Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Beachy-keen for a sandy oa­sis? Wel­come to Berlin, the city of beach bars.

The ocean may be three hours away, but there's no short­age of beaches in Berlin. Jenna Rose Robbins spent a day by the wa­ter.

Berlin may be miles from the near­est ocean,

but don’t tell that to its res­i­dents. When the mer­cury rises over 20C/68F, sandy oases crop up in pock­ets across the city, trans­form­ing the ur­ban land­scape into an er­satz trop­i­cal haven. The fol­low­ing is just a sam­pling of the sur­pris­ing sun-soaked of­fer­ings the city has to of­fer. By far the most pop­u­lar of Berlin’s beach bars,

Strand­bar Mitte (Mon­bi­joustr. 3, www. strand­ rolls out the chaise lounges each sum­mer to a crowd ea­ger to bask in the shade of palm trees, sip trop­i­cal drinks, and dance the night away un­der the stars. The bar’s lo­ca­tion on the banks of the River Spree – the Bode Mu­seum ris­ing ma­jes­ti­cally in the back­ground – pro­vides all the aquatic at­mos­phere needed to transport you to trop­i­cal climes. Berlin’s in­ge­nu­ity is not lim­ited to con­vert­ing an old air­port into a city park. Over in the Trep­tow dis­trict lies – or floats, rather – the Bade­schiff (lit­er­ally, “bathing boat” – Eichen­str. 4, www., a 30m/100ft heated pool bob­bing in the Spree River. Built from the con­verted hull of a boat, the cre­ative re­cy­cling con­cept is a sum­mer hot spot, and the ad­ja­cent shores over­flow with bikinied bod­ies on warmer days, so ar­rive well be­fore noon for your best chance at nab­bing one of the cov­eted ham­mocks on the pier. And be­cause the Bade­schiff is part of the Arena en­ter­tain­ment com­plex, par­ties and con­certs abound through­out the sum­mer months.

If it’s sand sports you’re af­ter, head to BeachMitte (Caro­lineMichaelis-Str. 8, www.beach­ber­ where more than 40 ath­letic courts await. Take your pick from beach volleyball, soc­cer, and ten­nis, then re­lax at the Hawai­ian-themed beach bar, where you’ll find a mix of health­ful snacks like wraps and smooth­ies and more in­dul­gent fare – and of course, beer and wine to re­fresh the spirit. If you’re still in need of an adren­a­line rush, tempt fate on Moun­tMitte, a me­galithic ropes course ( Klet­ter­wald, in Ger­man) that fea­tures a clas­sic Tra­bant car as one of its many ob­sta­cles. While a bit of a hike from city cen­ter, Ku’damm Beach (Königsallee 5b, www.ku­ of­fers a more up­scale am­biance than its cen­tral­ized brethren. Lo­cated out west in Wilmers­dorf, the wa­ter­front lo­ca­tion af­fords mag­nif­i­cent views of Halensee lake, par­tic­u­larly when you’ve made your­self comfy on one of the dock chairs. And there's good news for Ber­lin­ers: af­ter a 10-year ban, start­ing this sum­mer, the lake can finally be used again for swim­ming. Culi­nary op­tions are far above the typ­i­cal beach fare, with the on-site Grand Café serv­ing high-end Ital­ian cui­sine with panora­mas of the wa­ter.

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