Autumn is upon us and even though we might not be able to profit from it as much as other years, there are still activities we can do. One of them is taking a walk, which is not only beautiful, yet also very important for our mental wellbeing. Being stuck inside does not exactly do wonders for your mind so going out might help to keep you going. Leave your phone at home, keep your eyes open and try to be fully in the moment while you can. Autumn is the perfect time to do so, as temperatures are still bearable and the colored foliage offers some great views. Of course you can go out to the countryside to take a walk, yet city parks also offer a great escape from your daily worries. We selected the five coolest parks in Berlin to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
One of the most famous parks in Berlin and not without reason. Tiergarten is very easy to reach (it starts just in front of the Brandenburger Tor, one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city) and is not only huge but also very varied. The history of the park goes back all the way to the sixteenth century, when it was founded as a hunting area for the Elector of Brandenburg. Since then it underwent quite some changes, one of the most important ones taking place at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The park was then designed as an enormous scenic garden. This meant that lots of footpaths, ponds, thematic little gardens, small forests etc. were established, giving it its varied outlook that is still visible today. Nowadays, visitors can stroll through the huge domain with a surprise hiding behind every single corner. You can even rent a small boat if you want to enjoy the ponds and the Zoo is located at the outer corner of the park, making it a perfect day-combo.
2. Treptower Park
South-East of the inner city, you will find Treptower Park. It is located next to the River Spree and also encloses the former Spreepark, a now abandoned amusement park which will hopefully be restored over the next years. Treptower Park was the location of the Great Industrial Exposition of Berlin in 1896 yet although the once famous event that was held here, it is now not very well-known with tourists. Which is actually part of its charm. Here, you can walk around without constantly encountering other tourists, only being disturbed by locals going for a walk or a run. Make sure to go and see the Soviet War Memorial located inside the park, which makes for a very impressive sight. It was built to the design of the Soviet architect Yakov Belopolsky to commemorate the 80.000 Soviet soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin during 1945. The scale of the memorial is absolutely insane and will make you silent, at least for a minute or two.
3. Tempelhofer Feld
The history of this enormous oasis amidst the city is quite unique. Once, Tempelhofer Feld was actually an airport with planes taking off every single day. When the airport shut down, the city decided not to turn it into a large building ground but to maintain the open space as a park. The park now covers 355 hectares of the site of the former Tempelhof Airport, including its buildings and surrounding land. That makes it the largest inner city open space in the world and Berlin’s largest city park. Here, you will find no trees, just one big open grass field with the old landing strips still visible and now used by locals to go for a bike ride, take a run, go roller-skating and so on.
4. Volkspark Friedrichshain
From the biggest park in Berlin we go over to the oldest one: Volkspark Friedrichshain. The Berlin city council decided to construct it in 1840 on the occasion of the centennial of Frederick the Great’s ascension to the Prussian throne. The park was developed on the location of a former vineyard and most of it was designed by Johann Heinrich Gustav Meyer, landscape architect and city park director. The Volkspark was hugely affected throughout the years and not the least by the Second World War, yet the Fairy Tale Fountain (Märchenbrunnen), built in 1913, has stood the test of time and is still as wonderful as back then. If you are visiting the park, do not forget to stop by the flak tower. It is one of the remaining anti-aircraft gun blockhouse towers constructed by Nazi Germany and a silent yet impressive witness of the past.
5. Volkspark Humboldthain
As the name might already suggest to some of you, this park was named after the natural historian Alexander von Humboldt. Works began on the 14th of September 1869, exactly hundred years after the birth of von Humboldt. Since then, things have definitely changed. Two flak towers were added during the Second World War and are still visible – even climbable – today. They were actually turned into something positive, allowing visitors to have a splendid view over the city. Other than that, the rose garden is definitely worth a visit and so are the open air swimming pools located in the park. There even is a tiny vineyard producing about 200 bottles a year – who would have thought Berlin could be a wine city?