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How To Explore Treptow-Köpenick, Berlin's Under-the-Radar Summer Neighborhood

A hidden gem where you can frolic in nature, explore German history, and even dine at a restaurant floating on the river.

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Yolanda Evans is a freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience covering dining, cocktails, travel, and lifestyle. Her work has appeared in Afar, Here Magazine, Washington Post, Imbibe, Vine Pair, Shondaland, Zora, Food 52, Food & Wine, Punch, Travel + Leisure, Wine Enthusiast, Lonely Planet, Thrillist, Eater LA, and Architectural Digest to name but a few.

While not as well-known as überhip Berlin neighborhoods such as Kreuzberg, Neukölln, or Friedrichstein, Treptow-Köpenick is a hidden gem perfect for escaping from the bustle of the city. But don’t think for a minute that you’ll be bored—there’s plenty to explore here, including a serene park with museums, a vibrant dining and nightlife scene, and even an abandoned amusement park. Here are some highlights you won’t want to miss while visiting.

Enjoy family-friendly activities in an urban park

A child checks out what's on offer in the form of slides at FEZ Recreation Park in Berlin.
This neighborhood is home to a number of kid-friendly options.Foto: Kinderberlin / Tripadvisor

From forest strolls to space exploration.

You can easily spend a full day in FEZ, a wooded recreation park offering playgrounds, museums, a bathing lake, and more. Explore the wonders of the solar system at Orbitall Space Centre, check out the interactive exhibitions at the Alice children’s museum, or catch a play or film at one of the park’s multiple stages. Or simply take a stroll through the forest, where you can see miniature replicas of Berlin’s major monuments.

Attend the city’s hippest beach party

Sunbathers relax by Badeschiff Pool on the water.
Floating pools are the way to enjoy a Berlin summer.Foto: Steffen O / Tripadvisor

Dance and drink, then cool off in a floating pool.

Any Berlin neighborhood worth its (pretzel) salt needs some great party spots, and Treptow-Köpenick doesn’t disappoint. Slather on some sunscreen and head to a day rave at Badeschiff, a floating bathing pool and beach bar located right on the Spree. This seasonal outdoor space hosts parties that start early afternoon and often last late into the night. In between dancing and cooling off in the water, order some cocktails and food. Just make sure to book a reservation in advance.

Explore an abandoned amusement park

A relic of a ride at Spreepark Amusement Park in Berlin.
Berlin's known for its urban exploration opportunities.Foto: Mo Photography Berlin / Shutterstock

See how Berliners used to get their thrills.

A trip to this neighborhood wouldn’t be complete without a tour of Plänterwald’s abandoned Spreepark. Built in 1969, it was the first amusement park in the German Democratic Republic. Today, you’ll find an eerie wasteland scattered with life-size dinosaur statues and roller coaster remains. Make sure to go with a guide to explore safely and hear about the park’s fascinating history.

Get a super-charged nature fix

An aerial view of Lake Muggelsee, where you can swim in summer.
Lake Muggelsee is the perfect spot for a dip.Foto: SimonTheSorcerer / Shutterstock

The ultimate destination for outdoor adventures.

Just a short U Bahn ride from Mitte, the neighborhood is a hidden green paradise for those looking for a nature fix. It’s the perfect spot for outdoorsy types who want to do some jogging, windsurfing, or sailing. At the city’s largest lake, Muggelsee, take a swim to beat the summer heat or rent a boat to explore. During the summer months, expect crowds of locals enjoying a barbecue, picnic, or even a rave, so get there early to nab a pleasant spot to chill.

Eat at a floating restaurant

Spree Arche, a floating restaurant on the River Spree in Berlin.
Enjoy seafood at this unique restaurant.Foto: Iglwch / Shutterstock

Enjoy a seafood feast right on the Spree.

If you’re looking for an unusual dining experience, head to the Spree Arche, a floating log-cabin restaurant on the Spree river. The 2-level rafts structure seats about 35 people, and there are two big terraces for soaking up the sun and the stunning views. On the menu you’ll find plenty of seafood dishes—paired with hearty German beers, of course.

Relax by the river

The River Spree on a calm day in summer.
Head to Treptower Park to enjoy the River Spree.Foto: ealexandernative / Shutterstock

Rent a canoe or catch an outdoor movie.

Treptower Park was quite the attraction when it first opened in 1888. At more than 200 acres (80 hectares), it’s one of Berlin’s largest parks, offering room for everything from rose gardens to sunbathing spots to places to rent canoes or paddle boats for floating down the Spree. Walk over a bridge and through a castle-like entrance to find Insel der Jugend (Island of Youth), where you can catch an outdoor movie during the summer. Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, take a ride on a seaplane for stunning views of the city.

Soak up some history

Statues at the Soviet War Memorial surrounded by green hedges and trees.
The Soviet War Memorial is a worthy visit.Foto: Juan Garcia Hinojosa / Shutterstock

Learn about the area’s past.

Treptow-Köpenick was officially formed in 2001 when Berlin merged Treptow and Kopenick into one large borough. But it has a much, much longer history that visitors can explore. Take a tour of Friedrichshagen, Berlin’s biggest and oldest waterworks, or learn about its dark Nazi history at Schöneweide, the city’s last preserved concentration camp. In Treptower Park you’ll find the Soviet War Memorial, which is the resting place of 5,000 war victims.

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