©Jonathan Stokes/Lonely Planet


The Spreewald, a unique lacework of channels and canals hemmed in by forest, is the closest thing Berlin has to a backyard garden. Visitors come to this Unesco Biosphere Reserve in droves to hike, fish and punt, canoe or kayak on its extensive network of waterways. Lübben and Lübbenau, the main tourist towns, often drown beneath the tides of visitors vying for rides aboard a Kahn (shallow punt boat) steered by ferrymen in traditional garb and once the only way of getting around in these parts. To truly appreciate the Spreewald’s many charms, hire your own canoe or kayak or get yourself onto a walking trail.

The Spreewald is also famous for being the home of the Sorb ethnic minority and for producing more than 40,000 tonnes of gherkins every year.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Spreewald.

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Just back from: Eastern Germany