A city tour on the Spree River, which winds through the heart of Berlin, is one of the best ways to get an overview of the German capital, with many of its most famous landmarks visible from the water. Here are the top options for exploring Berlin by river cruise.
The banks of the Spree River are home to some of Germany’s most recognizable sights. Hour-long sightseeing cruises depart from the Mitte district of Berlin, and offer unique views of must-see monuments like the Reichstag and the TV Tower, as well as Museum Island, Nikolaiviertel, and Charlottenburg. Most cruises provide informative onboard commentary through audio guides. For a more leisurely alternative, board a 3-hour evening sightseeing cruise, during which you can see Berlin’s skyline sparkle and the city’s lights reflecting on the surface of the Spree.
Some boat tours venture beyond central Berlin and the Spree onto the idyllic Havel Lakes. Cruise past Wannsee, a popular summer escape for Berliners, and on to Potsdam, a palace and park-packed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For a meal with an ever-changing view, opt for a dining cruise on the Spree. Lunch, snack, dinner, and Sunday brunch cruises depart from Berlin’s city center and feature a range of food types to satisfy all tastes. Pick between cruise packages that include cheese and wine, burger and beer, coffee and cake, or even pizza. Buffet brunch cruises, as well as romantic sunset cruises with sit-down 4-course dinner service, are also available.