Waldeinsamkeit: Five of the best forest walks around Berlin

Sophie Shanahan
Sophie Shanahan - [email protected]
Waldeinsamkeit: Five of the best forest walks around Berlin
picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Paul Zinken

Though Berlin is a bustling metropolitan city, you may be surprised to find a number of beautiful forests within touching distance of the capital.


Many of you may be feeling a sense of Wanderlust as the weather warms up, and wandern (hiking or rambling) can be a good way to indulge this feeling. 


Spring and summer is the perfect opportunity to venture slightly further out and explore the local natural landscape. 


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Grunewald is perhaps the first place you will think of if you’re craving some Waldeinsamkeit (the feeling of solitude in the woods). It is the largest forest close to the city, and can be reached directly by S-Bahn from Alexanderplatz. 


READ ALSO: German word of the day: Die Waldeinsamkeit

From Berlin-Grunewald, on the S7 train line, it is only a five minute walk into the forest. The woods are huge and nestle a number of impressive lakes. One of the best walks is through the scenic Paul-Ernst-Park, which has a footpath encircling the Schlachtensee.

Spandauer Forest


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If you travel just beyond Berlin’s Spandau district, in the west of the city, you will find yourself in Spandauer Forest. This sprawling forest is home to two protected nature reserves and a number of animals you might not expect to encounter so close to the city, such as kingfishers, hawks and beavers. 

The forest is also famous for its range of unusual flora and fauna and as you wander through the woods you may come across an unexpected clearing or meadow in the middle of dense forest. These are great secluded locations for a picnic or rest during your walk. 


Just below Treptower Park, you can find the Plänterwald. This is a large forest that follows a stretch of the river and is almost completely cut off from the city, despite being so close to the centre. 

The forest is also home to an abandoned amusement park, the Spreepark, which closed in 2001 and is one of the city’s most famous abandoned attractions. You can still see the ferris wheel looming slightly eerily above the treeline. 

READ ALSO: Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts

Tegel Forest

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Northwest of the city, in the Tegel district, you will find an expansive area of forest covering over 2000 hectares of land.


Deep in the forest, you can find what is thought to be Berlin’s oldest tree. Dicke Marie, meaning fat Marie, is the name given to the towering oak tree, which stands at about 26 metres and is thought to be up to 900 years old. 

It is a good idea to start your walk through the forest at the Tegeler Fließ, a stream to the north of the woods where you may be lucky enough to spot some water buffalo grazing. 


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Just a short walk from S-Bahn Birkenwerder you can find yourself surrounded by centuries-old woodland, as well as lakes and sprawling meadows. There is a circular walk through the woodland starting at the Briesetal forest school; the ‘adventure garden’ at the beginning of the route is a wonderful place for children to explore the nature the forest has to offer. 

This is the perfect area to explore if you want to stay close to the city but also be immersed in nature. The ever changing landscape provides a beautiful escape from city life. 


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