Nature Park Travel - Europe off the beaten track
City Trips: Berlin Germany
Berlin is a green city, you have a wide selection of
One fourth of Berlin's surface is covered by rivers and lakes, forests and parks, you always find nature nearby -
You can take your bike on the S-trains, regional trains, trams, ferries and ships. Depending on the type of ticket you may have to buy additional tickets - you get the information at the stations or from drivers and conductors.
You can fly your kite from the Teufelsberg mountain in Grunewald.
Tiergarten - green oasis in the very center
Between Kurfuerstendamm avenue (S- and U-train station Zoologischer Garten, S3, S5, S7, S75, S9, U2, U9, bus 100, 200), Potsdam square (S- and U-train station Potsdamer Platz, S1, S2, S25, S26, U2, bus 200), Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag parliament (S-train station Unter den Linden, S1, S2, S25, S26, bus 100, 200), Hansa-Viertel district (U-train station Hansaplatz, U9, S-train station Tiergarten S3, S5, S7, S75, S9, bus 100) and the German president's seat Schloss Bellevue (S-train station, S3, S5, S7, S75, S9, bus 100) you find 15.5 miles of hiking trails, playgrounds and barbecue sites, a lake, a boat rental and a cafe in Berlin's Tiergarten - animal garden, named after the - remarkable - adjoining zoo at Zoologischer Garten station.
You arrive at the Zoological Garden via Kurfuerstendamm avenue from Breitscheidplatz or via Bahnhof Zoo station (S- and U-train station Zoologischer Garten, S3, S5, S7, S75, S9, U2, U9, bus 100, 200). In 1844 Berlin's zoo was Germany's first zoological garden, today the zoo boasts the worldwide largest number of species.
In 1955, East Berlin opened a zoological garden in Schlosspark Friedrichsfelde palace park (U-train station Tierpark, U5). The spacious "landscape animal garden" owns lions and tigers, elephants, rhinos, hippos, sea cows, an aviary, polar bears and a well assorted snake farm. The palace and the park of Friedrichsfelde date back to 1700.
The Botanical Garden in Dahlem was constructed around 1900. In the 106 acre site you enjoy a fragrance and touch garden, water and swampland biotopes, a large pond, moss areas, tropical and mediterranean hothouses with orchids and cacti, and a Botanical Museum offering mushroom consultancy (S-train station Botanischer Garten, S1). Dahlem Museums are next door.
The 12 acre Potsdam Botanical Garden is located at the former court gardeners' of Sanssouci palace (Potsdam station, S1, then bus 695, X15 or regional train RE1 from Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Zoologischer Garten).
Palace Gardens and Parks
The Baroque Schloss Charlottenburg palace dates back to 1700 (U-train stations, Richard-Wagner-Platz, U7, Sophie-Charlotte-Platz, U2). The adjoining palace park was changed to an English Garden by Peter Joseph Lenné in the beginning of the 19th century. In the Schinkel Pavillon at the eastern entrance you find paintings by Caspar David Friedrich. In the Palace, the Museum for Pre and Early History exhibits stone age instruments and the Trojan excavations of Heinrich Schliemann. Across the road the Berggruen collection shows Picasso's paintings and in the Broehan Museum you have a look at Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Functionalism.
The Baroque Schloss Niederschoenhausen palace was built in 1664 (S-train stations Ossietzkystrasse, Pankow, S4, S8, S85). From 1740 to 1797, separated from her husband, Elisabeth Christine lived here, the wife Frederick the Great was forced to marry by his father. From 1949 to 1960 the palace was the seat of the GDR's presidents, after that the GDR government hosted guests here. The palace stands empty at present. The palace park was constructed by Peter Joseph Lenné from 1829 to 1830. Along the narrow Panke river you lie on the meadows, kids play in the playgrounds. Following the river you hike or cycle via Schlosspark Buch palace park to Bernau (S-train station, S4) in the Brandenburg Barnim Nature Park.
The Neukoelln Schloss Britz palace and Gutspark Britz park used to be a Baroque manor. In the end of the 19th century the palace and the park were remodeled and enlarged, the late 19th century Gruenderzeit interior has been preserved (U-train station Parchimer Allee, U7, then bus 144, 174, 181, bus 144 continues to the Britz garden).
North of the port at Tegel you find Schloss Tegel palace built in 1550 (U-train station Alt-Tegel, U6). The hunting lodge of the Great Elector has been owned by the von Humboldt family since 1765 - up to today. Karl Friedrich Schinkel remodeled the palace in the beginning of the 19th century in Classicist style, changed the Baroque park to a landscape garden and designed the von Humboldt family's gravesite.
The Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin are part of the UNESCO World Heritage:
Near Potsdam you enjoy the beautiful landscape of the river banks, lakesides and hills in the park of the Classicist Italian Schloss Glienicke palace designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel - on the east bank of the Havel river between Jungfernsee and Glienicker Lake (S-train station Wannsee, S1, S7 or regional train RE1 from Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Zoologischer Garten, then bus 116). Glienicke park was designed by Peter Joseph Lenné. You enjoy a good view across the Havel river from the Palace Park Casino. Today's Volkspark Kleinglienicke is an English Garden with a touch of Italian. From Glienike you hike or cycle along the lakeside via the beergarden at Moorlake to the Blockhaus Nikolskoe. Friedrich Wilhelm III commissioned the block house in 1819 to honor his son in law Tsar Nikolaus, today you find a restaurant here catering for hikers and cyclists. From Blockhaus Nikolskoe you continue along the Havel bank to the ferry pier and cross to Pfaueninsel - peacock island. The distance from Glienicker Park to the Pfaueninsel island ferry pier amounts to approximately 3 miles.
The Palace on the peacock island - Pfaueninsel - was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II in 1794 for his mistress Wilhelmine Encke, duchess Lichtenau - in Romantic castle ruins' style (S-train station Wannsee, S1, S7, or regional train RE1 from Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Zoologischer Garten, then bus 216, 316 and ferry). Peter Joseph Lenné designed the park as an English Garden in 1822. You walk past old trees, playful buildings and Romantic ruins, there is an aviary and you come across - surprise - peacocks.
You enjoy an excellent view of the Havel river banks and lakesides, to the Glienicke Bridge and the Glienicke palace park from the hill of Schloss Babelsberg palace (Babelsberg station, S1, or regional train RE1 from Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Zoologischer Garten, then bus 694). Karl Friedrich Schinkel designed the Neo Gothic building in 1835. Located at two lakes, the Tiefe See and the Glieniker Lake, the palace park was designed by Peter Joseph Lenné and Prince Pueckler-Muskau. The view from the palace hill is topped by a tower in the park: The 131 foot Flatow Turm was modeled on the Eschenheimer Tor in Frankfurt. North east of the Flatow Turm you find the medieval council house court room that was taken down in 1870 when the Rote Rathaus council house was built - the original of the replica in Nikolai-Viertel.
In the Park of Sanssouci Palace you hike or cycle on 37 miles of trails past palaces, brooks, ponds, fountains, grottos, pagodas, sculptures, dragons and Chinese statues, temples, arcades and Roman spas (Potsdam station, S1, then bus 695, X15 or regional train RE1 from Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Zoologischer Garten). Sanssouci was built from 1745 onwards, Friedrich II used the palace as a place of retreat and relaxation. The representative Neue Palais across the park opened its doors in 1763. Schloss Charlottenhof dates back to a later period - Karl Friedrich Schinkel designed the palace that was put up from 1826 to 1829, at the same time Peter Joseph Lenné remodeled large areas of Sanssouci Park into a landscape garden. West of the orangery the gardeners' site has been changed into Potsdam's Botanical Garden. You enjoy a good view of Sanssouci Park from the 242 foot Ruinenberg - named for the Romantic decorative ruins, that beautify Sanssouci's water supply (Brentanoweg / Schloss Sanssouci stop, bus 695, X15 from Potsdam main station).
