The 21 most beautiful lakes in Germany – to swim in!


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Corona will soon be gone! So it’s time to find the best lakes in Germany with the best water quality and beautiful bathing areas.

Germany has a lot of ideal lakes you can swim in. They are distinguished by their water quality and the scenery that surround them. Below are 21 of the most beautiful lakes in Germany to go for a swim – including a map for an overview.

Italy  has Lake Garda,  Croatia  the Plitvice Lakes and Hungary the Balaton. But even if you  stay in Germany this year  , you don’t have to do without picturesque lakes. We have collected the most beautiful lakes in Germany for your bathing fun – from north to south!

Map: Overview of the most beautiful bathing lakes in Germany  

1. Großer Plöner See in Schleswig-Holstein

lakes in germany

The Great Plöner See is only a stone’s throw from the  Baltic Sea  – and despite this great competition, it is a popular excursion destination. No wonder: bathing fans, families and those looking for peace and quiet get their money’s worth at 15 bathing spots. The tenth largest lake in Germany is located southwest of Plön in the Holstein Switzerland Nature Park.

Those who like to let off steam can do so on the water while paddling and sailing. And when it gets too crowded at Lake Plön, you will find numerous large and small bodies of water nearby.

2. Schaalsee in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

lakes in germany

Cross-border vacation at the lake: The Schaalsee lies on the state border of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein. It is one of the deepest lakes in Germany and offers natural swimming spots.

Because the lake is located in the former inner-German border area, the nature around the water is also intact and invites you to take long walks.


3. See Hinterm Horn in Hamburg

lakes in germany

A little outside of Hamburg, near Allermöhe, you will find the Hinterm Horn lake. With a sandy beach and sunbathing lawn, it is the perfect place for sun-hungry city dwellers. However, because there is no lifeguard and the bank slopes steeply, it is not suitable for children.

4. Müritzsee and Mecklenburg Lake District

lakes in germany

If you are looking for picturesque bathing lakes, you will find them in abundance on the Mecklenburg Lake District. Whether on  vacation in a houseboat  or camping on the lakeshore – the lakes around the Müritz are a very special natural experience.

In total, you will find around 200 natural swimming areas on the Mecklenburg Lake District. Thanks to the flat entry, most of them are also perfect for children.

5. Großer Stechlinsee in Brandenburg

lakes in germany

All bathing waters in Germany are checked regularly. But if you want to swim in particularly clean water, you should travel to Stechlinsee in the north of Brandenburg. Its water quality is regularly rated as excellent.

The water of the lake is extremely clear and numerous fish cavort in it. In 2012 it was therefore named “Liveliest Lake of the Year” by the Global Nature Fund.

6. Mahndorfer See in Bremen

lakes in germany

Bremen is perhaps not known as a city with numerous bathing lakes. The people of Bremen prefer to lie on the Weser. But a short detour into the surrounding area is worthwhile: The Mahndorfer See is a perfect place for relaxation and bathing fun.

There is a long sandy beach, a lawn where you can grill, a non-swimmer area and a  nudist beach. You see: the quarry pond in the green leaves nothing to be desired.

7. Steinhuder Meer in Lower Saxony

lakes in germany

The name could be confusing, but it is quite appropriate for the largest lake in Lower Saxony. Here you can sail, windsurf, cross over to Wilhelmstein Island or cycle around the lake.

The Steinhuder Meer is so diverse that there is almost too much to do for one day! Nevertheless, you will always find quiet corners away from the towns of Steinhude and Mardorf.

8. Wannsee in Berlin

lakes in germany

Even if the Wannsee cannot get to Sylt for the doctors: it is perfect for a trip into nature away from the big city life! Iconic: the lido, which opened in 1907.

Thanks to the good connection, the Wannsee is perfect for everyone who wants to cool off on a city trip in Berlin. Fun fact: Did you know that Wannsee is actually called Großer Wannsee and that GWS is abbreviated?

9. Kulkwitzer See in Saxony

lakes in germany

Hobby divers get their money’s worth in the Kulkwitzer See. Located on the western outskirts of Leipzig, it is one of the most popular bathing lakes in the region. No wonder: the lake is perfectly connected by public transport from downtown Leipzig.

It was created in the 1960s when lignite mines were flooded and is also affectionately known as “Kulki”. Due to the good water quality, you have the best view while diving, even to the partially submerged diving objects. You can also go wakeboarding and water skiing on Lake Kulkwitzer See. 

10. Geiseltalsee in Saxony-Anhalt

lakes in germany

The Geiseltalsee is also a remnant of lignite mining. And: the lake in the south of Saxony-Anhalt is the largest artificial lake in Germany. Here you will find plenty of space for bathing fun and water sports. 

