the map!
Can you imagine being secured against the side of a house, staring down to the ground, held only by a steel cable and then running down? You probably haven’t seen the world from that angle before! From the roof of a house down to the ground floor, you walk down along the wall until you reach the ground – you really get a spin-tingling feeling here!
This adventure is called Houserunning, and is basically the little brother, or precursor, to bungee jumping – it’s especially great if you think bungee jumping is just a step too far for you! The moment you step over the edge of the house, similar to bungee jumping, gives you a strong adrenaline rush and requires a good dose of courage.
The length of the course varies depending on the house wall, but is usually from 45 to 100 meters. Overall, you should plan to include a preparation time of 30 to 60 minutes before the action.
3. Bungee jumping
If you want to take Houserunning to the next level, then it means not running down the wall anymore, but jumping: bungee jumping! The feeling of free fall is indescribable and only for real adrenaline junkies. At the edge you can feel and hear your heart beating loudly, your breathing gets a little difficult, and then you fall like a stone straight towards the earth! You definitely won’t soon forget this moment.
In Berlin and the surrounding area there are different places for you to choose to go bungee jumping. In some you can also select a dip-in which means you dive into the water – again, this takes tons of courage! And don’t worry: Dip-ins are only available at certain heights, you won’t be incredibly high up!
One great place to go is in the center of Berlin where you plummet from the Park Inn Hotel at Alexanderplatz. You even get a great view over Berlin for free!
4. The Gardens Of The World
In Marzahn there is a really nice park that will keep you dreaming with their nine themed gardens from distant lands. Locations that are represented here include Japan, Bali, China, Korea, Italy, and the Orient.
In my opinion the most beautiful are the Chinese garden with its idyllic landscaped lake, and the Oriental Garden. The center of the Chinese garden is the large lake where a Chinese teahouse is located. Here, like in China, you can enjoy a tea ceremony and taste different types of tea.
In the oriental garden, on the other hand, you find yourself in Marrakech: tiled walls, archways, and fountains are reminiscent of a typical Riad or garden courtyard.
If you fancy a little adventure then the maze is something for you. It includes many roads and intersections, and dead ends that lead you to nowhere – so you have to find the right one! In the labyrinth you don’t have to worry about getting lost, but you definitely could end up staggering into a dead end!
5. Kite landboarding on Tempelhof Field
The vast area of the former Tempelhof Airport is ideal for a wide variety of activities that need a straight, flat surface. You can go roller blading, meet up with friends for a picnic, or even go kite landboarding. Never heard of it? Then it’s time, because this is a cool sport that can be found right here in Berlin! Basically, kite surfing is simply transferred from the sea to the land. Because it’s still a bit of a dangerous sport before you start you get equipped with a helmet and padding protection.
After some theory you then get to mount a sort of skateboard. It has four wheels and is relatively stable. Then you wait to catch the wind and go soaring across the old airfield! As simple as it sounds, it’s not, but you will quickly gain experience, make some progress, and discover how much fun it is!
You can do this fun activity in Berlin throughout the year. Just make sure to bundle up in some warm clothes in the winter!
6. CSI Training
Do you love thrillers in books or TV crime scenes, always feverish and filled with investigators searching for clues? As part of a CSI training in Berlin, you can show what you’ve got and solve a constructed, realistic murder case. It starts with the first track search, then an offender profile is created. You learn how to interrogate a suspect correctly, and learn tips and tricks as you are guided through to the end.
The CSI training is divided into three phases. During the basic training with a real CSI agent from the US you learn the methods and devices of a CSI investigator. If you end up answering a series of 10 questions correctly, you get your CSI diploma. So listen carefully! In this adventure you work in small teams with a maximum of 12 people to solve a murder.
Become a part of your own personal thriller! In just under five hours you’ll have the makings of a real CSI investigator. Definitely one of the most fun activities in Berlin!
7. Creepy abandoned places
Berlin is full of abandoned places that tell a long story. On the one hand it’s quite spooky, but on the other it’s also really exciting by arousing your curiosity in all these places. What’s hiding around the next door or corner? Find out and embark on a journey into the past.
The most popular place that tells a really exciting story is the Teufelsberg. Although it’s not really a secret! The Teufelsberg is the former listening station of the Americans and British from the Cold War. Also, the view of Berlin from up here is way too awesome!
In Kreuzberg, a former post office in Melchiorstraße awaits you, but you have to get in contact with the owner in order to access the site. At the former S-Bahn station in Pankow you can get in relatively easily, but if you’re not careful you can easily be injured. The former tram station has been unused for years, so it’s definitely a fun adventure!
The Beelitzer Heilstätten is another really creepy place, especially from the inside. This old sanatorium is located about an hour away from Berlin. You can try to sneak onto the grounds and explore everything on your own, but it’s illegal and there are always a few guards positioned on site. So you either have to opt for a really dangerous adventure or book a guide. Either way, the sanatoriums are a real eerie place, especially when you go through the former operating rooms where an old, dilapidated X-ray machine is broken down and rusted, and the smell of disinfectant creeps into your nose!