Modeled on Wörlitz and constructed at the end of the 18th century, Potsdam's Neue Garten stretches from Heiligen See lake to Jungfernsee lake (Potsdam station, S1, or regional train RE1 from Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Zoologischer Garten, then bus 692). Cecilienhof palace at the northern end of the Neue Garten is the last palace built by Germany's Hohenzollern dynasty - completed shortly before the end of the First World War in 1917. Crown Prince Wilhelm lived there up to February 1945. From July to August 1945 the Allies negotiated in Cecilienhof palace the Potsdam agreement: You can visit the preserved 1945 conference rooms.
Constructed in the 1920s at today's Tegel airport the Volkspark Jungfernheide is Berlin's second largest park next to Tiergarten. You walk through a natural forest, past game reserves and playing fields, you lie in the meadows, children play in the playgrounds, there is an open air stage, a swimming and a wading pool (U-train stations Jakob-Kaiser-Platz, Halemweg, Siemensdamm, U7).
Today's Volkspark Rehberge in Wedding once was part of the Jungfernheide park, now separated by Tegel airport (U-train stations Seestrasse, Rehberge, Afrikanische Strasse, U6, Amrumer Strasse, U9). There are allotment gardens in the park, game reserves, sports fields, a stadion, playing fields, small lakes and an open air stage, at nearby Plötzensee lake there is a swimming pool (Seestrasse 80, M13, M50, bus 327 from U-train station Osloer Strasse, U8, U9).
At the back of Alexanderplatz you find the Volkspark Friedrichhain constructed in the second half of the 19th century (U- and S-train station Alexanderplatz, then bus 200, 240, tram M5, M6, M8, M10). After the Second World War two hills were made of the city's debris to be used as viewing points. In the center of the park, the sculptures of the fountain are characters from famous story tales. There are meadows to lie in, playgrounds, wading pools and an open air stage, you can rent canvas chairs, pedal cars, stilts and tennis rackets. The monuments commemorate the revolutionaries of 1848 and the Germans fighting with the International Brigades in Spain.
In the middle of the 19th century the Buergerpark Pankow was owned by Hermann Killisch von Hoern, the founder of the Berliner Boersenzeitung, a newspaper publishing stock exchange news (S-train station Wollankstrasse, S1, S2, S25). In 1907 the park became municipal property. You lie in the meadows or sit in the cafe, there is a children's farm with a small zoo and an adventure playground. Continuing along the narrow Panke river you arrive at Niederschoenhausen palace park.
The park at Weissen See lake in Pankow used to be a manor's garden (Berliner Allee 150, Tram 12, 27 from S- und U-train station Friedrichstrasse). There is a boat rental, you swim in the open air swimming pool,jog around the lake, admire the rosegarden or relax on the cafe terrace. There is an open air stage and a music pavillon. Children find playgrounds, a small zoo and a wading pool with the sculpture of a sea lion dating back to 1925.
In 1985 the German gardening exhibition took place in the Britzer Garten in Neukoelln: You watch a historical windmill, there is a lakeside cafe and bistro, a fairground, a rosegarden and a play area with animals for children (U-train station Alt-Mariendorf, U6, bus 179, or U7, Lipschitzallee, bus 144).
You go downstairs to the Neukoelln Koernerpark: The entrepreneur Franz Koerner commissioned the park in a former gravel-pit (Schierkerstrasse 8, U- and S-train station Neukoelln, U7, S4, S8). In the orangery the municipal arts bureau runs an art gallery and a terrace cafe. Open air concerts take place in summer.
