July 25, 2022 6 min read

Paddle Boarding Germany

People swimming in an infinity pool near berlin

Are you heading to Germany? If so, you better pack your paddle board! The western European country is home to numerous rivers, lakes, and beaches which make amazing paddle boarding destinations for paddlers of all abilities. 

Today, we’re going to get into some of the best places to paddle board in Germany so you can plan accordingly for your next trip. 

Alster River

Water fountain on Alster river

The Alster River is a slow-flowing river that winds its way through the city of Hamburg. Although some areas of the Alster meet with urban landscapes, other parts are untouched and at one with nature. 

Throughout history, two artificial lakes were created from the river, both of which also make great inflatable paddle board locations. These lakes consist of the larger Außenalster and the smaller Binnenalster.


Molecule man at the river

In our opinion, there is no better way to view a vibrant city like Berlin than from the water and one of the most mentionable paddling destinations in Berlin is the Badeschiff.

The Badeschiff is in the River Spree and is essentially a submerged shipping container transformed into a swimming pool. Paddlers can paddle their way around the pool and even stop off for a quick dip once the paddle is over. 

From Badeschiff, you can paddle under the Oberbaumbrücke (a double-deck bridge crossing), past the Molecule Man (a huge aluminum structure), and over to the Insel der Jugend.


Yellow boat at chiemsee tranquil freshwater

Chiemsee's tranquil freshwater lake is located in Bavaria and is often called the Bavarian Sea. Chiemsee was carved out by a glacier over 10,000 years ago and has three main islands dotted throughout the water. 

If you’re feeling especially active, you can choose to paddle board over to Herreninsel, Fraueninsel, or Krautinsel and explore their unique characteristics. 

  • Herreninsel: Herreninsel is the largest of the three islands and is home to historical architecture in the form of a palace built by King Ludwig II in 1878. The palace was designed with the Palace of Versailles in mind, and once on the island, you can take a tour of the many rooms and extensive grounds. 
  • Fraueninsel: If you enjoy a beer garden, head over to Fraueninsel to grab a quick refreshment mid-paddle in the old town. Come wintertime; it even hosts a Christmas Market, so if the lake isn’t completely frozen, chuck on a dry suit and paddle on over. For more information on appropriate cold weather SUP clothes, check out our What to Wear for Cold Weather Paddling Gear Guide.
  • Krautinsel: Krautinsel is the smallest of all three islands and is the only one that is uninhabited. It got its name “Krautinsel,” which means “cabbage island” during the middle ages as the land was cultivated for cabbages. As it doesn’t have any restaurants, bars, or shops on the island, it’s best to pack a water bottle and some snacks before heading over.

Because Chiemsee is an extremely popular place for stand up paddling, you can hire paddle boards, book into SUP tours and even take SUP yoga classes with one of the many rental companies in the area. For more information on SUP yoga, check out What is SUP Yoga and Why You Should be Doing It.

Großer Plöner See

White castle Großer Plöner See

SUP anglers will have a field day at the Großer Plöner See Lake as guests can acquire a permit that allows them to fish for pike, eel, and tench. For an additional fee, you can even paddle board and fish at night so make sure you pack some paddle board lights and remind yourself of how to safely SUP during the night.

Großer Plöner See is the largest lake in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and is not only a haven for fish but also other wildlife species.

Throughout the eastern and western parts of the lake are shallow waters which in 1992 were designated as a nature reserve. This reserve is part of the reason why many bird species such as the white-tailed eagle, greylag goose, and goldeneye breed and shelter here. 

With more than 20 islands scattered throughout the water, stand up paddle boarders can explore, paddle, and take in the natural beauty of Großer Plöner See.

Lake Eibsee

Crystal clear water of lake Eibsee

If crystal clear green-tinted waters are your thing, then you need to head to Lake Eibsee. Lake Eibsee is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the Bavarian Alps. And in all honesty, we definitely agree. 

The fishing season at Lake Eibsee runs from May 1st to October 31st, and all you SUP anglers can cast a line in the hopes of catching pike, trout, and carp. Apart from a few hiking trails close to the lake, there isn’t much else to do but paddle and relax. Sounds dreamy, right?

Lake Schluchsee

Glacial-fed reservoir of Lake Schluchsee

One of the most pristine lakes in Germany is the glacial-fed reservoir of Lake Schluchsee. Lake Schluchsee was formed during the last ice age and is surrounded by mountain ranges, beaches, and breathtaking alpine scenery.

