Berlin is a fantastic place to include in your spring tour to Eastern Europe. Its parks are the best (and the cheapest) places to enjoy the outdoors and leave the worries behind. As soon as the winter is over and the spring shows itself in the warm sunbeams and lovely buds, Berlin’s citizens and tourists alike go to one of the city’s much loved 2,500 parks and green spaces. Whether you’re alone or with a group, this is the place to come to relax, take a walk, chat with a friend over a cup of coffee or a beer, have a picnic, and enjoy the beauty and grandiosity of nature.
Located in the Tiergarten Ortsteil and surrounded by the river Spree, the Hansaviertel, and the Zoological Garden, the Tiergarten is Berlin’s most famous inner-city park and one of Germany’s largest urban gardens, the creation of which started back in 1527. Have a picnic in the meadows, among groves of trees, next to a mossy pond, and then take a walk down the shaded paths and find various sculptures of animals and historical figures, such as the statues dedicated to Queen Louise, Frederick William III, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. You’ll also see the Beethoven-Haydn-Mozart Memorial, the Großer Stern (Great Star) square with its Siegessäule (Victory Column), the Soviet War Memorial, the Reichstag, the Bundestag, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma victims of National Socialism, and the Potsdamer Platz.
Located on the border of the Berlin neighborhoods of Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg, stands the oldest public park in Berlin, officially opened in 1848. Since the late 19th century, people have gathered in this lovely spot of pure nature to relax, exercise, or have a picnic. Be sure to check out the Märchenbrünnen, or The Fairy Tale Fountain, which encompasses 106 stone sculptures of animals and characters from folklore and fairy tales, such as those by the Brothers Grimm. You’ll see the Peace Bell that used to be a part of the Japanese Pavilion constructed in 1989.
During the extensive renovations conducted between 1995 and 2004, the new sports complex for beach volleyball, rock climbing, skateboarding, and cycling was built. The park is home to numerous memorials, such as the monuments to Frederick the Great, the March Revolution of 1848, the 1918 Red Sailors’ Revolution, the Memorial to Polish Soldiers and German Anti-Fascists, and the Gedenkstätte der 3000 Interbrigadisten. The park has several playgrounds, many sunbathing areas, a pond, tennis courts, a wading pool, and many jogging paths, while a toboggan run is opened in winter.
The Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island) is a historic park-island in the Havel River and a little paradise, encompassing a large forest, lawns, and fields. It was originally called Kaninchenwerder (Rabbit Island) in the late 17th century, after its rabbit breeding station. The island is a nature reserve for wild birds, and it is part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island wasn’t used for about a hundred years, but in 1793, it was obtained by the Prussian king Frederick William II who constructed there the famous white brick palace, Pfaueninsel Castle, for himself and his mistress. Also, a small palace was built as a summer residence, an English garden, and a dairy shaped like a gothic revival church. Frederick William III formed a menagerie, housing various exotic animals, including alligators, buffalos, kangaroos, monkeys, chameleons, wolves, eagles, lions, lamas, bears, beavers, and peacocks. Frederick William IV relocated all the animals to the Berlin Zoo in 1842. Today, you can see a few peacocks roaming free, and other native and exotic birds in captivity. Other popular sites here include the Kavaliershaus, the Memorial Temple for Queen Luise of Prussia, the Frigate Shelter, the Column Fountain, etc.
Opened in 1987, Erholungspark Marzahn is a public park in Marzahn, one of the city’s underappreciated districts. The Erholungspark and its Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World) form a huge haven of serenity and multiculturalism. The Gardens of the World include the authentic Japanese, Korean, Balinese, Middle Eastern, Italian Renaissance gardens, and the largest Chinese garden in Europe, the Chinese Garden of the Recovered Moon. One of the few functioning Hindu temples of Balinese architecture built outside Indonesia, Pura Tri Hita Karana, is located here. Some of the amazing things to enjoy here include: tea ceremonies in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese tea houses, lessons in horticulture and gardening from around the world, beautiful plants, calming streams, the maze garden, the hedge labyrinth, the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Chinese Moon Festival, and Viva la Musica, while the cableway provides a bird’s-eye view of the gardens. Importantly, the Gardens of the World offer a free escort service for visitors with visual impairments and mobility limitations. Wheelchairs can be borrowed free of charge, and accessible toilets are available too.
Topics: World Travel