The fact that an abandoned waterpark like Blub Berlin exists in the middle of Berlin-Neukölln surprised us. We have already visited a few abandoned places in Berlin but never explored anything so easy to enter and close to the city.
Back in the ’90s, Blub was the most incredible water park Berlin had ever seen, but nowadays, the place feels more like a weird Mad Max water park than anything else.
When you enter Blub, you start wondering how anybody left this place to be destroyed like this. It seems like no expense was spared to build this water park. They used to have waterslides, fountains, a water canal, a sauna garden, and a waterslide with more than a hundred meters. And now there is nothing.
You may ask yourself why this happened; we can only say rats happened.
Everything ended in February 2005 when the water park was shut down. The sauna facilities stayed open until 2012, but, in the end, everything was closed down. The rats won their battle against the humans, and now they have the entire park for themselves.
But the weird thing is that we never saw any rats when we visited the places.
In English, Blub is short for Berliner Luft- und Badeparadies or Berlin Air and Bathing Paradise. 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 in West Berlin.
Blub’s future started to look grim once the Berlin Wall was over. The number of visitors began 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, rats were swimming in the outdoor pool, and the local authorities had to step in before it would be too late.
This was 2002, and things were never the same again. Even though Blub opened a week after being shut down by the Berlin authorities, the end was already near. The fences didn’t hold the rats out long, and nobody likes a water park with rat fences.
Would you swim in a place that cannot win a fight against rats? We wouldn’t, and apparently, many people agreed with us, and Blub declared bankruptcy the following year.
Harald Frisch, Blub’s owner, fought for a while and managed to keep the place open for a little longer, with the sauna and the fitness center available until no money was left. It was then that property developer Tobias Willmeroth bought the place and decided to turn the site 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. They plan to tear down the entire place and build over 400 luxury apartments. Supposedly, construction will start 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 will have a tough fight. At least they have the gym equipment and can get some muscles before the machines tear down Blub.
Our Visit to Blub Berlin in early 2015
Our idea was to show them a different Berlin; 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 will find Blub.
It is pretty simple to get in, and since there is even an article about the place in 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. A lot of destruction is 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 an intense flashlight, and you will be all right. The cell phone flashlight didn’t seem to work out really well there. And, if you want to see how Blub used to look a while ago, take a look at this Facebook page.
Our Last Visit to Blub Berlin in 2020
During Easter Sunday in 2020, I went to Blub one more time. This would be my first visit in over five years, and I was inquisitive to see what it looked like after all the stories I heard and read online.
The primary source of my curiosity was the fires that 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 what it looks like from the sky. But, once I got closer to the building, I realized it would be better to just enter the place. The holes in the fences were more prominent than before, and many people were inside, taking pictures of the abandoned buildings and sunbathing during that lazy afternoon.
Inside, everything was different from my previous visit. I don’t know if it was the fires of the vandals, but I know that Blub has seen better days. The wood roof you can see in the pictures above is gone, and everywhere you walk, there are small tiles that were used to cover the pools.
There are reminders of the fire all around you as well.
Blub was in bad shape when I visited the building before, but it looks like a war zone today. The windows are gone, and everything that could be removed from the building seems 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 will blame everything that happened after the fire.
Flying the drone over Blub was quite an exciting experience since it was the first time I could capture such unusual scenery. The abandoned outdoor pool contrasts with the destroyed buildings, and I believe it looks great from the top.
If you want to visit Blub, remember that this isn’t the safest of places and that debris is 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.
Exploring the Ruins: The Rise and Fall of Blub Berlin Buschkrugallee 64, 12359 Neukölln – Berlin