One of the things that has always been praised about Berlin is its rural character. Lakes, forests and the like are extremely accessible and it often doesn’t even take you significantly longer to get to a peaceful oasis than to some hotspots in Mitte (which is covered in ugly road works nowadays anyway.)
The first lake I checked out a few days after I arrived in July was Wannsee. It’s in the South-West, between Berlin and Potsdam. Going there was quite a spontaneous decision so I only had my small Lumix camera with me. That’s good and bad – good because I could fearlessly take it into the water to get some “closer” water shots (Yes, people were observing me with that certain irritated look…) and bad because these photos sometimes lack the depth of focus I’d like them to have.The second lake that’s worth a visit is Weissensee in the North-East, it’s a bit of a hassle to get there from bus or tram stops, but that might well be my genuine lack of organization. However, Weissensee is just perfect for swimming in the lake and chilling out in the nearby parks. It’s less crowded and less dirty than Wannsee – maybe also less pretty -, but I highly recommend it for spontaneous after-work trips when all you want is swimming and watching the sun go down beautifully.