Following the Spree river you arrive at the Treptower Park (S-train station Treptower Park, S4, S6, S8, S85, S9, boat pier near the S-train station). The park was constructed from 1876 to 1882 as an English landscape garden. In 1896 a large trade exhibition took place here, on this occasion the Archenbold observatory was built - owning the worldwide largest refracting telescope. The Soviet Memorial in the park was raised from 1947 to 1949. There is a boat rental, you find cafes and restaurants and you can take a steamboat trip on the Spree river.
The Erholungspark Marzahn was constructed for East Berlin's garden show in 1987. You lie in the meadows, there are rosegardens, kids find a fairy tale playground (U-train station Kottbusser Platz, U5, bus 195, S-train station Marzahn, S7, bus 197). In 2000 the Chinese "Garden of the Newly Won Moon" opened the doors, including a tea house and a pond, designed by the specialists of the Peking Institute for Classical Gardening. You also find the Japanese "Garden of the Water Confluence" here, and the Balinesian "Garden of the Three Harmonies".
Constructed in the 1920's, the 290 acre Volkspark Wuhlheide is left to grow wild (S-train station Wuhlheide, S3). In the south-east corner the FEZ recreation center for kids and youths runs an indoor swimming pool and a lakeside beach, a sports hall and a playground. Large open air concerts are staged at the Parkbuehne Wuhlheide.
Forests and Nature Reserves
The Grunewald forest stretches along the Havel river and the S-train S7 from the Heerstrasse station to Wannsee. The Jagdschloss Grunewald hunting lodge palace at Grunewald lake built in 1542 is the oldest building commissioned by the Hohenzollern dynasty in Berlin (U-train station Dahlem Dorf, U1, bus X83, 183 to Koenigin-Luise-Strasse/Clayallee, 20 minute walk). In the palace there is a collection of German and Netherland painters from the 15th to the 19th century, amongst others by Lucas Cranach the elder.
The 377 foot Teufelsberg is Berlin's highest mountain built on debris, the US Cold War bugging devices on top are classified as historical buildings (S-train stations Heerstrasse, Grunewald, S7, 30 minute walk). The mountaineering club donated a climbing rock. On New Year's Eve Teufelsberg is a popular viewing point to watch the fireworks.
You also have a good view from the 184 feet Grunewaldturm tower located between Berlin and Potsdam on the Havel river's west bank (U-train station Theodor-Heuss-Platz, U2, then bus 218). Apart from Grunewaldsee there are two more lakes in the forest: Krumme Lanke (U-train station, U1) and Schlachtensee (S-train station, S1). You can swim in both lakes.
You get a 30 mile panoramic view from the Mueggelsee tower in the Mueggelseeberge mountains (S-train station Friedrichshagen, S3, then tram 60, 61, steamboat pier Ruebezahl, Hotel Mueggelsee). Around Mueggelsee you walk through nature reserves, the Teufelssee lake between Mueggelsee lake and Mueggelsee tower is a highmoor. You can swim in the Mueggelsee lake.
From Niederschoenhausen palace park (S-train stations Ossietzkystrasse, Pankow, S4, S8, S85) you hike or cycle along the narrow Panke river via Buch palace park up to Bernau (S-train station, S4) in the Brandenburg Barnim Nature Park.
Between Tegel and Luebars (U- train station Alt Tegel, U6, S-train station Luebars, bus 222 from Waidmannslust, S1) you walk along the 6.2 mile floodplain of the Tegeler Fliess nature reserve. Luebars on the Tegeler Fliess, the last preserved Berlin village and its historical inn, are very popular for excursions. You can walk around the Tegeler See lake in approximately 3 hours using the ferry - past the mansion of the industrialist family Borsig, you return along Jungfernheide park at the opposite lakeside (Alt Tegel, U6).
You find a mix of nature reserve and technical history at the Tempelhof Suedgelaende (Priesterweg, S2, S25): A virgin forest is growing amidst the remains of the steam engine era in a disused railroad yard.
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