Other than being the capital city of Germany, Berlin is known for its impressive range of both modern and historic attractions as well as its fantastic cultural scene. As a cultural capital of Europe, you just know that Berlin offers plenty to do, and in fact it's home to about 180 museums, beautiful street art, and so many hidden gems that it's almost impossible to discover them all. It's really a city that has all and you'll find plenty of exciting activities to get you going and just as many spots to sit back and relax.
Being nine times bigger than Paris, Berlin is a very spacious city that is laced with nearly 180 km of canals and waterways and is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and lush greenery. It's home to plenty of beautiful parks that the locals love to visit to escape the busyness of the city and they are definitely worth visiting for tourists, too. You've probably heard of Berlin's oldest public park, Volkspark Friedrichshain, but there are many more parks to see as well. Here's a list of some of the best parks in Berlin where you can go to have a picnic, go for a run, or take the kids to play. If you're planning to play sports or take part in activities while you're here, you'll need a place to store your belongings in Berlin so you don't have to lug your bags around with you all day. Choose from several locations on the bounce app.
Tempelhof Field, also called Tempelhofer Feld, has been open to the public since 2010 and is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. It has loads of recreational activities for you to enjoy and a calm atmosphere perfect for sitting back and relaxing on a blanket in the sun. While you're here, you can participate in activities like jogging, biking, picnicking and grilling, birdwatching and even kiteboarding in the large open spaces. Much more than just a place for the people of Berlin to hang out, this 300 hectare space is also occupied by lots of wildlife who rely on it to be their home in the middle of the city. See how many species of animals and rare plants you can spot while you walk around the grounds, and check out the community garden before you go.
If you're interested in the history of the land then you'll be excited to hear that the grounds have had many previous uses, including being the location of the first German aerial photos back in 1886. The space was once used as a Nazi rallying ground and was known as Tempelhof Airport back in 1936. The runways from that time are still present in the park and it also had a role to play during the Berlin Airlift. Having been a significant site in these controversial acts the park was temporarily closed in 2008, but we are glad that it's being used as a place for the community to connect today.
This park begins at Treptower Station and is the second biggest public green space in the city at 84 hectares in size. It has a fantastic location running alongside the River Spree which is one of the many things that make it such a nice spot to enjoy nature and fresh air, or to participate in boating and water activities. After you take a walk on the 4 km path by the water you can cross the river to find the Island of Youth which has a 200 year old biergarten, street food stands and quiet places where you can get comfortable and enjoy your meal and refreshments.
Relish the beauty of the English gardens, a rose garden, shaded tree lined paths and sprawling meadows that have acted as a meeting and relaxation point for the people of Berlin since back in 1888. One of the top landmarks inside Treptower Park is the Soviet War Memorial which has a statue of a soldier and is an important reminder of the thousands of Soviet soldiers who lost their lives during the Second World War. Another spot worth visiting is the Archenhold Sternwarte observatory which houses the world's longest pointable telescope. While you're at the observatory, try to spot the old Ferris wheel which was once part of the Spreepark amusement park.
Charlottenburg Palace Gardens
While you're exploring the parks in Berlin why not do some sightseeing at the same time? This park is the perfect place since it will bring you past one of the city's top attractions, the grand Charlottenburg Palace. The grounds are just as impressive with beautiful baroque gardens and in the heart of the green space, you'll find a big pond with carp and a charming bridge that crosses over it. Follow the bridge and you'll end up on Luise Island, or Luiseninsel, which is a stunning place to take photos.
Stop by the Belvedere and mausoleum before taking a full tour of the palace which is just as lovely inside as it is out. During the summer you'll find lots of people laying on the grass or jogging around the leveled paths, and in the wintertime, the park is just as busy with locals sledding down Trummerberg Hill on the snow. The palace's gardens date back to 1695 and are something you just can't miss seeing in Berlin.
James Simon Park
As you explore the parks and green spaces in Berlin make sure to include the James Simon Park on your list. Redesigned back in 2007, this public park was named after Henri James Simon who was a famous German art patron during his life from 1851-1932. Underneath the shade of the railway arches that pass through the park, you'll find small cafes selling snacks and refreshments so you can enjoy the park for hours and not worry about getting hungry.
Just over the river, you'll find the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Pergamon Museum, or Museum Island, both fantastic places to go once you've seen everything at the park. This area is a bit smaller compared to other Berlin parks but since it's in the Mitte District, where green spaces are scarce, it's still very much appreciated by the locals and tourists who need a break from work and sightseeing. You'll occasionally spot wildlife, like rabbits, also appreciating the space in the evening.
