Friday, 3 August 2012

Berlin's best parks

Berlin is not short of parks, and it's incomparable in terms of its foliage. Expect more than flat terrains, with a variation of flora and fauna, and even outdoor parties!

  •  Tempelhofer Park
On first look, you may think who the hell would want to sit on an airport runway? Well, never fear, it is actually an abandoned airport, which makes it all the more unique. This space is a haven for skaters, bikers, roller-bladers, anything with wheels. Just think, there were 40 inch tyres going at 150mph at one time!

Now there are people in stripy aprons cooking up a storm with portable barbeques, watching sports on giant screens, wind and kite surfing, and planes still hang around the area! Party revellers like to hang around the area to sweat off a hangover.

Tempelhofer Park 
Platz der Luftbrücke, 12101 Berlin
Phone: +49 302 8018 162
Transport: Bus U Platz der Luftbrücke: 104, 248, N42, N6. U- Bahn Platz der Luftbrücke

  • Mauerpark
(Daniel Antonaccio)
Mauer literally translates into 'wall', which basically is how this park came into existence. It was formerly a part of the Death Strip and Berlin Wall. In a completely different fashion, the park now hosts great music with a mini ampitheatre in the centre and people lugging around instruments and sound boxes in trollies. The Bearpit Kareoke is sadly under threat, as is anything that is free in Berlin, so enjoy it while it lasts. 

The Max Smelling Halle stadium for sports events is also held nearby. And you can stroll around on Sunday to catch all the vintage goodies at the flea market.

Eberswalder Straße/Schwedter Straße, 10437 Berlin

  • Treptower Park
This place is known for its Soviet Union Memorial in south central Berlin, so whilst you're lapping up the foliage, you can soak up a bit of history at the same time. It commemorates the 50,000 Soviet soldiers who fell in the Battle in Berlin in April–May 1945. It was opened four years after the war ended on May 8, 1949.

The coolest bit of Treptower, is the Spreepark section. In the 1960s', it was an entertainment park known as Kulturpark Plänterwald. It has been abandoned, but still has some remains of attractions on-site.

12435 Berlin Treptow
Contact: kontakt@treptowerpark
Phone: +49302 50025
Transport: S-Bahn Bahnhof Treptower Park

  • Tiergarten
Okay, so we covered a bit of Berlin's imperial park on 'Day Two' of the tour. But it's worth reiterating that Tiergarten is the largest park in the city.  Forested areas, lakes, fields of flowers, streamlets, meadows and large stretches of grass turn this part of former West-Berlin into one of the cities most appealing green spaces. 

While I was there, it was also used as the main spot for marathons, the equivalent to Hyde Park in London.

Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde
Am Tierpark 125, Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 513 8141      
Transport: Bus 100, 187, 200, or 341. S-Bahn Tiergarten

  • Görlitzer Park
Indoor minigolf Berlin
It's not the prettiest park, but it's not around for that reason. This once railway station (1867-1951) and home to British anarchist art communes, is now a seasonal snowball stadium and a full-time run-down park. It's a bohemian rhapsody for all hippies to enjoy themselves.

And at night, it becomes an ultraviolet underground crazy golf area. Located underneath Café Isa Mitz in Kreuzberg's Görlitzer Park, this mini-golf course has become a favourite word-of-mouth success.

Görlitzer Park
Görlitzer- / Wiener Straße, 10997 Berlin

  • Sanssouci Park, Potsdam
Sanssouci is the name of the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in Potsdam, just on the outskirts of Berlin. It's like the Versaille of Germany. The baroque-style palace is surrounded by a panoramic vista of the garden. A series of architectural and landscaping masterpieces were built within a single space in 1745 to 1747.

Other highlights include the Chinese tea house with the floor plan in the form of a cloverleaf and the Orangery, with its Raphael Hall. The Evangelical Church of Peace and the dragon house is worth a peek.

Potsdam - Sanssouci palace 
14469 Potsdam
Phone: +49331 96 94 20 2
Transport: Potsdam Park Sanssouci railway station, located on the Berlin-Potsdam-Magdeburg line.

The palace is considered the major work of Rococo architecture in Germany. And surprise, surprise - it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

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