Peace and calm just a short journey from the city
Visiting the lakes to the southwest of Berlin is a refreshing and sometimes surprising change for those accustomed to the pace of the city. Just 20 minutes’ drive or a short S-bahn ride from the IFA show grounds, the Wannsee district is made up of a collection of lakes surrounded by historic mansions. Many of these stunning villas were built in the latter 1800’s in the early years of the Wilhelmine Empire as very stately summer abodes. Many have been inhabited by the rich and famous from around the world over the past century.
A good way to start a visit to Wannsee is at the Sansouci Restaurant, a short walk from the station right next door to the villa of the infamous Wannsee Conference. It’s a lovely place for a white- linen lunch either with a large group or tête- à-tête, with good German food and service with wine or beer. The view of the lake is splendid.
From Wannsee you can enjoy an approximately two-hour tour of thenWannsee: lakeside calm just 20 minutes outside Berlin gorgeous Havel Lakes, venturing beyond Little Wannsee to Pohlesee, Stölpchensee, Griebnitzsee, Glienicker Lake, Jungfernsee and over the Havel, then back to Wannsee.
You can then relax on the beach or enjoy a walk into the picturesque wilderness areas along Wannsee and Oberhavelsee, to see where the painter Max Liebermann or the dramatist Heinrich von Kleist lived and worked.
If you wish to finish the day here, head to the Clubrestaurant am Wannsee im MYCvD. This beautiful restaurant at the Wannsee Lake shore in the yacht club has excellent food and drink, wonderful staff and superb service, not to mention a great view. As it is inside the yacht club, visitors need to ring at the gate to be buzzed in.
Alternatively, if you want something a little more relaxed, try the Loretta am Wannsee beer garden – a shaded and very pleasant place right in the heart of Wannsee, with excellent German food, and – well, you guessed it – beer. Prices are very reasonable. A little tip, however, is that if you have an aversion to wasps, it can sometimes be a challenge as there can be quite a few here looking to snack on your plate!
You will come back from Wannsee culturally enlightened and with memories of stunningly beautiful scenery.