Berlin Parks and Gardens
Whether you're looking for some restful time in nature, or a lively place for the kids to play, there's sure to be the perfect green space within easy reach of any hotels in Berlin.
Best parks for views and people-watching
Berliners are a sociable bunch, and many of the city's best parks are great places to see and be seen, particularly during the summer months when green spaces become centres for sunbathing, picnics and sports.
First on this list is the Volkspark Friedrichshain, Berlin's oldest municipal park, where you can enjoy the excellent views from the two man-made hills that were constructed from rubble following the Second World War. Or, take a stroll through the Tiergarten, a former 17th century hunting ground that over the centuries was transformed into a public leisure park.
For those who love to be beside the water, serene Treptow Park offers a lovely walking path beside the Spree, as well as the opportunity to rent boats and explore the river. Meanwhile, to see how parks can transform a neighbourhood, visit the lively Mauerpark, which occupies the "death strip" that used to run along the Berlin Wall, but is now a favourite gathering place for buskers, street sellers, tourists and amateur sportspeople.
Best green spaces for kids and families
Capture the imagination of young gardeners at the Prinzessinnengärten, a charming community vegetable garden where you can buy produce or take part in family-friendly workshops to learn about urban food production. Or spend time exploring the exhibitions, geological garden and outdoor laboratory at the fascinating Britzer Garden, which also features a lake, a train ride and an enclosure full of farm animals to entertain young visitors.
On hot days, take the kids for a splash in the children's swimming pool in Monbijoupark, which is also excellent for picnics, ball games and occasional theatrical or music performances in the amphitheatre. Another local favourite is Tempelhofer Park, constructed on the space formerly occupied by Tempelhof Airport. With extensive trails for cycling, running or inline skating, it is an ideal place for the whole family to relax and stretch their legs.
Best gardens and parks for experiencing nature
If you're looking to escape the bustle of the city entirely, head to the peaceful Grunewald area to enjoy forested walks and fabulous views from the top of the Grunewaldturm. Explore the abandoned railway structures in the quiet woodlands of the Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände, or enjoy the rushing sound of the 24-metre high artificial waterfall at the heart of Viktoriapark.
Fans of horticulture will be enchanted by Berlin's Botanical Gardens and Museum, where you can view one of the world's foremost collections of plants in their greenhouses, gardens and arboretum. Or enjoy a bit of quiet contemplation while savouring the overgrown beauty of Leise Park, a relatively new green space established on the site of a former cemetery.
Best historic parks and gardens
Many of Berlin's best green spaces also boast a historic connection. For instance, Volkspark Humboldthain is named after the famed naturalist Alexander von Humboldt and includes features crafted from wartime bunkers, while the Lustgarten was established in the 16th century and over the centuries has been used for everything from growing fruits and vegetables, to military parades and political rallies.
For those who like to imagine themselves living in times past, the spectacular baroque gardens in the Schlosspark at Schloss Charlottenburg are well worth a visit. Stroll beside the carp pond and fountain, explore the orangerie and ancient woodland, or pay a visit to Luise Island while soaking up the regal atmosphere.
For more information on Berlin's parks and gardens, see VisitBerlin.de.