Our walk includes five stops, ranging from Museum Island to Nikolaiviertel. In the evening we’ll return to Museum Island, where we can dance on the banks of the Spree and enjoy a drink.
Start: Museum Island
We start our walk along the Spree in Berlin-Mitte at Museum Island. Located in the northern section of the inlet, Museum Island features five world-class museums and is one of Berlin’s most important cultural attractions. In the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum, you’ll discover incredible archaeological collections and experience the art of the 19th century. In particular, the world-famous bust of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti attracts millions of visitors to the Neues Museum every year. Include some extra time if you want to combine the walk with a visit to the museum. It’s well worth it as the extensive collections deserve to be savoured.
Stop #1: Monbijoupark
Now we head north towards Monbijoupark. As we walk to the end of Museum Island, we’ll leave the Bode Museum behind us and cross the beautiful Monbijou Bridge. Back on the “mainland”, the four hectare park stretches out in front of us. Monbijoupark is a truly popular recreation space for locals. Sunbathing and ball games are always allowed on the spacious lawns. Over at the beautiful barbecue area, you can enjoy delicious BBQs with friends in summer. If you wish, explore the park a little or stop for a cool drink at the theatre bar opposite the Bode Museum.
Stop #2: James Simon Park
As we continue along the banks of the Spree in a southerly direction, we reach another park. This is the smaller James Simon Park, which is named after a renowned Berlin entrepreneur, patron of the arts and philanthropist. Here is a great spot to enjoy the view of the Berlin Cathedral. It’s usually a lot quieter here than Monbijoupark, so you can enjoy a nice outdoor lunch break. In case you forgot to take your lunch with you, head to one of the many restaurants that line the park’s edge.
Stop #3: Friedrichs Bridge and Lustgarten
Continuing south, we’ll walk over Friedrichs Bridge and return to Museum Island, heading in the direction of the Lustgarten. This was once established in the 16th century as an orchard, but the area was artistically transformed into a recreational garden by the Great Elector. Especially worth checking out is the huge granite bowl in front of the Altes Museum’s entrance. The sculpture is affectionately known as the “Berlin Soup Bowl” was brought over along the Spree in 1828. Weighing around 70 tonnes, this piece was world famous during the Biedermeier era and is still considered a popular Berlin sight today.
Heading past the Berlin Cathedral, we return over the Liebknecht Bridge back to the eastern side of the Spree. It’s here that the last stop of our walk along the Spree awaits us – the Nikolaiviertel. With its narrow alleys and historical houses, you’ll feel transported back to the past. This area was largely destroyed during the Second World War and it was only in the 1980s that it was reconstructed according to historical models. Aside from the church of the same name, a visit to the Ephraim Palace, an architectural masterpiece of the 18th century in rococo style, is particularly worthwhile. Also worth a visit is the baroque Knoblauchhaus Museum, which features classical design and offers a beautiful glimpse into the upper middle-class of the past.
Let the day drift away while dancing on the waterfront
Even when the sun goes down, the Spree still attracts many people in Berlin. A great example is the free dance evenings on the banks of the river, directly opposite the Bode Museum. Almost every day of the week there are differently themed events, from swing, cha-cha and waltzes, as well as classical and latin. There’s even the Argentine tango and salsa on the program. If you like to try new things, you can join the squaredance on Saturday evening. Before the start of the actual dance evenings, there’s also an inexpensive courses for beginners. No need to book in advance – all courses are drop-in courses, so you can participate without registration.