Until the beginning of the 18th century, Berlin was a sleepy nest in a swampy valley in the middle of the hilly landscape of Brandenburg. Since then, however, the city has undergone an incomparable development: The region's rapid growth—and all of the traffic that came with it—led to the need for new, ingenious way of dealing with the swampy undergrowth. And the Berliners got creative. Numerous channels were planned to supply ever-growing industrial epicenters with raw materials, railways tracks criss-crossed the landscape, roads were extended and bridges were erected—a lot of bridges. To keep everything moving, an enormous number of bridges were constructed both large and small in size: Pedestrian bridges over canals, railway bridges over crossroads, car bridges over rivers and, of course, bridges over railway tracks. Today, Berlin has over 900 bridges, twice as many bridges as in the lagoon city of Venice, and some are too beautiful not to visit.
We have selected nine hikes that will take you to the most beautiful and historic bridges in Berlin. Each bridge tells its own personal story: While some proud bridges have been forgotten, another hides their special meaning behind simple, pragmatic elegance. And since most of the bridges share a closely connected history with Berlin's railway network, you can easily reach all nine hikes by S-Bahn.
Simply choose your favorite bridge and let yourself be drawn into the exciting history of Berlin.
Timetable information and ticket prices can be found at sbahn.berlin
The Glienicker Bridge is one of the real celebrities among the Berlin bridge constructions. The elegant steel truss bridge dates back to 1907 and replaced the approximately 70-year-old stone bridge of the Prussian court architect Schinkel. The Glienicke Bridge gained its fame through its special location. At the very edge of West Berlin, it had become a guarded border area during the construction of the Wall. In contrast to the inner-city border crossings, however, the bridge lay on the quiet Grunewald. When in 1962 Americans and Soviets wanted to exchange trapped agents, they decided to go to the remote bridge. Between 1962 and 1989, only three such exchanges took place, but today the bridge is known above all as an agent bridge.Every 10 minutes, the S-Bahn line 7 takes you from Berlin to Potsdam central station. You leave the station in the direction of the city center, but turn on the long bridge directly to the Friendship Island. Through the beautiful garden on the island you stroll comfortably in the direction of Berlin suburb. For a while you walk along the Berliner Straße along the magnificent Gründerzeit houses until you finally meet the Havel on the Glienicke bridge. To this day, the building has lost little of its charm and after you have crossed the bridge, worth a visit to the Glienicke Castle and the attached café. After a short break you continue hiking to the Griebnitzsee. You follow the shore path to Hubertusbrücke, where you cross the Teltow Canal. A little later you reach the train station Griebnitzsee. From there, the S-Bahn line 7 takes you back home.
Over a part of its distance the Teltowkanal was during the German division border area - also in the Grunewald. Since the beginning of the 20th century, however, led here the tracks of the cemetery railway through the forest. With the rapidly increasing population of Berlin had begun at the turn of the century to build new cemeteries outside the city. One of the graveyards lay in Stahnsdorf and above all the inhabitants of Zehlendorf and Steglitz buried their dead here. To transport the mourners safely and quickly to the cemetery, a new S-Bahn line, the so-called graveyard railway, was established. When the wall between West and East Berlin was built in 1961, the GDR leadership tolerated no further use of the cemetery railway. All requests and complaints did not help, the line was shut down. Today, only a few overgrown tracks have remained, especially the striking railway bridge that leads across the Teltow Canal. Since the bridge will be demolished in the near future, you should hurry to pay a visit to the bridge.At S-Bahn station Lichterfelde-Süd, which is served by the S-Bahn line 26 every 10 minutes, your hike begins. Along the Kirschblütenallee of the Berlin Wall Trail, it goes to the Teltow Canal. Here you can expect comfortable and well-developed riverside paths. You follow the course of the canal and hike leisurely further west. Always along the water it goes past the Hakeburg and the lock Kleinmachnow. Shortly after you reach the first foothills of Grunewald. You cross under the motorway bridge of the A115 and then finally stand in front of the old railway bridge. With her truss structure, she could also come from a Wild Westfilm. A little later you will find another abandoned bridge. About the inconspicuous bridge once led the old course of the highway and here was a border crossing. Meanwhile, only pedestrians can cross the bridge. On the other side of the river, continue to the S-Bahn station Griebnitzsee. Here you climb into the S-Bahn line 7, which runs every 10 minutes in the direction of Berlin.
