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Berlin's Best

Parks and Green Spaces


Berlin's Best Parks and Green Spaces

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are planning a trip to Berlin, but one of the major attractions of the city is the number and variety of green spaces there are to explore. Whether you’re visiting at the height of summer or fancy a winter stroll, Berlin has parks, lakes and woodland… indeed, this is a major European city that has its own forestry department!

Depending on what you are interested in, there is a green space to suit every mood, whether it is a picnic in the park, an urban exploration of rewilded industrial spaces, or historical sights tucked away between open-air swimming pools and rose gardens. Here are some of our favourites:


A short walk up the hill from The Circus, Mauerpark occupies a stretch of the former no-man’s land that was part of the Berlin Wall, dividing the city into East and West between 1961 and 1989. Since the Wall came down it has been transformed into one of Berlin’s favourite green spaces. There’s a flea market on Sundays, regular karaoke sessions, basketball courts and a skatepark. If you’re travelling with kids, there’s also a petting zoo at the north end.

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Before the Mauerpark was a park (and part of the Berlin Wall) it was a railway yard, and this repurposing of places is something of a feature of Berlin’s green spaces. The mother of them all is Tempelhofer Feld, a huge park south of the city centre that was once the airfield of Tempelhof airport. Today the runways and taxiways are used by cyclists, joggers and rollerbladers, and the sheer size of the place makes it a popular spot for kitesurfing. It’s also home to some rare bird species, including goshawks. 

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Once the royal hunting grounds, just outside the city walls, Tiergarten is Berlin’s Central Park. Walk along Unter den Linden and through the Brandenburg Gate and you’ll find yourself in an urban forest. Dotted here and there are lakes and meadows, the lovely Cafe am Neuen See biergarten and, at the western end, Berlin’s Zoo. There are lots of historical sights in or close to the park, including the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the architectural showpiece Hansaviertel neighbourhood and the Soviet War Memorial. 

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Down in the south east of the city you’ll find the neighbourhood of Köpenick and the Müggelsee. Surrounding this huge lake – great for boat trips or swimming in the warmer months – you’ll find a forest with hiking and biking trails, including the range of hills known as the Müggelberge. There are cafes and restaurants on the water, and a bathing beach with lifeguards and changing facilities. 

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The Volkspark Humboldthain is a few stops north of The Circus on the U-Bahn at Gesundbrunnen station, and is one of Berlin’s most underrated parks. A mix of woodland trails, meadows for sun-bathing, an open-air swimming pool and a rose garden all have their specific charms. And as so often in Berlin, you are never far from the stories of the city. The huge Flak Tower in the north of the park is a remnant of the city’s air defences during World War II. Today, Berliner Unterwelten offers tours inside the tower, while the city’s rock climbers have made it Berlin’s very own North Face in one of the flattest parts of Germany. 

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One of Berlin’s newest parks, this used to be a huge railway yard and depot before it was left to allow nature to do its thing. Today you can wander trails through the silver birch trees and other flora that have retaken the space, spying out the old railway lines in the undergrowth. A huge water tower remains, as well as a steam locomotive, and the old engine shed is used for events – including a creative Christmas market during the festive season. A wonderful place to see how nature can recover and reclaim even the most industrial of spaces.

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In the eastern district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf you’ll find a place that is well worth the tram ride from The Circus, and a must for garden lovers everywhere. This huge park is actually a collection of gardens from around the world, including Japanese, Korean, Balinese and other horticultural highlights. You can easily spend a day exploring the different garden areas, take a trip on the cable car and grab a beer at one of the cafes. Unlike most of the other parks and green spaces in our list, there is an entry fee – see the website here

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Fancy a stroll by the river? The Treptower Park stretches out along the banks of the River Spree and is a great spot for strolling, riding your bike or renting a pedalo to get out on the river. Boat trips leave from the quayside by the S-Bahn station, and don’t miss the historic Zenner biergarten and restaurant, recently refurbished and reimagined as an arts and culture space. Treptower Park is also home to the largest of Berlin’s Soviet War Memorials – a striking and awe-inspiring sight.

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