Find Out if a Berlin Boat Tour is Worth It

Are you planning a trip to Germany’s capital city and wondering whether a Berlin boat tour is a worthwhile activity to add to your itinerary?

Of course, exploring Berlin on foot will be an incredible experience. But there’s a unique way to see the city – through a boat tour along the Spree River and its interconnected network of canals.

A Berlin river cruise not only provides a relaxing escape from your itinerary but also you get to see the iconic landmarks from a different angle.

In this article, I will share my personal experience taking a boat tour in Berlin, and which of the Berlin boat tours is worth taking.

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7 Best Boat Tours in Berlin

Here are two tours that are the most popular in Berlin – choose from the 1-hour or 2.25-hour.

1-Hour

1. Boat Tour Berlin

  • Start from Friedrichstraße or Nikolaiviertel
  • Rated 4.3/5 ⭐
2+ Hour

2. Berlin Boat Tour

  • Start from Friedrichstraße
  • 2.25 hour tour
  • Rated 4.3/5 ⭐

And, then there are others that each offer a unique experience.

3. Spree Sightseeing Tour on Electric Motor Yacht

bridge with architecture on berlin river cruises

Glide through Berlin’s landmarks on a quiet electric boat! Choose your spot: sun deck, shaded area, or front row. Enjoy drinks, snacks, and friendly service. See the government district, Berlin Palace, and more! Relax to music on your scenic journey.

This is for the traveller who likes the finer things or wants to have a more high-touch experience.

  • Rated 4.8/5 ⭐
  • 75 minutes
  • Food and drink not included
  • Reviews say:
    • sightseeing tours feel less touristy when it’s with a smaller group
    • half time is Berlin history in English and German and half time is music
  • Check pricing and availability

4. Dinner Cruise on the Spree with Prosecco

from a boat tour berlin there is the berliner dom  cathedral and long archway with bridge

Enjoy a magical Berlin dinner cruise! See iconic sights like Alexanderplatz & Museum Island while savouring a 3- or 4-course meal (vegetarian options too!). Choose your course, sip a welcome drink, relax, and watch the city lights sparkle from the river.

  • Rated 4.3/5 ⭐
  • 2.5 hour city tour
  • Included: glass of Prosecco, choose from either:
    • 3-course dinner and a second drink (Berlin Dinner Cruise option)
    • 4-course dinner and unlimited drinks (Capital Dinner Cruise option)
  • Reviews say:
    • cost and quality are aligned
    • can’t see the famous sights at night as much as you can on a day tour
  • Check pricing and availability

5. World Heritage Cruise to Potsdam

red brick bridge with autumn foliage trees on best boat tours in berlin

Sail through history on a boat cruise from Wannsee to Potsdam! Explore stunning palaces and gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Witness the beauty of Berlin’s lakes and discover fascinating stories of Prussia’s past.

See famous landmarks like Peacock Island, Cecilienhof Palace, and the Glienicke Bridge. Relax and enjoy the scenic journey through Berlin’s history!

  • Rated 4.5/5 ⭐
  • 3 hours
  • Reviews say:
    • very scenic and on the way back goes a different route
    • relaxing and off the beaten path from other things to do in Berlin
  • Check pricing and availability

6. Spree Boat Tour to Müggelsee

spree river with trees in orange, yellow and green seen from berlin boat tours

Escape the city on a relaxing boat trip! Sail down the peaceful River Spree to Müggelsee, Berlin’s biggest lake.

See charming towns and historical landmarks like the “Captain of Köpenick” statue and Köpenick Palace. Enjoy stunning views of the water and soak in the fresh air!

  • Rated 4.5/5 ⭐
  • 3.5 hour boat ride
  • Reviews say:
    • relaxed chilled vibe and a great way to experience Berlin
    • Not much sightseeing to be done from the boat but you can get off at Kopenik and have a stroll around as the boat will return around half an hour later for the return journey
  • Check pricing and availability

7. Sunset Catamaran Cruise

red brick building is a post office from 1908 seen on berlin boat tour

Soak up the golden glow of sunset as you glide along the Spree in a quiet solar catamaran, while admiring Berlin’s iconic landmarks.

This is one of the few cruises that is wheelchair accessible.

  • Rated 4.5/5 ⭐
  • 2.5-hour boat trip
  • Reviews say:
    • was expecting a livelier experience onboard the Berlin boat tour evening tour
  • Check pricing and availability

My Berlin Boat Tour Experience

from a berlin boat tour a bridge, bode museum on spree river

I hopped aboard the boat from Friedrichstrasse on a warm November day, thinking this would be a great thing to do in the autumn.

