What are the best lakes in Germany to visit? Are they even worth your time? Well, just one visit to these amazing lakes tells more than we could ever explain here. Choose just one or two of these lakes and enjoy some of the most stunning landscapes in the world.
Germany is known for its medieval towns, rich history, ski resorts, icy alpine sports, and world-class galleries and museums. But that’s not all! It also has some of the most beautiful lakes.
So, if you’re burned out and want to escape the bustle of the city and recharge, the lakes offer the perfect getaway. If you’re a nature lover or want to experience something new, you’ll enjoy the beautiful hiking trails and boat tours most lakes offer.
The best lakes in Germany are a must-visit if you’re looking for a boat trip, mental break, and sightseeing. Even better, you can visit the lakes during any season, and the stunning views never disappoint.
What We Cover
Best Lakes in Germany to Visit
1. Lake Müritz
Müritz is more than just a lake, as it’s part of the breathtaking Müritz National Park. This impressive stretch of eco-diverse park, forest, and swamp, is a paradise for nature lovers.
The plants and animals in the park are protected, but the park offers a unique experience. You can explore the park by cycle trails or by hiking. And the best part is that you can watch rare birds such as white-tailed eagles, cranes, fish hawks, and little stints.
You’ll be spoilt for choice in Müritz because there are many activities for you to do. Boat tours on the calm lake, swimming, or hiking on the shores of the lake. It sounds like lots of fun, right?
But there’s more! You’ve got to visit the Heinrich Schliemann Museum if you love archeology. Here you can learn about the area’s history and explore ancient artifacts found locally.
2. Lake Königssee
Königssee is in the Berchtesgaden National Park and is one of Bavaria’s alpine lakes. Apart from being one of the best lakes in Germany, Königssee is the third deepest lake. You’ll be amazed by the distinct, clear water surrounded by towering mountains.
The fascinating fact about the alpine lake is that only electric boats can ride in the waters. A natural beauty, Lake Königssee offers a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains that will leave you speechless.
The lake provides a complete experience, from hiking in the mountains to boat rides. What’s more, you have the option of exploring the iconic Sankt Bartholomä church from the 1600s and Pier Salet Alm on the upper side of Königssee.
3. Lake Constance
Lake Constance, also known as Bodensee, is arguably the country’s most attractive lake. This is because the lake lies between three countries, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, in a truly stunning corner of the Alps. It’s also the largest lake in Germany (and Austria and Switzerland) and a favorite destination for tourists who throng the lake in spring and autumn.
There are many attractions that you can explore around Bodensee. Most notably, there are a variety of boat tours available at the lake. If you’re visiting the lake around July or August, you shouldn’t miss a visit to Bregenz, a town in Austria that hosts a thrilling water festival.
Lake Constance has three islands, and the flower island ticks all the boxes as an exotic destination. In addition to a good climate, Mainau Island has unique flowers, a great chapel, a butterfly house, and a farm. You’ll enjoy hiking and lake cruises when you visit the islands.
Besides exploring the lake, you should visit the town of Constance, which has quite a rich history. The city is the top choice for evening strolls, shopping, hearty meals, and stunning attractions. Try out Strand Hotel Amelia or Pension Grübel Hotel for the best accommodation.
4. Lake Starnberg
Lake Starnberg is the country’s second-largest lake and is just 30 minutes away from the busy, charming city of Munich. The dazzling blue water surrounded by the gigantic mountains with the boats bouncing on the horizon is a sight to behold. To take full advantage of the lake, take a boat cruise and stop at Instagram-worthy towns such as Possenhofen, Berg, Bernried, and Tutzing.
Lake Starnberg has a rich history and is a famous leisure spot for the locals. King Ludwig II of Bavaria loved taking boat tours across the lake to meet his cousin, the Empress of Austria, at Schloss Possenhofen.
At Schloss Berg, King Ludwig and his secretary drowned in strange circumstances in 1886—a chapel and a cross mark the spot. For a luxury or budget-friendly stay, check out Schloss Mörlbach or Seehotel Leoni hotels.
