Although not as large as it used to be, Berlin hosts an extensive tram network. Prior to World War II, there were as much as 93 tram lines throughout the entire city. After the War, in the 1960s, the tram lines in West-Berlin were considered to be oldfashioned and therefore exchanged by modern Ubahn lines and busses. This is the reason why nowadays you will find almost all of the remaining 22 tram lines in the eastern part of the city.
It turns out that one of them, tram line 68, belongs to the world’s top 10 trolley car routes, according to the National Geographic. It operates between Sbahn station Köpenick and Alt-Schmöckwitz, an old village at the southeast border of Berlin. The line is in operation since 1912.
I really like to travel by tram, especially through neighborhoods where I have never been before, because it’s a nice opportunity to be surprised by the surroundings. So, it was about time to take this Tram 68. Would you like to join me?
Our journey starts at Sbahn station Köpenick, which is also the starting point of the tram line. From here we drive towards the beautiful old center of Köpenick: a historic town, located at the confluence of the rivers Spree and Dahme and was incorporated by Berlin in 1920. It’s a great place to have a walk along the Dahme or Spree, visit the castle, see the old Townhall, or to take a seat on one of the sunny terraces at the Schlossplatz. We’ll save it for later on our way back.
After the tram crossed the Dahme river we arrive in slightly newer Köpenicker areas. There’s nothing really special to see here, or it must be the former women’s prison in the Grünauer Strasse. We are actually riding along the Dahme river, but because of the buildings you do not notice it until we have passed Sbahnhof Grünau. From here on the journey becomes more interesting.
Grünau is an area renowned for its watersports and where wealthy people celebrated life outside the city during its glory days. After the Wende the dancing came to an end, but you can still find the remnants of an old ballhaus and the old Funkhaus. The historic rowing clubs and Strandbad Grünau are still in operation.
We pass the historic regatta center of Grünau, which was build for the olympic games in 1936. Here the canoeing and rowing events were held. You’ll find the Grünauer Watersports museum here as well. Unfortunately the entire complex is currently closed for renovation.
When we leave Grünau behind, we’ll drive over a unique track through the forest partly along the waterside. You would hardly think that officially you are still in Berlin. This is a nice point on the tram line to get off and have a walk.
The final destination of this beautiful trip is the pittoresque village Alt-Schmöckwitz, which is situated near the south-east border of Berlin. This former fishing village, along the Zeuthener See, was incorporated by Berlin in 1920 as well. It attracks many watersports tourists due to the Dahme river and lakes surrounding the village. Apart from the end of tram line 68, this is also the place where the Adlergestell ends after 11,9 km, making it the longest street of Berlin.
On our way back, we take a slightly different route. We get out at the regatta stadium and walk from here through Grünau, along the old ballhaus towards the ferry. This takes us to Köpenick at the other side of the Dahme. Here we take tram 62 back to the old center where we can finally have that drink.
Tram line 68 is definitely a unique line in Berlin. Especially the track between Grünau and Alt-Schmöckwitz is beautiful. What’s your favourite Berlin tram line?
You can hop on Tram line 68 at Sbahn stations Köpenick (S3) and Grünau (S8 S85 S46)