Sport in Berlin
There is a wide variety of sporting activities carried out in Berlin, with almost every major world sport having some sort of a league in the city.
Berlin has actually been described as a ‘city of sport’ and more than 500,000 people (out of a total population of about 3 million) practice some amateur sport in one of Berlin’s more than 2,000 clubs. The most popular sports in Berlin include football, tennis, basketball, golf, cycling and swimming.
Germany has won and hosted the FIFA football world cup a number of times – with most of the matches played in Berlin, and soccer is arguably the most popular sports here. The city’s Hertha BSC is in the Germany National Football League.
The city proper is host to at least a couple of full golf courses – and at least a total of 14 other golf course in the wider Berlin metropolitan. A good spot to tee off is the Golf Zentrum at Berlin Mitten on Chausseestrasse 94-98. Another notable golf course within the confines of Berlin include Global Golf Club at Schoneberger Ufer 7 in Berlin Zehlendorf and the Berliner Golf Club in Tiergarten. Other great golf courses around Berlin include the Golf Und Country Club on Zum Weiher 44 at 14552 Wildenbrunch and the Golf Und Landclub Semlin am See on Ferchesarer Str. 8b at 14712 Rathenow OT Semlin.
The city’s Olympiastadion (Olympics Stadium) is a majestic structure, with a capacity for about 75,000 people. Originally designed as part of Germany’s bid to host the 1916 Olympics – which were gradually aborted due to war – the Olympiastadion was renovated in the 1930s by the Reich, and used to host the 1936 Olympics. The Olympiastadion has
since been used to host numerous sporting events, including some matches in the latest (2006) FIFA World Cup.
Berlin also excels in cycling – the city being home to a remarkable cyclist lane network and one of the few cities in the world that has embraced cycling enthusiastically. The city is host to many cycling races – most notably the annual Berlin 6-Day Race, which takes place in January.
Berlin is also popular for athletics, and a notable event which draws athletes from all over the world is the annual Berlin Marathon, which attracts tens of thousands of entrants from all over the globe and almost a million spectators. For more information on the Berlin Marathon, be sure to visit its official website at http://www.scc-events.com/events/berlin_marathon/2009/
Tennis is another important sport in Berlin, and the German Women’s Open tennis tournament is one of the most notable annual sporting events held in Berlin. The city has many tennis facilities, which has moved from being an ‘elite’ sport to being a mainstream one. Some of the most notable tennis playing facilities in Berlin include:
- Tennisanlage Baumschulenstrasse 1a, located – as the name suggests – on Baumschulenstrasse 1a at Treptow.
- Tennisanlage Odernheimer Strasse 42, located on Odernheimer Strasse 42 in Kopenick
- Tennisanlage am Dorint Hotel Muggelsee on Am Groben Muggelsee in Kopenic, which you can contact at 030 658 820
- TSF Freizeitcenter Spandau located at Galenstrasse 33-35
- TSB City Sports at Brandenburgische Strasse 53
If you love horse riding, Berlin has a number of great horse racing courses where you can catch some of your favorite action. These include the Trabrennbahn Karlshorst, located on Treskowallee 129 in Lichtenberg (phone number 030 50017121), and the Galloprennbahnn Hopegarten, which is on Goetheallee 1 at Dahlwitz Hopegarten (phone number 030 289 313).
If climbing is your sport, Berlin may not be the perfect place for you, as the city is built on very even ground. Still, ‘Berlinians’ have devised some artificial ways of getting around this limitation – by simulating the climbing experience via climbing halls, which are especially popular with athletes who are training for other sports, like long-distance runners. For beginners, a good place to go is ‘Magic Mountain’, located on Bottgerstrasse 20-26 in Wedding, or the T-Hall at Thiemannstrasse 1 in Neukoln. Another great climbing hall in Berlin is the Squash house at Vulkanstrasse 31-35 in Lichtenberg.
If swimming you like to swim, you can try some of Berlin’s outdoor swimming pools, including the Kinderbad Monbijou at Oranienburger Strasse 78 in Mitte or the Stranbad Wansee found at Wanseebadweg 25 in Zehlendorf. If you are in Steglitz, there is an outdoor swimming pool called Sommerbad Lichterfelde (which also has a sauna) at Hindenburgdamm 9 -10 and another one called Sommerbad am Insulaner at Munsterdamm 80.
Berlin is a well known place for wintersports like skiing and, if you happen to be in the city in winter, some of the best places to enjoy a little of this action includes the Eisbahn Spandau at Fehrbelliner Tor 10 in Spandau and the Horst Dohm Stadion at Fritz Wildung Strasse 9 in Wilmersdorf.
Skateboarding is another popular sporting activity in Berlin. Whatever corner of Berlin you happen to find yourself at, chances are that there is a skateboarding complex near you. Some of these include:
- Skateplatz Liberty Park on Senftenberger Strasse Kastanienallee in Hellersdorf
- Skateplatz Neus Ufer at Neus Ufer 6
- Tiergarten and Skatehalle Berlin, located on Revaler Strasse 99 in Friedrichshain
Of course you will need skateboards and other skating equipment. Some of the best known places you can buy (or rent) skating accessories in Berlin include:
- Inline Skate Mobil on Hauptstrasse 19 in Schoneberg
- Skating Verlheih Skipshop on Otto Suhr Allee 115 in Charlottenburg
- Kickstore found at Rosenthaler Strasse 51 in Mitte
- Strawberry Handels located on Emser Strasse 45 in Wilmersdorf