In the immediate vicinity of Berlin & Brandenburg
8. Water activities on Bernsteinsee
The Bernsteinsee, one of the lakes in Berlin, is not as crowded as others since you can get out here only by car, and the visitors also spread out quite a lot. The lake has a very beautiful beach with fine white sand and really nice water quality. This is also reflected in the fact that it’s color is turquoise blue!
Besides lounging in the sun and sizzling on the lake, there’s a lot for you to do especially if you’re a water lover. The highlight of the lake is the waterskiing and wakeboarding facility. It is 684 meters long! There’s also a 70-meter long Easy-Start system if you’d like to start up slowly first. There are also two volleyball courts, and you can rent a bike to explore the environment a bit.
There’s also a covered barbecue area if you want to make a barbecue with a few friends!
9. Training as a stuntman
If action movies are your thing and you always wanted to take a look behind the scenes and see how cool scenes are shot, then you have the opportunity to do so in Potsdam! You can watch how fight scenes are filmed without any injuries, or watch as a man burns without causing a single skin cell any damage!
Following that, it’s your turn! Exercises, body, and fire stunts are on the program, and you are the protagonist! Included in the workshop are stunt cars as well. At the end you’ll be given a certificate and a DVD of your impressive stunts to take home. It’s definitely a day full of adrenaline and excitement!
10. Canoe paradise in Spreewald
The Spreewald is located in southern Brandenburg, just an hour away from Berlin. The landscape here is really special: at almost 1000 kilometers, water meanders through the countryside. Many of your senses will be delighted here. The good Spreewald air, a whole bunch of abundant greenery, and delicious dishes you might remember your Grandma’s cooking during childhood!
One way to explore the Spreewald on your own is to rent a paddleboat or canoe. This is actually possible in many places in the Spreewald. The best places to go are Lübbenau or Lübben. In the south, the rivers are small and more maze-like than the north. While you paddle past small houses and lush nature, you should take the occasional pause to just enjoy the tranquility. Your arms will definitely be noticeably aching after a few minutes! To rent a canoe or kayak, you can find one from 4 euros per hour. The rental stations are mostly open from April to October.
If you have more time, paddle to Berlin! There are two different routes: one is 90 kilometers long, and the other is 150. The former lasts fives days, and the latter lasts eight. In both you take a comfortable train ride to Spreewald and paddle your way back up the river Spree. You can also come by car and have someone pick you up in Berlin so you can return to get it. There are accommodations along the paddling route, and of course you can camp at the various campsites.
If you’ve never tried an original Spreewaldgurke, you have to now! This is a little cucumber that comes in several flavors: garlic, mustard or classic. The best thing to do is order the cucumber dish in a restaurant so you can try the complete range. There are also local game and fish dishes such as roulade, black pudding, or a special kind of pancakes in various quaint restaurants.
This is the ultimate adrenaline rush, catching free fall from a plane! Compared to bungee jumping, it’s much longer and the feeling is way more extreme. In the case of skydiving you go on a tandem jump, so your jumpmaster will be there to give you some emotional and mental support without rushing you to go alone like with bungee jumping!
In the area surrounding Berlin you’ll find different jump locations. In Müncheberg, from above you can see Switzerland with its lakes, meadows, forests, and rivers. On a clear day you can even spot Berlin! From 3000 meters up you’ll be thrown out of the aircraft, and at 1500 meters the parachute opens and the relaxing part begins. You definitely need the relaxing part of the ride, since your legs will surely be trembling even once you’ve reached the ground again!
12. Play paintball
The right strategy and tactics have to be used in paintball, because your goal is to lure your opponent into an ambush, and shoot them full of many colored spots! If you’re accurate and act quickly, you have a good chance of coming out as the winner! But it’s also important you act as a team as you’ll be playing against another entire team.
In Lauchhammer, between Cottbus and Dresden, is the best place to go. With the right equipment and 500 paintballs, you’ll be let to embark into the field and can play until you’ve all been shot out. There’s also a campsite where you sleep and the next day get to play another game!
13. Off-road park
In the south of Berlin, a 3 million square meter park for adventurous, outdoor off-road activities awaits you. Here you can get going super fast on more than 40 vehicles that are available!
A cool tour to go on is the quad tour. It lasts an hour and each participant receives a private quad. The tours will take place no matter what the weather looks like. If you get there at a time when it’s really full of mud it’s even more fun!
An off-road tour by jeep is another fun and exciting alternative activity. You will not hit many hills here, but your skill and driving experience are required!
