The corona pandemic has kept us holed up in our apartments more than usual this year. Fortunately, we still have unlimited outdoor exercise — and plenty of beautiful Berlin running routes — to keep us in shape while gyms and sports facilities are closed. And let’s face it: we’re super grateful for this freedom and the chance to burn off that excess energy while going for a run.
Even those amongst us who wouldn’t dream of going jogging under normal circumstances might not be so averse to the idea these days. We’ve put together 12 of Berlin’s most beautiful running routes.
Lietzenseepark is only a stone’s throw from the ICC exhibition halls and is the northernmost link in a chain of lakes that stretches through Grunewald to the city limits. The 2.2-kilometre-long route leads along the shore of the lake without challenging gradients along park paths. Lietzenseepark is accessible around the clock. However, the paths are not illuminated.
Length: 2.2 km
Through Volkspark Friedrichshain
The route through Volkspark Friedrichshain is flat throughout. Evening runners will find a stumble-free exercise circuit on the mostly illuminated paths. If you don’t manage the entire route, you can simply continue running straight ahead after the third left-hand bend instead of turning right again, thus shortening the lap. Those who are a little fitter and want to work on their stamina can include the 78-metre-high Bunkerberg (‘bunker mountain’). The gradient isn’t steep, but it still pushes your pulse up.
Length: 2.4 km, 3.5 km with hill (dotted line)
On the banks of Landwehr Canal
The route runs for almost 9 kilometres through green spaces and city streets alongside the Landwehrkanal (Landwehr Canal). With no slopes, it can also easily be mastered by inexperienced runners. The sections of the route which run along city streets are illuminated. There is one major restriction: every Tuesday and Friday, a weekly market takes place at Maybachufer between Kottbusser Damm and Schinkestraße. In this case, just use the opposite bank (Paul-Linke-Ufer).
Length: Just under 9 km
The Tiergarten tours cover 8 kms, or just under 3 kms, respectively on footpaths right through the green lungs of the city. It’s not unusual to meet celebrities from the world of politics here. Whether you go directly past the Victory Column or the numerous water features is up to you. Due to the designated barbecue areas, runners will only catch the occasional waft of charred burger at certain points during summer.
If you’re not ready for the bigger circuits, you can start directly at Großer Stern, jog down Hofjägerallee and turn right at the third exit into Tiergarten. Continue along Neuer See until you finally cross Straße des 17 Juni. Turn right onto this road and keep going until the starting point. If you’re a seasoned runner and just warming up, you can make a detour to the Reichstag and Federal Chancellery in addition to one of the longer routes.
Length: 8 km, 2.8 km (dotted line)
Volkspark Humboldthain offers runners a wide range of training routes with flat paths supplemented by ascents. Whoever dares to take on the bunker mountain is promised great views across the city — however, nearly 80 meters have to be overcome first. The best route, easy to master even for inexperienced runners, leads over paved park paths and is 2.1 kilometres long and without inclines. The park is open around the clock; some parts of the path are unlit.
Length: 2.1 kilometres
Through Volkspark Schöneberg
Volkspark Schöneberg/Wilmersdorf is more long than wide. For those who like it shorter and more leisurely, the 3.8 km long course can be ‘defused’ at any time thanks to the numerous opportunities for shortcuts. For advanced runners, the stairs at the edge of the park at Innsbrucker Straße (directly by the underground station Rathaus Schöneberg) and at the footbridge over Bundesallee offer the opportunity to test your pulse limits, while all around, families with their children enjoy the green oasis in the middle of Schöneberg/Wilmersdorf.
Length: 3.8 km
At the ‘Kreuzberg’ itself, which at 66 metres is the highest natural point in Berlin city centre, you can improve your fitness considerably. The run up the hill can almost be described as mountain training — but the effort is rewarded with a unique view over Kreuzberg. The 1.2 km short run through Viktoriapark is a tough one: the course is steep and demanding. It can only be varied to a limited extent and adapted to individual needs. You’ll run over paved park paths.
Length: 1.2 km
Through Treptower Park
Both routes mainly follow the River Spree. The beautiful views make every step of the 5 or 4.5-kilometre-long tours a little easier. Treptower Park and Plänterwald are sadly no longer insider tips for runners — for good reason. Here joggers mingle with like-minded people, and on both routes there are no gradients so you’ll have enough energy left to enjoy the scenery. If you’re pretty fit, you can also combine the two routes and run nearly 10 kilometres in the most beautiful surroundings.
Length: 5 km, 4.4 km (dotted line)
Along the Panke
The Panke path begins between new buildings on Chausseestraße. It meanders through northern Wedding, always along the small river, into the Bürgerpark in Pankow and on through the Schönhausen palace gardens. Then it runs parallel to the motorway slip road out of the city: through a few gardens and over a motorway bridge (which is currently being renovated, but there is a detour). Then comes nature. To the right and left are the Rieselfelder, and the Panke flows like a faithful companion the whole time beside you. If you want, you can trot all the way to Buch.
Length: About 15 km
Through Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg
The Prenzlauer Berg route is short but pleasant. 2.7 kilometres on flat park ground is ideal for beginners, but if you’re not up to that yet, take a shortcut halfway, and, instead of turning left at the 8th junction, turn right again towards Hohenschönhauser Straße. After about 1.3 kms you’ll arrive at the starting point. If you do this regularly, you will soon be able to complete the big circuit.
Length: 2.7 kms
The Three Lakes Run
The route starts at Strandbad Orankesee and leads to a relaxed warm-up around the lake. Then it heads over Oberseestraße to the Obersee, which is right next door. Afterwards, while passing along the right-hand bank of the lake, you’ll spy the iconic bungalow of Mies van der Rohe. Via Sabinensteig, the round trip leads to the Fauler See nature reserve. Continuing around the lake, you’ll spot rare plants and numerous bird species. Via Orankestrand, you return to the starting point of the tour. Particularly ambitious runners can still include the lap around Weissen See in their circuit. For us, definitely one of the 12 most beautiful running routes in Berlin.
Length: About 7 km, (including Weissen See about 12 km)
On the trail of 19th-century gymnastics legend Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, Hasenheide is a particularly inspiring place. If necessary, the 2.5-kilometre-long track can be extended by a good 1 km if you jog along the two almost parallel paths running through the middle, in addition to the larger circuit. If you feel like a little ‘mountain run’, make a detour to the gently rising Rixdorfer Höhe (69.5 m) and enjoy a view of the multicultural hustle and bustle in the park.
Length : 2.5 km, 3.7 km (with dotted line)
Original text by Xenia Balzereit
Keen to take in more of Berlin’s prettiest places? Here’s our guide to the city’s most Instagrammable spots — and here’s a look back through the history of one Berlin’s most charming districts: Prenzlauer Berg.