About Jeroen M
Lives in Berlin, Germany
Since Sep 2007
35-49 year old male
Travel editor and writer based in Berlin; I've visited 64 countries, and have lived for several years each in Berlin - Germany, Bucharest and Brasov - Romania, Warsaw - Poland, Prague - Czech Republic, Johannesburg - South Africa and Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia. Currently working on guides and travel articles for Rough Guides, InYourPocket.com, Easyjet, Airbnb & TripAdvisor.
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Parks, Lookouts
Parks, Historic Sites
Historic Sites, Castles
The Queen of the Berlin parks, Tiergarten starts at Brandenburg Gate, and stretches all the way to the Berlin Zoo in Charlottenburg. The area was once a private royal hunting ground, before becoming a public park in 1742. Today you'll find lush forest and open meadows landscaped in a romantic English style. The park is also home to a few historic sights and a fantastic Biergarten (beer garden) overlooking a boating lake.
Berlin's largest park is a definite must-see. Tempelhofer Park used to be the airfield of the massive Nazi-era Tempelhof airport, which was famous for its role in the Soviet blockade of Berlin in 1948-49. In 2010, the field was turned into a public park that's open daily from dawn to dusk. To the delight of Berliners, it has essentially been left as it was, complete with two wide runways and original airfield signposting. It's a very popular place to jog, skate, cycle or simply lie in the grass with a bottle of wine – and in winter there's even cross-country skiing!
Romantic Viktoriapark fits everything you need into its small space – there are sloping meadows, a dark forest in a gorge, a Biergarten (beer garden), and an impressive waterfall. The hill in the park is Berlin's tallest natural point at 66 meters, and is topped by Schinkel's Neogothic monument to the Liberation Wars.
This large park along the Spree River (south of the city center) has more than enough to see and do in half a day. Apart from a large central meadow, there are fields along the riverside that are great for cooling down in summer. There is even a lovely little island, Insel der Jugend, reached by crossing an arched bridge. In the center of the park, the impressive Soviet War Memorial is well worth a visit too.
Nobody goes to Mauerpark for the greenery – it's the events that attract thousands of people here every weekend. This narrow park also used to be part of the death strip along the Berlin Wall, and there are a few pieces of Wall still left standing. On Sundays, a large and popular flea market takes over half the park, and in the afternoon there's often open-air karaoke held in the Bearpit Amphitheater.
Pfaueninsel, or Peacock Island, is the ultimate escape from the city. Part of a UNESCO Heritage Site and in the middle of the Havel River west of Berlin, it has peacocks roaming freely around its meadows and forests, a fake castle and even a farm with livestock.
This lovely park – featuring a lake with swans, a restaurant and sports facilities – was designed in 1848 to give the residents of the crowded Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg districts a space in which to relax. Interestingly, the hills were only created after the war, when rubble from bombed-out buildings was piled up here; and the largest hill covers the remains of a huge Flakturm bunker. In the western corner, the Märchenbrunnen fairytale fountain, with its 106 statues. is a delightful spot to visit for young and old.
In the eastern district of Marzahn, the beautiful Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World) park contains a dozen stunning landscapes, many of them oriental. Highlights include the Italian Renaissance Garden, the tropical Balinese 'Garden of the Three Harmonies,' and Europe's largest Chinese garden, the 'Garden of the Reclaimed Moon.'
At the centre of the charming and gentrified Prenzlauer Berg district, Kollwitzplatz is a tiny triangular park that attracts toddlers to its playground and stroller-pushing parents to its park benches. The surrounding tree-lined streets are wonderful for strolling around as well.
The Schlosspark behind Charlottenburg Palace – where the Prussian Queen Sophie Charlotte once strolled amidst the Baroque gardens – dates from 1697 and is Berlin's oldest preserved park. Beyond the formal original part is a romantic English-style garden, with a pretty Belvedere building, a large lake and meadows. Together with the palace, this makes a wonderful place to spend a few hours.
Once a flat park, the Volkspark Humboldthain now has two tall hills, consisting of the ruins of two huge Flakturm bunkers that were later covered with the rubble from the surrounding districts. The walls and roof of the tallest one still stand and now form a climbing wall and a popular viewpoint. There's a charming rose garden on the eastern side of the park too.