A few months ago, I embarked on a family hiking trip in Berlin’s lush Brandenburg region. In case you haven’t heard of it before, it’s the ideal place to connect with nature and completely unwind for a couple of days. And with just a short drive from the buzzing city center of Berlin, there’s really no excuse not to go. Here’s my experience in words and pictures.
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You might’ve heard of Brandenburger Tor? The famous monument in Berlin that once served as a gate to the city. Today, it’s the only remaining gate out of eighteen, and to most people, it stands as a proud symbol of the unification of East and West Berlin. I like to view it as “the gate” to the region of Brandenburg, even though that’s not really true. Brandenburg is one of Germany’s 16 federal states and offers so much more than one might think. I was very surprised when I first encountered the region a few years ago when moving to Berlin. I desperately needed to get out of the noisy city for a few days, so what does one do?! Go to Brandenburg with all its lush greens and lakes, of course!
Today, I can’t think of a better place to relax and unwind close to “home”. Especially because the region gives you so many options as a traveler. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the beautiful nature area just North of Berlin, where I spend a few days with my family back in February. This particular area is home to some stunning lakes and if you’re into long walks and soft “hikes”, this is the place to go. And on that note: did you know that outdoor travel experiences and “connecting with nature” are some of the most popular travel trends in 2019 (and beyond)? Let’s go!
A long weekend in Lanke (Brandenburg), approx. 25 kilometers North of Berlin.
To relax and enjoy nature. The area is great for long walks and softer hikes (no mountains obviously, but lots of lush green, forestry nature. You can find several hiking guides online).
There are direct regional trains from Berlin Nordbahnhof and Gesundbrunnen to Bernau. From there, you can take a bus to Lanke. It’s ideal to explore the area by car, but it’s not a problem getting from A to B with public transportation either.
Brandenburg is quite famous for its many lakes, which Berliners often use to bathe in, in summer. To be specific, there are around 3.000 of them (!), so it shouldn’t be a problem finding one to bathe in when temperatures are rising. The latter is one of the favorite activities for Berliners in Summer (including myself!), and once you discover the beautiful area, you’ll understand why.
The little town of Lanke isn’t known to many (it only holds 537 inhabitants!), but its location in the heart of a big nature park (Naturpark Barnim) and nestling between three stunning lakes - Obersee, Krumme Lanke and Hellsee - makes it very serene and the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. The town as such was mentioned for the first time in documents dating back to 1315, but if you want to face history, go to the neighboring town of Bernau bei Berlin approximately 9 kilometers south of Lanke. I’ll get back to that in a minute.
You might’ve guessed it already; there aren’t a lot of hotels around in this area - still, it’s possible to find decent accommodation (and of course Airbnb if that’s more your thing). We checked in to a local ‘inn’ called Seeschloss Lanke. It appeared to be a hotspot for local weddings, facing the glistening Obersee and the majestic forests. This place has been in the same family for 100 years, so it’s no surprise that a lot of the guests here are regulars. I was a fan of its peaceful location and the fact that it was easy to bring children. In high season (which runs from April to October), a double room is €80, so a stay here won’t break the budget either.
My best tip for a few days here: get up early, have breakfast, pack some lunch (don’t forget water!) and head into the wild! Liepnitzsee is one of the most popular lakes in Brandenburg in summer, and with a perimeter of 8 kilometer, it’s the perfect size for a one-day hike. It’ll take you around 3-4 hours to complete (including breaks).
As I mentioned before, a stop-over in the neighboring town of Bernau bei Berlin is almost mandatory if you’re in the area! That could even be a day-trip in itself if you’d like to get out of Berlin for a while. Archeological excavations has shown that Bernau has been inhabited by people since 8.800 BC (!) and the monuments still standing today (parts of the old town wall etc.) are from Medieval Ages. You’ll also find a handful of great cafés and restaurants.
Let me know if you’ve ever been to Brandenburg? And of course if you’re planning to follow the “outdoor travel trends”?
For more information about the region, click here.