Mecklenburg-Vorpommern District

The most beautiful lakes in Germany in every season


Think of Germany and think of dense forests, wide rivers, medieval towns and the majestic Alps. But the country is also known for its beautiful lakes. They are fantastic to visit at any time of the year – in winter they are fairy tales, snowy or frozen and in summer they are sparkling.

A tropical island paradise lies on Lake Constance on the Swiss border and Lake Starnberg near Munich hides the mystery of the death of a king. Some of the lakes are in the north and some in the south, but each has its own charm.

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The Müritzsee is located in northern Germany in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and is the second largest lake in Germany and the largest lake that lies entirely on German soil. As part of the Mecklenburg Lake District, also known as the land of 1,000 lakes, the surrounding landscape is completely flat in contrast to the landscapes in Bavaria mentioned later.

On the one hand, the lake borders the Müritz National Park, a fantastic swamp and forest landscape and a species-rich park that will delight nature lovers. Flora and fauna are under nature protection and well-marked hiking trails invite you to explore this unique part of Germany. The interconnected lakes of the region can be easily explored by boat or canoe.

There are also interesting things to see and do on land. A visit to the Heinrich Schliemann Museum in Ankershagen is a must for archeology fans.

Waren is a pretty town at the northern end of the Müritzsee with a museum that shows the culture, flora and fauna of the region and two churches from the 13th century. Robel is a picturesque town on the west bank of the Müritzsee.

Wannasee, a popular lake in Berlin, Germany.

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Berliners love their Wannsee. Fed by the Havel that flows through Berlin, there are actually two lakes that are connected by a bridge. On the western edge is the Glienicker Bridge or “Spionage Bridge”; agents captured there were exchanged during the Cold War. In summer, the lake is full of boats of all sizes, from ferries and sailboats to dinghies.

One of the most popular attractions on the lake is the Wannsee lido, one of the largest inland beaches in Europe. The sand is imported from the Baltic Sea. There’s even a secluded section for those who want to sunbathe naked.

The Pfaueninsel or Pfaueninsel is located near the Wannsee in the Havel. King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia built an idyllic castle there, surrounded by parks and gardens. It’s now a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, with peacocks roaming free. The island can only be reached by a small ferry.

Several other historic buildings are nearby. But one of the joys of a trip to Wannsee in summer is simply sitting in a café and enjoying a Berlin specialty: white with shot, a huge glass of wheat beer with a dollop of raspberry syrup.

The winters are cold in northern Germany and sometimes part of the lake freezes over. During this time you can skate on the lake – but with caution.

Maschsee, an artificial lake near Hanover, Germany.

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The Maschsee is an artificially created lake south of the city of Hanover. Created as a place for relaxation and water sports, the lake is very popular. Rowing, sailing and many other water sports are available. Lake Maschsee is also popular with hikers and joggers, as there are many paths around the lake.

The lake often freezes over in winter. When the ice is thick enough to safely step on, a flag will be hoisted and the skaters will come into effect. There are also ice hockey games. In summer there is a week-long festival with music performances and fireworks at the lake.

The city of Hanover is worth a visit, as is the nearby Herrenhausen Palace, a prime example of Baroque architecture.

Lake Constance in Germany.

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Lake Constance

Located at the northern end of the Alps, Lake Constance comprises three bodies of water formed by the Rhine. Germany, Switzerland and Austria all border the lake, with the largest stretch of coast being in Germany.

You can easily spend two days exploring the many attractions on and around the lake. Various boat tours are offered. A highlight not to be missed is the Austrian Bregenz, which usually hosts a breathtaking water festival in July or August. The festival stage is located directly above the water.

There are three islands in Lake Constance, the most exotic being Mainau, known as the flower island. The island’s favorable climate enables tropical vegetation. When traveling with the family, you simply have to take the time to see the island’s impressive plants and flowers, marvel at the baroque castle and chapel, and let the grandchildren explore the zoo and butterfly house.

Chiemsee, a lake in Bavaria, Germany.

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One of the most romantic lakes in Germany lies at the foot of the Alps in Chiemgau. The Chiemsee borders a beautiful Bavarian town, Prien am Chiemsee, which is the starting point for a boat trip that takes you to two islands in the lake. The Fraueninsel has a monastery and many art galleries and the Herreninsel is home to the last dream castle of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Herrenchiemsee.

The lake offers water sports and sailing in summer and ice skating and walks in the snowy woods in winter.

Starnberger See in Bavaria, Germany.

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starnberger Lake

Lake Starnberg, Bavaria’s second largest lake, is only 30 minutes south of Munich. With the gigantic Wettersteinwand in the background, the lake is popular with Munich residents as a place to relax and was a favorite of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. A boat tour around the lake is the best way to see the idyllic spots along the shore. Make a stop at Possenhofen Castle, where the king loved to meet his cousin, Empress Sisi of Austria, and visit Berg Castle. Here King Ludwig drowned under mysterious circumstances in 1886 together with his personal physician. A cross and a chapel mark the place.

Koenigssee, a lake in Bavaria, Germany.

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Located directly at the Berchtesgaden National Park in Bavaria near the border with Austria, the Königssee is Germany’s third deepest lake and famous for its extremely clear water. The lake, which has only a small outlet, resembles a Norwegian fjord because of the steep and steep mountain cliffs that fall directly into the water. This structure creates an impressive echo, which the boat captains like to demonstrate with their horns.

Only electric boats are allowed on the lake and there are hiking trails along the shore. Caution is advised, as the terrain here is much more impassable than at the other lakes. But the wildlife is amazing, especially the golden eagle.

The Church of St. Bartholomew is located on a peninsula halfway above sea level, a world-famous place of pilgrimage with a striking red roof and the majestic Watzmann in the background. It’s easier to get to by boat – it takes hours on foot along a difficult mountain trail. The lake freezes over in winter, but it is not advisable to step on the ice.

Titisee, a lake in the Black Forest of Germany.

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The Titisee is an idyllic lake in the Black Forest near the city of Neustadt. At the other end are white waterfalls. Neustadt is best known as a health resort and center for Kneipp treatments. It is also a very popular winter sports destination. In summer, the lake is ideal for swimming, sailing and even windsurfing.

Steinhuder Meer, a lake in Lower Saxony, Germany.

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steinhuder sea

This very shallow lake is located in Lower Saxony, about 30 km northeast of Hanover. It is a popular summer destination. The town of Steinhude is located directly on the shore and is connected to the artificial island of Steinhuder and its bathing beach via a footbridge. Swimming and sailing are popular here.

Walchensee, a lake near Munich, Germany. / Shutterstock


About 80 kilometers south of Munich is one of the deepest and largest alpine lakes in Germany, the Walchensee. The lake is surrounded by wooded mountains with the island of Sassau in the middle. It’s the perfect summer getaway for swimmers, sailors, and windsurfers, as well as divers exploring shipwrecks in deep, clear water.

A gondola takes you up to the Herzogstand, from where you can take several hiking trails. If you want to experience rural Bavaria, excellent food and pretty houses, you’ve come to the right place.

Pro tip: We hope you like fish as some of these lakes have fish specialties that can only be found on site. Try whitefish from Chiemsee, Bodenseefelchen from Lake Constance and smoked eel from Steinhuder Meer.