Photo Essay: Discovering Berlin’s Green Urban Refuges

by Ekua on June 28, 2012 in captured on memory card,Germany,slow travel

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:

Movie posters at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

Fountain at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

Fountain at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

A fallen flower at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

Garden at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

Fountain at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

Sculpture at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

Tightrope practice at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

Sculpture at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

Benches at Volkspark Friedrichshain in Berlin

» Tiergarten

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:

A path in the Tiergarten in Berlin

A snail in the Tiergarten in Berlin

» 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:

A pond at Volkspark Hasenheide in Berlin

Goats at Volkspark Hasenheide in Berlin

A duck at Volkspark Hasenheide in Berlin

 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Federico June 28, 2012 at 3:11 am

Great pics, kudos! 🙂

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Ekua June 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Thanks, good to hear that from a Berlin resident 😉

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wandergirl June 28, 2012 at 4:29 am

I agree – I love escaping the city within the city!

The goats on a stroll make me giggle.

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Ekua June 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Those goats came out of nowhere for their little afternoon stroll and snack. Not a bad life 😉

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Herbc June 30, 2012 at 8:37 am

Enjoyed catching up today, great pics but still have to keep Berlin low on the list of destinations. I see you circled the old me, try to find the new me, Herb instead of Herbert. LOL. I’ve got you back in my reader too.

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Ekua June 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Oh, I just set it up and there were travel bloggers I recognized who added me so I added them. I’m not sure if I’ll use it yet… it looks a little complicated! As always, I’m not necessarily trying to convince anyone to go anywhere, I’m just relaying my experiences. But I’m curious to know why it’s at the bottom of your list though!

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Herbc July 1, 2012 at 5:42 am

You did a great report on Berlin and I’m sure it is worth a visit and I most likely would enjoy it. Having said that, Berlin and Germany for that matter are a tough sell. Maybe a misconception on my part, but travelers seem to be for business or heritage trips. I’m an impulsive person, love to get that railpass and hop around, so you never know, I may get there yet. Found myself in Graz recently and I had never planned to go there, just saw it on the map while hiking in the Austrian alps. 🙂 Near the top of the list, Dublin and Barcelona.

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