Located close to James Simon Park and the Museum Island UNESCO World Heritage Site is Monbijou Park. It's another great place for you to unwind after checking out all of the exhibits in the nearby attractions. The area has been used as a community park since 1960 but underwent some new developments in 2007 to bring you the fantastic park that it is today. It has plenty for the whole family to enjoy including a kids' swimming pool, a barbecue area perfect for cooking picnics, playgrounds, grassy areas, and a basketball court. When you want to take it easy you can sit by the fountain or do some sun tanning on the lush green lawn.
Although there's plenty to do during the day, you'll really want to visit Monbijou Park at night since that's when the real party starts. Parkgoers can sit down and relax on the deck chairs by the River Spree while sipping on tasty drinks served at the summer beach bar. As the park lights up and people get lively you'll find lots of visitors dancing salsa, swing or tango under the moonlight. Did you know? This park got its name from the beautiful Rococo palace and church that used to occupy the area, although they were bombed and dismantled in the 1950s.
When the busyness of Berlin's bustling streets gets to be too much, come to the charming Hasenheide Park for a calm stroll. Your favorite spot to take a walk will probably be the rose garden, and the playground inspired by fairy tales is the ultimate spot to let the kids' imaginations run wild.
Afterward, you can stop to see if there's anything happening at the open air cinema, and end your visit to the park by checking out the on site zoo. Lots of different animal species from around the world can be seen here, including cattle, peacocks, fallow deer and Kashmir goats, to name a few. There's also a mini golf course where you can practice your swing and more than enough space to set down a blanket or lawn chair to just enjoy this green oasis in the city centre.
Also known as the Berlin Wall Park, this is one of the most interesting of Berlin's parks because of its history. Back during the war, it was actually the death strip that divided the city, which is much different than how the space is used today. Nowadays it's lined with cherry blossoms, blue sage and wild roses, and is a popular hangout spot for the youth of the city. You'll know who has been there thanks to the street art and graffiti on the concrete walls, and the park is also home to swing sets and an amphitheater. Lots of people also come here to play sports like soccer and basketball, or just to sit down with a homemade picnic. No need to worry if you forgot to bring food, there's a casual food court in the heart of the park.
If you can, come here on a Sunday afternoon since that's when the flea market happens, which is quite a popular event. Browse through stalls selling all sorts of antique items, vintage clothes, vinyls and more at unbeatable prices, and you might spot some of the free spirited visitors dancing barefoot in the grass to the sounds of buskers. The park rarely experiences a dull moment during the summer when karaoke sessions, art activities and other exciting festivities are on the rise.
Here's another lovely place to spend an afternoon when the sun is shining in Berlin, Germany and it's often considered to be the city's most famous park. The space was once used as a hunting ground for the Prussian kings but today it's where the citizens and visitors of Berlin go to participate in outdoor activities. The grounds span 550 acres and are surrounded by plenty of tourist attractions and landmarks including the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Potsdamer Platz, the Reichstag building and the Brandenburg Gate.
Despite having all of these famous places nearby the park is quite quiet, and you can easily take a leisurely stroll through the leafy pathways past beautiful meadows and small creeks. Look for the open air biergartens where you can stop to have a drink as well. The best place to go after visiting the park on a Sunday is the Berliner Trodelmarkt, and end your day with a tasty meal of German food at the Tiergartenquelle.
Lots of people come to Grunewald Forest to enjoy the lush green space and to do all sorts of outdoor activities. Hiking, running and cycling are just a few of the things that you can do in this park which spans about 3,000 hectares, making it Berlin's largest park. Inside the property you'll also find the oldest palace in the city; the Jagdschloss Grunewald Renaissance Hunting Lodge.
Plenty of other attractions here will give you a peek into the past, like the Teufelsberg listening station that dates back to the Cold War. On top of that, the park also boasts several lakes, and if you're up for the trek it's possible to hike all the way to Grunewald Tower, which was constructed in remembrance of King William I in the late 19th century. Finally, stop by the biergarten for a drink while overlooking the Havel River.
Exploring the many parks in Berlin
Landing at Berlin Tegel Airport? Plan your itinerary before you reach the city. Sunny days are the perfect time to be outside, and luckily there are many spots where you can take advantage of the sunshine in Berlin.
These green spaces have lovely themed gardens and historic attractions, but if you want to do more challenging activities like rock climbing or trekking you can read about a place better suited to your tastes in this guide on the Best Hikes in Berlin. Feel like taking it easy instead? These Best Beaches Near Berlin are where you should go.