By the way, wine has been grown on the shores of the Geiseltalsee since 2000. A tasting with a view of the lake is the crowning glory of your excursion. And if you then still have such a beautiful look, nothing stands in the way of a romantic evening …

11. Edersee in Hesse

lakes in germany

Another superlative: the Edersee in Hesse, which is one of the largest reservoirs in Germany. When you walk on the Edertalsperre, you will become impressively aware of the extent.

Since the lake is located in the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, the surrounding nature also invites you to take long forays, including picturesque views of the reservoir:

12. Otto-Maigler-See in North Rhine-Westphalia

lakes in germany

Chilling in the lido, sailing, rowing or surfing on the water or fidgeting in the beach club: At Otto-Maigler-See you are spoiled for choice. It is not for nothing that it is a popular excursion destination in the Cologne / Bonn region.

With the bright white sand between the lakes, you will quickly forget that you are actually in the middle of the interior and not on the coast.

13. Bleilochtalsperre in Thuringia

lakes in germany

To protect against flooding and to generate energy, the Bleilochtalsperre was built by 1932 – the largest in Germany! Today, day trippers and holidaymakers also benefit from the construction, because the body of water trumps as a popular local recreation area.

You can enjoy the landscape on board the passenger ships in a very contemplative manner. Or you can get active yourself while surfing, sailing or water skiing.

14. Meerfelder Maar in Rhineland-Palatinate

lakes in germany

Behind this illustrious name lies a spectacular story: The Meerfelder Maar was created around 80,000 years ago during a volcanic explosion. Nowadays, however, the lake in the Eifel is quieter: fishing or swimming at the designated bathing areas.

15. Bostalsee in Saarland

lakes in germany

The Bostalsee is located in the idyllic low mountain range in the Saar-Hunsrück Nature Park. On two large sandy beaches you can play beach volleyball, you can go pedal boating or whatever your sun-hungry heart desires. Those who prefer to stay dry can hike or cycle around the lake in around seven kilometers.

16. Chiemsee in Bavaria

lakes in germany

This body of water is definitely one of the better known in Germany. The Chiemsee is often referred to as the “Bavarian Sea”. No wonder: after all, it is the largest lake in Bavaria. This is where everyone gets their money’s worth, who stand not only on water but also on mountains – behind the bank, a panorama of the foothills of the Alps rises up as a perfect postcard motif.

With the boats of the Chiemsee-Schifffahrt you can cross over to the islands of Herrenchiemsee with the castle of the same name and Frauenchiemsee.

17. Schluchsee in Baden-Württemberg

lakes in germany

The  Black Forest  is dreary and stuffy? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! The Schluchsee, the largest lake in the Black Forest, is the best example of how much life is raging here. Once a glacial lake, it still has very clean water today. Locals and holidaymakers cavort in it while bathing or doing water sports.

Nevertheless, relaxation at Schluchsee is also a top priority: the place of the same name is a climatic health resort. You can enjoy the most beautiful views on a boat tour or from the Schluchseer Jägersteig hiking trail.

18. Walchensee in Bavaria

lakes in germany

At Walchensee, not only is the water particularly pure, but also the air. The climatic health resort has everything that an almost supernaturally beautiful alpine lake needs: light blue water between sometimes barren, sometimes wooded mountain peaks. Packing diving goggles is worthwhile: you can see up to 40 meters underwater! The Walchensee is only 75 kilometers south of Munich.

19. Bodensee in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria

lakes in germany

You should also be familiar with Bodensee. It lies on the border between Germany,  Austria  and  Switzerland . During a hike around Bodensee, you will therefore cross three countries at the same time. In the lake itself you can of course swim, but also dive and even kitesurf in some places. 

Ten islands are located in Bodensee, including the flower island Mainau. Thanks to numerous orchards and vineyards, Bodensee is also a culinary delight.

20. Eibsee in Bavaria

lakes in germany

The best comes last? In this case there is something to it. Because the magic of the Eibsee is really difficult to escape. In front of the imposing massif of the Zugspitze, the Eibsee rests like a mirror on windless days.

At a height of 1,000 meters you will always find small bays on the shore where you can swim and enjoy the tranquility of nature. And if you want to experience the lake from a bird’s eye view, take the cable car from the bank to the Zugspitze.

21. Starnberg See in Bavaria

lakes in germany

Did you know that Lake Starnberg is the second largest lake in Bavaria? Fortunately, despite the many built-up areas, there are still some beautiful recreational areas, chilled bathing beaches and lovingly tended bathing establishments.

Almost all bathing areas on Lake Starnberg are great for children. Because the entrance to the lake is nice and flat in many places. And the numerous pebbles on the lake shore inspire every child. 

Map of all the lakes in Germany

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