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Billowy clouds reflected in the crystal clear water of small quarries, replenished reservoirs, and pristine mountain lakes: There’s close to nothing more fun than a summer day spent by the water. Enjoy ice cream in the sun, row through crisp water, or simply read leisurely on a lawn chair. For those not lucky enough to have a lake nearby, book a lakeside hotel today. Germany is home to an expansive variety of wonderfully located lakes, with top-of-the-line water quality — take a tour by boat, a hike in the woods, or spend a pleasant day in nature.

Lake Hotels Germany

When the question is where the best lake in Germany is, the answer is always: In one’s search for it. For fabulous boating and water sporting, start in the Mecklenburg Lakeland’s winding waterscape. Nature lovers will adore Bavaria’s sprawling forests and pristine lakes tucked between and within the stunning Alps. On the banks of Berlin’s Wannsee, experience the ideal crossroad between city and nature. Wherever you may begin this journey, the perfect hotel directly lakeside will have you just a few sandy steps away.

Where to spend the night lakeside in Germany? The most revered lakes at a glimpse:

Bodensee: International Port-City Flair

The largest lake in Germany, Bodensee, lies at the southern border, directly adjacent to Austria and Switzerland. In the background, the Alps stand stately — the tips of which, even in summer, shine white with snow. The largest city in the region, Constance, is particularly impressive, with views of the Rhine Bridge straddling glistening water, baroque villas, and the elegant promenade and port. Brimming with public swimming spots perfect for a dip and catamaran bikes available for rent, you can choose the way you pass through the crystal clear water. Bodensee’s favorite excursions include tours of the lake dwellings and boat trips to the charming Mainau Island.

Hamburg & Berlin: Pristine Water in Big Cities

On a city summer’s day, it is almost impossible not to crave a cool-down dip in clear water. In Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, this reality is only a transit ticket away. Almost every large German city is home to a substantial body of water: Hamburg’s Alster, Berlin’s Wannsee, and Munich’s Lake Starnberg. Technically, the Alster is only a river and Wannsee, only an extension of the Havel, but what does that matter when the sun’s shining? For the perfect stay, book a hotel directly on the water, and enjoy German breakfast in the lobby, afternoon swims, and an evening jaunt into the close-by metropolis. Or stay within the city, and hop the train headed “to the water” to bask on sunbathed beaches after just a handful of stops.

Bavaria’s Lakes: Picture Perfect Lakes in the Alps

© Hotel am Badersee, Bavaria

In Bavaria, the many gorgeous lakes do not make it any easier to pick a favorite in Germany. Lake Starnberg is easily accessible from Munich, and offers boat tours that cast you in the warm light that trickles through the Alps. Here, hotels come equipped with private sunbathing lawns and swimming areas. Lake Tegernsee has been named the favorite by the in-crown of Munich.Through the Alps and to the glittery green mountain lake, Bergsee, elegant villas and luxurious hotels display an idealism likened to postcards. By contrast, Lake Konigssee appears almost mysteriously in the way it is nestled, seemingly untouched, between towering mountains in the southeast of Bavaria’s Free States. The surrounding forests stand so close that they almost brush up against the water and the famous Saint Bathrolomä Cathedral, embellished with shiny red roofs, sits just off the shore.

Mecklenburg Lakeland: Natural Paradise of a Thousand Lakes

Water and forest for as far as the eye can see: Mecklenburg Lakeland has been referred to as the “land of a thousand lakes” — although a seemingly preposterous claim, upon second look, it appears to be an accurate description of what travelers in the Mecklenburg region can expect. Nowhere else in Germany is there such a large succession of lakes than in the natural paradise located near the northern border of Brandenburg. Most of the lakes, including Lake Fleesensee and Lake Müritz, are connected by canals or tributaries, making the region a true wonderland for aquatic enthusiasts. On a canoe or a kayak, paddling between small cities and charming islands, dark woods and blooming fields of canola, can be done without any trouble. Animal lovers will be pleased to spot kingfishers and eagles gliding through the sky. On the lake, mill about on a houseboat; in the forest, amble through untouched natural bliss with family or friends.

Good to know

Water quality: A day spent on water is only as nice as the water is clean. To ensure lake-goers have the best and safest experience, the Federal Environmental Agency administers yearly quality checks in every lake and bathing area in Germany. After choosing a hotel, be sure to check the website for up-to-date information regarding the water quality of the lake in question.

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