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Although the port of Tegel was already used as an industrial port in the middle of the 19th century, the shores of the neighboring Tegeler See developed into a popular destination for Berlin's urban population. At the beginning the excursion guests could be translated by the fisherman Siebert with his boat at the mouth of the Tegeler Fließ. For the crossing, the resourceful fisherman demanded half a penny, a so-called 'sixes'. Soon the fisherman gave up fishing and only operated as a ferryman. More and more guests came and the fisherman replaced his boat with a simple wooden bridge. He continued to pay half the penny and that's how the first six-bridge was built. When the basin of the Tegeler port was expanded, the small wooden bridge had to be demolished. It was replaced by a large bridge with a metal framework construction. Here, too, half the penny was due for use and therefore the name Sechserbrücke remains until today.Your hike starts at the Tegel S-Bahn station, which is served by the S-Bahn line 25 every 20 minutes. You leave the station and stroll along the elegant new buildings through the Tegeler harbor to the bridge. Here you cross the harbor entrance and the Tegeler Fließ. Meanwhile, the use is free, the old ticket booths are still available. On the other side you follow the Uferweg to the deer enclosure in the Tegeler Forst. Here you can watch the wild boars and deer before continuing your trek. In a big round, it goes through the Tegeler forest back to the bridge of six. Once there, you walk back to Tegel station and start your journey home there.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the large estates of the estate Rahnsdorf on the outskirts of Berlin were dissolved and sold. The lands also included extensive swamp meadows east of the small Müggelsee. In order to make these wet meadows usable, the building authority Köpenick developed a drainage plan. By means of several channels, the water should be bundled and thus created building land. From 1928, a small housing development was created here, which from then on was only known under the name of New Venice. Just like in the famous namesake you can stroll here on small bridges over the canals and watch the boats as they glide silently through the water.With the S-Bahn line 3 you drive to the station Wilhelmshagen, which brings you every 10 minutes to the starting point of your hike. Through fragrant pine forest you walk to the Fürstenwalder Allee and turn right here. After a while, the cuckoo's turn off to the left. Here begins New Venice. In a small round, you will stroll over bridges and canals. Especially worthwhile is a trip to the beer garden New Venice. Here you are sitting right on the water and watching boats, ducks and swans. After your walk back to the S-Bahn Wilhelmshagen.
The Abbey Bridge is not only one of the most beautiful bridges in Berlin, but also the first reinforced concrete bridge in Germany. The Island of Youth, then known as the Abbey Island, was a popular destination at the beginning of the 20th century. Since they could only be reached by ferry, they planned to build a bridge. When constructing the bridge, it was particularly important that the large pleasure boats under the bridge could drive to the Gasthof Zenner. To enable the large span of the bridge, it was decided to build a reinforced concrete. At the beginning of planning in 1915, however, there were no building regulations for the material. Numerous material trials took place at the technical university in Berlin and after successful completion, a special permit was granted for the bridge construction. Miraculously, the bridge survived the Second World War without any damage. At the time of the GDR, a youth club was established in the bridge house on the island and a little later, the island was known only as an island of youth.Starting point of your hike is the S-Bahn station Treptower Park, which is regularly approached by the S-Bahn lines S8, S9, S41 and S42. You walk along the piers of the Treptow harbor to the beer garden of the Gasthof Zenner. A little later you reach the abbey bridge. It is definitely worth a detour to the idyllic island of youth with its lawns and the friendly beer garden. Then it continues on the banks of the Spree. You wander along the edge of the Spree Park, where you can still catch a glimpse of the ailing rides. The path finally leads you through the Plänterwald to the S-Bahn station Baumschulenweg. From there, the S8, S9, S45 and S46 lines bring you back home.
At the end of the 19th century, Berlin's industry grew so fast that the existing railway lines and waterways were completely overburdened. To facilitate goods traffic to the Oder, the Prussian government decided to build the Oder-Spree canal. After five years of construction, the canal was opened in 1891. At the beginning, a so-called towpath was used. The narrow-gauge railway ran on rails on the shore and pulled the barges along the canal. Soon the tracks were not enough and they were replaced by motorized barges. Barges are barely used today, but you can take wonderful hikes along the shore on the former towpath. Especially the westernmost section between the Seddinsee and Wernsdorfer See attracts with peaceful forests and the rustic Schmöckwitzwerdersteg.Every 20 minutes, the S-Bahn line S46 will take you to the starting point of the hike, Eichwalde S-Bahn station. From here you hike along the edge of the forest to Berlin Schmöckwitz. After crossing the bridge here, you can make a detour to the beach in fine weather. Then you stroll through the forest to the Oder-Spree-Kanal. The leads straight from the Seddinsee to Wernsdorfer See. You follow the Uferweg and cross the canal at Schmöckwitzwerdersteg. Continue along the water until you leave the canal just before the Wernsdorf lock and turn left. Here, the trail winds along forest tracks along natural wet meadows. After a while, you hit the Spree. For a piece of the trail follows its course and then kinks towards Erkner. From Erkner S-Bahn station, take the S-Bahn line S3 back to Berlin.
