Berlin is one of the biggest cities in Europe, but it’s not a concrete jungle. In fact, Berlin has more parks than any other European city! Big or small, the Berlin parks are the perfect place to relax on a sunny day or go for a stroll.
If you’re visiting Berlin in the summer months, you’ll notice that everyone seems to be hanging out in the many parks. Whether they are reading a book or having a BBQ, Berliners all head out as soon as the sun shines.
So on your next trip to Berlin, do as the locals so and spend some time exploring the green spaces. If you need a recommendation, these are the best parks in Berlin in my opinion:
No park embodies the spirit of Berlin better than Tempelhofer Feld. This park has a unique history. In the 1920s, an airport was built here, at that time the biggest in Europe. The Nazi’s rebuilt it in its current look between 1936 and 1941. However, it became a symbol for freedom with airlifts of GDR refugees after the war
In 2008, the airport closed permanently, and the space was reclaimed by the city for public use. That’s how it became a park again, despite many proposals for building projects. At times, festivals and events are held here. The old airport building is now open for guided tours and special events.
Tempelhof is especially popular among skaters, who love skating on the 6 km of old runways, and dog-walkers. Due to the limited shade, it gets very hot here in the summer, but on summer evenings, you can enjoy a beautiful sunset at Tempelhofer Feld. The locals all flock here with drinks and snacks to hang out and play music.
How to reach the park: walk from Ub-bahn station Bodingstraße or S-bahn station Hermannstraße.
Tiergarten is the most famous park in Berlin. Right in the middle of the city, Tiergarten is a lovely place to go for a stroll. The name literally means “animal garden” and refers to the zoo that is located in a corner of the park.
It was originally a royal hunting ground, but turned into a park for the public in the 17th century. The park was badly damaged during WWII and the aftermath, as desperate Berliners cut down the remaining trees for fuel. It was then replanted in 1945 with donated trees from all over the country.
Tiergarten Park starts opposite Brandenburger Tor on the east side and end at Zoologischer Garten on the west side. In the middle stands the Siegessäule (Victory Column). The park is big, with a lot of fun corners such a rose garden, memorials, beer gardens, and even a nudist area!
How to reach the park: S-bahn station Tiergarten on the west side of the park, or U+S bahn station Brandenburger Tor on the east side.
Another park that everyone in Berlin knows is Mauerpark. As the name suggests, it was built along the former Berlin Wall and opened in 1994, 5 years after it fell.
I would say it’s one of the ugliest, but also one of the most popular parks in the city. Here, you won’t find a particularly elegant design with pretty trees and flowers. The park is mostly built for function.
On sunny days, it’s full of people hanging out. Especially on weekends when the famous Mauerpark flea market takes place. Another popular event is karaoke on Sundays, which has just picked back up since the pandemic.
How to reach the park: trams M2 and M10 stop at the south side of the park.
Unlike Mauerpark, Volkspark Friedrichshain was definitely built for aesthetics. It’s Berlins oldest public park and a beautiful shady spot to spend a sunny afternoon. People come to Volkspark Friedrichshain to relax, play sports or have a BBQ. There is even an outdoor cinema that occasionally shows English language films.
Volkspark Friedrichshain offers plenty to see if you take the time to walk around. There are two hills on top of former bunkers and a stream with little waterfalls. Fairy tale lovers should check out the Märchenbrunnen, which depict Grimm fairy tales. There are also many memorials throughout the park. If you forgot to bring your own snacks, stop at Café Schönbrunn for lunch or a coffee.
How to reach the park: trams M4, M5, M6, M8, and M10 run along the park.
Treptower Park is one of the biggest parks in Berlin. It is located on the east side of the city, along the river Spree. It’s 84 hectares, with lots of different things to see.
The biggest sight in Treptower Park is the Soviet War Memorial. It contains a cemetery for Soviet soldiers and a huge brutalist statue. Next to it is an observatory, called Archenhold Sternwache.
But even just strolling the path along the Spree makes for a fun outing. You’ll pass different lawns and gardens and eventually get to the Insel der Jugend. This little island can be reached by a bridge. Here you can rent boats to take on the river.
If you get hungry or thirsty, there are plenty of gastronomy options in the park. I highly recommend stopping for a beer at Zenner Biergarten near Insel der Jugend.
How to reach the park: Sbahn station Treptower Park
Now for a bit of a wildcard: Humboldthain Park. Not many people in Berlin will name this as one of their favorites, but it is for me. I used to live around the corner from this park and spend many summer afternoons here. So it holds a special place in my heart.
Humboldthain isn’t very big, but it offers a range of activities. There is a lot of green space to hang out in the sun, BBQ, and play sports. There is also a little rose garden, a hill with a view point, and a swimming pool. The swimming pool is only open in the summer and a great place to cool off.
Humbolthain was home to an air-raid defense system during WWII, with bunkers and anti-aircraft guns. This meant that most of the park was destroyed during the war. When the park was rebuilt, rubble was used to cover the bunkers, creating the Flakturm hill. From here, you have a beautiful view over the city.
The old bunkers can be visited as part of a guided tour. Berliner Unterwelten organizes such tours through the bunkers and old subway systems of Berlin. During the winter, the bunkers are closed as they are a winter shelter for bats.
How to reach the park: Ubahn station Gesundbrunnen
Whether it’s a summer afternoon and you want a place to relax with a beer, or it’s a sunny fall day, and you want to go for a stroll, Berlin has the right park for you.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city in one of the many parks. They offer a green oasis where you can relax in nature, right in the middle of the city! On your next visit, grab a beer and a snack and hang out like the locals in one of the best parks in Berlin.
What parks in Berlin do you like best? Did I miss your favorite? Leave a comment, and maybe I’ll add it to my list.
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