Berlin, the bustling city known for its rich history, vibrant culture and lively nightlife, is also home to an abundance of breathtaking natural wonders.
Whether you're a local, an expat, or a visitor, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the city's hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in nature around Berlin.
From lush nature parks to a world-renowned zoo, and stunning viewpoints, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy nature in Berlin.
In this post, we'll explore some of the best places to experience the great outdoors in and around the city. Let's dive into the incredible natural, semi-natural and planted nature around Berlin!
Berlin Zoo was the First zoo opened Germany that houses around 20,000 animals and features 1,200 species.
Berlin Zoo opened in 1844 and, unlike other contemporary zoos (such as those of Antwerp and Amsterdam), it could be accessed by the public from the very beginning. For a long time the zoo’s grounds were the largest in Europe, but the number of species on show was particularly low. However, over the past hundred years the number of animals at Berlin Zoo has rapidly increased and today’s park boasts an impressive 20,000 animals from over 1,200 different species.
Berliner Fernsehturm is a slender TV Tower built by the East German government in the 1960s to demonstrate the strength of the socialist state. Today it is open to the public and offers views of the cityscape, including aerial views of various parks around Berlin.
Planning a trip to Berliner Fernsehtrum? We recommend you grab your tickets from Tiqets.com
Built in the 1960s by the East German government, the iconic Berlin TV Tower had both a functional and political purpose. Its strategic position meant it was visible from the West and therefore served as a symbol of the strength and efficiency of the socialist state. The soaring tower, designed by Hermann Henselmann, features an enormous sphere that was intended to resemble a Soviet Sputnik satellite and was once lit up red (a colour ideologically associated with socialism). However, today the TV Tower serves as a symbol of reunified Berlin and offers both tourists and locals 360-degree panoramic views of the capital from its 200-metre-high observation deck.
Görlitzer Park is a spacious public park with a pond, sports grounds and a petting zoo.
Uli Herrmann, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Representative of the Kreuzberg neighbourhood as a whole, Görlitzer Park (known locally as Görli) is famed for its rough charm. The park was laid out in the late 1980s and early ‘90s and features a number of spacious lawns that are perfect for soaking in the late afternoon sun.
Tiergarten is a 545-acre park that serves as Berlin’s ‘green lung’, with sculpted gardens, art installations, and water features.
In 1527, Prince Joachim of Brandenburg acquired this land for use as a game reserve, and for the next two centuries the area was used a private hunting park. (The park’s name has been preserved to this day: Tiergarten literally means ‘animal garden’ or ‘garden of beasts’.) However, when Frederick the Great, a man who saw himself as an Enlightenment figure, came to the Prussian throne in 1740, he set about transforming the Tiergarten into a public pleasure park.
Today’s park displays both the Baroque geometry of Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff – who was commissioned by Frederick the Great to redesign the royal hunting ground – and the adept landscape design of Peter Joseph Lenné, who revamped the Tiergarten in the 19th century. Though the park suffered during the Allied bombing campaigns of the Second World War, the Tiergarten was restored and its trees were replanted.
Lustgarten is a neoclassical park first established in the 16th century as a pleasure and kitchen garden.
In the 16th century, John George, Elector of Brandenburg, commissioned a pleasure and kitchen garden north of the Berlin Palace (Lustgarten means pleasure garden). The plot of land was used to grow fruit and vegetables, including the potato for the first time in Prussia. A century later, the area was redesigned by Michael Hanf and Gregor Memhardt to include flower beds, an orangerie, a herb garden, ornate statues, and charming fountains. Although the square has been paved over twice to serve as a military parade ground – once by Frederick William I of Prussia in the 18th century and later by the Nazis – the Lustgarten was sympathetically restored in the 1990s and now closely resembles its 19th-century appearance.
Monbijoupark is a well-kept park named after the royal palace that once stood on this site.
In the early 18th century, Count Wartenberg commissioned the Swedish architect Johann Eosander von Göthe to design him a small pleasure palace by the River Spree. A few years after its completion, the residence was purchased by Frederick I of Prussia and given to his daughter-in-law, Sophia Dorothea of Hanover. The young Francophile princess had the palace and garden enlarged and named the estate ‘Monbijou’ (meaning ‘my jewel’ in French). Monbijou was sadly destroyed during the Allied bombing attacks of the Second World War, and its ruins were razed in the 1950s by the East Berlin authorities. In the following decade, a recreational park and children’s swimming pool was constructed on the site, and in the 2000s the whole area was redesigned to include relaxing green spaces and wide promenades.
Panoramapunkt is a viewing platform at the top of the Kollhoff Tower with a wonderful panorama of Berlin that gives you an aerial view of many of Berlin’s parks and other greenspaces.
A.Savin, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Planning a trip to Panoramapunkt? We recommend you grab your tickets from Tiqets.com
Located on the 24th and 25th floors of the Kollhoff Tower, the Panoramapunkt is one of the most popular attractions in the newly renovated Potsdamer Platz. Not only can you enjoy sweeping views of Berlin’s most iconic structures, but there’s also an exhibition on the history of the area and the Panoramacafé, with floor-to-ceiling windows that make it the perfect place to soak in the beauty of the capital.
Schlossgarten Charlottenburg is a Pleasant Baroque gardens laid out in the late 17th century by French landscape architect Siméon Godeau.
In the late 17th century, Sophia Charlotte of Hanover (after whom the palace and gardens are named) commissioned French landscape architect Siméon Godeau, a pupil of the revered court gardener of Versailles, André Le Nôtre, to lay out ‘the most modern garden in the German-speaking world’. Enlarged and expanded over the years, the picturesque and peaceful grounds include the Belvedere, a small 18th-century garden palace by the River Spree designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans (architect of the Brandenburg Gate), and the sombre royal Mausoleum built by Heinrich Gentz in the early 19th century.
Viktoriapark is a public park containing Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s national monument, pleasant green spaces and a small waterfall.
In the early 19th century, celebrated architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel designed the Prussian National Monument for the Liberation Wars (which now stands at the southern edge of the park), a Gothic spire of cast-iron dedicated to those who died in the wars with Napoleon’s French forces. Shortly after, it was decided that the monument should be surrounded with a protective enclosure and later with a park. Completed in the late 19th century, the area was given the name Viktoriapark, both a reference to the hereditary princess Viktoria and also the famous victory over France. In addition to Schinkel’s spire, the park contains pleasant green spaces and a small, picturesque waterfall.
Volkspark Friedrichshain is the city’s oldest public park and it was created for the people of Friedrichshain in the mid-19th century.
The word ‘Volkspark’ means ‘people’s park’, a term that conveys the reason this charming green space was first developed, as a peaceful retreat for the people of Friedrichshain. As was common in Western Europe at the time, the park was done in English landscape garden style, with gently rolling hills, pleasant ponds, and picturesque fountains. Today, the 50-hectare park is a great spot to enjoy an early morning walk or bathe in the late afternoon sun.
Berlin offers a plethora of breathtaking natural experiences that are not to be missed. Whether you're looking to relax in a park, learn about wildlife at the zoo, or take in stunning views from a viewpoint, there is something for everyone in the city. We hope this list has inspired you to explore the nature around Berlin and discover the natural beauty that this city has to offer. Get out there, take a deep breath, and immerse yourself in the incredible nature of Berlin. Happy exploring!