Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe, with over 2,500 parks of various sizes, as well as forests, lakes and gardens. All in all, 35% of Berlin’s land is devoted to green spaces. Going to the park in Berlin is a great way to spend the day, whether it’s to get away from the more hectic sides of the city, to appreciate nature, or to take part in a market or music event.
Flowers in the Tiergarten, the most famous Berlin Park. Image Ian YVR via Flickr
Possibly the most famous of the parks in Berlin is the Tiergarten, a 520-acre park in the central Mitte district. On the edge of the park are the Holocaust memorial, the Brandenburg Gate, and the enormous Reichstag building. Wandering through the park itself, you’ll see families picnicking and barbecuing in the summer, and plenty of snow in the winter. There are a few statues and memorials around the park (to Soviet soldiers, for example, and to Roma and homosexual victims of the Holocaust), as well as lakes and rivers, and plenty of bike trails. In general, a good local tip for making the most of summer in Berlin is to walk around with a small picnic blanket, and to sit down and relax in any green space you find.
Mauerpark used to be part of the infamous ‘Death Strip’ of the Berlin Wall, and there is still a heavily-graffitied 30-meter long section of the wall in the middle of the park. Today, the park is full of life, with musicians performing in the ‘Bearpit’, jugglers and street artists, and bustling beer gardens. On Sundays, the park transforms into a huge fleamarket, where you can buy pretty much anything you can imagine, from old bicycles to East German memorabilia, and there is a loud and fun karaoke session held in the Bearpit.
Gardens of the World
The Chinese Garden at Gardens of the World. Image katling via Flickr
The Gardens of the World are a beautiful series of gardens in Erholungspark, each representing the botanical traditions of a different far-off country. You’ll find a Chinese teahouse next the meticulously-ordered Garden of the Reclaimed Moon; four rivers flowing out of the paradise-like Moroccan Oriental Garden; a French-style maze and labyrinth; and the Bali garden, with a series of shrines and pavilions. Entrance to the park costs 3 Euros.
Tempelhofer Feld Park
For a slightly different park experience, check out the abandoned airport at the the Tempelhofer Feld park. This huge open area is used today for picnics, cycling and kite-flying. You’ll see children and adults running through the park on windy days with a whole assortment of professional and hand-made kites, as well as the Berlin trend of attaching kites to skateboards and racing down the empty runways.