Spreewald is a picturesque part of the German state of Brandenburg and is located roughly 100km south-east of Berlin. The name “Spreewald” translates to “Spree Woods” in English. Spreewald has been named a biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 1991, and there are roughly 18,000 species of fauna and flora within the area. This makes it a good place to view unique wildlife and plants.
The main town area is called Lubbenau and many of the inhabitants are descendants of the original settlers in the region, who are Slavic tribes of the Wends/Sorbs. These people have preserved many of their customs, traditional language and clothing to the present day, making it an interesting cultural experience to observe.
Best Time To Visit Spreewald
The best time to visit Spreewald would be in the springtime where the skies are blue and clear, and the plantation is blossoming. At this time you will be able to see the landscape in full blossom.
How to Get There
You can get to Lubbenau/Spreewald by car or train.
If you are coming by car from Berlin, then you can reach Lubbenau using highway A13 and exit 9 Lubbenau. Or you can continue to the junction of A13 and A15, and then continue down the A15 towards Vetschau. Once you exit the A15 at the Vetschau exit, you can continue to Burg (Spreewald).
You can get to Lubbenau taking the regional express or regional train from the main station in Berlin (Hauptbahnhof). Trains run hourly and will take you right into Lubbenau. Some hotels in the Spreewald area will have a hotel transfer service from the railway station if you book in advance. Alternatively, you could hire a taxi to get you there.
How To Get Around
Lubbenau doesn’t have any public transport to speak of, so you will need to hire a bicycle, car or take a taxi to get around. Also, parts of Spreewald are only accessible by foot or by boat.
Things to See and Do in Spreewald
1.Take A “Punt’ Tour (Guided Boat Tour)
Taking a guided boat tour throughout the labyrinth of waterways in Spreewald will let you enjoy the natural spectacles and landscape of the area. The classical ‘punt’ tours are named as such because of the method of moving the boat requires a ‘punt’ in the water similar to the gondolas in Venice.
The punt tours begin at the end of March and continue until the end of October, running daily from 10 am. The most famous tour is the one to Spreewald village Lehde and takes approximately 1 and a half to 3 hours.
2. Paddle Around in a Canoe
If you are the adventurous type, you can rent your own kayak or canoe to explore the 500 kilometres of waterways in Spreewald. Tours can last for one to several days depending on your preferences. If you are staying longer than one day, there are camping facilities for you to use as well.
3. Take A Walking Tour to Discover the Nature of the Biosphere Reserve
A walking tour is a perfect way to see the fauna and flora of the nature park at a close range. Recommended tour destinations within Spreewald are lagoon village Lehde, fisher village Leipe and Alder island Wotschovska.
The knowledgeable park rangers of the biosphere reserve offer nature tours on a regular basis, or you can also book guided walking tours with other experienced tour guides. Tip: You can get walking guides and maps from the tourist information centre called, “Schlossberghof”.
If you are interested in fishing, there are fishing tours available in Spreewald. Fishing is legal for anyone over the age of eight, and you can use 2 coarse fishing rods without having a fishing licence. However, you’ll need the following three things:
- Fishing tax stamp
- Fishing permit
- Personal ID document
5. Visit The Many Museums and Galleries in Spreewald
Visiting the many museums and galleries throughout Spreewald allows you to discover the cultural and historical characteristics of the area. You can visit them yourselves, or go on a guided tour which starts at the Spreewald tourist information centre.
The Spreewald museum allows you to go back in time and see what the shops looked like in Spreewald over 100 years ago. You can also see the Spreewald train which is a steam locomotive train.
The open air museum (Freilandmuseum Lehde) shows you the lifestyles of the German and Sorbian residents from the 19th century. Here you can see Sorbian costumes, taste the local delicacies and look at the reed covered block houses.
Spreewald is home to Germany’s only gherkin museum and it shows you the cultivation process of cucumbers. You can also taste fresh Spreewald pickles.
Finally, the “Haus fur Mensch und Natur” is both an information centre and interactive exhibition about the Spreewald Biosphere reserve. Here you’ll learn about how Spreewald was formed and about its conservation today.
6. Pamper Yourself At the Many Spas And Wellness Centres
Have a relaxing session at the Spreewald Therme (spa). The facility offers massage, sauna as well as swimming pools for your relaxation. There is also a fitness centre for those inclined.
Wellness at the castle of Lubbenau is another wellness centre to visit. Located within the castle’s vault you will find the services of a steam bath, sauna, massage room and different wellness treatments for your relaxation.
Food And Drink
Must-try local delicacies
The area is famous for its Sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, linseed oil and horseradish. Be sure to try them!
Also, pike and pike-perch, which is a type of sweetwater fish, served with a sauce made from flour, cream and horseradish is another good dish to try. Finally, potatoes with cream cheese, onions and linseed oil is another dish to try.
Restaurants, Cafes and Bars to Visit
The Schollrestaurant Linari has the unique setting of being in the restored castle of Lubbenau. Enjoy Spreewald’s culinary delights while taking in the sights.
The Brauhaus and Pension Babben is a brewery where you can enjoy their house beer. Some specialties from the place include bright or dark, seasonal wheat, fizzy drink and bock beer.
Cafe Fontane offers cake, coffee and Mediterranean cuisine and is located in the centre of the old town.
The Gasthaus Oppott is a restaurant located on the water within the village Lehde. Their specialties include red deer, fish and duck.
Gashauser der Hotelanlage Starick is a hotel that has many restaurants. Here you can experience home-style cooking from Spreewald, infused with international flavour.
The main shopping area is in the old town of Lubbenau. There are many private small shops, restaurants and street cafes in the area making it an interesting place to stroll around and do shopping.
The main opening hours are 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 10 am to 1 pm on Saturday. However, many traders extend their hours during the summertime.
Bear in mind that between April and May and during the summer holiday season it may be difficult to find accommodation, so plan ahead. However, for all other times of the year, it should be ok to arrive without booking accommodation.
The pricing of accommodation varies greatly and depends on your budget. At the high end, hotels can cost up to 135 USD although you can choose to book cheaper accommodation at a B&B. Here are 3 of the top recommended hotels in Burg (Spreewald).
- Spreewald Thermenhotel
- Relais du Silence Kur und
- Hotel Zum Leineweber