Guest post by Euan McTear from Go with Oh
There are many ways to experience a new city when you arrive for the first time. A tourist bus, for example. A cycle on two wheels. Perhaps even good old-fashioned walking! However, ever since I took a kayak trip around Sydney Harbour, I make a point to kayak (if possible) my way around each new city I visit. With the River Spree stretching through the German capital, a kayak in Berlin is possible and something I’d recommend to visitors and locals alike.
The winding waters of Berlin’s rivers are the perfect spot from which to explore what people around Europe agree is a great city. Sitting back and taking in Berlin from a brand new and unique angle is something you can tell other travellers around town about and you’ll know in advance that they probably haven’t done the same.
Kayaking is no gondola ride, however, so be prepared to get that body working! Yes, you’ll give those tired feet a rest, but your arms will get a good holiday work out and you’ll feel a lot better for it afterwards!
Even if you’ve never kayaked before then this is still something for you to consider. You can find many companies running tours as well as the basic kayak rental, and these tours are expertly guided in English and German. You’ll get practical advice and instruction on how to get rowing in the right direction, but you’ll also be able to enjoy learning the history and importance of what you’re seeing. Although there are a lot of uninteresting things in the water, you’ll find a lot of interesting stuff there too and who better to describe it all to you than the folks who kayak past it every day?
Kayaking is very safe as well and any worries of tipping over are not even worth thinking about. You’d have to be doing something very crazy to tip the boat over and even if you do, a life-jacket will keep you safe and the only thing you’ll have to worry about is a bit of cold water!
A good and very popular route is to start by the tree-lined Landwehrkanal canal, where you’ll enjoy views of the Bendlerblock building. The building has an interesting history as it was central to a failed assassination attempt on Hitler in 1945. As well as several old bridges, other sights whilst paddling along the River Spree include the Office of the Federal Chancellor and the beautiful ‘Erlöserkirche’ church, built in red brick.
The beautiful greenery of the Tiergarten area lines the majority of the route as you paddle round the park and towards Mitte. So if you’re feeling tired at any point, then just take a look over at the park and you’ll remember to relax and chill out.
This is something worth trying out whether you’re a local or if you’re a visitor to the city. Visitors to the city should take a look at Go with Oh’s apartments in the city for their stay. Go with Oh provides apartments in 12 European cities – so maybe after your Berlin trip you can try kayaking in these other cities too!