If you want to truly blend in with the locals in Berlin, grab a picnic and some beers and head to the banks of Landwehr Canal (Landwehrkanal, to the locals). This 11-kilometre-long waterway runs parallel to the Spree river and is flanked by walking paths and benches that provide a peaceful break from the bustling city. Sunflowers and bright green willow trees add splashes of colour to the route, while swans and ducks use the canal as their own personal bathtub.
All along the canal you’ll find sights and activities that highlight the magic of Berlin: markets, cafes, beer gardens and waterfront restaurants. If you fancy a bit of live music, Musikschiff offers performances onboard a boat in the Landwehr. And if you’re here in the wintertime, you just might witness the entire canal freeze over, with brave locals attempting to skate and slide across its surface.
Landwehr begins in Friedrichshain in the east part of Berlin, heading south west through the upper lock before veering west through Kreuzberg. It runs straight through Tiergarten park and past the Berlin Zoological Garden before finally emptying into the Spree in Charlottenburg, west Berlin.
There are several boat tour companies that will take you around the city via the Spree and the Landwehr Canal. Check online before your visit to see what is available.
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