I love the kind of urban energy that you only find in cities, but I also love when cities offer ample opportunities to escape that. With its many sizable public green spaces, in Berlin you can always find a spot to take a break from city life within the city limits.
When the weather permitted, I spent a lot of time in parks reading, taking pictures, people watching, and breathing in fresh floral scented air. I barely made a dent in Berlin’s numerous parks, but I could see that each park I went to embodied a bit of the character of the neighborhood it resided in. These great public spaces were the perfect places to decompress, see more of what makes Berlin, Berlin, and soak up the city’s charm.
» Volkspark Freidrichshain
This was my favorite of the parks I visited because it was just so inviting. Like many of the parks in Berlin, Volkspark Friedrichshain offers something for everyone — an open air movie theater, playgrounds, a biergarten, and public art. While it’s the third largest park in Berlin, it somehow managed to have a neighborhoody warmth to it:
Once a private hunting area for a king, the Tiergarten is now Berlin’s central park. Much of it was destroyed in World War II, but was was rebuilt soon after with the emphasis put on reforesting it as quickly as possible and creating a relaxing urban oasis. Walking through this park, I sometimes felt like I was wandering through a whimsical urban forest and at other times like I’d stepped into stately garden from an 1800s period film:
» Volkspark Hasenheide
The edges of this park located on the border of Kreuzberg and Neukölln were noticeably grittier than the previous two. But once I was inside Volkspark Hasenheide, I found an almost pastoral and quiet space. I made my way past open lawns where people gathered to relax and play frisbee to a pond where goats and ducks wandered about: