Sport in Berlin - The Wonderful World of Sport in Berlin

21 Feb 2024
Forgive us for starting with the most obvious of statements, but Berlin is a real sports city. As opposed to a fake sports city, right? Okay, that opening gambit doesn’t really say anything, but what we’re trying to convey is that the German capital is a real hub of sporting excitement and excellence, although football team Hertha are trying to prove the second of those terms wrong. But hey, Union are doing well, so it isn’t all bad. 

Sport and Berlin go back a long way, all the way to when the first Berliner kicked the first rock down the first alley, or something along those lines. More tangibly, Berlin’s sporting culture dates back to the energetic endeavours of Johann Friedrich Ludwig Christoph Jahn, an 18th-century born and 19th-century dead educator who established the German gymnastics movement and had a sweet beard. All very interesting, obviously, but not so relevant today. 

Jumping to the modern age, Berlin has major clubs in all of the team sports that make Germany tick, from football to ice hockey via basketball, volleyball and handball, with varying amounts of success in all. German athletes are the cream of the crop worldwide too, which is all the reason we need to mention Draisaitl and Stützle in the NHL. Can Edmonton get past the first round? Is the Ottawa rebuild really over? We’ll see, we’ll see.

Golf is also supremely popular here, with a selection of tremendous courses dotted in and around the city. Add the gyms, leisure activities, bike lanes and the rest and you’ve got yourself a sports mad city with energy to spare. Check out all you need to know about the professional clubs below, then get yourself to a game. You won’t regret it.

Sports clubs in Berlin

FC Union Berlin

Nicknamed "Die Eisernen" (The Iron Ones), 1. FC Union Berlin was (re)founded in 1966, when they went up to the first divison, the former East German Oberliga. Just one year later the celebrated their biggest success so far: winning the FDGB-Pokal against Jena. Union is traditionally the working man's Berlin team was often a counterweight to the GDR's state-influenced (and very much unloved) Dynamo club. Union is still fiercely independent, based in a charming stadium, An der Alten Försterei. After Ups and downs during the East German era, the biggest decline came after the reunifictaion with beeing relegated all the way down to the 5th league - from there it went all up! They earned promotion to the Bundesliga, the top tier of German football, for the first time in the club's history for the 2019-2020 season.
FC Union Berlin - Alte Foersterei in Berlin Koepenick ©

Hertha BSC

Hertha BSC is known as the “Old Lady” because the club, founded on July 25, 1892, is one of the oldest football clubs in Germany. Hertha has long used the Olympic Stadium as its home, is the real footballing beacon of Berlin. Unfortunately, in a city as keen on cabaret as it is calcio, Hertha have often failed to perform as well as their singing and dancing contemporaries. Indeed, there has been more than one period of exile in the second division, where they found themself again after the saison 2022/23 - the seventh relegation to the 2nd league.

Alba Berlin

Also known as the Albatrosse, Berlin's basketball club is Germany's second most successful, and has the largest fanbase; home matches easily attract 10,000 spectators. Since going pro in 1991, Alba has won the German League and the German Cup both eleven times.

Füchse Berlin

The Foxes, Berlin's handball team, is part of an old West Berlin sports club, and now plays home matches in Prenzlauer Berg's Max-Schmelling-Halle. Füchse Berlin’s search for a first Bundesliga Championship goes on. After promotion in 2007, the Foxes were able to establish themselves firmly in the league and developed into a top team in the league from 2010 onwards.

Eisbären Berlin

Originating in 1954 in East Germany's Dynamo sports club, the 'polar bears' are Berlin's popular professional ice hockey team. They won the national league 9 times, have also bagged the European Trophy. Their home matches at the Mercedes-Benz Arena are true family fests, with a festive, good-humoured atmosphere. A first title in eight years brought joy back to the Bears in the 2020/21 season. No matter what happens for the bnext years on the success level, the team will still have the best sporting merchandise in Berlin, which definitely counts for something.

BR Volleys

Berlin's professional volleyball team originates in the western district of Charlottenburg, but plays home matches at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Prenzlauer Berg. The BR Volleys have been particularly successful since the late 1990s. Since 1993 they have been 13 times German Champion and won the cupfinals six times.

Sport in Berlin

Golf Clubs

Berlin and its surrounding areas have several golf courses. With only two clubs inside the Berlin city limits, count with an hour drive in all other directions to go hit the links.
Golf clubs and courses in and around Berlin © Pexels

Marathons and Running Events
Berlin is renowned for hosting one of the world's major marathons, the Berlin Marathon.The flat and fast course has seen numerous world records set, making it a popular event for both elite and amateur runners.


Berlin has a cycling-friendly environment, and the city hosts various cycling events and races. The Berliner Fahrradschau (Berlin Bike Show) is an example of an event that promotes cycling culture. Of course the famous Berlin Six-Day Race, an event held every year in January with more then 75.000 spectators.
Cycling and Biking in Berlin © Pexels, pb

Water Sports

Berlin's numerous lakes and waterways provide opportunities for water sports enthusiasts. Sailing, rowing, and kayaking are popular activities in and around the city. There is also an artificial wave for the surfing folks who don't want to drive up to the Northsea.


Berlin has a rich history in athletics, and the city hosted the Summer Olympics in 1936. The Olympiastadion, initially built for the Olympics, remains a significant venue for sports events, including football matches and athletics competitions, like the ISTAF, the oldest athletic meeting in the world.

Fitness and Recreation

The city offers a variety of fitness centers, parks, and recreational facilities catering to people with diverse sporting interests. Public parks and green spaces provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities.

Sports Events and Festivals

Berlin hosts a range of sports events, from local competitions to international tournaments. The city's sports calendar includes diverse activities that bring people together to celebrate their passion for sports. To have the best overview , go the city's calendar here.

Overall, Berlin's dynamic sports scene, coupled with its modern infrastructure and diverse offerings, contributes to its reputation as a city that embraces and celebrates sports in various forms.

Sport in Berlin

18 & 9-holes and 6 practice holes, 22mins, €55/68.


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