The fact that an abandoned waterpark like Blub Berlin exists in the middle of Berlin-Neukölln came to us a surprise. We already visited a few abandoned places in Berlin but we never explored anything so easy to enter and close to the city. Supposedly, back in the ’90s, Blub used to be the coolest water park Berlin ever saw but nowadays the place feels more like a weird Mad Max water park than anything else.
Blub is short for Berliner Luft- und Badeparadies or Berlin Air and Bathing Paradise in English. It first opened in Neukölln back in February 1985 with a cost of over 40 million Deutschmark. Blu even sponsored Hertha Berlin for three seasons back in the eighties. And, quickly, this water park became one of the coolest water parks of West Berlin.
Blub’s future start to look grim once the Berlin Wall was over. The number of visitors started to drop to the point when the rats saw the opportunity to get in. And once they were in, the rats were everywhere. There was rat shit on the swimming pools, there were rats swimming on the outdoor pool and the local authorities had to step in before it would be too late.
Would you swim in a place that cannot win a fight against rats? We wouldn’t and apparently, lots of people agree with us and Blub declared bankruptcy in the following year.
Harald Frisch, Blub’s owner, fought for a while and manage to keep the place open for a little longer with the sauna and the fitness center opened until there was no money left anymore. It was them that property developer Tobias Willmeroth bought the place and decided to turn the place into a holiday resort for families.
In 2011 his plans fell to the ground and he sold the area to a German investor group called H-Group. Their plan is to tear down the entire place and build more than 400 luxury apartments. Supposedly, construction starts in 2015 and then Blub will be gone forever. Harald Frisch still fights for his water park but nobody wants to swim in rat shit.
The city of Berlin is on the investor’s side and the rats are going to have a tough fight. At least they have the gym equipment and they can get some muscles before the machines come to tear down Blub.
Our Visit to Blub Berlin in early 2015
Fotostrasse visited Blub Berlin together with Luiza from 360 Meridianos, Kathryn from Luminoucity, Lucie from voyagesetvagabondages.com, Inari from lapsiperheenmatkat.fi, Nick and Margherita from thecrowdedplanet.com and Dennis from seetheworldinmyeyes.com.
Our idea was to show them a different Berlin and we think we managed to do it. If you want to explore the place, take the U-Bahn to Grenzallee and go for the Teltow Canal. Get into the park and you are going to find the place where Blub is. It is quite simple to get in and since there is even an article about the place on The Guardian, there is no need to avoid giving the address.
Pay attention to the glass on the floor and the holes that used to be water drains. There is a lot of destruction going on there and we don’t believe it will stop. We even saw some people trying to steal some tiles when we went there for the first time in January 2015.
If you want to explore the first floor, where you can find the gym, take a strong flash light and you will be alright. Cellphones flashlight didn’t seem to work out really well there. And, if you want to see how Blub used to look like a while ago, take a look at this facebook page.
Our Visit to Blub Berlin in 2020
During Easter Sunday, I went to Blub one more time. This would be my first visit in over five years, and I was inquisitive to see how it looked like after all the stories I heard and read online.
The primary source of my curiosity was the fires the ravaged this abandoned water park in Neukölln. I don’t remember how many fires happened, but I remember one in early 2016. I’m not sure if this was the one that destroyed the roof of the building, maybe it was another one.
My goal for Easter Sunday was to fly my drone over Blub and capture how it looks like from the sky. But, once I got closer to the building, I realized that it would be better to just enter the place. The holes on the fences are more prominent than before, and there were lots of people inside, taking pictures of the abandoned buildings and sunbathing during that lazy afternoon.
Blub was in bad shape when I visited the building before but, today, it just looks like a war zone. The windows are gone, and it seems like everything that could be taken away from the building is gone. I remember walking around where the gym used to be, and it used to be something there. Now, everything is gone. And I think I’m going to blame everything that happened after the fire.
Flying the drone over Blub was quite an exciting experience since it was the first time that I could capture such unusual scenery. The abandoned outdoor pool has an interesting contrast with the destroyed buildings, and I believe it looks great from the top. You can see in the video above.
If you want to visit Blub, remember that this isn’t the safest of places and that there is debris everywhere. Be careful, don’t destroy, don’t steal, don’t change. Leave everything in the way that you found it. Let the next person experience everything you did. Be responsible and keep the urbex culture alive.