In 1899, the municipal administration of Charlottenburg decided to build a new power plant on the Spree. At that time, Charlottenburg was an independent, prosperous and, above all, growing city just outside the gates of Berlin. With the planning of an electric tram network, a new energy supply was needed and within a very short time the new power plant was built. So that the power plant employees could easily reach their work place, a pedestrian bridge over the river was built - the Siemenssteg. For a pure pedestrian bridge, the jetty is rather generously proportioned, because over the bridge also ran the power cables. Although the power plant was severely damaged during the war, the pedestrian bridge survived all the battles without damage. Today it is one of the best-preserved spreader bridges in Berlin.Your tour starts at the Tiergarten S-Bahn station, which is regularly served by the S-Bahn lines S3, S5, S7 and S9. At the Charlottenburg Bridge, with its huge sandstone towers, you cross the Landwehrkanal. On the other side, turn right to the canal. You follow the Uferweg and leave the hustle and bustle of the Straße des 17. Juni behind you. Cozy you walk along the Landwehr Canal until it opens a little later in the Spree. Only a little later you reach the Siemensbridge. Here you cross the river. On the other bank, continue to Schlossbrücke and finally into Schlosspark Charlottenburg. If you like, you can extend your round in the castle park and also visit the castle. Then it goes through the park to the S-Bahn station Jungfernheide. From here, take the S41 or S42 ring-roads back home.
At the end of the 19th century Berlin was a real railway town. Innumerable tracks for freight traffic and for passenger trains moved through the entire city, huge marshalling yards and railway improvement works developed on the edges of the metropolis. At that time, each remote had its own train station in the city of Berlin - hence the famous names such as Hamburger Bahnhof, Görlitzer Bahnhof or Anhalter Bahnhof. However, one of the oldest railway connections in Berlin was the Szczecin Railway, with which the capital was connected to the nearest Preussichen seaport. At Liesenstraße in Gesundbrunnen, the tracks had been at ground level since 1843, but with the growth in traffic at the end of the 19th century this was not possible. The tracks were quickly laid on a railway embankment and then led across a huge steel bridge over the Liesenstraße. During the German division, the railway line lost importance and the bridges were shut down. Since the 1960s, the bridges are rusting away and the railway embankments in the south and north of the bridges have been converted into parks. For several years, however, the initiative 'Greenways in Berlin' works on the fact that the bridges will be reopened for pedestrians in the future.Take the S-Bahn S1, S2, S25 or S26 to Berliner Nordbahnhof. Formerly here stood the impressive station building of the Szczecin Railway, but today only the underground S-Bahn station is available. You leave the station in Richtugn north and walk past the climbing garden Mount Mitte through the Nordbahnpark. Through the narrow park once ran the tracks to the North Station, today you will find here a small green oasis in hectic Berlin. Soon you will meet the Liesenbrücken. The large steel truss bridges are closed to pedestrians, but you can still glimpse how nature is gradually reclaiming its space. Plants sprout between the tracks, birds nest in the struts and the metal rusts peacefully. You leave the Nordbahnpark and after a short stretch over the Scheringstraße you stand in the Volkspark Humboldthain. Here it is worth the detour to the old Flakbunker, because the view of the north of Berlin is really impressive. After a walk through the park you walk on to the S-Bahn station Gesundbrunnen. Here the S-Bahn lines S1, S2, S25, S41 and S42 run at regular intervals.
Since 1839, south of Potsdamer Platz, there was a small main train station, Anhalter Bahnhof. From the 1870s, the station was rebuilt and developed into one of the largest and most important stations in Berlin. Trains to Dresden, Magdeburg, Leipzig and Munich as well as France, Italy, Austria and Greece leave from here. In order not to impede the growing city traffic with the innumerable trains, at the same time 45 railway bridges over the Yorckstraße were built. During the Second World War, the imposing Anhalt station was almost completely destroyed. After the end of the war, a new station concept was developed for the west of Berlin and most of the old terminal stations were not rebuilt. The extended tracks and the Yorck bridges were therefore no longer needed and proliferated over time. Since the 1970s, residents of Kreuzberg wished that the railway industry would be transformed into a public park. Just under 30 years later, in 1997, the conversion to Park am Gleisdreieck was decided. The Yorck bridges, which are now partly used as pedestrian and cyclist bridges, were also considered.Take the S-Bahn lines S2, S25 and S26 to the S-Bahn station Priesterweg. Here you will find the nature park Schöneberger Südgelände. Once upon a time, railroads in huge halls were cleaned and maintained, wagons stored and goods transhipped. Today you can still discover many traces of this railway history between the trees. The biggest highlight is certainly the huge steam locomotive, which stands on old tracks in the forest. You walk through the nature park further north and finally cross the S-Bahn tracks on a narrow pedestrian bridge. Along the tracks, it goes on comfortable ways further north. Although the S-Bahn trains pass here at regular intervals, the hiking trail is quiet and comfortable. There are no cars driving here and over the tracks you always have beautiful views of Berlin. At the monument bridge you cross the tracks again and then reach the Flaschenhalspark, the southernmost part of the park at the Gleisdreieck. Even here, not all traces of the railway past were deliberately removed. Over the Yorckbrücken with its nostalgic industrial charm it finally goes over to the park at the Gleisdreieck. After a round through the park, you will start your journey home at the S-Bahn station Yorckstraße with the S-Bahn lines S2, S25 and S26.