Berlin is a dog-friendly city, and this is proven once more by the many possibilities to let your pup run free, play with its pals and get dirty. After the first part of my Dogs in Berlin guide was all about the rules of dog owning, this one’s all about the fun and play: a selection of the nicest dog parks in Berlin and my favorite forests and lakes. Get your play on!
All of these are places allow your dog off leash (unless otherwise noted). If you have another tip where to let the dogs out, let me know in the comments.
I own a mixed breed with heavy influence of Italian hunting dog and while we once saw a surprisingly peaceful boar with its shoats inside of the fenced off area at Grunewald lake, and heard of boars walking freely at Forst Jungfernheide, we had no hunting incidents inside any of these places. My pup has “a thing” for squirrels, mice and bunnies, especially the latter, and thus I can’t recommend Tiergarten for example, where dogs have to stay on leash and a million rabbits live more or less happily ever after.
All photos were taken at Grunewaldsee. All linked maps courtesy of Berliner-Hundeauslaufgebiete.de.
Easily the biggest and most popular dog park in Berlin, this is probably my dog’s and many others’ favorite. It’s basically a giant forest with a big lake in its center, where water-loving pups spend their time swimming and splashing, playing chase and wrestling. There are many pros: the area is extensive, you’ll always meet other dogs to play with but can also retreat into the forest if you prefer to be alone, there’s a beer garden if you wanna have a break, including a kiosk selling dog food and treats by Pet’s Deli open during weekends, and even a picturesque castle, Jagdschloss Grunewald. However, there are also some cons: no litter boxes at all except by the beer garden, and the main beach can get very crowded especially on weekends when the sun’s out, which makes conflicts between pups inevitable – I personally like to keep moving instead of sitting down and resting in one place, which usually solves quarrels pretty quickly. One slow paced walk around the lake, with many stops to let your dog play will take you about 1,5hrs.
Here’s a map, please consider that dogs are not allowed at neither Schlachtensee and Krumme Lange, two lakes South of the dog area.
Probably the biggest dog park inside of Berlin’s centre, it’s actually divided into three parts, all completely fenced. Sadly, all three parts feature neither trees, shrubs nor other possibilities to play hide and seek, it’s basically a patch of grass. However, you’ll meet play pals at almost any time of day – some can be quite rough, I’ve also met a number of bullies there, so keep an eye on your dog at all times. It’s a great area for dogs who love to race. There are litter boxes and waste bag dispensers (not always filled), and some places to sit for tired dog owners. Like the rest of the field, it can get very hot in the summer and icy in winters, with the winds usually being rather strong. Don’t forget to bring water. The rest of the field is more interesting, more shrubs and trees and mounds and other running tracks, but your dog has to stay on the leash. Bring a long one for more fun. Here’s a map.
A little further away in the North, about 1hr drive from Kreuzberg, is a giant dog park called Arkenberge – the circular path through a forest area, just by huge agricultural fields will take you 1,5 to 2 hrs and can end at an agility park. Next to it is a former gravel pit, now bathing lake. I got no experience how welcome dogs are at the lake, just guessing they’ll be expected since the lake is directly next to the dog area. It’s not very crowded and the many plants and trees are very pretty. There’s a small stream, that signs say doesn’t have clean water, so better bring some for your furry friend. Here’s a map.
Just north of the actual airfield of TXL starts a giant off-leash dog area that is all forest and thus offers loads of sniffing, hiding and climbing opportunities and is quite cool even on very hot summer days. It’s vast and while you will meet the occasional dogs, you can also avoid contact all together. If your dog has loads of excess energy, this is a prime spot to do some bike training. Since it’s literally just by the airfild – with heavy fencing preventing any access and dense vegetation blocking any view, it can get quite loud at times with planes departing and arriving. There are also no litter boxes and no water supplies. Watch out for the green signs marking the borders of the area.
The park itself has its name for a reason and while it’s also not allowed, my pup can’t be off-leash here without tracing a bunny at one point. But there are two designated dog parks that are quite enjoyable. One of them is especially for small dogs – ask the people there at the weekends how to access. And one for all the other dogs with not only litter boxes, water supplies and benches to sit for the owners but also many trees to climb and shrubs to run around while playing catch. This is a place to bring dogs who’re amicable with other dogs, since it’s too small to avoid each other. Here’s a map.
Located about a km west of the Olympia Stadium, along both sides of the incredibly long, very straight street leading from Alexanderplatz until Spandau, this dog area is all forest and beach at Stößensee. Going north, you will come to the very pretty area at Tiefenwerder. There are not many litter boxes and no waste bag dispensers, but loads of trees and bushes and paths to race along. Here’s a map.