Despite being miles away from the sea, Berlin’s still home to a handful of waterfront beaches. Every summer, Berliners flock to the lakes in the south west of the city to swim in the clear water. Lots of the best spots are less than an hour’s drive from the city centre, so you can easily squeeze a visit into your itinerary.
Strandbad Wannsee, on the outskirts of Berlin, is less than an hour’s drive from the city centre, but it feels worlds away. The mile-long lakeside patch of sand’s popular with families thanks to its safe swimming area, deck chair rental service and children’s playground.
If you’re hoping for a beach trip without the crowds, make a beeline for Sacrower See. There’s only a tiny patch of sand here, but the lake holds some of the clearest water in the Berlin area, so it makes for a great paddling spot. Plus, it’s only around 45 minutes’ drive from the city centre.
The currywurst is the ultimate German street food – it’s so popular there’s even a museum dedicated to it. Berlin’s packed with places serving up this delicious snack. It’s a grilled sausage, traditionally chopped into bite-size pieces, then topped with a combination of ketchup, Worcester sauce and curry powder.
The Berliner Weisse Mit Schuss is the local’s go-to summer drink. It’s a cloudy German wheat beer, mixed with a shot of red raspberry or green woodruff syrup to give it a burst of flavour and a splash of colour – best enjoyed in a beer garden.
Schnitzel is a must-try German dish. It’s served up in restaurants all over Berlin, so you won’t have to look far to find it. It’s made up of a thin piece of meat – usually pork, chicken, or veal – breaded, then fried, and served with fries or a potato salad.
This Berlin speciality is a hit with locals and tourists alike. The traditional dish consists of a cured, boiled pork knuckle, served with sauerkraut, potatoes and mustard. Some places serve it up with a dollop of pureed peas on the side, too.
The Berliner donut, or Pfannkuchen, as the locals call it, is a German pastry made from deep-fried dough, with a jam or marmalade filling and a hefty sprinkling of sugar on top. You’ll find them in bakeries and street food stands across the city.
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