I got a front-row seat on the upper-level deck despite being the very last passenger to arrive.

I’ve been looking forward to this scenic boat tour ever since I arrived in Berlin 2 months ago, and I was bubbling with excitement as I set off to discover Berlin from a whole new perspective – the River Spree!

After admiring the city from its highest vantage point, I was excited to see it now from the water.

I love architecture, and if you do too, you’re going to love this tour.

from berlin river cruises view of large modern concrete building with ivy
from berlin boat tours view of modern concrete building with blue building
modern architecture with large round glass window seen from boat tour berlin

The Famous Sights on this 2.25 Hour City Tour

steps leading to grand parliament building with trees seen from berlin boat tours

The city unfolded before me, busy yet serene from the water’s vantage point. Here are some of the highlights of the Berlin landmarks you will see.

  • Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) – the iconic cathedral with its impressive dome and stunning architecture
  • Museum Island (Museumsinsel) – a German UNESCO Heritage site featuring five world-renowned museums like the Bode Museum, Pergamon Museum and Neues Museum
  • Berlin TV Tower (Fernsehturm) – Berlin’s tallest structure can be seen towering over buildings when looking east
  • Oberbaum Bridge (Oberbaumbrücke) – the iconic double-decker bridge with its red-brick towers connecting Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg is an Instagram-worthy photo
  • Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) – see Europe’s largest train station, an eye-catching modern architectural structure
  • Reichstag Building – the impressive German Parliament and its glass dome, symbolizing transparency in government
  • Elegant Bellevue Palace – with its graceful white facade

The informative commentary, in German over the speaker system talked about each building as you float by. For English speakers, you can get a headset, but I was challenging myself to learn as much German as possible, so I stuck with the German.

Further down, and not included in the 1-hour tour is gliding past the grand Charlottenburg Palace and the beautiful garden and park marked the halfway point of our journey.

As we turned around, the Westhafen Canal and the sprawling Berlin-Spandau Ship Canal offered a glimpse into the city’s industrial heart. Although this wasn’t the prettiest part of the tour, it was relaxing to just sit back, relax and float on by.

Returning to Friedrichstrasse, my camera was full and I was so thankful to have had this experience in Berlin.

Is it a little touristy, yes it is.

Would I do it again, you bet!

I was thrilled to have had this unique perspective of Berlin, and that’s only one the Spree could reveal.

Best Berlin Boat Tour – the 1 hour or 2.25 hour?

from best berlin boat tours view of large glass square building that is train station
train station with train seen on berlin boat trous

If you have a tight schedule in Berlin with a packed itinerary, I recommend booking the 1-hour tour, which covers all the main landmarks in the city.

If you prefer a more leisurely experience and enjoy the tranquillity of a boat, then the 2.25-hour tour is an excellent choice for a couple of hours of relaxation.

What’s included:

  • Boat cruise
  • Audio guide in 12 different languages
  • Audio commentary in German, no live guide
  • Berlin boat tours are licensed, and servers will bring you drinks and light snacks (not included)

Travel tip: If you are wanting to see as many Berlin attractions as possible, consider getting the official tourist pass called the Welcome to Berlin card. You will receive a discount on boat tours, as well as bike and walking tours!

FAQs: Berlin River Cruises

from berlin boat tours view of modern square green glass building

Can you book boat tours in advance?

Yes, it’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your preferred time and date.

Are food and drinks available on Berlin boat tours?

All of the boat tours have onboard cafes or offer pre-ordered meals, where you can order drinks and snacks as you cruise along the water.

Are Berlin boat tours wheelchair accessible?

Most of the Berlin boat tours are not wheelchair accessible or ideal for people with mobility impairments. It’s advisable to contact the tour provider in advance to discuss specific accessibility needs and alternatives.

Are there boat tours during the winter months?

Very few boat tours operate during winter, with mid-November being the time when most stop running for the season.

As a Holidaymaker

I’ve done several boat trips to other destinations like the Seine River Cruise in Paris and a Prague River Cruise and this experience is now among those favourites of mine.

If you like this tour, I suggest trying another one – the Berlin food tour. It’s a walk where you hear cool local stories and try yummy street food!

Now, head on over to my Germany Travel page where I have my full list of Berlin articles to help you plan your trip.

Thank you to VisitBerlin who gifted my husband and me with free tickets.

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