Fancy a swim? Don’t risk the Spree — instead go to Badeschiff on the banks of the spree, which has heated pools, saunas and a riverside beach bar
The River Spree. It sounds small, whereas the Rhine, for example, could be nothing other than enormous. However, the Spree is not to be sniffed at. Approximately 400 kilometres in length, it flows through the Saxony, Brandenburg and Berlin states of Germany before cutting into the Czech Republic. It is the river on which the original centre of Berlin was built.
The Spree drains an area of 10,100 square kilometres. It begins in the Lusatian Moutains above Neugersdorf and flows past Bautzen and Spremberg where it forks. After it passes Cottbus, its unweaves into many channels, making the marshy wooded region known as the Spree Forest. Eventually it passes Fürstenwalde and Köpenick before winding through Berlin. The course of the Spree, with its place names seeingly lifted from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, is the kind of thing that would have had Patrick Leigh Fermour beside himself. There is something magical about the German countryside.
However, within Berlin, there is the option to take a riverboat cruise along the Spree. You can catch dozens of sights from a rather different perspective as the river wends between them. You can choose your time, too — for something really lovely, go for the evening tour during the summer months. The more energetic can rent bicycle to follow the river, stopping off to visit attractions as they go, and the languid can simply relax in one of the many fine bars that can be found on the banks of the Spree.
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