Berlin is an excellent place to explore it on water. Recently my new hobby is kayaking and in this article I want to share some ideas on how to spend your time on water in practically any season in Berlin. Luckily Berlin with it wide system of canals, Spree and other river, as well as multitude of lakes enables one to do explore such a hobby and a lifestyle.
Renting a boat
In the city itself there are couple of places where one can rent a kayak or a boat. The difference is it depends on would you like to have more recreational time on water, or turning this into more of a workout with a bit more speed to it.
Rent-a-boat, in Treptower Park is an excellent place for such an activity, since one can explore either Rummelsburg area, or paddle towards Molecule Man statue or Oberbaumbrücke. Mind that Oberbaumbrücke cannot be crossed over by canoe because of water traffic regulations. Only motor boats are allowed to go there.
Renting a boat however will limit some of the ability to paddle far away, as there is a limited distance one can actually cover in 3 hours (5-7 kilometres max at a good tempo)
Hence, having an own boat is a good alternative if you do not want to be grounded to one renting selection and the area that you can explore.
Owning a boat
I recently purchased an inflatable canoe from Intex. It is rather cheap, foldable, does not take much space, weights circa 14kg and can be somewhat transported around in a public transport if one wishes, still best with the car.
The best thing about owning your own boat is that one can start the ride in one spot and finish it in completely another part of the Spree. Assembly and pumping of such boat will take approximately 15 minutes – and here you are already on a water ready to explore!
The boat itself is packed in a bag that is not extremely comfortable to carry around, but will do from a tram stop or if you use car-sharing – no big deal.
Once on the water, let me tell you: it’s a great experience. The city is being perceived from another angle, as one does not normally travel on that level of the streets it sometimes was hard to orient where I was with the boat. The good route I used for the first time started in a park near Schlesisches Straße and then continued towards Hallesches Tor. I would have continued further if not for the rain, but first 5 kilometres on the canal and Maybachufer were great. Check out the route on Strava below:
Some pictures from the trip itself
When in a boat, one can take a small break on the shore, such as I did when starting from Rummelsburger Bucht and staying for a short while at the Insel der Jugend the other day.
All in all, it is an excellent opportunity to spend the time on the river and have some peace and serenity. When planning such a trip be aware of the local regulations, water ways and their accessibility to plan the trip properly.
More information about water ways planning can be found on Berlin’s website for water tourism: https://wassertourismus-berlin.de