Guide to the Spreewald

The natural wonders of the UNESCO forrest outside of Berlin

Canoeing in the Spreewald
Erin Porter

The Spreewald has been called the “green lung” of Brandenburg, the region surrounding Berlin. This forest area looks like it sprung right out of the tales of the Brothers Grimm and is a UNESCO protected biosphere. Thousands of man-made waterways cross picturesque meadows with houses that have stood untouched since before Germany became one nation. Just an hour southeast from the city, accessible by car or train, the Spreewald is the ideal escape from city life.

Cities of the Spreewald

  • Lübbenau – The largest and most touristy town with lots of restaurants, markets, and boat rentals.
  • Lübben – Slightly smaller than Lübbenau, this city is its primary rival for charm.
  • Burg (Spreewald)  - Only reachable by car, this town is smaller and quieter than other sites in the Spreewald.
  • Schlepzig – Another quaint small town in the Spreewald.
  • Leipe - Village on an island that was once only accessible by water. There is no roadway access.

How to Get to the Spreewald From Berlin

  • By car: Follow the A113 south out of the city. At Schönefelder Kreuz, continue south on the highway A13 to Dresden. Leave the A13 at the exits Lübben or Lübbenau or continue to the "Dreieck Spreewald" (junction of highways A13 and A15) and then on the A15 towards "Vetschau". Leave the A15 at the exit "Vetschau" and continue to Burg(Spreewald).
  • By train: There are hourly regional trains from Zoologischer Garten, Hauptbahnhof, Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz or Ostbahnhof to Lübben or Lübbenau. From here, accommodations may offer pick-up service when you book in advance.

Get Around the Spreewald

Once you arrive in one of the villages, get out and explore by foot, cycle or by boat. There are boat and bike rentals in the larger towns, but public transport is not available.

Accommodations in the Spreewald

There are accommodations from camping spots to cabins to rustic B&Bs (Pension) in the Spreewald. The larger cities of Lübbenau and Lübben have the largest variety of options with access by train and by foot. If you do not have a vehicle, check when booking about pick-up service.

Be sure to book well in advance as the German reputation of planning far ahead extends to reserving vacation spots before the summer season has even begun.

The reservation site offers a comprehensive search function for hotels across the Spreewald.

Spreewald Campsites:

Germany’s Sorbic Community

Besides the wonders of the area’s flora, the Spreewald is also home to Germany’s indigenous Slavic community, the Sorbs. This community of just 60,000 people is descendants of the Slavic tribes who settled the Central German Uplands more than 1,400 years ago. Their unique language can be observed in the bilingual road signs and signs of their unique culture can be observed throughout the Spreewald.

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