If you like taking a more relaxed approach, without adrenaline, then book a balloon flight over the city. From a bird’s eye view the capital looks quite small and inconspicuous. Up here there’s just pure tranquility and all your worries are forgotten. You just get to go up and drift in the balloon as the wind determines your direction and pace. Just let go and enjoy the hot air balloon ride!
There are several places to go on hot air balloons. The airfield, Strausberg for example, can easily be reached by train if you don’t have a car.
15. Walks around brandenburg lakes
You can get up to some really nice hiking and cycling in Liepnitzsee. In Bernau (S-Bahn 2) the cycle path begins, and leads you to the crystal clear Liepnitzsee. The route is signposted with R1, so you can’t get lost.
In Waldbad Liepnitzsee you can take a break and swim to the island, the Great Werder, and get your strength back afterwards at one of the restaurants along the path.
Another awesome walk is the 66-Lakes Trail, which is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Germany. It runs in down the middle of Brandenburg around Berlin. Although it’s close to the capital you can still find a lot of peace and quiet in nature.
As the name suggests, it leads past countless lakes but also through wetlands such as the Spreewald. It takes you through deciduous and coniferous forests, and parks around Potsdam. It’s 400 kilometers long in total! Being so close to Berlin, you can be sure that you can get to and from the trail by bus or train.
16. The Baltic Sea
Imagine, after driving for an hour and a half in a stuffy car, you’re greeted with breath of fresh sea breeze – a wonderful idea, right? From Berlin there are various places at the Baltic Sea you can reach in a relatively short time. If you want a nice quiet day by the seaside, then head out to Warnemünde. Here you can go surfing, sailing, or kiting.
For a day trip that’s a little farther, go out to Usedom, Rügen and the Darß. They’re perfect for even a full weekend by the sea! By taking a Baltic Sea train ticket you can get there in less than four hours. If you prefer to take the bus, long distance routes are available in some places.
At the end of your journey, amazing tranquility is waiting for you: you can stroll along the wide beaches until you get tired and then settle into one of the stylish beach chairs to relax. The best thing to do is prepare a picnic for your day at the beach, and have a snack while you are overlooking the seafront!
It’s especially nice in the corner of Fischland-Darß. The seaside resort of Ahrnshoop offers a super nice beach, and if you go further north then you come to the Darßer jungle where no motorized vehicles are allowed. Whether hiking, biking, or horseback riding through the dunes, this noble land is so enjoyable and hassle-free. For the ultimate Baltic experience, there’s even a lighthouse at the end of the beach!
You can learn the kiting in various places such as Heringsdorf, Rostock, Rügen, or Usedom. Before you go on the water, you get an introduction. You’re shown how to deal with the board with a kite attached. In the water you quickly learn your sense of balance and how athletic you are. You may already have some muscular strength, but you’ll quickly get exhausted from the board falling! Here’s some more information about where you can get a board, and how much it’ll cost:
No matter where you end up you should go to one of the nice restaurants to eat some fresh fish! Nowhere in Germany does it taste as good as here!
About 30 kilometers from Dresden, and 2.5 hours from Berlin are the beautiful Saxon Switzerland and Elbe Sandstone Mountains. You can get here by either train or car.
The Elbe Sandstone Mountains are a paradise for hikers and nature lover. One of the most beautiful hikes in Germany is here as well: the Malerweg. You can choose to do all eight stages in eight days, and go the entire route, or choose only one or two individual stages and have an overnight stay.
The trails are all well marked and there are plenty of accommodations for food. The Berghotel Bastei offers a particularly brilliant view of the Elbe valley and is a great starting point for your hike. From here you first encounter a stone bridge you might’ve seen in pictures. It goes past the famous rock column “Barbarine” that the rocks, mesas, and other rock formations have formed over many years.
Particularly interesting is the Schrammsteine, the largest rock formation in Saxon Switzerland.
If your walk alone is too boring you can go through the area on a quad! There are several providers for this in the quadding area. Also, canoes are available for rent as a well as boating and rafting trips.
Climbing is also possible in Saxon Switzerland! The largest is Affensteine with difficult peaks and long walks. Approaching the routes, however, is a relatively short walk.
So if you want to be in a nice relaxing place in only a few hours, the Elbe Sandstone Mountains are just the place for you! You barely get any phone reception – just nature and you!
Make something out of the ordinary in Berlin!
Berlin and its surroundings have much to offer and you will definitely not be bored! No matter what you choose, whether peace out in nature, or an adrenaline-filled activity, you’ll find it in Berlin and Brandenburg. You can try wakeboarding, learn tips and tricks of a CSI agent, or get a decent workout canoeing the Spreewald. If mountains are more your thing, then Saxon Switzerland is your goal. And if the sea is your dream, then the Baltic Sea is only a few hours away! Berlin and its surrounding really do have something for every adventurer. Have fun exploring!
What fun activities in Berlin have you experienced and its surroundings? We look forward to your tips and reviews in the comments!