Myself and Finneas went for a bike trip to Vogelsang (Brandenburg, Germany). Located near the towns of Zehdenick and Templin, this covert base was occupied by the Soviets up until the collapse of the union.
Hosting over 15,000 people and 500 different buildings, this base was prepared to destroy any sizeable city – what with its nuclear arsenal 20x as powerful as Little Boy.
Please read all about Vogelsang on the AbandonedBerlin site; the author has done an amazing job with photos, exploration, and history – far better than I could do here.
This post here is more about my personal experience, navigating with the Vogelsang .GPX route, and other tips & tricks you might like.
Getting to Vogelsang
You have a few options here. In my case, I went by bike both times. You can of course drive or take public transport, but the area is so large that you’ll really want a bike in order to get from building to building and site to site.
Please let me know if the links to the .GPX routes break – DynamicWatch sometimes does that.
Route 1 – The fast way
Smooth, fast, and easy to navigate, route 1 will take you along paved roads and cycling paths in a safe, convenient, and quick manner. A few supermarkets will be passed along the way for re-supply and whatnot. This quick Berlin > Vogelsang bike route is 65.6km in a nearly straight line.
Link to the fast Berlin to Vogelsang .GPX route
Route 2 – The scenic way
All bike lane, no cars, and beautiful park, forest, and riverside cruising – we took the scenic way on the second trip and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Starting from Berlin and ending in Vogelsang is a 85.5km route. We took many hours for this as we cycled as a large group.
Personally, I like the scenic way a lot more, however the fast way is great if you’d like to shave a couple hours off your total trip time.
Link to the scenic Berlin to Vogelsang .GPX route
Camping near Vogelsang
We stayed overnight – a 3 hour ride in the morning left us ~6 hours to explore the place which left us satisfied but obviously missing out on a lot of what’s there. We camped nearby the river but be aware of the tall grass, plentiful nettles, and tons of mosquitos once their season comes around.
The water is slow running and not great for drinking unfiltered & untreated. It’s alright for a swim but not the cleanest.
Be respectful, be discreet, and clean up after yourselves.
Sites worth seeing at Vogelsang
Many of the popular places like the gymnasium and theatre room are easily accessible. Due to this there is a lot of casual tourism, graffiti, and tags. Still, they’re very cool and some of the graffiti is fascinating.
The nuclear bunkers are harder to get to, especially by foot. Once you know how to find them they’re quite easy, but Finneas and I spent a long time bushwhacking through dense forest and intentionally fellen trees to get to the spots.
I am hesitant to post the GPS co-ordinates publicly online, so please send me a message on any social media or drop a comment and I’ll be glad to send you the details to finding the sites.
It is possible to squeeze into the green nuclear bunker (seen in the upcoming video) and even I at 6’3″ 180lbs (191cm 80kg) was able to (acrobatically) enter. The yellow one has no entryway unfortunately and is sealed with steel.
Beyond that, there are tons of little buildings and points of interest scattered all around – decrepit buildings, former firing ranges, and all sorts of small anomalies all over.
Warning: There is possibly live ammunition & explosives in less-trafficked areas & open fields. There were a couple of area where we did not walk for slight fear of danger.
Other things to know about exploring Vogelsang
Headlamp! A good one at that – a phone flashlight will not suffice and even a weak handlamp is not adequate for safety and visibility in certain places. A strong flashlight or headlamp is a great idea. In the first few seconds of my Nitecore HC65 video review you can see the power and illumination is very nice to have in the large bunkers.
Food & water – The next sizeable supermarket is in Zehdenick – a round trip will take ~1.5 hours, so keep that in mind.
Shoes – There is a ton of broken glass, metal, and strange debris all over. I use tough barefoot shoes and Finneas even wore bike cleats the whole time. You can wear anything but I recommend hiking shoes.
Security & other – The entire place is not abandoned entirely and last time I went it’s clear that there has been some work going on. Perhaps the place may become a tourism hub at some point. There was logging going on and I even spotted a security vehicle.
Bikepacking to Vogelsang is absolutely worth it for the pleasant ride there and the ‘living museum’ from the Soviet era. A strange and discomforting place – once you take in the intention of this place, it may leave you feeling a bit disturbed.
There are so many places and sites to visit that even with two trips there, I still haven’t seen all that I want to see. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are some place which have been hidden entirely and waiting for new explorers to find. Who knows!
Any questions about biking to Vogelsang or about the journey please just ask and I’ll be glad to help out! Check out the other articles on my site or even considering donating to help keep it alive 🙂