5. Lake Eibsee
Eibsee is located in the rocky Zugspitze region and is the Bavarian Alps’ hidden treasure. The lake has a mesmerizing view because of the sparkling emerald green water that reflects the rugged landscape. The lake offers the best background if you’re looking for a striking photo backdrop.
The lake boasts eight islands. You can explore it by boat or walking along the hiking trails as you soak in the blend of the pine forest, tall mountains, and bare rocks. That’s not all; the lake turns into an enchanting ice land during winter, and you’ll love gliding on it as you skate. For the best accommodation, check out Eibsee Hotel or Hotel Quellenhof.
6. Swan Lake
Swan Lake, known as the Schwansee (Swan Sea), is a small lake near Alpsee. Swan Lake has spectacular views of crystal clear water and the stunning Bavarian Alps. The lake is near Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein, and you can take a leisure walk to explore the castles.
Lake Schwansee is among the best lakes in Germany because it has less traffic and is very peaceful. The landscape and reflection of the lake offer fantastic photo opportunities.
There are different activities for you to do at the lake. Take a dip in the ice-cold water or sit and watch the swans. The lake rents out paddle boats and takes in the scenery as you ride.
Swan Lake has one of the longest hiking trails in the area, and you’ll be walking on trails laid down almost two centuries ago. Check out Schlossgut Gross Schwansee Hotel for the best accommodation.
Despite the size of Alpsee, You’ll instantly fall head over heels for it. Just picture a lake with storybook castles. It brings to mind a fairytale, right? The Alpsee rests on the Romantic Road, a magical, ancient cultural, and historic driving route in Germany.
With the many hiking trails and lots of water sports such as surfing, fishing, and sailing, you’ve plenty of choices. Alpsee has green grassy meadows surrounding it where you can sit and enjoy a picnic.
Titisee is a relatively small lake with rolling hills and dense woods in the Black Forest. And Neustadt is a small mystical spa town that lies on the shores of the lake. You’ll find a variety of wellness spas and resorts in Neustadt.
Hilarious name aside, Lake Titisee is the top destination for relaxing and unwinding in the middle of a panoramic mountain range. The lake has white waterfalls and is arguably the cleanest in Germany, perfect for windsurfing, sailing, and swimming. The best hotels here include Hotel Neustädter Hof and Rosen Garten Haus.
See related: Best Parks in Germany to Visit
Wannsee is one of the most intriguing lakes in Germany and a favorite of Berliners. The Havel feeds the lake as it passes through Berlin. Wannsee is two lakes linked by the bridge of spies. The exchange of captured spies occurred at the western rim during the Cold War.
You won’t miss seeing different boats during summers, such as sailboats, ferries, and dinghies brimming the lake on a sunny day. And did you know that Wannsee has one of Europe’s most extensive inland beaches?
Strandbad Wannsee is the lake’s famous inland beach with imported sand from the Baltic Sea. The beach even has a private section for those who love to sunbathe naked (it’s pretty popular in Germany – DON’T STARE! It’s very rude).
Wannsee is also near Peacock Island, and enjoy a river cruise, which has an idyllic castle with gardens and parks. The island is a sought-after destination where locals and tourists freely wander with peacocks. In addition, Wannsee has historic buildings, but the most pleasurable part of the trip is to sit in one of the city’s beer halls and enjoy some Berlin wheat beer.
Walchensee is one of Germany’s best-hidden gems when it comes to stunning natural scenery, and it’s among the deepest and largest alpine lakes. The lake has calm deep blue waters surrounded by woody mountains and the teeny-tiny Sassau island in the middle.
Lake Walchensee is perfect if you love sailing, swimming, and windsurfing. Scuba diving is also the best way for you to explore shipwrecks in the lake. You also can take the gondola boat, which will take you to the Herzogstand for an adrenaline-filled hiking experience.
If you want to taste the countryside, enjoy hearty meals at local restaurants and appreciate classic German architecture, Walchensee is your best option. The best places to stay include Seehof Apartments or Ferienwohnung am Walchensee.