It is the largest lake in Germany’s Black Forest and is also the highest lake above sea level throughout the entire country. This higher elevation means the waters in Lake Schluchsee are cool year-round, so it may be wise to pack some courage or a wetsuit

As I’m sure you can imagine, the crystal clear waters at the lake have made it a hot spot for water sports, which of course, includes paddle boarding

The beaches that encompass Lake Schluchsee not only provide an excellent hang-out spot post paddle, but they’re also ideal launching points for stand up paddle boards and other personal watercraft. Because the beaches provide a gradual slope into the water, beginner paddlers can even practice their paddling skills before heading out into deeper areas. 

Lake Titisee

Lake titisee

Another glacial lake in the Black Forest is the beautiful Lake Titisee which was also formed during the ice age. The waters at the lake are in close proximity to parks, walking trails, shops, and restaurants, so you can not only enjoy some fresh air but also explore what the local town of Titisee-Neustadt has to offer.

Fishing is allowed on Lake Titisee throughout certain times of the year, so SUP anglers can cast their lines and fish for pike, perch, and trout. If you’re new to SUP fishing, we put together a handy beginners guide to paddle board fishing, and we also covered everything you’d need to fly fish from your SUP.

Lake Walchen

Aerial view of Lake Walchen

Lake Walchen is one of Germany’s deepest and largest alpine lakes. It’s extreme depth of 630 feet is due to the tectonic valley the lake fills. If you check out the rock faces on the northwestern shore, you can clearly see the arrangement of rock layers. 

Calcium carbonate in the water turns it a turquoise-green color which gives paddlers visibility in the water of 8 to 10 meters. Over 500 years ago the first fish species were introduced to the lake and now both aquatic and land-based animal species have flourished, making it a great wildlife watching destination.

Lake Walchen even has car, boat, and aircraft wrecks which have become popular scuba diving sites, so if you’re heading over to Lake Walchen, pack your snorkel gear and swim down to the lake’s hidden gems.

Rhine River

Rhine river, Germany

The Rhine River just so happens to be the longest river in Germany, and due to its 1,230km length, is a haven for stand up paddle boarding. Starting off in the Swiss Alps, the Rhine River flows through western Germany and eventually empties into the North Sea.

We can split the Rhine River into three major sections: the Upper Rhine, Middle Rhine, and Lower Rhine. You can choose to stand up paddle board in all three sections, but in our opinion, you should head on down to the middle part of the Rhine. 

Rhine Gorge is a world heritage site in the middle section of the Rhine and gives paddlers uninterrupted views of the steep tree-covered hills that tower over the calm river waters.

Steinhuder Meer

Silhouette of a boat at Steinhuder Meer

Steinhuder Meer is the perfect place for kids to learn how to paddle board as the waters are calm and have an average depth of 4.4 feet. While paddling at Steinhuder Meer, you can head over to the two man-made islands: Wilhelmstein and Badeinsel Steinhude.

Badeinsel Steinhude is the most popular of the two because of its sandy beach that was built in 1975 with sand retrieved from the lake. Wilhelmstein, on the other hand, previously was used as a military fortress, military school, and a state prison. You can still paddle over and witness the old building, but don’t worry, there are no longer prisoners there. 

Interactive Map


🏆 Where Is the best place to paddle board in Germany?

Germany is home to some incredible waterways, from inner-city rivers to vast crystal clear glacial lakes. Here are some of the top places to paddle board in Germany: 

  • Alster River
  • Berlin
  • Chiemsee
  • Großer Plöner See
  • Lake Eibsee
  • Lake Schluchsee
  • Lake Titisee
  • Lake Walchen
  • Rhine River
  • Steinhuder Meer

👍 Can I take my own paddle board to Germany?

Of course! Although you can take both hard boards and inflatable SUPs on planes, we highly recommend opting for the inflatable variety. 

Airlines charge a massive premium for oversized luggage, AKA hard top paddle boards and surfboards, so the cost of transporting your board from your location to Germany could be quite high. Inflatable boards, however, can be packed into a checked-in size suitcase which skips that oversized baggage premium and allows you to transport your SUP to wherever the wind takes you.

Jay Regan
Jay Regan

Chief Paddler - Jay has been surfing and paddling for over 5 years. When he's not dreaming up new stuff at GILI, he's writing articles about paddling, out paddling, or often traveling.

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