Crisp, cold days are the perfect occasion for long walks. There’s something magical about misty landscapes and nearly-bare trees that help us feel a million miles away from the real world. Something about being surrounded by trees just makes our stress slip away and restores a sense of lightness in our bodies: something we could all use more of, right?
As we’ve been spending lots of Sunday afternoons taking mini-hikes through the German capital’s green spaces, we thought we’d share a round-up of our favourite wintery walks.
When we’re craving greenery, like now now, we jump on our bikes and pedal north along the Panke canal to the charming Buch forest. We love that you’re away from the hustle and bustle of the city pretty quickly, plus you can take a bonus stroll through the Karower Teiche nature reserve, which is en route, stopping to watch birds.
The forest itself is dense, and the acres of forest is crisscrossed by trails, such as the sculpture walk, meaning you can walk for as long (or little) as you’d like, and are unlikely to see many people.
Many people jump on the bus from Wannsee S Bahn to Pflaueninsel, but to do so would be a mistake! After a stroll along the banks of Wannsee cut off the main road and through the rather impressive villa-lined streets. Before long, you find yourself in dense forest.
Head in the direction of the Mauerweg, and then follow this path through the woodland to the ferry that’ll transport you to car-free Pflaueninsel. It’s a really peaceful walk, the only thing that might disrupt the calm are the wild peacocks which roam free on the island - just don’t upset them…!
Everyone knows Muggelsee for lazy summer lake trips, and we too are guilty of lying down on the sandy shore and not moving all afternoon. But the surrounding landscape is gorgeous, and the perfect place to lose yourself amongst the trees.
We love walking the loop over Berlin’s biggest hill, the Müggelberge (114.7m high…), and back down through the moorlands (Teufelsmoor), meaning you pass along the quiet banks of Langer See.
Tegeler Forest is so simple to get to, and a trip here makes for one of Berlin’s best woodlands walks in our humble opinion.
We suggest you start on the northern side of the forest at Tegeler Fließ, a small but picturesque stream, where you’ll find water buffalo grazing. There’s a circular loop from here, too, that takes you through the full Fließtal valley. Alternatively, head into the southern forest to completely surround yourself by trees.
We couldn’t write about Berlin’s best forest walks and not mention Grunewald, home of the impressive Devil’s Mountain (aka Teufelsberg) an artificial hill made from WWII rubble, topped by the abandoned, graffiti-laden Cold War spy tower.
Rather than heading directly for the tower, we love clambering up Drachenberg. From here you have an incredible panoramic view over the treetops down to Berlin and back to the spy tower. After that, we normally dive back in the forest and weave through the paths to the Havel.
All of these can be reached by bike, and are completely personalisable, meaning you can walk for as long or as short as you’d like. We always pack a flask of tea and lots of snacks!
Check out our “in the woods” collection; a curation of our favourite places to stay surrounded by nature.