The Mummelsee is a treasure of the Black Forest shrouded in the mystery of water spirits and the king living in the lake. Yup.
Whether tall tales or not, the myths have increased the lake’s tourist attraction. Dense green foliage encloses this lake, where you can hike, cycle, or enjoy nature.
You can rent a paddleboat and explore the lake to glimpse the best views. But if you want a relaxed way to pass some time, have a beer on the terrace or a cup of coffee at the tables bordering the lake.
Maschsee is an attractive artificial lake built in the south of Hanover. People love the recreational activities and the water sports such as sailing and rowing the lake offers. If you like jogging, there are many trails around the lake.
Skaters come out in full swing during winter because the lake freezes, and skating on the thick ice is safe. You’ll also get to watch Hockey matches. The lake has a festival (the Machsee festival) that lasts the whole week, and you get to enjoy great live music and fireworks!
The icing on the cake is the Harrenhausen castle which makes Maschee worth visiting because of the Renaissance architecture. The best hotels here include Leonhardts Haus & Hof and Hotel Landhaus Ammann.
See Related: Things to Do in Bavaria, Germany
Tegernsee is a deep blue picture-perfect lake in the Bavarian Alps. The lake has the most attractive resorts in Germany and has superb cycling, hiking, and water sports opportunities. Paragliders also love the slopes of the mountains, and you won’t miss seeing bright domes gliding in the sky.
The lake has good health and wellness spots and offers a variety of fun activities for kids making it the ideal family holiday destination. Also, take a tour of the Benedictine monastery and sample the brewery.
Over the years, the lake has become a favorite spot for the wealthy and influential people making Tegernsee a luxurious destination. Thus be ready to splurge for an unforgettable experience.
Ammersee is the ideal holiday destination if you’re looking for an active break. The lake is serene with azure blue waters, attractive boathouses and cliffs, and a picture-postcard spot for camping, hiking, and water sports.
The lake offers beautiful views regardless of the season. From the bright summers to red and yellow hues in autumn to an icy lake surrounded by snow and covered in the mist, the Ammersee is an unusual beauty.
Often named the ‘Bavarian Sea’, Lake Chiemsee is the most romantic lake in Germany. Prien am Chiemsee is a lovely town where the boat trip to the lake’s two islands starts.
Fraueninsel, one of the islands, has plenty of art galleries and a monastery. On the other hand, King Ludwig II’s castle sits on the Herreninsel island. Chiemsee offers sailing and water sports in summer and skiing and hiking in the snowy woods in winter.
Lake Obersee is one of Germany’s wonders and a powerful tourist magnet of the Berchtesgaden National Park. Obersee has emerald green water amidst the forest and alpine rocks.
The lake is so serene that the water offers a perfect mirror. If you’re a nature lover, you will unite with mother nature and find the calmness and relaxation your soul needs. You get to enjoy the landscape while breathing in the purest air.
Obersee has beautiful hiking trails and excellent restaurants lining the lake, and you can grab food or drink. Most tourists opt for the breathtaking boat tour from Königssee to Obersee.
See Related: Things to Do in Munich | Top Attractions
Gothensee offers you soft sand and stunning panoramas of the lake. Touring around the lake gives you aesthetic pleasure, but you can explore the lake by renting and cycling around the lake if you need activities.
The lake also has different kinds of wellness programs and beauty services. Physiotherapy, shiatsu, Bioenergy, and osteopathy are just some services offered. While at Gothensee, you can also explore Usedom Island, about twenty minutes away, and enjoy the sun. While here, you can stay either at Pension Lindenhof or Hof Lewin hotels.
Hintersee borders the Berchtesgaden National Park, and towering mountains surround the lake. The scenic mountain views and the reflection in the water make the lake attractive to tourists. The lake receives many visits from photographers and painters who want to capture the inspiring location.
This lake also has stunning and well-connected hiking trails and is a haven for hikers. You can also engage in paddle boating and boat trips to explore the lake, not to mention the friendly hotels that dot the lake’s western side. The best accommodation in this area includes traumHaff Lotsen Romantik mit Kamin and thatched roof – apartment in Ahlbeck.